To further the overall mission of the Penn CFAR in promoting innovative research into the pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, the broad goals of the Developmental Core (Core B) are to: (1) support new interdisciplinary research directions involving investigators from multiple scientific programs and entities within the Penn CFAR;(2) invest in research initiatives identified as scientific priorities through the CFAR Strategic Planning process;(3) encourage and support the development of young investigators in the area of HIV/AIDS research;(4) provide leadership and mentoring for young investigators, and;(5) promote the entry of investigators established in other areas of study to focus on research questions relevant to HIV/AIDS. In order to achieve these goals, the Developmental Core carries out three Specific Aims: (a) a Pilot Grant awards program that funds up to 6 developmental grants each year, judged based on scientific merit and concordance with the mission of the Developmental Core and strategic priorities of the CFAR;(b) an Education and Mentoring program to provide advice, support and leadership for young investigators to facilitate their transition into independent research careers in HIV/AIDS, and;(c) a series of Workshops and Working Groups designed to bring together investigators from different but potentially interrelated areas to foster interdisciplinary interactions. In the nine years of Developmental projects funded since the Penn CFAR's inception (FY2000-2008), the Core has supported 44 pilot projects that have resulted in significant new knowledge of HIV/AIDS; contributed to the subsequent funding of 26 NIH and multiple non-NIH grants;supported the development of research priorities identified through the CFAR strategic planning process;served as the springboard to independent research careers of junior scientists;and to a significant (6 to 1) return on developmental funding support. In the coming cycle the Developmental Core with its successful pilot grant program, will further develop and enhance our junior investigator mentoring program, and continue to serve as a vehicle for realizing priorities and initiatives critical for the interactive research program on campus.
The Developmental Core enables the Penn CFAR community to pursue new directions in HIV/AIDS research by funding early stage pilot projects involving innovation and new collaborations, and supports emerging investigators both through the pilot grant program and by a program of mentoring and education.
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