Developmental Core

The Developmental Core promotes innovative interdisciplinary work, with special focus on international and US ethnic minority research, and the capacity to respond quickly to changes in the epidemic. Here’s how:

Consults and Mentoring

We provide mentoring and consultation to CAPS researchers on topics such as career direction, program of research ideas, and personal–work life balance. Consultations are for faculty at all levels, faculty aspirants, and fellows.


CAPS Town Halls, usually held at noon on Fridays, focus on emerging issues and stimulate research innovation. Scientists and staff are strongly encouraged to attend. We hold different types of Town Halls:

  • CAPS Updates feature CAPS scientists talking about their research.
  • Scientist Updates feature non-CAPS scientists discussing their current research, which may include relevant non-AIDS as well as AIDS research.
  • A Master’s Series features distinguished speakers presenting on the state of the art in their AIDS-related fields.
  • Community Town Halls feature experts from local community-based agencies who present the programs and research being conducted at the community level.

Interest Groups

These groups are organized to stimulate innovation in various areas. Groups usually meet monthly. Current interest groups include those focused on Prevention with Positives, Couples, and Technical Assistance.

Innovative Grants Program

This program supports pilot studies with the theme of innovation in HIV/AIDS social-behavioral or policy research. The focus is on multidisciplinary work and populations at especially high risk for HIV. More about the Innovative Grants Program here.

Peer Review

Peer review provides important opportunities for brainstorming, discussing scientific issues, and reviewing and contributing to each other’s work—manuscripts, grant proposals, and presentations—assuring that they are of the highest quality before they go out the door. All work supported by CAPS grants, conducted by CAPS investigators, or for publication anywhere CAPS is cited should go through the peer review system. Peer review also ensures that our work is relevant to and reflective of the needs of the community. The CAPS Community Advisory Board is notified of peer reviews, and members are normally invited to attend and offer feedback.

  • Grant proposals must undergo peer review before submission. The chair of the review must report the outcome of the review and any required modifications to the director.
  • Early career scientists must go through an early-stage concept review; others are encouraged to do so as well.
  • Summary sheets and scientists’ responses are reviewed prior to proposal resubmission. Peer review is also held for unsuccessful submissions to discuss review committees’ feedback and options for next steps.
  • Manuscripts for journal submission are reviewed at least once to ensure scientific content and presentation (e.g., focus, clarity, logic, coherence) are of the highest quality. These reviews are strongly encouraged, particularly for early career faculty, but not required.
  • Abstract submissions, oral presentations and slides, and posters are routinely peer reviewed for scientific merit and effectiveness in communicating findings.
  • Peer Review Guidelines outline the roles of reviewers, reviewees, and the review chair. Contact Stuart Gaffney with questions or to schedule a peer review.


We support the Traineeships in AIDS Prevention (TAPS) and Collaborative HIV Prevention Research in Minority Communities training programs.

Core Staff