amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Targeted RFP

(Deadline: Closed)


Available Funding

amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is pleased to announce the availability of funding
for small awards to support frontline organizations and collaborations to address HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Individual organizations are eligible for awards of up to $15,000 USD.

Collaborations are eligible for awards of up to $40,000 USD.  Please see the Eligibility and Qualifications section below for the Initiative’s definition of “collaboration.”

Only one application may be submitted per organization or collaboration.

It is anticipated that funding recommendations will be announced in March 2009. Organizations that are approved for awards can expect to receive funds to begin activities as early as June 2009.




The MSM Initiative was founded and is administered by amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and benefits from collaboration with the Global Forum on MSM & HIV, UNAIDS, and many other partners. Funding for Eastern Europe and Central Asia is made possible through generous support from Aids Fonds.

MSM is used to apply to an array of male-male sexual behaviors and identities, each with specific cultural contexts and with specific HIV risks, prevention strategies, and needs related to access and rights. The MSM Initiative is open to considering proposals that address HIV in the context of any of these behaviors or identities.

Addressing HIV among MSM includes planning and delivery of prevention, treatment, care, and support services, policy work, and observational, social, mental health, biomedical, and operational research. For this request for proposals (RFP), the MSM Initiative is particularly interested in applications that address national policies related to HIV among MSM. These projects will require an in-depth knowledge of MSM behaviors and identities, as well as a multifaceted approach to individual health, public health, and human rights, and to social and economic issues such as poverty, violence, homelessness, and discrimination.

Eastern Europe and Central Asia:  This RFP seeks submissions from countries and/or states within the Baltic region, Central and Southeastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. All organizations from countries/states within these regions are encouraged to apply. However, it is anticipated that reviewers may prioritize applications from low-income countries/states, and/or countries/states that have high levels of HIV prevalence.




Background and Areas of Interest

amfAR, in partnership with the Global Forum on MSM & HIV and UNAIDS, has identified three global objectives for the MSM Initiative:

• Supporting frontline organizations and networks working to address HIV among MSM;
• Supporting effective policies and increased public funding for HIV prevention and treatment efforts among MSM;
• Supporting research to build understanding of HIV epidemics and interventions among MSM.

The Initiative’s core program components are:

• Funding projects that provide targeted support for MSM already infected or at risk for HIV;
• Advocacy and communications support at global, regional, and national levels to generate media attention, build public awareness, promote positive policy changes, and mobilize resources for programs that serve and improve conditions for MSM.

Intended outcomes of the MSM Initiative include:

• Prevention: including increased reports of safer sex and condom use among MSM;
• Health indicators: e.g., reduced HIV incidence and decreased morbidity among MSM due to HIV, STIs, TB, hepatitis, mental health issues, and substance use;
• Policy: including changes in funding, programs, program practices, policies, legislation, regulations, decisions, standards, and stated values related to HIV and MSM.

Funding recommendations are arrived at through community-based peer review involving technical experts who are also peers of the funding applicants in their general expertise, perspectives, and focus of work. Where possible, the MSM Initiative will provide awards in the context of partnerships that are already capable of offering ongoing training and technical assistance.

In making funding decisions, the MSM Initiative will advise peer reviewers to prioritize:

• Community-based efforts, meaning that the governance and leadership of these efforts should be strongly representative of the MSM populations that should benefit from funded activities;
• Organizations and collaborations with documented experience with MSM populations and/or successful HIV/AIDS interventions, research, and/or policy work.

The MSM Initiative and its partners aim to support sustained programmatic efforts and therefore have an interest in supporting strong organizational management structures, individual leaders, and involvement of MSM communities and other constituents.  The MSM Initiative will provide support for organizational development as long as this is project-related and linked to long-term goals related to MSM and HIV.



Eligibility and Qualifications

Awards will be made only to U.S. tax-exempt charity/nonprofit or foreign equivalent organizations. (e.g., NGOs, registered charities, and other frontline organizations formed for a charitable purpose, such as education or access to healthcare information and services) with demonstrated organizational capacity to carry out the proposed activities and effectively manage award funds.

Partner Organizations
Proposals from organizations that do not meet the eligibility criteria must be submitted by an eligible organization acting as sponsoring partner.  However, the MSM Initiative will only consider proposals from such partnerships when the relationship is clearly defined in terms of fiscal responsibility and budgetary allocations between the partners, and mechanisms for oversight and technical support to be provided by the eligible organization.

“Collaborations” are defined by the MSM Initiative as cooperative efforts between two or more separate organizations in multiple locations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Multiple locations of a single organization will not be considered as a collaboration. Proposals from collaborations should be submitted by a lead organization that meets the eligibility criteria outlined above and will take responsibility for disbursement of funds, project coordination, and reporting.



Forms and Instructions

Please use the links below to download a copy of this RFP, the application form, and instructions. Please read the instructions thoroughly as they contain the information necessary for the proper preparation and submission of a proposal.

Applications may be submitted in English and Russian. For applications in a language other than English, amfAR requires that an English translation also be submitted, even an approximate translation such as one made using an internet translation engine. Both the original language and the translated versions will be provided to community peer reviewers.

Applicants are required to provide the names and contact information of at least three external (i.e., independent, non-interested) references. Letters of support or other attachments from references are not requested and should not be submitted. References may or may not be contacted as part of the proposal review.

Application forms (to be used by all applicants) (DOC) 


Application instructions (PDF) 

Sample application (PDF) 

Форма заявки (используется всеми соискателями) (DOC) 


Указания по заполнению формы-заявки (PDF) 

Пример заявки (PDF)



Application Submission 

E-mail submission (preferred)
E-mail the completed application as an attachment to: 

Hard copy submission
Send by mail or courier to:
amfAR / MSM Initiative Community Awards
120 Wall Street, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10005-3908  USA
Please remember to mail or ship hard copy submissions with adequate time for delivery by deadline.

All applications (e-mail or hard copy) must be received no later than: 

25 January 2009, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (Greenwich Mean Time -05:00) 

Deadlines are strictly observed. Applications that are received late, are incomplete, or exceed page limitations (see instructions) will not be reviewed. Proposals may include citations, listed references, and curricula vitae for key personnel. Web links to important documents and articles may be listed, but they should not be included as physical attachments.

Please e-mail if you have questions about this RFP or the application requirements.



Confidentiality, Transparency, and Communications

Throughout the review and award process, amfAR routinely respects the privacy of the applicant and endeavors to protect from disclosure any confidential or proprietary information contained in a submitted proposal. 

Furthermore, the MSM Initiative recognizes that many organizations working to address HIV among MSM are doing this work in complex and sometimes volatile social, political, and legal contexts that require additional confidentiality. Groups that require additional protection of confidentiality, particularly due to security concerns, should indicate this need in the application for funding. In such instances we will inform reviewers that extra confidentiality is needed, and we will limit what we communicate about your organization with other funders, partners, or the public. Indicating that extra confidentiality is not needed means that we will maintain routine confidentiality about the funding proposal, but will feel free to communicate about the proposal and the organization to other funders and partners in the interest of mobilizing support.

While we will make every effort to maintain confidentiality in these situations, amfAR, the MSM Initiative, and its partners cannot guarantee complete confidentiality and/or be held liable for the disclosure of information that causes harm to individuals or groups associated with funded projects. Groups should be aware that any information provided carries the risk of being shared publicly through open dialogue about funding priorities, peer funding review processes, and communications about MSM Initiative directions, decisions, and reported outcomes. Submission of a funding application is deemed to indicate that applicants understand and accept these risks.



Requirements and Restrictions

The MSM Initiative intends to encourage, support, and document activities of the highest quality. Therefore, all organizations funded by the MSM Initiative will be required to provide interim and year-end reports of program activities and expenditures. Where applicable, organizations should be ready to document appropriate financial and accounting controls, including measures to prevent duplicated use of funds. Any renewal of funding will be contingent upon the adequacy of this reporting. In addition, the MSM Initiative will work with partners within the region to be in contact with awardees, to monitor and document any needs for technical support and assistance, and if possible, to provide this support.

Funding for the MSM Initiative is made possible primarily through the private donations of individuals and philanthropic foundations. The MSM Initiative will report regularly to these funding partners about the use of funding and all supported organizations and activities (except where confidentiality is specifically requested).