Frequently Asked Questions About HIV/AIDS-Related Applications

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

All grants applications designated by the applicant as AIDS research are administratively reviewed by the NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR) and assigned an AIDS-related research priority. To be eligible for funding by NHLBI, all specific aims must be designated as high to medium priority HIV/AIDS research by OAR.  For more information, read the NIH HIV Research Priorities; NIH HIV/AIDS Research Priorities and Guidelines for Determining AIDS Funding; and OAR’s latest fiscal year strategic plan.


How are HIV-related applications reviewed at NHLBI?

Expedited Review of HIV/AIDS-Related Applications

As mandated by Congress, all HIV/AIDS-related applications receive an expedited advisory Council review that allows the Institute to award qualifying grants one Council earlier than the standard non HIV/AIDS-related schedule would indicate. To be eligible for expedited review, the application 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 after the standard receipt date for a typical R01 application. For NIH receipt dates and the AIDS review cycle see:

All NIH grant applications are received by the Division of Receipt and Referral in CSR. If you are submitting an investigator-initiated application that has primary aims focused specifically on HIV-related heart, lung, or blood disease, you may wish to include in your cover letter a request that the application be assigned to NHLBI. The Division of Receipt and Referral will review such requests, but is not obligated to grant them.

Investigator-Initiated HIV/AIDS Applications (CSR Review)

Most investigator-initiated HIV/AIDS R01 applications are reviewed by the AIDS and Related Research IRG (AARR). The AARR currently consists of nine study sections as well as special emphasis panels. See the following for a list and description: The AARR IRG reviews applications in all areas of basic, translational, clinical and behavioral aspects of HIV/AIDS research.

HIV/AIDS Applications in Response to an NHLBI RFA or PAR

Applications received in response to an NHLBI Request for Applications (RFA) are referred by CSR to the NHLBI Office of Scientific Review (OSR) for review. These applications receive a review by a Special Emphasis Panel (SEP).

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. Location of the review venue will be stated within the specific PAR announcement.

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

Standing Review Committees Within NHLBI

The OSR has three standing review committees for investigator-initiated applications. These are the Clinical Trials Review Committee (CLTR), the Heart, Lung, and Blood Program Project Review Committee (HLBP), and the NHLBI Institutional Training Mechanism Review Committee (NITM). Applications received in response to NHLBI's PAR entitled "Investigator Initiated Multi-Site Clinical Trials (Collaborative R01)" are assigned to CLTR for review. Program Project (P01) applications submitted to NHLBI are assigned to HLBP for review. National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grants (T32) submitted to NHLBI are assigned to NITM for review. Multi-Site Clinical Trial applications must indicate the specific PAR announcement to ensure assignment to the NHLBI standing review committee.