$900 K RFA

Call for Proposals

QBI, in collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry, and the Department of Radiology, is announcing a $900K RFA aimed to more effectively connect the basic and clinical research programs at UCSF through two funding mechanisms, BOLD & BASIC GRANTS and FELLOWSHIPS.

Proposals should address the overarching topic of ‘Quantitative Imaging Across Scales’. In this context, we interpret imaging with an open mind, including, but definitely not limited to: microscopy, structural techniques like cryoEM and X-ray crystallography, and medical imaging. Surprise us with your bold interpretation of quantitative imaging! We strongly encourage proposals with a Psychiatry/Neuroscience disease focus that tie their research to another, possibly unrelated, disease. Think big, think infectious diseases, think cancer, think immunology…This is your chance to propose something completely new. Innovative, multidisciplinary teams will be an essential component for successful applications. The clinical component could involve incorporating clinical information, interpretation of patient-derived mutations, or work related to treatment outcome.

We will award four $200,000 BOLD & BASIC GRANTS over two years to support pilot projects involving both basic and clinical research. We encourage original, bold studies to address a key problem of your research area with the help of quantitative imaging techniques that are unlikely to be supported through conventional grants. The aim is that pilot data from high-risk, high-reward research programs seeded through this grant mechanism will position multi-departmental, collaborative groups to compete successfully for extramural funding.

This call for the BOLD & BASIC GRANT is open to Graduate Students, Postdocs, and Investigators of all ranks at UCSF, and we would like to especially encourage junior investigators without established independent funding to apply. 


We will award two $50,000 fellowships to help pay for a graduate student / postdoctoral fellow whose work will be supervised jointly by a basic and a clinical scientist. Proposals should address fundamental open problems in your research area with the help of quantitative imaging techniques. 

The deadline for all applications is April 22, 2019. Applications should be sent to admin-qbi@ucsf.edu.

The BOLD & BASIC GRANT will be reviewed in a two-step process:

Step 1: Submission

The initial submission will consist of a short proposal outlining the key question, why it is important, how it will be addressed, and a brief explanation of why it would be hard to get funded by NIH. See application instructions below.

Step 2: Idea Pitch

Eight finalists will be invited to pitch their ideas in a 5-minute presentation in front of the reviewer panel followed by Q& A. See more info below. Winners will be announced following the presentations.

Application Instructions for the BOLD & BASIC GRANT

Step 1: 
Applications are limited to two pages (11-pt Arial font, ½-in margins, single-spaced), with an additional one page for figures and legends, and one page for supporting references. Preliminary data are not required. Justification of why this work would not be funded by more traditional means such as NIH should be included, and you should outline how the collaboration between the two investigators is synergistic. A budget is not required at this point. 

Ideas will be judged on the following criteria:

• At least two investigators involved, with priority given for investigators collaborating across departments/ORUs

• Some disease relevance required; Psychiatry/Neuroscience focus preferred

• Special attention will be given to proposals combining Psychiatry/Neuroscience with another disease

Boldness of approach and idea

• Potential to affect or influence a new direction in a given research field

Step 2: 
Presentations to the panel will be ten minutes in length, with a Q&A session, in front of the panel. At this time, a preliminary budget will not be required, but please be advised, PI salary support is not allowed. Reviewers will look for bold ideas, and support original ideas to fund studies with the potential to have a significant effect on Psychiatric/Neurological disorders or other important disease(s) through basic research.


April 22, 2019 - First-round applications due

May 15, 2019 - Notification of first-round selection

June 2019 –Second-round Pitch Event and Selection Award (exact date TBD)

July 1, 2019 - Award start date

Application Instructions for the BOLD & BASIC FELLOWSHIPS

Applications are limited to one page (11-pt Arial font, ½-in margins, single spaced), and should include a description of the proposed work, the labs involved, the applicant’s specific qualifications to address the proposed work, and how their efforts will help connect the research of the two joint supervisors. 

All graduate students and postdocs currently working in a lab at UCSF are eligible to apply – there are no restrictions for international students and scholars. 

The BOLD & BASIC FELLOWSHIPS applications will be due April 22 2019, and judged by a panel; no interview process will take place. The winners will be announced at the BOLD & BASIC GRANT reception in June 2019 (exact date TBD). Award start date is July 1, 2019.

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