Review and Evaluation Process

A Scientific Selection Committee (SSC) will review the Concept Proposals.  Criteria for selection in the Concept Proposal phase are primarily based upon the scientific merit, investigator, significance, approach, and innovation.

Researchers whose proposals are selected for the full proposal competition phase will have eight weeks to prepare and submit a full proposal.  Written critiques of the Concept Proposals will not be provided.

Evaluation criteria include:

  • Scientific Merit: Proposal’s likelihood to provide information that can significantly advance our understanding of HIV and/or provide preliminary data that is likely to lead to independent research grant funding.
  • Significance: What will be the potential effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive the field of HIV research? Does the study address an important problem consistent with the objective to advance our understanding of HIV? If the aims are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced?
  • Investigator: Are the PI, mentor(s), and other researchers well suited to the project? Does this person have appropriate experience and training? If the project is collaborative, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise?
  • Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and statistical analysis plan adequately developed, well integrated and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternatives? Does the study design account appropriately for differences by sex or gender?
  • Innovation: Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches, or methods? Are the aims original and innovative? Does the project challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?
  • Environment: (Full Application only) Do the proposed methods take advantage of the unique environment and unique populations where appropriate? Are useful collaborative arrangements between resources in the institution(s) utilized where appropriate and described adequately? This criteria only applies to the Full Application phase.

The reviewers will be asked to summarize the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal based on all of the above criteria.  Each project is scored according to the NIH scoring system using scientific merit as the metric for success.

All full applications will also undergo a biostatistical review.

Review Committee:
The review committee (comprised of senior members of the CFARs, IAS and other eminent scientists with relevant expertise in the field of HIV) will convene a formal review within nine weeks of receipt of applications. Those applicants who are selected for funding will be notified immediately. All full proposal applicants will receive written critiques in order to enhance their ability to benefit from other funding opportunities.