The Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (NIH P30 AI 117943) announces a new Scientific Working Group and a solicitation for its Director.  

Description of the I3EtHE Scientific Working Group: The new I3EtHE Scientific Working Group (SWG) aims to catalyze collaborations that promote the adoptions and integration of evidence-based practices, interventions, and policies into routine health care and public health that can help end the HIV epidemic (see HHS plan to End the HIV Epidemic [EtHE]). Research-practice collaborations to develop and test innovations that will overcome long-standing obstacles to better HIV prevention and viremia suppression, and the use of implementation research methods to advance them, will be key values of the working group. The group will work together, and as smaller “action teams”, to develop multiple proposals for funding via the Third Coast CFAR Developmental Core, national CFAR administrative supplement RFAs, service grants from HRSA or CDC, as well as NIH research proposals.

Goals of the I3EtHE SWG: The goals are to apply to CFAR for grants to obtain pilot data. Additional goals are to enable applications based on pilot data to HRSA and/or CDC for delivery of innovative services that will do more than current practices to EtHE, as well as to NIH for research grants to EtHE (including implementation research). The previous SWG of the Third Coast CFAR (END HIV SWG) was highly successful in building collaborations between public health departments and academics that enabled 10 new research projects to gain funding; the focus of the new SWG differs in being aligned with the EtHE.

Membership of the I3EtHE SWG:  It will be composed of faculty from Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and Lurie Children’s Hospital, leaders from the Chicago and Illinois Departments of Public Health, and practitioners and research professionals from organizations that provide HIV testing, prevention, and clinical/social services in Chicago, including Howard Brown Health, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, and other interested community partners. Investigators with expertise in clinical, behavioral, and implementation research on HIV testing, prevention, and treatment are welcome; NIH funding is optional albeit positive. Initial members are now being solicited from those named as investigators and collaborators on proposals for the recently completed Third Coast CFAR internal competition for responses that will advance to the external competition for the 2019 national CFAR RFA for administrative supplements to EtHE.

Role of the Director of the I3EtHE SWG: Volunteers are sought to apply for the position of Director of the I3EtHE SWG. The SWG Director will have strong interest, motivation, focus, vision, and energy in leading collective and collaborative efforts to eliminate HIV in Chicago and the nation through the EtHE initiative of CFARs, a critical component of the HHS plan. It is critical that the I3EtHE SWG Director’s career goals and interests align with the aims of the EtHE initiative and the goals of the I3EtHE SWG (see above), as well as benefit from those alignments. For activities related to I3EtHE SWG, the director will report to the CFAR director and will develop a list of productivity milestones together with the CFAR steering committee. The term of director will run from May 1, 2019 (or earlier) until March 31, 2020. Continuation of director responsibilities beyond that date is planned if renewal of the Third Coast CFAR P30 is successful, SWG milestones are being achieved, and the HHS plan to EtHE remains in effect (as expected).

Based on the experience of the previous successful SWG leadership, responsibilities and activities of the SWG Director will include spending about 2 days/month to:

  • Develop and lead an agenda for the SWG, with feedback from the Steering Committee
  • Convene and lead collaborative meetings/forums to foster connections and exchange information between researchers, practitioners, and policy makers as part of setting priorities and generating new ideas for service delivery and/or research. The meetings may vary in frequency, but will not be more often than monthly.
  • Disseminate opportunities for collaboration and information about relevant programs or research funding opportunities
  • Provide consultation and feedback to teams submitting applications for service or research grants, including reviewing drafts and working with other CFAR leadership to enable pre-submission internal review panels or internal competitions.
    • Applications may be submitted as a result of SWG activities to the Third Coast CFAR Developmental Core (to obtain pilot data), national CFAR administrative supplement RFAs (for pilot data, if term extends beyond March 31, 2020), HRSA or CDC (for service grants supported by pilot data), as well as NIH (for research proposals supported by pilot data). It is anticipated that applications to the Third Coast CFAR Developmental Core, HRSA, CDC, and NIH may occur whenever appropriate. Applications for administrative supplements in response to the annual national CFAR administrative supplement RFA occur each spring; this will include an internal competition to choose those going forward to the national competition. 
  • Work with SWG co-leader(s) and the Developmental Core to meet SWG aims
  • Report on progress at occasional Steering Committee meetings, when requested
  • Participate as a member of the Third Coast CFAR Directors’ Committee that meets every other month
  • Draft an annual SWG progress report   

Eligibility

  • PI-eligible investigator at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, or Lurie Children’s Hospital with a strong background in HIV research
  • Experience leading grant-funded projects
  • Track record of successful research-practice collaborations and motivation

Support

  • Up to 10% effort (from the Third Coast CFAR grant), the following resources will be provided and under the Director’s discretion to enable leadership:
  • Logistical (use of CFAR staff) and financial support for SWG meetings/activities
  •  “Rapid Response Grants” will be available to enable pilot data acquisition to support SWG applications to the Third Coast CFAR Developmental Core or external funders (HRSA, CDC, NIH)
  • Access to Third Coast CFAR Core Directors and the resources/expertise of their Cores
  • Travel expenses to attend the Annual National CFAR Meeting

Application Submission Deadline and Process

Applicants should express their interest by emailing Fern Murdoch (f-murdoch@northwestern.edu) with their current NIH biosketch or CV by Friday, April 19, 2019. Selected candidates will discuss their application with the Third Coast CFAR Steering Committee and previous SWG leadership in late April/early May. I3EtHE SWG activities will begin in May 2019.

Download PDF of the Solicitation for the Director of the I3EtHE SWG