Developmental Core

The mission of the Developmental Core is to advance a robust HIV research agenda by investing in Third Coast CFAR members and institutions. The Core provides funding and mentorship to early career investigators, established investigators new to HIV research, and community partners.

Funding Opportunities

Third Coast CFAR funding is targeted towards early career investigators, those new to HIV research, or new trans-disciplinary collaborations that may lead to NIH funding. Pilot awards support faculty who have not yet had an R01 or equivalent NIH grant for HIV research. Special mechanisms support collaborations with community partners and dissemination of HIV research.

Pilot Awards

Pilot awards are intended for key preliminary studies that will enable new NIH grant submissions. Third Coast CFAR faculty members who have not yet led an R01 or equivalent NIH grant for HIV research are eligible. View the RFA for the current pilot award competition.

BCRT Services Voucher Program

The Third Coast CFAR has developed a new voucher program to support HIV research through use of services offered by the BSIS Core’s Biostatistics and Computational Resources Team (BCRT). PI-eligible investigators at Northwestern University, The University of Chicago, and Lurie Children’s Hospital may request up to 20 hours of biostatistical or analytic services free of charge. Learn more.

CFAR Supplemental Funds Due to COVID-19

As part of the Third Coast CFAR’s commitment to supporting investigators pursuing HIV research grants from the NIH, the Developmental Core solicited applications for a one-time competition to add funds to CFAR awards that were adversely impacted by COVID-19. View the awardees.

Core Subsidy Awards

The goal of this award mechanism is to support time-sensitive opportunities where a small amount of funding will allow data collection or preliminary data to enhance or accelerate an NIH grant application. See additional information about core subsidy awards.

Community Dissemination Awards

These awards support engagement between investigators and community members and dissemination of research findings. Creative approaches for achieving these aims are invited. Read how to apply for a Community Dissemination Award.

Community Collaborative Awards

These funds invest in the development of new collaborations between university-based investigators and community partners. Applications are accepted annually. Learn more about developing a new partnership with support from a Community Collaborative award.

CFAR Administrative Supplements

Periodically, NIH releases a limited call for short-term projects that are funded via supplement to the NIH P30 center grant that supports the CFAR. Topics are chosen to address emerging issues or areas of research and are administratively reviewed at NIH. Learn more about applying for an administrative supplement.

Ending the HIV Epidemic Supplements

To support the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) initiative, NIH offers supplemental funds through the CFAR P30 grant for implementation research led by faculty and community- or health department-based partners. Projects are typically one to two years. Learn more about EHE supplement awards.

Basic Science Collaborative Innovation Awards

In 2021, the Developmental Core piloted a new internal mechanism to support new collaborative research in HIV biology and pathogenesis. These short-term projects are co-led by two or more faculty from different disciplines. Learn more.

Ending the HIV Epidemic Planning Awards

Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) Planning Awards support the development of science-practice partnerships and the aims of the center’s EHE Scientific Working Group. Awardees plan future applications to the NIH and other federal agencies for HIV research, evaluation, or innovative service delivery. Learn more.


Jenny Trinitapoli, PhD, The University of Chicago
Developmental Core Director

Kathryn Macapagal, PhD, Northwestern University
Developmental Core Co-Director

Elena Martinelli, PhD, Northwestern University
Developmental Core Co-Director

Justin Schmandt, MPH, Northwestern University
CFAR Associate Director

To request information about Developmental Core awards and services, contact Justin Schmandt.


Formal and informal mechanisms of mentorship of junior faculty are at the core of research development. Developmental Core leaders will catalyze a working group of senior Third Coast CFAR members who will individually mentor junior faculty in a number of areas, including on Developmental Core award submissions and grant “mock review.”