What's New? Updates from the CFAR

Duke CFAR Newsletter - February 2, 2022

In this newsletter:

Funding Opportunities

Core Spotlight: Developmental Core

Recognizing National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Text reading "National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day" with three smiling young Black people looking at the camera

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) is Monday, February 7. This year’s observance is an opportunity to increase awareness and spark conversations about HIV. The first National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) was marked in 1999 as a grassroots-education effort to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS prevention, care, and treatment in communities of color.

Black Americans continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV compared to other racial/ethnic groups. 42% of all new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. are among African Americans; among women, 57% of new HIV diagnoses are African American.

Learn more about NBHAAD at HIV.gov and register for the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy's webinar on February 7th at 2pm EST.

Funding Opportunities

Text reads "CFAR Pilot Grant RFA. 2 options for submission: Standard application ($100K award) or Focused application ($60k award). LOI due 2/28, application due 5/2.

New CFAR Pilot Grant Request for Applications released

The Duke CFAR Developmental Core funds one-year pilot projects to support investigators. Projects should lead to future independent HIV/AIDS funding. The CFAR is especially interested in proposals from new investigators and those from established investigators who are turning their focus to HIV/AIDS research.

There are two types of Pilot Awards available:

  • Standard (6 pages) - up to a maximum award of $100,000 direct funding
  • Focused (3 pages) - up to a maximum award of $60,000 direct funding

Eligibility for CFAR Pilot Grant Award:

  • Post-doctoral and Clinical fellows (T32 awardees cannot use CFAR award for training or stipends)
  • Faculty with no prior R01 funding in the HIV/AIDS field
  • Applicants with a current K award must have NIH pre-approval

RFP schedule:

  • Due date for Letter of Intent (required): February 28, 2022
  • Due date for proposals: May 2, 2022
  • Application review: May 2022
  • Projected award date: July 1, 2022
  • Period of award: 12 months or less

The CFAR Cores offer a variety of grant preparation support services at no-cost, including reviews, consultation, and letters of support. Applicants are encouraged to utilize these pre-submission services.

To learn more, access the RFA on our website here.

CFAR Ending the HIV Epidemic Administrative Supplement Opportunity

The NIH invites eligible NIH CFARs and NIMH ARCs to submit administrative supplements in support of the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the United States initiative. CFARs must collaborate with partners in the 57 priority areas.

The Duke CFAR is eligible to submit a total of FIVE applications for Topics 1-5:

1. Planning projects to support participatory data science research efforts toward Ending the HIV Epidemic in the United States

2. Equity-focused approaches to reduce HIV-related health disparities

3. Strategic alliances across jurisdictions to reach EHE goals through implementation research

4. Applying behavioral economic approaches to design implementation strategies for HIV testing, prevention, and care

5. Implementation Strategies to Facilitating a Status Neutral Approach to HIV Prevention and Treatment

6. New EHE CFAR/ARC Implementation Science Consultation Hubs [one application per CFAR]

The maximum funding allowed per application is $200,000 Direct Costs for up to 1 year, except for Topic 2 (which allows $200K a year for up to 2 years) and Topics 3 & 6 (which both allow $250,000 Direct Costs for up to 1 year). Applications will be reviewed in May, with an earliest anticipated start date of July 1, 2022.

Please let us know ASAP if you are interested in submitting an application in response to this administrative supplement opportunity. 

Applications are due April 4, 2022.

Visit our website for more details and the full NIH announcement.

Core Spotlight: Developmental Core

Headshot of Keith Reeves

The Developmental Core welcomes Dr. Keith Reeves as new Director

The Duke CFAR is grateful to Dr. Herman Staats for his many years of leadership as Developmental Core Director and is excited to introduce Dr. R. Keith Reeves as the new Core Director. Dr. Reeves recently came to Duke from Harvard Medical School and the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research (CVVR) of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He was formerly Director of the Harvard CFAR Advanced Technologies Core and Director of the CVVR Flow Cytometry Core.

Dr. Reeves joins Duke in the Department of Surgery as a tenured professor as well as the incoming Director of the Division of Innate and Comparative Immunology in the Center for Human Systems Immunology. His research focuses on the basic mechanisms exploited by innate immune cell types and how they may be therapeutically targeted, anchoring studies in basic immunology and permitting applicability in multiple diseases and models. Current work is heavily focused on natural killer and innate lymphoid cell biology and how these cells may be tuned to regulate vaccines and immunotherapeutics. As Core Director, Dr. Reeves will lead the Developmental Core in its mission to provide resources and services to CFAR members to enhance career development in basic, clinical or social and behavioral sciences.

Says Dr. Reeves, "I am very eager to build on the stellar history of accomplishment of the Developmental Core to offer the best possible avenues for success to CFAR investigators. Further, my lab and I are very excited just to be here at Duke and looking forward to the wealth of research collaborations afforded here and in the CFAR specifically."

Dr. Schenita Randolph and Drs. Brandon Knettel & Susan Reif awarded CFAR Microgrants

The Duke CFAR recently awarded two Microgrant Awards. These one-year awards for up to $20,000 are intended to facilitate HIV/AIDS research by providing modest, but essential, resources that are not readily available from other sources. 

Dr. Schenita Randolph was awarded a CFAR Microgrant for her proposal, “Examining Organizational Culture and Context of Beauty Salons for Scalability and Sustainability of a Salon-Based Intervention to Improve the Awareness, Knowledge and Uptake of PrEP among Black Women in the United States South.”

Black women comprise 13% of all women in the United States, but account for nearly two-thirds of new HIV infections among women in the US. Improving the uptake of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention among Black women in the US South will require implementation strategies that address awareness, trust, and stigma.

To address the urgent need, Dr. Randolph and her team worked with the community to co-develop UPDO’s Protective Styles (Using PrEP and Doing it for Ourselves), a salon-based intervention to promote awareness, knowledge and uptake of PrEP among Black women living in the US South. Through funding from Gilead Sciences, Inc., she and her team are now testing the preliminary effects of UPDOs on PrEP awareness, knowledge and uptake by pilot testing the intervention with six salons.

Through the CFAR microgrant, Dr. Randolph will implement a mixed-method study to assess the organizational culture and context of the salon and evaluate how the beauty salon culture and context influences PrEP uptake among Black women during their pilot testing. This understanding can help inform implementation strategies to improve scalability and sustainability of UPDOs Protective Styles.

Headshot of Schenita Randolph with quote: ""We are excited to be able to examine the organizational culture of beauty salons and the potential impact of salon cultures on the delivery and outcomes of the UPDOs intervention.  We have been intentional about equally partnering with stylists and the community to develop a real world and sustainable intervention."

Drs. Brandon Knettel and Susan Reif were awarded a CFAR microgrant for their proposal, “Implementation Strategies for Integrating Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in HIV Care.”

In North Carolina, opioids contributed to 1,783 overdose deaths in 2018, making it the leading cause of injury deaths in the state. The relationship between HIV and Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is bidirectional and syndemic. OUD and HIV are both chronic conditions that are treatable with daily medication, with outcomes enhanced by strong psychosocial support. These similarities have led implementers to consider integrated treatment for HIV and OUD; however, there may also be unintended consequences to this model.

Through the CFAR microgrant, Drs. Knettel and Reif will assess the benefits of an integrated model, while also examining whether unsolicited screening and referral for OUD treatment may add stress during a critical window for HIV care initiation, with potential to hinder long-term treatment adherence.

The team aims to obtain perspectives from implementing partners on the integration of treatment for OUD in HIV care in Mecklenburg Country, NC by conducting in-depth interviews with HIV clinicians, OUD and social services providers, and people who use opioids that are presenting for HIV services. They will explore the perceived value of care integration, the potential for negative consequences of integration on HIV care engagement, and implementation strategies for care integration that minimize disruptions in HIV care. These insights will inform a package of implementation strategies for HIV clinics to be tested in a future clinical trial.

Headshot of Brandon Knettel with quote: “Although COVID-19 has claimed the spotlight in the last two years, the U.S. South is also facing dual epidemics of HIV infections and opioid use disorder. We can no longer treat these conditions in siloes. We really appreciate the Duke CFAR’s support of our study exploring integrated treatment for opioid use disorder in HIV care, as we think this can be a real game changer for offering co-located care for both conditions.”

Read more about the projects on our website here.

Developmental Core services offered to support CFAR investigators

The CFAR Developmental Core provides resources and services to CFAR members to enhance career development in basic, clinical or social and behavioral sciences.

Funding for pilot projects

The Developmental Core provides research support through the peer-reviewed Pilot Grants and Microgrant Awards. 

Faculty recruitment (professional network development)

The Developmental Core provides direct financial support to allow recruitment of talented faculty in targeted areas who complement and enhance the CFAR HIV/AIDS research agenda, and may partner with other Departments, Centers or Institutes in the recruitment or retention of faculty members performing HIV/AIDS research.  


The Developmental Core provides mentoring resources to ensure effective mentoring is available to support junior faculty members. Mentoring resources include tools to enhance a previously developed mentoring plan (mentor and mentee evaluation forms, mentoring plan templates, etc.) or assistance developing a mentoring plan or selecting a mentor.

Grant Review

The Core staff will perform or arrange for an internal review of any HIV-related grant prior to submission, as well as meet to review a grant revision in response to reviewers, including the CFAR Pilot Grants. 

Early Career Grant Review Training

The Core staff will provide early career grant review training by inviting senior postdocs and junior faculty to participate in the CFAR Pilot Grant Review process and receive mentoring around the review of a grant application. This training provides insight into the process behind an NIH-style study section review.

Visit our website to learn more.

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