CIPHER 2013 Grantees

The 2013 round of the CIPHER Grant Programme was launched on 1 October 2012. The programme was very well received, with a total of 143 letters of intent (LOIs) submitted. After a rigorous review process, seven projects were selected. The selected projects span the CIPHER priority research topics: four of the projects address clinical research gaps and three address operational research gaps. An official CIPHER award ceremony was held on 1 July 2013 at the 7th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2013) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Seven CIPHER grants were awarded at IAS 2013, held from 30 June to 3 July in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

  • Paul Bangirana from Uganda, with Makerere University
    Does HIV subtype moderate ART effect neurocognitive functioning in children? 
  • Degu Dare from Ethiopia, with Addis Ababa University
    Antiretroviral treatment outcomes among adolescents living with HIV in Ethiopia.
  • Rebecca Hodes from South Africa, with the University of Cape Town
    Promoting adolescent antiretroviral adherence and sexual and reproductive health uptake in South Africa: How can health and social protection services collaborate programmatically with HIV-positive adolescents? 
  • Steven Innes from South Africa, with Stellenbosch University
    Novel methods for detecting and minimizing chronic cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, renal and bone disease in HIV-infected children treated with antiretroviral therapy in Southern Africa.
  • Atupele Kapito-Tembo from Malawi, with the University of Malawi College of Medicine
    Pharmacovigilance of infants exposed to antiretroviral drugs given to HIV-infected mothers during breastfeeding.
  • Matthew Kelly from the United States, with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
    The effect of in utero exposure to HIV and antiretroviral therapy on the microbiology and outcomes of severe pneumonia.
  • Nelleke Langerak from the Netherlands, with the University of Cape Town
    HIV encephalopathy: definition of the natural history, physical characteristics and imaging findings in a group of children with gait abnormalities.

Grantees award ceremony at IAS 2013

From left to right: Degu Dare, Atupele Kapito-Tembo, Rebecca Hodes, Nelleke Langerak, Steven Innes, Paul Bangirana. © IAS/Marcus Rose

Response and selection

The CIPHER call for LOIs received an enormous response, underlining the need for funding opportunities for early-stage researchers in paediatric HIV. By the 26 November 2012 deadline, 143 LOIs had been submitted for proposals for research to take place in 34 countries. Of these, 111 were eligible. The targeted research priorities were well distributed across the LOIs, with 57 applications addressing clinical priorities and 54 addressing operational priorities.

The initial screening and scoring of the LOIs were carried out by CIPHER’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee Research Grant Working Group, which evaluated each LOI based on the proposal’s potential contribution to addressing the identified research question, its overall quality, and the novelty and innovation of the approach, as well as the applicant’s experience. Twenty-four applicants were invited to submit a full proposal. Each full proposal was reviewed by three independent experts in the subject area of the project. Final selection was primarily based on the reviewer’s scores, with gender and country distribution as secondary considerations.


CIPHER is made possible through an unrestricted grant from ViiV Healthcare. The content and structure of the project is guided by paediatric experts convened by the IAS.

Grantee interviews at IAS 2013