Apply for a Grant

Apply for a Grant

amfAR receives hundreds of proposals each year from researchers around the world, and funds the highest quality projects.

In evaluating these proposals, amfAR employs a peer review process modeled closely on those used by other major scientific research institutions, including the National Institutes of Health. The scientific peer review process ensures the quality and relevance of research activities, and helps maintain the scientific objectivity and credibility of amfAR’s grant-making programs.

amfAR’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) reviews proposed research projects based on their relevance, scientific merit, and promise. This volunteer group includes some of the nation’s most respected scientists with expertise in the field of HIV/AIDS and has helped guide the Foundation in investing more than $635 million in its programs, including support for more than 3,800 grants to research teams worldwide.

amfAR’s grant-making process begins when the Foundation issues a formal request for proposals (RFP), which is distributed to thousands of researchers worldwide. Targeted RFPs are designed to elicit applications from scientists working in areas that have been deemed by amfAR’s Program Advisory Council, SAC, and other experts as being critically important to finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. General RFPs allow amfAR to identify promising new ideas across the spectrum of cutting-edge HIV/AIDS research.

The Mathilde Krim Fellowships in Biomedical Research program seeks to facilitate transition to an independent career in biomedical HIV/AIDS research for exceptional postdoctoral scientists.

As per instructions in an RFP, investigators are required to submit either a pre-application Letter of Intent (LOI) or a Proposal Synopsis. Any postdoctoral investigator who is affiliated with a nonprofit institution may submit an LOI or Proposal Synopsis.

Investigators are required to submit a pre-application letter of intent (LOI). Any postdoctoral investigator who is affiliated with a nonprofit institution may submit an LOI.

LOIs are reviewed by members of the SAC and full grant applications are solicited from those investigators whose LOIs are most highly recommended. Proposal Synopses are reviewed by amfAR program officers and advisors; full applications are solicited from investigators whose proposals are found to be within the scope of interest described in the RFP.

Each full application is appraised in depth by three reviewers who present their findings to a panel of between 8 and 20 other members of the SAC.

This panel discusses the applications—a process that allows for an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas—and scores them by confidential ballot. Applications are prioritized for funding based on the reviewers’ average scores. Funding recommendations are presented to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees which has final authority for approving grant disbursements.

Both LOIs and proposals are evaluated according to these criteria:

  • the scientific merit of the proposal
  • the degree of innovation in concept and design
  • the relevance of the research to the control of the epidemic, the benefit of patients with AIDS or AIDS-related conditions, and the intent of the RFP
  • the qualifications, experience, and productivity of the investigator(s)
  • the facilities available
  • the likelihood of success

In addition to the expertise of the reviewers and the cooperative nature of the process, confidentiality and the avoidance of any conflict of interest are critical components of peer review.

All RFPs are posted on this website. For more information about amfAR’s grant application process, please contact:

amfAR Grants Administration Department