Countdown to a Cure Initiative: Investment Grants: Bringing Bioengineers to Cure HIV - Request for Proposals

Funding Agency:
AmFAR - The Foundation for AIDS Research

amfAR’s $100 million Countdown to a Cure initiative is aimed at developing the scientific basis of a cure for HIV by the end of 2020. The urgency of our goal demands that we direct our funding to studies that uncover vital knowledge directly applicable to curing HIV in people living with HIV/AIDS. amfAR expects that this RFP will solicit revolutionary ideas and unconventional approaches that inform, design and evaluate curative interventions.

Persistent reservoirs of virus not cleared by antiretroviral therapy (ART) represent the main barrier to a cure for HIV and, as evidenced by the “Berlin patient,” removing the reservoir is one mechanism by which a cure can be accomplished. amfAR intends to fund research that explores all curative approaches, including reservoir removal, as well as other mechanisms that would result in ART-free remission without the risk of transmission for at least five years.  We encourage the submission of proposals that explore novel, high-risk, and potentially high-impact ideas.

amfAR’s Investment Grants aim to harness technology developed by bioengineers to solve the problems posed by the viral reservoir. Recent advances in nanomachines, synthetic biomarkers, in vivo sensors, multi-omic single cell platforms and other technologies have yet to be evaluated for their usefulness in curing HIV. Investment Grants provide a funding mechanism through which potentially groundbreaking, early stage approaches are encouraged, regardless of risk or scalability, by requiring collaborations between bioengineers and HIV cure scientists.

Investment Grants are milestone-driven grants that provide funding of up to $1.5 million over four years in three phases. See table below for funds allotted to each phase. Applicants must be HIV scientists focusing on cure research and are required to collaborate with bioengineers employing technologies that have the potential to address the specific areas of interest. Bioengineers interested in applying are required to collaborate with HIV cure scientists.

Submission of Letters of Intent is a two-step, online process.

  • You must request log-in credentials no later than 3:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, September 23.
  • Use the log-in information to complete and submit the LOI online through the portal. LOIs must be submitted via the portal no later than 3:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, September 27.

Agency Website



Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

September 23, 2016