Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research Grant

The International AIDS Society (IAS) is pleased to launch a major two-year paediatric research initiative: the Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research (CIPHER). The initiative is aimed at answering outstanding clinical and operational research questions needed to optimize clinical management and delivery of HIV services for infants, children and adolescents. Through an unrestricted grant from the ViiV Healthcare UK Paediatric Innovation Seed Fund, the IAS has an opportunity to build on its proven track record in promoting paediatric HIV research.
The IAS- Industry Liaison Forum, with the support of 15 partner organizations, defined a research agenda for women and children in Asking the Right Questions: Advancing an HIV Research Agenda for Women and Children(January 2010). The Consensus Statement provided the foundation for the IAS’s ongoing role in promoting and accelerating HIV research relevant to women and children in low- and middle-income countries.
CIPHER has two goals:
Goal1: Invest in and promote priority paediatric research
Goal2: Strengthen paediatric cohort collaboration
These goals will be achieved through a research grant programme that supports operational and clinical HIV research, capacity building, and the promotion and dissemination of research findings. CIPHER will also support and strengthen paediatric cohorts by convening stakeholder meetings, identifying opportunities for collaboration, and providing support to help address critical research questions.
CIPHER is guided by a Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), comprised of technical experts from key stakeholder organizations, including the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), Elisabeth Glazer Paediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and paediatric clinicians and scientists.
CIPHER Grant Programme

The purpose of the Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research (CIPHER) Grant Programme is to fund, to a total of US$1 million, research projects that have the potential to contribute to the optimization of diagnosis, prevention, treatment and care of infants, children and adolescents affected by HIV. The intention is to attract early-stage investigators – from inside and outside the field of HIV research – to address critical questions related to growing up with an HIV infection, as well as to examine the impact of HIV or antiretroviral perinatal exposure in uninfected children. Supporting and attracting investigators to the field of paediatric HIV research can help encourage innovative ideas and fundamental research that provide better understanding of key unresolved questions.

A needs assessment, including a rigorous review of scientific literature and key informant interviews with technical experts, was conducted to identify the most urgent research questions in paediatric HIV research. The identified research priorities will provide the scope of the CIPHER Grant Programme. Only research projects that demonstrate the potential to answer priority clinical and operational research, outlined here, will be eligible.
Eligibility criteria
  • The principal investigator (PI) must be an early-stage investigator, i.e., an individual who obtained her/his final research degree (e.g., PhD or MD followed by research training) less than 10 years before the application deadline.
  • The PI must serve for the first time as primary PI for a non-training research grant.
  • The PI must fulfil one of the following criteria prior to the submission deadline for the Letter of Intent:
    • He/she is a clinical/research trainee (e.g., fellow, senior resident) at an academic institute or an institute whose primary mission is research.
    • He/she has a faculty or comparable position (e.g., assistant professor, lecturer) at an academic institute or an institute whose primary mission is research.
    • He/she has an established position at an organization with adequate research infrastructure to undertake the proposed research activities.
  • The research project should demonstrate the potential to contribute to the optimization of HIV diagnosis, prevention, treatment and care for infants, children and adolescents affected by HIV in resource-limited settings by responding to identified research gaps [list of eligible research topics].
  • Applications are encouraged from any country, but preference will be given to applicants from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) according to the World Bank classification.
  • The PI must choose a mentor with relevant expertise in paediatric HIV research. (A mentorship plan and letter of commitment from the mentor will be requested from shortlisted applicants invited to submit a Full Proposal.)
  • The budget should reflect that at least 80% of the direct grant expenses will be spent in LMICs.
Please refer to the Call for Letter of Intent for further information about the application and selection process.
List of eligible research priorities

The research funded by the CIPHER Grant Programme must address crucial gaps in paediatric HIV research that impede optimal HIV diagnosis, prevention, treatment and care for infants, children and adolescents affected by HIV in resource-limited settings. Eligible research projects include original research that falls within defined priority clinical and operational research questions. Meta-analyses and systematic reviews, if making a unique contribution to the outlined questions, will be considered.

Clinical Research
  • Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies of paediatric antiretrovirals and drugs for co-morbid conditions (particularly for TB, malaria, other common childhood illnesses and nutritional interventions for malnutrition).
  • Studies evaluating optimal antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation, long-term management and complications in children (especially children over two years of age) and adolescents.
  • Studies evaluating the short-term and long-term impact of in utero exposure to maternal antiretroviral therapy and the short-term and long-term impact of paediatric antiretroviral therapy on physical and cognitive development of HIV-infected infants, children and adolescents. Key areas include neonatal outcomes, metabolism, bone mineral density, and other clinically-relevant laboratory and biological markers.
  • Studies evaluating the short-term and long-term impact of in utero exposure to maternal antiretroviral therapy on physical and cognitive development of HIV-uninfected children and adolescents.
  • Studies evaluating and/or validating diagnostic assays to assess neurocognitive and physical development among HIV-infected and HIV-exposed uninfected infants and children in resource-limited settings.
  • Evaluations of the most effective interventions to treat HIV co-infections and co-morbidities among children including TB, malaria, other common opportunistic infections and malnutrition.
Operational Research and Implementation Science
  • Evaluations of interventions to improve access to reliable early infant diagnostics, including rapid test protocols.
  • Evaluations and /or validation of simplified, standardized diagnostic tools to assess neurocognitive and physical development in HIV-exposed infected or uninfected infants, children and adolescents in resource-limited settings.
  • Studies evaluating interventions and optimal models for integrating paediatric HIV services with maternal, newborn and child health and other health services.
  • Studies evaluating interventions and optimal models for promoting early post-natal and long-term programme retention and reducing loss to follow up.
  • Studies evaluating optimal approaches to support childhood and adolescent adherence and transition to adult ART programmes.
  • Studies evaluating the most effective interventions to support disclosure, access to psychosocial and sexual and reproductive health services, delivery of biomedical HIV and STI prevention interventions for adolescents.
Key Dates - CIPHER Research Grant

September 2012

CIPHER Research Grant Call for Letters of Intent

26 November 2012

Letters of Intent due

December 2012

Invitation to submit full proposal

16 February 2013

Full proposaldue

April 2013

Awardees notified
 
Additional Information
List of eligible research topics
incl. sample questions

FAQ


Email:
cipher@iasociety.org 

 
Moreinfo: http://www.iasociety.org/cipher.aspx 

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Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research Grant
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