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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Letters of Inquiry (LOI): New Biomarkers for HIV Incidence Measurement



The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s HIV strategy is aimed at reducing new HIV infections and reducing the burden of disease in developing countries, where the epidemic represents one of the most serious health and development challenges. Tremendous progress has been achieved on HIV over the past decade. HIV incidence is the estimated rate of new infections in a population. It is the primary outcome measure for most HIV prevention activities and a key element in the design of clinical trials to evaluate new prevention interventions.


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is currently requesting for Letters of Inquiry (LOI) on New Biomarkers for HIV Incidence Measurement. New biomarkers for HIV incidence assays that reliably identify recently infected individuals for population incidence measurement need to be discovered. The goal of this Request for Letter of Inquiry is to solicit inquiries from investigators to identify novel biomarkers that can be used effectively to measure HIV incidence. They are looking for biomarkers that could be used alone or in combination and that are at the initial development stage.

Currently available biological assays are often inaccurate for several reasons:

  1. High false recent rates
  2. Short mean duration of recency
  3. Not feasible for use in surveillance setting


Please refer to the website for more information and FAQ.


Funding Information

The maximum funding quantum for each project:

Capped Amount

Maximum Duration

$ 1mil

36 months



Application Criteria

Applicants must provide a clear description of the methods of testing and analysis of the candidate biomarkers.


  1. Applicant must at least be affiliated with an organization.
  2. Proposals submitted for consideration must have a well‐developed work plan using clearly defined  endpoints, criteria for down‐selection, and measures of success.


 Here are some of the examples of projects that would be considered for funding:

  Novel conceptual approaches such as the measurement of gut integrity or viral components in hair

   Screening approaches to identify novel classes of biomarkers (e.g., metabolites, chemokines, transcription changes, etc.) that could be used for incidence measurement

   Applications of innovative technologies that can make the detection of novel biomarkers feasible (e.g., high‐throughput, highly parallel, rapid technologies) taking into consideration the target product profile

   Screening approaches to identify biomarkers in novel sample types (e.g., urine, saliva, throat washes, hair, stool)

   Statistical analysis of existing data demonstrating a novel conceptual approach


Application Procedure

A. Online application – Deadline: Friday, 18 May 2012 (10.00am, Pacific Standard Time)

a.    Interested PIs are required to create an account online in order to submit their proposal if they do not already have an account.

b.    Please use the LOI application form provided (template attached, and also available when PI logs in)

c.    PIs are to read the LOI Instructions and HIV Incidence Rules and Guidelines carefully before application (attached, and also available when PI logs in)

d.    PIs are to submit the application through the Online Application Tool by the deadline stipulated (Web Link for log-in provided above).


B. Please forward the following documents to NUHS Research Office – Deadline: Friday, 18 May 2012




·      Original-signed NUS Grant Endorsement Form 

·       Forward the Softcopy of final proposal to Grant_RO@nuhs.edu.sg  



Kindly Note:

If the proposed study would requires biospecimen or tissue banking, please contact Dr Eng Chon Boon (chon_boon_eng@nuhs.edu.sg ) from the NUHS Tissue Repository. The tissue repository will assist in biobanking budgetary. Kindly visit  http://medicine.nus.edu.sg/tissue/Cost%20Recovery%20Schedule.pdf



Contact Us

Please contact the following staff if you have any enquiries:


Ms Clarin Ng

Tel : 6772 3723

Email : mednsy@nus.edu.sg