Frequently Asked Questions About HIV/AIDS-Related Applications

How does the NIH determine priorities for HIV/AIDS-related research grants?

The NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR) reviews all grant applications labeled as HIV/AIDS-related research and assigns an AIDS-related research priority. The NHLBI then evaluates those applications that contain specific goals that are deemed as high priority HIV/AIDS research by OAR. For more information, see NIH HIV Research Priorities; NIH HIV/AIDS Research Priorities and Guidelines for Determining AIDS Funding; NHLBI Research Priorities Related to HIV, and OAR’s latest fiscal year strategic plan.


How does the NHLBI review HIV-related grant applications?

Expedited Review of HIV/AIDS-Related Applications

Congress mandates that all HIV/AIDS-related applications receive an expedited review by an advisory council, which means an Institute may make awards to qualified applicants more quickly than by following the standard schedule for research not related to HIV/AIDS. To be eligible for expedited review, your applications must address research goals that are relevant to HIV/AIDS. For investigator-initiated HIV/AIDS applications reviewed in the Center for Scientific Review (CSR), the receipt date is about two months later the standard receipt date for a typical R01 application.

Learn about HIV/AIDS grant application cycles, along with due dates, review and council dates, and start dates.

The Center for Scientific Review, Division of Receipt and Referral, fields all NIH grant applications. If you submit an application with primary aims that focus on HIV-related heart, lung, blood, or sleep disease, you may ask in your cover letter that NHLBI is assigned as the primary institute to receive and administer your application. The Division of Receipt and Referral will review such requests, but is not obligated to grant them.

Investigator-Initiated HIV/AIDS Applications

Most HIV/AIDS R01 applications that investigators initiate themselves and/or that are received in response to a Program Announcement (PA) are reviewed by the Center for Scientific Review (CSR). CSR’s activities are organized into Review Branches, which represent a cluster of study sections around a general scientific area. Applications generally are assigned first to an RB, and then to a specific study section within that Review Branch for evaluation of scientific merit. NHLBI’s investigator-initiated HIV/AIDS R01 applications are typically assigned to the HIV Comorbidities and Clinical Studies Study Section (HCCS) or one of the other Study Sections within the Immunology and Infectious Diseases B Review Branch (IIDB), as appropriate.

Responses to an NHLBI Request for Application or Program Announcement

Applications received in response to an NHLBI Request for Applications (RFA) are referred by the NIH Division of Receipt and Referral to the NHLBI Division of Extramural Research Activities (DERA), Office of Scientific Review (OSR) for review. These applications receive a review by a panel of experts convened by NHLBI.

Applications submitted in response to a Program Announcement with Special Receipt, Referral and/or Review considerations (PAR) can be reviewed within CSR or the NHLBI OSR. Specifics of the review venue will be stated within the specific PAR announcement.

Applications must respond to the specific requirements of the RFA/PAR and serve the NHLBI mission.

Learn more about NHLBI advisory and peer review committees.


Related Resources
NHLBI funding opportunities related to HIV/AIDS
NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR)