Committee On Research
Individual Investigator Grant

Applications for the Academic Senate Individual Investigator Grants and Shared Instrument Grants are submitted via the UCSF Resource Allocation Program (RAP) website:


Application Deadline Posted on the RAP Website
Award Range

Individual Investigator Grant– up to $30,000
Shared Equipment/Instrument Grant – up to $35,000

Contact Emy Volpe, RAP Program Administrator
Tel: 415 514-6208
Fax: 415 514-8212

Committee on Research
Grants Funded and History of the Individual Investigator Grant

Application Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their applications approximately six weeks after deadline date.

Funding is based on priority scores and on the availability of funds in specialty areas. The Individual Investigator Grant Critique Form is employed by the Committee on Research to evaluate applications.

Please note: Academic Senate grants are made available in part through endowment funds allocated to specific areas of research. In addition to general funds, the Committee on Research awards money from endowment funds for these specific areas of research:

  • Heart disease
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Heart disease, cancer, vascular or circulatory disorders, and epilepsy
  • Eye diseases
  • Cancer
  • Stomach ailments

The above categories apply to both research on the specified disease and related areas of focus. For example, "stomach ailments research" can include stomach ulcers research and research into diabetes focusing on stomach disorders or ailments.

Committee on Research (COR) invites applications for research funds by new investigators and established investigators for (1) start-up funds or pilot; (2) short-term lapse of funding or hardship; (3) re-entry or (4) new direction. In all cases, it is expected that work supported by COR funds will lead the applicant to outside (extramural) funding. As a result, successful applications are usually well focused and present a clear pathway from the applicant's present state to the acquisition of extramural funding. The applicant should outline how the specific preliminary results to be obtained will be used to support a subsequent application for extramural funds. Description of specific experiments that will actually be performed or data to be collected is preferable to an exhaustive list of possible experiments or potential areas of data collection. Applicants are encouraged to begin writing their proposals early and to obtain advice from established investigators in their area of interest or to seek assistance from the Committee on Research and the Academic Senate Staff.


Who's Eligible: Individuals with PI status are eligible. University policy confers PI status on faculty who are salaried at 50% or more of full time in the ladder-rank, in-residence, clinical X, adjunct, clinical or research series, and to appointees in the librarian series. PIs on sabbatical can apply for supplies and equipment. Preference will be given to new investigators and prioritized in the following order: Start-up, Short-term Lapse, Re-entry, and then New Direction. An investigator cannot be listed on more than one application.

Who's Not Eligible: Faculty without a salaried University appointment, visiting professors, specialists, residents, fellows, post-docs, graduate students and staff employees. The Committee will not fund curricular or administrative studies or research conducted by graduate students relative to ongoing studies and dissertations, and will not subsidize extramural and intramural budget reductions. Applicants who have been awarded an Academic Senate Individual Investigator Award within the last two funding cycles (12 months) are not eligible to apply.

How to Apply

Please see the RAP Website for submission guidelines and online application. An application should be prepared with the same care given to outside agencies and should be written in terms that can be understood by Committee on Research members working in diverse fields of biomedical and other sciences, whose areas of specialization may not coincide with that of the planned work. Verbatim submissions of NIH grants will not be accepted.

Please do not submit any documents via hard copy to the Academic Senate office.

Supporting documents (transmittal letter from applicant, letters from department chairs and collaborators) must be uploaded on the grant application page-see bottom of that page. Include the Name and Email address used for your application with all supporting documents.

Applications that are incomplete will be returned without review.  Applications that contain the appropriate documentation but that are unclear, including those applications that deviate from the suggested proposal format, will be reviewed but are less likely to be given priority.

If the application is a resubmission, please include a section for your responses to the critique of the last review and a summary of the major changes made in the current resubmission.

Select One Funding Category

Start-up Category/Pilot Grants for Junior Investigators:
The Start-up Category is intended for junior faculty with four (4) years or less of service at UCSF who have achieved independent status and can show the need for funds to establish his or her own research. Investigators applying for first time support must indicate:

  1. Whether there are start-up or matching funds provided by their department or Dean, or
  2. The amount of any start-up or other funding.

New investigators who are without committed laboratory space or resources (e.g., laboratory equipment necessary for the execution of the study aims) must include a letter (in the Appendix) from their Department Chair indicating that:

  1. The investigator has an independent program of research,
  2. The investigator is solely responsible for the proposed project,
  3. The investigator's work does not overlap with ongoing work of others in the lab;
  4. The project will not be transferred to a different department or institution without specific Committee on Research approval.

In almost all circumstances, an investigator can receive start-up funds only once; however, under exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the Committee, a second request for funding may be considered. Any requests for continued support must include a summary of the previously supported Committee on Research study and a clear justification for requested on-going support. Please note: this category is intended to provide junior investigators in need of research support; priority will be given to those applicants with no or minimal start-up funds. Applicants eligible for this category that did not receive start-up funds, but who will receive matching funds will receive a higher priority.

Short-term Lapse Category/Hardship:
The Short-term Lapse Category is intended for investigators who are experiencing a temporary interruption in funding and can document their hardship. A short-term lapse of funding designation (particularly when pending applications are not listed) must include a 5-year funding history for the applicant, a copy of the reviewers’ critiques and the applicant’s rebuttal.

Re-entry Category:
The Re-Entry Category is intended for investigators who have pursued non-classical pathways and now wish to resume their research careers. Such pathways include investigators who have relocated with a spouse or partner at the cost of the applicant’s program of research, or those who have dedicated their primary effort to teaching or clinical practice rather than to research.

New Direction Category:
The New Direction Category is intended for investigators at all levels. This category applies to investigators who wish to embark on a new and/or substantially different direction of research. It is the responsibility of the investigator to demonstrate that the proposed study is a distinctly new direction of research. For example, studies that are conceptually similar to those being performed in a different tissue or in a different animal model, with a different assay system, or on a different population in the investigator's current research program, would not constitute a new direction. Applicants must be advised that this category has been historically difficult to justify, as a result we have included two examples of what is considered an appropriate and what is considered a less compelling justification:

  1. An appropriate justification: An investigator working on the role of endothelial dysfunction in risk of cardiovascular disease discovers that the trait under study may also lead to degenerative eye disease. The investigator requests funds to develop a research project in this new area. The investigator identifies appropriate collaborating investigators that will provide training in the new skills necessary to conduct research on this new topic and provides a strong rationale for the likelihood of external funding as a result of this work.
  2. A questionable justification: An investigator conducts both human genetics research and complementary proteomics research in a mouse model of a common neurodegenerative disease. The investigator states that a genetic study in a rat model of disease would prove to be more effective in studying the disease in question, and that it qualifies as a new direction because the investigator’s group has never conducted genetics research in a rat model of disease. Applying one’s expertise (e.g., mammalian genetics, proteomics, mammalian models of disease) to a related model of disease would be less likely to be viewed as an adequately justified direction.

Budget Justification for COR Grants

List of Eligible Budget Categories and Expenses

Please clearly itemize the proposed budget according to the following categories and provide all the required information for each category.

Personnel Category:
List the principal investigator, co-investigator(s) and other personnel and indicate the percent of effort for each (i.e. the percentage of daily working time to be spent by each investigator on the proposed project). Describe the specific function of each person on the budget justification page. The grant can support the salary of the principle investigator or co-investigators. Generally, PI partial salary support should not exceed 10% of the budget. Request for partial salary support over 10% of the budget must be well justified. Salary support for multiple PIs is also limited to 10% of the budget. Multiple PIs should determine how to budget that 10% salary support among them. The grant can support postdocs. The grant does not support consultants or individuals who would be considered inappropriate under the Office of Management and Budget, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (e.g., administrative staff). Examples of allowed personnel include staff research associates, laboratory assistants, and clinical nurses.

UCSF Fee Remission Policy:  Pertains to registered students appointed to research titles at 25% of the time or more for a full academic term. Copies of the Fee Remission Policy for Students with Research Appointments are available by telephoning 476-1558. If student remission fees are not budgeted by the investigator, the grant budget will be amended to cover that charge. University regulations allow students to work no more than 50% time during the academic year and 100% time during the summer months. This policy does not apply to non-resident tuition fees.

Supplies Category:
Itemize consumable supplies, animals, statistical services and analysis. Equipment and software items costing less than $300 should be listed in this category. Charges for the use of UCSF owned equipment will be closely reviewed and must be accompanied by a rate sheet; radiology, clinical labs and sequencing charges usually fall under this category. Allowed charges for UCSF clinical services ordinarily fall below the "list price" that UCSF bills to third party payers. Investigators should negotiate charges with relevant clinical services and departments when preparing this application. If animals are requested, provide unit and per diem costs.

All supply and equipment expenses must be directly related to proposed research.
Research Subject Payments:
A copy of the UCSF Research Subject Payment Summary is included with each CHR application packet if reimbursement is indicated on the Committee on Human Research (CHR) Cover Page. The guidelines for research subject payments applies when 1) a research protocol involving research subjects has been reviewed and approved by the Committee on Human Research which includes issuance of a CHR Approval Number and 2) the research department has completed and submitted a Research Subject Payment Summary Form to Accounts Payable with a copy of the CHR Approval Letter and a CHR Cover Page. Payments to research subjects are tax reportable as income; therefore, the PI should not make out-of-pocket direct payments to subjects and then seek reimbursement from UC. Purchases associated with research subjects such as translation services must be procured though University processes, i.e., Purchase Order.  Your budget must include a line item of the amount anticipated to cover all expenses related to Research Subject payments.

Equipment Category
Equipment is defined as non-expendable personal property having a useful life of more than two years and costing $300 or more per unit. Title to or ownership of all University property or material is vested in the Regents of the University of California. Without exception, equipment purchased with COR funds remains the property of the Regents of the University of California and cannot be transferred from the University. The investigator should indicate that a thorough investigation of the University Surplus Pool (502-3064) has been made and that the desired equipment is not available. If funded, the award can only be applied to the specified equipment. Please include the specific location where all equipment purchased with funds from the Academic Senate will reside. On the budget justification page, explain the need for the equipment, provide manufacturer’s price quotes for each piece of equipment and list alternate funding sources should the Committee offer partial funding. The Committee will not provide funds for a personal computer if its sole use is for the preparation of a manuscript.

Manufacturer's Price Quote: An application without a manufacturer's price quote for each piece of equipment over $300 will be rejected. Please make sure that you include any tax and shipping charges related to equipment purchases in your quote and budget total.

Travel Category
Funds for transportation are available to conduct field research and for the purpose of gathering data and research materials. These funds are intended for transportation costs exclusively and under no circumstance can they be used for subsistence (including hotels, registration fees etc.). Use of travel funds for the attendance of professional conferences or meetings is specifically disallowed.