amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Request for Proposals: Implementation Science Research

amfAR Announces $3 Million for Implementation Science Research

Innovative service delivery models and partnerships focused on the HIV treatment cascade for gay men, other MSM, and transgender individuals

The GMT Initiative of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is pleased to announce the availability of $3 million in funding to support implementation science research projects evaluating innovative service delivery models and community partnerships focused on the HIV treatment cascade for gay men, other men who have sex with men, and transgender individuals (GMT) in low- and middle-income countries.

Deadline: CLOSED

Available Support

  • $3,000,000 over three years

  • Support for up to three research projects

  • Up to $900,000 total (maximum of $300,000 per year) for each project, including indirect costs

The final amount per grant and the number of grants awarded will be determined by assessment of the scientific merit and potential impact of the projects proposed.

Applicants are encouraged but not required to cost-share.  Applicants are also encouraged to maximize support for research costs at partner organizations in the countries where the research will be undertaken.  Project budgets should be realistic for the research proposed.  Funding for the second or third year of support is contingent upon the future availability of funds and evaluation of progress in each period.


  • Up to three years

  • Starting no later than September 1, 2014

Competition under this RFP will consist of a two-stage process where applicants first submit a Concept Paper for initial review, and those successful in the first stage will be invited to submit a Full Application.


The GMT Initiative’s ultimate goal is to improve HIV-related public health outcomes for GMT globally―specifically to lower HIV-related incidence, morbidity and mortality―and to use limited resources as effectively as possible to help reach that goal.  The Initiative will seek to support research projects that are designed to produce compelling evidence that can directly inform program content, quality and scale-up, as well as policy and resource allocation.  We intend the research supported to be additive and not duplicative of ongoing efforts.  The Initiative will continue to prioritize and promote community involvement in research.

The Initiative’s approach is based on scientific research indicating that targeted HIV interventions that include early identification of HIV infection and suppression of viral load is critical to changing the course of the HIV epidemic among GMT.  The Initiative will prioritize support for research projects that are designed to identify and document effective program models, including innovative partnerships and packages of services that have the potential for broad, population-level impact, can be scaled and, ideally, adapted and replicated in other settings.  Our focus is on showing how to move HIV prevention, treatment, and care interventions and innovative service delivery models for GMT from concept to practice – and have impact.


Concept papers must be submitted using amfAR’s online application portal.

To obtain log-in credentials, detailed program information, instructions and forms, please e-mail the following information to with “GMT Research” in the subject line.

  • Principal Investigator’s name, doctoral-level degree(s), and e-mail address

  • Applicant Institution name and location (city, state, country)

Log-in credentials, etc., will be e-mailed to the Principal Investigator (PI) and are not transferable, each interested PI must obtain credentials.


  • Principal Investigators (PIs) must be doctoral-level research scientists who are affiliated with a nonprofit organization.  amfAR accepts applications from nonprofit organizations worldwide.

  • For-profit entities and individuals are not eligible to apply

  • Projects must include balanced partnership(s) between the research organization and at least one community-based organization (CBO) or clinic serving GMT populations in a low- or middle-income country.  CBO partner organizations must be led and largely staffed by GMT individuals.

  • In addition to the PI, the project leadership plan should incorporate key staff from the GMT-led community-based partner organization(s) and/or clinic partner site(s).

  • There must be a community advisory board or similar body that includes meaningful representation of―and provides for review by and direct input from―members of the target population(s) at all partner sites.


Evidence suggests that community-based delivery of HIV testing and treatment services and/or innovative CBO-clinic partnership models that provide ready access to GMT-friendly HIV testing, immediate treatment, adherence support, and retention in care can substantially increase the number of HIV-infected GMT who are virally suppressed, and potentially decrease community viral load and reduce HIV acquisition and transmission within community networks.

This RFP seeks to fund implementation research projects that study and document the impact of innovative HIV service delivery models that are effective, cost-efficient, replicable and scalable.  The GMT Initiative is particularly interested in supporting research that seeks to document the impact of service models that employ and creatively combine key elements along the HIV treatment cascade targeted to GMT populations.  Key elements and areas of interest may include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

HIV Prevention

  • Utilizing GMT-specific social networks to locate previously undiagnosed people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and link them to care

  • Utilizing mobile devices and other innovative technologies to encourage more frequent HIV testing for individuals with demonstrated elevated risk for HIV infection

  • Effective delivery of PrEP or PEP to GMT populations at increased risk of HIV acquisition in low- or middle-income countries

HIV Clinical Care

  • Study of different health service delivery models (e.g., GMT-specific clinic vs. men’s health clinic) to compare and contrast utilization and endpoints

  • Incentivizing community/clinical partnerships and utilizing co-location of services including mental health and substance use care and support

  • Evaluating the role of community, social or sexual network engagement in improving outcomes at different levels of the treatment cascade

  • Using mobile technologies (reminders) to keep HIV testing and clinical care appointments and reduce loss to follow up

  • Using mobile technologies to improve medication adherence

  • Evaluating GMT-friendly care and treatment to identify factors that effectively motivate retention in care and treatment adherence

  • Developing, disseminating, and evaluating the use of curricula to improve cultural competency regarding GMT populations among health care and services providers

  • Task-shifting of HIV testing and/or provision of ARV treatment to community settings to increase access to these services

The proposed research must include specific and measurable endpoints along the treatment cascade for GMT living with HIV.  These may include a combination of, but are not limited to, the following examples:

  • Improving case finding and diagnosing previously undiagnosed GMT PLWHA

  • Improving timely (within 2 days) linkage to care

  • Maintaining continuous engagement in HIV care and treatment

  • Re-engaging PLWHAs who have dropped out of care

  • Reducing missed clinical care visits among GMT PLWHAs

  • Increasing rates of viral suppression among total case load

  • Increasing the number of clinical care providers who provide clinically and culturally competent treatment for GMT populations

  • Increasing knowledge among clinical care providers around appropriate treatment/care for GMT populations

If you have questions about the scope or intent of this RFP, please e-mail with “GMT RFP questions” in the subject line.



Submission of a Concept Paper does not guarantee eligibility to submit a full application.  The pre-application process is highly competitive.  Only a limited number of investigators submitting a Concept Paper will be invited to submit a Full Application.

Proposals (both Concept Papers and Full Applications) received under this RFP will be evaluated by amfAR’s Evaluation Committee, comprised of researchers and community experts who have relevant expertise in implementation science, and colleagues with experience providing direct care, treatment or prevention services to, and advocacy for, GMT populations in low- and middle-income countries.

After a careful and thorough review of Concept Papers, Full Applications will be invited from the applicants whose proposals show the greatest scientific merit and potential for dissemination and community- or clinic-level impact, considering both technical and cost factors.  Likewise, after a careful and thorough review of Full Applications, grants will be awarded to support the projects found to show the greatest scientific merit and potential for dissemination and community- or clinic-level impact, considering both technical and cost factors.  An award may be made with or without prior discussions regarding the research design, budget, or other aspects of the project.


Deadline for Questions on RFP:
June 27, 2014

Concept Papers Due:
July 9, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

Full Applications Invited:
Early August, 2014

Full Applications Due:
August 26, 2014

Notice of Award:
Late September


E-mail questions about the RFP to