HIV Center Pilot Studies Program


The Pilot Studies Program fosters the HIV Center's research agenda in priority areas, stimulates new independently funded research projects, and brings new partners into the Center. Proposals for small exploratory studies must address the HIV Center's mission of conducting research on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic at the intersection of gender, sexuality, and mental health. Applications are encouraged in priority areas of research such as critical populations, consequences of new public health policies across countries, new prevention technologies, sustainability and translation of evidence-based interventions, and applications of IT to social science research in HIV/AIDS.

Proposed studies are expected to:

  1. Lead to larger projects that will be appropriate for independent funding from a government institute or private foundation, and

  2. Result in at least one peer-reviewed publication to be submitted within six months of the end of the project funding period. In general, proposals may be submitted only by HIV Center investigators who wish to explore a new area of research.  

Proposals for applications from HIV Center investigators and fellows are accepted annually. A "request for proposals" package is distributed one to two months in advance of each submission date. Applicants must hold a doctoral degree and be affiliated with the HIV Center.

For more information, contact: Patrick Wilson, PhD,, or Theo Sandfort, PhD,

2018 Awardees:

Bisrat Abraham, MD, MPH – Ending the Epidemic: Timely linkage & immediate ART initiation in NYC HIV clinics

Laurie Bauman, PhD – Review of your pilot study proposal, “Barriers and Facilitators to Providing PrEP to High-Risk Adolescents”

2017 Awardees:

Christine Rael, PhD – Feasibility and Relative Efficacy of Targeted Online Strategies for HIV Study Recruitment

Reuben Robbins, PhD – Establishing Validity of a Tablet App for the Detection of Neurocognitive Impairment among Young Adults Perinatally-Infected with HIV

Michael Yin, MD and Milton L. Wainberg, MD: Analyzing Big Data to Promote HIV Prevention: An Exploration of Values

2016 Awardees:

Laurie Bauman, PhD: Acceptability of Broadly Neutralizing Monoclonal Antibodies for HIV Prevention

Alissa Davis, PhD: Improving ART adherence among people who inject drugs in Kazakhstan

Christine Rael, PhD: Barriers and Facilitators to Biomedical HIV Prevention in Transgender Women. 

Jack Tocco, PhD: Explaining Detectable HIV Viral Load among New Yorkers who Fill ART Prescriptions

2015 Awardees:

Katherine Elkington, PhD: Exploring Co-occurring HIV, MH and SU Linkage and Service Needs of Justice youth

Anisha Gandhi, PhD: HIV risk and testing needs in the context of migration: the case of the Garífuna

Rebecca Madan, MD: Intravaginal practices among sexually active female adolescents in the Bronx

Theo Sandfort, PhD and Chukwuemeka Anyamele, MD: Recent African Gay and Bisexual Immigrants’ HIV Prevention and Health Needs in NYC

Milton Wainberg, MD: PrEP For Sexually Active Adolescents and Young Adults in Psychiatric Care

2014 Awardees:

Morgan Philbin, PhD: Building an Index to Assess the Impact of State Policies on Latinos’ HIV Risk

Susan Tross, PhD and Anya Y. Spector, PhD: PrEP for High HIV Risk Substance-Using Women

2013 Awardees:

Omar Martinez-Foyedo, JD, MPH: Couple-Based HIV intervention for Men who have sex with men: Adaptation for Latino MSM. 

Denis Nash, PhD: Expediting linkage, return to care and viral suppression among HIV+ STD clinic attendees.

Reuben N. Robbins, PhD: Assessing Barriers and Facilitators to Neuro-cognitive Screening in HIV Clinics.

Anya Y. Spector, PhD: HIV Prevention with Substance Abuse Treatment Clients in NYC: A Qualitative Study of Providers

2012 Awardees:

Theo Sandfort, PhD: Health Care Providers and PrEP: Understanding Knowledge and Training Needs

2011 Awardees:

Alex Carballo-Diéguez, PhD and William Brown, DrPH, M.A.: Developing a Short Message Service (SMS) System to Monitor and Aid Adherence in Research Trials.

Reuben Robbins, PhD: Using Smartphones to Improve HIV Outcomes: An App to Detect Neurocognitive Impairment

2003-2010 Awardees:

Joanne Mantell, PhD: HIV/STI Risk, HIV Testing, and Reproductive Health among Women in Lebanon/Jordan; and HIV Risk among Migrant Entertainment Industry Workers in Eastern China.

Susan Tross, PhD: Developing Quality of Life/Stigma Assessment for Moroccan PLWHA.

Robert Klitzman, MD and Lisa Chin, JD, EdD: Informed Consent, Therapeutic Misconception and Participation Motivators in HIV Vaccine Trials.

Ana Ventuneac, PhD: Designing a Virtual Support Environment for Ethnic Minority Young MSM; and
Rapid HIV Home Tests and Sexual Decision-Making among HIV-Negative MSM.

Jennifer Hirsch, PhD and Tonya Taylor, PhD: Life Projects, Therapeutic Itineraries, and Antiretroviral Therapy in Washington Heights.

Elizabeth Kelvin, PhD: Prevalence, Methods and Acceptability of Female Condom Use for Anal Sex.

Mark Bradley, MD: Depression Symptoms and Antiretroviral Adherence in HIV-Positive Patients.

Mary A. Cavaleri, PhD, LCSW: The Feasibility and Impact of the Bridge Program upon Accessing HIV Care.

Katherine Elkington, PhD: Measuring Mental Illness Stigma: Understanding HIV Risk in Youth with MI.

Shari Dworkin, PhD: Impact of Threats to Masculinity on Sexual Behavior.

Robert H. Remien, PhD, and Alan Berkman, MD: Developing an HIV Adherence and Sexual Risk Reduction Intervention in the DR.

Sharlene Beckford, PhD: The Partnerships and Sexual Behaviors of Caribbean Immigrant Men.

Stephanie Marhefka, PhD: Sexual Self-Concepts of Adolescent Girls Living with Perinatal HIV.

Theo Sandfort, PhD: Exploring Pathways to Adult Sexual Adjustment: Secondary Data Analysis.

Brian M. Dodge, PhD: HIV Risk and Prevention Among High Risk MSMW.

Peter Lin, PhD: Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on HIV-Related Stress.

Rogério Pinto, PhD: Studying Academic-CBO HIV Research Collaboration Processes.

Shari Dworkin, PhD: Distribution of Resources and Gendered Power.

Rita Melendez, PhD: Male to Female Transgenders and HIV Risk.

Michael Stirratt, PhD: Serosorting Practices and Risk Behavior among MSM.