Gilead HIV Cure Mentored Scientist Award

Project Award Amount $45,000  (NOT offered in Fall 2024)


The purpose of the Gilead HIV Cure Mentored Scientist Award at the amfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research is to mentor and train early-stage investigators participating in HIV cure research. The award is open to investigators at a senior stage of clinical or postdoctoral training, and to new faculty at UCSF and affiliated partner institutes. Cure research projects can be in behavioral, clinical or basic laboratory science. Applications including research participants from underserved populations or from investigators underrepresented in HIV cure science are particularly encouraged. Applicants for this award must indicate a faculty research mentor(s) who will commit to guiding the applicant throughout the duration of the proposed project.

The award amount for this program is $45,000 in direct costs for one year. Any carry forward of funding is not guaranteed. For affiliated institutions, indirect cost rate is capped at 10%.

Progress reports will be due at six months and at the end of the project period. 


Eligibility requirements need to be met as of date of submission; no waivers are allowed.

Who’s Eligible:

  • Postdoctoral or clinical fellows in training.
  • Current faculty in any Series (Ladder Rank, In Residence, Clinical X, Health Science Clinical, Adjunct) at the Assistant Professor or Clinical Instructor level (including acting positions) who have not yet received an R01-equivalent award in HIV/AIDS.
  • Investigators must be at UCSF or an affiliated partner institute.

Who is NOT eligible: Associate and Full Professors or Staff; applicants without terminal degrees.

Submission Rules

Designation of a Research Mentor:
All mentored award applications require a faculty research mentor from UCSF or a UCSF-affiliate. The mentor’s role is to provide oversight on the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed research. The mentor should be recognized as an accomplished investigator in HIV cure research and should be able to demonstrate past success in training/mentoring independent investigators. In addition, the mentor must commit to mentoring the applicant throughout the duration of the research project. The research mentor must support, advise, and guide the research portion of your application before submitting it to RAP.

Criteria for Review/Evaluation of Applications:
Completed applications which meet eligibility requirements will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate review committee convened by the UCSF Resource Allocation Program. Projects will be evaluated based on the quality of the proposed scientific investigation, the significance of the proposed scientific investigation, and the quality and potential of the applicant and the research team.

The proposal will be evaluated based on the following questions: click here to view the review form for this grant mechanism

Selection of Awardees:
Funding decisions are made independently by each funding agency based on several factors – scientific review score, alignment of proposal to funder’s strategic goals, research area of focus, specifically called out eligibility or other requirements like membership in a center, affiliation with a specific school or relevance to a stated auxiliary topic, and potential for the PI to become an independent investigator.

Program Contact
Direct questions regarding submission or reporting procedures to Lauren Sterling (phone: 206-579-0834, email: [email protected]).


STEP 1) Complete the electronic application form.  Please note there are several pieces of information that need to be provided directly via the electronic application form (selecting the appropriate grant mechanism, providing demographic information, uploading an abstract, etc.).
Click here to preview an inactive template of the electronic application form.

STEP 2) Upload your proposal as a SINGLE PDF that includes all the things listed in numeric order in the instructions below.


Please write your proposal following the instructions listed below and create one single PDF file. Do not include form fields in your PDF document.

Proposal Length: Maximum 6 pages, including figures and tables, excluding table of contents and literature cited.
Format Requirements: Arial font; 11 pt; minimum 0.5 inch for all margins; no appendices; include page numbers and table of contents.

Definition: Same research topic with an amended application or research plan rather than a new research topic and new research plan.
Requirements: Please use up to one extra page to introduce your revised proposal, addressing the issues raised in the review, and any additional changes to your proposal. Make sure the new edits are highlighted in bold or italic font so the reviewers can easily see where and how the proposal has changed. Do not use "track changes". A new letter of support from the Department Chair or other Unit Head is required in all cases.

  1. Investigator Name (no multiple PIs). Only one application is permitted per cycle.
  2. Project Title
  3. Proposal (maximum 6 pages, including figures and tables, [1-6 below] excluding literature cited, mentoring plan, and additional human-subjects information [7-9 below]); also excludes community engagement component, if applicable.
  1. Aims: Do not submit an application that describes an idea that is the same or similar to one used in a previously funded RAP grant. If it is a similar idea, describe how the new proposed research is uniquely different.
  2. Feasibility: Describe what steps you are taking to ensure the proposed project can be completed within the one-year project period for this grant (approximately 300 word max).
  3. Background and Significance
  4. Preliminary studies
  5. Experimental Design and Methods (include timetable): a) Hypothesis, b) Rationale, c) Experimental approach, d) Interpretation of results
  6. Explain how this pilot project is important for your career goals (e.g., lead to major funding, etc.
  7. Mentoring Plan: Describe the plan for oversight of this project by your mentor(s), including the specific role of your primary mentor named in this application. (Not included in the page limit)
  8. Literature cited (not included in the page limit)
  9. Protection of Human Subjects description (if applicable)
  1. Detailed Budget: $45,000 in direct costs for a one-year period. Please round up to the nearest thousand (i.e. instead of $44,869 list $45,000). 

Use the following form: PHS 398 Form Page 4, "Detailed Budget for the Initial Period":
Budget Preparation Resources:



Not Allowable

PI Salary



Co-Investigator(s) Salary



Post Doc Salary



Network Recharge Rates



General Automobile and Employee Liability (GAEL)



Administrative Support












Personal Computers*












Research Staff Support (e.g. RSA; Lab. Technician)



Patient Care



Other Expenses**



Publication fees; max $5K  X  

* Computers are only allowable when essential to the conduct of the proposed research. If the computer is planned to be used for other projects / responsibilities, we request that the cost of the computer be shared with those other project budgets, in accordance with the amount of use anticipated by each project.

** Refer to the UCSF Charging Practices and Guidelines of allowable Expenses

Direct costs may include personnel (salary and fringe benefits), consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel to perform the study or to present findings from the study, and other expenses. Travel, along with other costs, must be fully justified. For affiliated institutions, indirect cost rate is capped at 10%.   

General guidelines:

*The NIH base salary cap applies.  PIs are required to list their effort whether it is paid or in kind.

PI partial salary support should be well-justified with respect to project activities. Due to their small size, RAP grants are designed for project support and are not intended to provide PI salary support unrelated to the project.  PI salary amounts greater than ~10% of the requested award amount (e.g., $4,500 of a $45K award proposal, not 10% FTE) must be well justified and it should reflect work done by the PI to conduct specific scientific tasks on the project (e.g. data collection, computation) and not merely general supervision of project goals and personnel.  

  • The 10% limit on salary support is a guideline and includes SALARY & FRINGE BENEFITS.
  • The award amount is DIRECT COST ONLY.

5. Budget Justification: Clearly and fully justify all costs. Budget Overlap - If the proposed study is closely related or a sub-study of existing funded research listed in the applicant’s bio sketch, clarify the relationship between the two projects and confirm that there is no overlap in funding.

For all personnel, clearly identify any discrepancies between the actual effort (i.e. real percent time) the individual will contribute to the project, versus the amount of salary effort they are requesting.  This is particularly important for personnel/PI's who expect to contribute project effort with little or no salary, such as those whose salary is above the NIH base salary cap. PI salary amounts greater than ~10% of the requested award amount must be well justified.

NOTE: If your Other Support references projects that may appear to have scientific or budgetary overlap with this proposal, please clearly identify and explain why this proposal is unique and non-overlapping.

6. NIH BioSketch of Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator(s) and UCSF Faculty Mentor(s) (if applicable), (5 page format):

·         Use Form Version H at
·         Include bio sketches for both PIs of a multi-PI application
·         Only NIH Bio sketch version H will be accepted with RAP applications this Spring 2024 Cycle.

Other support pages of Principal Investigator(s) and Co-Investigator(s) and UCSF Faculty Mentor(s)  

Use form at

7. Letters of support: 

  1. Provide a letter of support from the Department Chair or other Unit Head. In addition, for early career investigators, department chairs/unit heads should comment on the independence of the applicant and availability of research space and other resources for the proposed research.
  2. Provide a letter of support from your Research Mentor that includes the following information :
  • Specific areas in which mentoring will be provided/mentor’s role in the project
  • Mentor’s background in mentoring
  • How the project fits with the mentor’s research agenda and applicant’s career development
  • The mentor’s working relationship (previous and/or current) with applicant Department Head/Unit head (should indicate support for the application)

Include the letters of support at the end of your PDF proposal and address it to the RAP Committee.