Start Planning for HIV Structural Biology U54 Funding Opportunity

Funding News Edition: February 17, 2021
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In late-April, NIAID plans to issue a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) inviting new applications to join the Centers for HIV Structural Biology. The Program, established in 2007, integrates techniques from structural biology, biochemistry, and cell biology to ultimately solve the three-dimensional structures of HIV and host cell factor complexes necessary for viral replication, potentially leading to new targets for HIV therapies.

The FOA will use the Specialized Center—Cooperative Agreements (U54) activity code, necessary to accommodate the dynamic organization NIAID expects of these Centers. We announced our intent to publish the FOA in a February 8, 2021 Guide notice to provide investigators additional time to plan an application that matches the Program’s research interests and organizational structure.

Research Interests

The Centers for HIV Structural Biology cover all aspects of structural biology related to HIV, including structural determination; dynamics and functional characterization of macromolecular complexes among and between components of HIV, the host cell, the immune system; and therapeutic, preventative, or curative interventions. Of particular interest are research projects exploring higher-order structures across a broad range of resolution scales—including subcellular, cellular, and tissue organization—to add context to molecular structures and their functional characterization.

By understanding the dynamics and functions of structural complexes with an eye toward informing mechanistically based design or discovery of interventions, the Program will contribute to the prevention, treatment, and cure of HIV infection.

Center Characteristics

You’ll build your application around three or four diverse scientific projects that apply innovative technological approaches to solve distinct scientific questions tied to HIV prevention, treatment, or cure knowledge gaps. Your Research Plan should be dynamic and adaptable, able to evolve as new data become available. Importantly, the application’s scientific areas of specialization should not be directly related to one another; rather, they should leverage the best talents and technologies of your research team to address the most challenging, compelling, and pertinent scientific problems related to HIV prevention, treatment, and cure.

For this FOA, NIAID will accept only new applications and an institution may submit only one application. Annual direct costs for the application cannot exceed $3.5 million. 

For Planning Purposes

The FOA’s first submission deadline is likely to be October 12, 2021.

Contact Dr. David McDonald, who will be the FOA’s scientific contact, if you have any questions.

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