HIV and Substance Use

The UCLA AIDS Institute and UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services (CHIPTS) is accepting Letters of Intent for novel seed grant proposals relevant to understanding the biology of HIV and substance use or substance use disorders (SUD). Examples of competitive research topics include studies that integrate behavioral factors (e.g., drug exposure levels, psychiatric symptoms, environmental exposures) that correspond with links between substances and their effects on microbiome, inflammation, gut-brain axis, epigenetics (especially gene expression), extracellular vesicles, and HIV transmission dynamics. The range of biological and behavioral data are available at this website:

Funding will facilitate development of preliminary data that will be leveraged for future submissions of collaborative R01 or program project grants. These seed grants will be funded by the UCLA AIDS Institute and other private sources.

Funding level: $50,000 max

Dr. Steve Shoptaw will present an information session on Tuesday 03/03 at 9am in Biomedical Sciences Research Building (BSRB) 154

Deadline for receipt of Letters of Intent: June 1, 2020

Applicants whose Letters of Intent are favorably reviewed will be invited to submit a formal proposal. Full proposals will then be due by August 10, 2020.

The project period will be two years, with the earliest start date of October 2020.

Investigator Eligibility

  • All UCLA faculty are eligible.

Funding criteria

  • Innovative approaches
  • No applications that include only behavioral measures will be considered.
  • Multi-disciplinary projects that involve collaborations involving two or more faculty members from clearly distinct disciplines, such as basic and behavioral, will be a priority.
  • Significance, Approach, Innovation
  • Relevance to HIV
  • Evidence of investigator productivity
  • Preliminary data supporting the project are beneficial, but not required
  • How research funded by the seed grant could be translated into a larger
  • Established projects or those incrementally related to existing work will not be considered

Other requirements of award

  • Although IRB approval is not required prior to application, release of funding will be contingent on receipt of IRB approval for the proposed All required institutional and/or funder’s requirements must be met prior to release of funds.
  • Please note that human subjects younger than 18 are classified as children (per NIH guidelines) and additional approvals such as informed consent will be required before funding can be released.
  • No indirect costs may be included.
  • This mechanism is for domestic projects only.
  • Grants will be peer reviewed by committee.
  • Progress reports and end of project reports including additional extramural funding obtained will be required following completion.
  • All successful seed grant recipients will be required to serve as peer reviewers in subsequent funding rounds of AI seed grants.
  • Successful applicant PIs must provide their NIH Commons ID number. During the award period and for up to ten years post-award, awardees must provide the following information to the UCLA AIDS Institute by November 30th of each year: (1) all publications that resulted from AI supported research with PubMed ID, and (2) all PHS and non-PHS federal support that contributed to or resulted from the AI-supported research.

Core facilities are available through UCLA (

Instructions for Letters of Intent

The letters of intent will be pre-screened. Letters of intent must be no longer than 1 page and include the following:

  • Specific Aims and Hypothesis with concise, but sufficient detail of Significance and Approach for evaluation.
  • Innovation
  • Investigator(s) names and qualifications.
  • Must also include NIH biosketch (does not count towards the 1-page limit)
  • Total amount of funding requested (max $50,000)

Letters of intent must be received no later than 4:00 pm on June 1, 2020. They can be sent as a single pdf (please include the name of the PI in the file) via email to: Jina Lee (

Instructions for formal proposals will then be forwarded to applicants whose letters of intent are approved.

Formal proposals will then be due no later than 4:00pm on August 10, 2020.

Questions about research topics can be directed to:

Steve Shoptaw, PhD,, 310-740-7021

Questions about eligibility, letters of intent, or formal proposals can be directed to: Jina Lee,, 310-794-5335