2019 Pilot Project Request for Applications

The Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR) is seeking pilot project applications focused on innovative research in the fields of HIV, HCV, and substance use. The purpose of the CDUHR Pilot Projects Award is to stimulate novel perspectives and approaches to HIV, HCV and drug use research and to maximize public health impact related to these epidemics. The Pilot Projects Award provides the opportunity for investigators to target new research initiatives or test the feasibility of new research strategies with the long-term goal of securing subsequent extramural funding.

CDUHR's pilot projects program is seeking applications in the areas in line with CDUHR's mission:

For the 2019 funding year, CDUHR’s pilot projects program is seeking applications in the areas in line with CDUHR’s mission:

The mission of CDUHR is to end the HIV and HCV epidemics in drug using populations and their communities by conducting transdisciplinary research and disseminating its findings to inform programmatic, policy, and grass roots initiatives at the local, state, national and global levels. CDUHR accomplishes this mission through an infrastructure created to develop and enhance research with the following objectives:

  • Devise innovative strategies to overcome barriers to ending HIV/AIDS among people who use drugs (PWUD);
  • Conduct research to reveal effective ways to implement evidence-based practices that will advance the goal of ending HIV/AIDS among PWUD;
  • Develop multilevel conceptual models of HIV in PWUD to guide intervention and other research that will reduce new HIV infections and increase the proportion on antiretroviral therapy and virally suppressed.

Awards of up to $25,000 will be distributed to support one-year pilot projects. As part of CDUHR’s mentorship program, pilot project awardees and other interested applicants are encouraged to receive mentoring and will be matched with at least two senior investigators for mentorship (updated June 27, 2018) both within and outside of the grantee’s discipline to bring a broad perspective to their research. Applicants already receiving mentorship from senior investigators, or who are established investigators and do not require mentoring, are also eligible to apply.

A one-page Initial Statement of the Research Question (500 words or less) that states the overall purpose and specific aims of the project and a completed Mentorship Form are due by September 14, 2018 by 5:00 pm. See Application Instructions for submitting the one-page Initial Statement of the Research Question.

Following initial screening, those participants who are invited to apply will be notified by October 1, 2018 to submit a 3-page application. Participants invited to apply must submit a full application by November 15, 2018 by 5:00 pm. See Application Instructions for submitting the full application.


The Pilot Projects Program is an open competition to investigators and potential investigators who have obtained a doctoral level degree and are located at one of the four CDUHR-affiliated institutions:

  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • Mount Sinai Health System
  • National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI)
  • New York University

While senior investigators and applicants not seeking mentoring are eligible to apply, applicants representative of the following groups are particularly encouraged:

  • Early stage investigators
  • Established investigators without prior experience in HIV, HCV and substance use research
  • Established investigators who are pursuing a new area of inquiry within the fields of HIV, HCV and substance use research, and
  • Investigators considered to be nationally underrepresented in the field of HIV and substance use research by NIH and NIDA. These include individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research.

Pilot projects funds may not be used to supplement or prolong ongoing research, to support dissertation research, and should not be used as bridge funds when other research support is no longer available.

Award Criteria

Funding decisions will be based on the following criteria:

  • Relation of proposed research to CDUHR’s thematic focus of overcoming barriers to ending HIV/AIDS among PWUD.
  • The extent to which the research falls within the high priority topics in the NIH HIV/AIDS Research Priorities and Guidelines for Determining Funding.
  • Scientific quality of the proposed research.
  • Innovativeness or significance of the research idea.
  • Likelihood of research findings to translate into practice and/or result in meaningful public health impact.
  • Use of multidisciplinary approach/methodology.
  • Potential of the project to enhance the training of the investigator.
  • Potential of research findings to support the successful acquisition of subsequent funding.

Additional consideration will also be given to applicants who are new and early career investigators, established investigators without prior experience in substance use and HIV or HCV research, or who are exploring a new area of inquiry in the field, and/or investigators who are considered to be nationally underrepresented in the fields of HIV or HCV and substance use research by NIH and NIDA, as outlined above.

Initial Statement of the Research & Mentorship Form Due: September 14, 2018 – 5:00 pm
Applicants Notified of Invitation to Apply (Standard): October 1, 2018
Full Application Due: November 15, 2018 – 5:00 pm
Announcement of Award: January 2019
Award Period: February 1, 2019 – January 31, 2020
Mid-year Progress Report Due: August 1, 2019
Awardee Final Presentations: Fall 2020