Model Estimates For the Source of HIV Infections in a Population

This RFA is now closed to further applications.


In order to make decisions about how programmes to prevent HIV infections should be designed for a country or district, it is useful to have estimates for the number of HIV infections occurring in different sub-populations that may benefit from different forms of intervention. With this aim, the ‘Modes of Transmission’ (MoT) model has been developed and used in many countries to produce estimates for the distribution of new infections occurring over a one year period in a range of population groups, including sex workers, injecting drug user and those with multiple sexual partners. At a recent meeting of the HIV modelling consortium, questions were raised about the reliability of the existing methods to produce estimates in some settings; in particular whether the assumptions about the patterns of risk in a population are always suitable and how the ‘static’ nature of the model could influence results. Therefore, the HIV modelling consortium invites proposals to investigate these issues.

Work required

In this call for proposal, we seek innovative work that takes a new approach to estimating the distribution of new infections in a specific population. The new approach should draw on locally-relevant epidemiological data, and produce estimates for the distribution of sources of infections across groups that could be of programmatic relevance. The work should be focused on a setting with a significant burden of HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa and where a ‘Modes of Transmission’ analysis has recently been conducted. There is not a need for the methods used to be generally applicable to other populations.


  • To devise a new modelling analysis for a specific country in sub-Saharan Africa (where an MoT analysis has already been done) that aims to estimate the distribution of sources of infections, in a manner that would be useful for program planning.
  • To compare the findings of the new modelling analysis with the original MoT model and come to an understanding of the causes of any differences.


One manuscript submitted for publication in an international peer-reviewed scientific journal and one presentation made to an HIV Modelling Consortium group meeting.


A contract will be issued from Imperial College London either to an institution or to an applicant personally in the form of consultancy fees.

Standard terms

Work done with and for the HIV Modelling Consortium is subject to a standard set of terms that require information sharing between all groups working within the consortium. A full set of terms is available on request.


Members of the HIV Modelling Consortium Steering Committee and Secretariat are not eligible for this award.


Applications should include a proposal limited to three pages (excluding references, and with a minimum of 11 point font size). Proposals should include: (i) an introduction to the topic; (ii) description of previous work in the area by the applicants; (iii) description and justification of the intended approach; (iv) timeline for the proposed work; (v) budget and its justification. In addition, the principal applicant should provide a short bio-sketch (one page summary of qualifications, research interests, key funding publications and major sources of research support).

Assessment criteria

All proposals will be reviewed internally by the modelling consortium and externally by expert reviewers. Proposals will be scored on the following criteria:

  • Specific setting for model analysis is chosen with sufficient justification provided.
  • Proposed modelling approach is innovative and credible.
  • Results of proposed analysis would be relevant to programme planning.
  • Reasonable timeline and budget.

MC 1.1
6-12 months
Funds available: 
Up to £40,000
Number of awards available: 
Submission closing date: 
10 June 2011
Decisions announced: 
08 July 2011

Britta Jewell b.jewell[at]