Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Centers for HIV Structural Biology (U54 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
February 08, 2021
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement:
April 15, 2021
First Estimated Application Due Date:
October 12, 2021
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
June 01, 2022
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
June 01, 2022
Related Announcements


Issued by

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) intend to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the Centers for HIV Structural Biology (U54) program. The Centers for HIV/AIDS-Related Structural Biology (P50) program was funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) with co-funding by NIAID from 2007 until its transfer to NIAID in 2019. With the issuance of the U54 FOA, NIAID intends to continue support of a Centers for HIV Structural Biology program utilizing the U54 Cooperative Agreement mechanism. Only new applications will be accepted; competitive renewal applications from existing awards will not be accepted.

This Notice is being issued to allow potential applicants more time to consider the requirements of this program and to develop responsive projects.

Research Initiative Details

The goal of the Centers for HIV Structural Biology program will be to support teams of scientists to develop and utilize cutting edge technologies and methodologies to address the most challenging scientific questions involving the structures and functions of HIV-related macromolecular complexes. Centers are expected to move beyond the determination of static structures and into an understanding of the dynamics and functions of complexes with an eye toward informing mechanistically based design or discovery of interventions for the prevention, treatment or cure of HIV infection. While the purpose of the FOA will not be to directly fund development of specific interventions, the establishment of new technologies and methodologies to advance these goals as well as studies that could identify new therapeutic targets, elucidate the mechanisms of action of interventions, or determine the structural basis for interventional failures are desirable.

Center Organization

Unlike previous iterations of this Centers program, each Center should not have just one, centralized scientific theme in which it specializes. Centers should instead be organized around three to four diverse, scientifically distinct Projects that will perform studies directed towards the overall aims of the Center. Where appropriate, up to four Scientific Cores may support specific technologies or methodologies associated with the proposed Center efforts. Scientific Cores should provide services and/or facilities vital to the efforts of two or more Projects.

In addition to the Scientific Cores, each Center will support a Developmental Core to mentor and promote diversity among the next generation of scientists. The Developmental Core will provide educational and mentoring activities for students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-stage investigators associated with the Center. Such activities may include seminars, journal clubs, short courses, individualized instruction on specific technologies or methodologies, and other activities that promote the career development of junior investigators. Small pilot awards may also be provided to early-stage investigators within the Center to promote their path to independence.

The Developmental Core will also administer a Collaborative Development Award (CDA) program to fund specific external collaborations aligned with the goals of the Center. The purpose of Collaborative Development Awards will be to support and promote diversity among early career HIV investigators and investigators new to the HIV research field that are not associated with the Center. These projects may encompass research to obtain preliminary data for an R01 application, perform feasibility studies, support new and emerging science in HIV research, and facilitate new collaborations among faculty or institutions in diverse areas of science in support of high priority HIV research.

Research Objectives and Scope

Each Center should be built around three to four diverse scientific Projects in which innovative technological approaches will be applied to solve distinct scientific questions that address knowledge gaps of significance to one or more NIAID research priorities related to HIV prevention, treatment, or cure. The Research Plan will need to be dynamic and adaptable to evolve as new data become available. Importantly, the scientific areas of specialization should not be directly related to one another; rather, they should leverage the best talents and technologies of the team to address the most challenging, compelling, and pertinent scientific problems related to HIV prevention, treatment, and cure.

Centers may include all aspects of structural biology related to HIV, including structural determination, dynamics and functional characterization of macromolecular complexes among and between components of HIV, the host cell, the immune system, and therapeutic, preventative, or curative interventions. Centers are encouraged to explore higher-order structures across a broad range of resolution scales, including subcellular, cellular and tissue organization in order to add context to molecular structures and their functional characterization.


Only one application per institution will be allowed; however, institutions may receive funding from multiple awards through sub-awards. Investigators may be listed on more than one application, as long as their projects are not overlapping.

Foreign (non-US) applications will NOT be permitted, but foreign components will be allowed.

Funding Information
Estimated Total Funding


Expected Number of Awards

NIAID intends to fund 4-6 awards.

Estimated Award Ceiling

NIAID intends to cap direct costs at $3,500,000 per year for each award.

Primary CFDA Numbers


Anticipated Eligible Organizations
Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Private Institution of Higher Education
Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
Small Business
For-Profit Organization (Other than Small Business)
State Government
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)
County governments
Independent school districts
Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization (Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
U.S. Territory or Possession
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Other than Federally Recognized)
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entity (Foreign Organization)
Regional Organization

Applications are not being solicited at this time. 


Please direct all inquiries to:

David McDonald, Ph.D.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

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