Bold Ideas Basic Research


The RFA is now closed, the original call for proposals is below:

QBI, in collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry, the Cancer Center, and the Quantitative Biosciences Consortium (QBC), is announcing a $1.1 M RFA aimed to more effectively connect the basic and clinical research worlds at UCSF through two funding mechanisms, BOLD & BASIC GRANTS and FELLOWSHIPS.

We will award four
$225,000 BOLD & BASIC GRANTS over two years to support pilot projects involving both basic and clinical research. Two awards will be given to psychiatric/neuroscience research and two to cancer research. We encourage original, bold studies to address a key problem in psychiatry/neuroscience or cancer that would be unlikely to be supported through conventional grants.

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

Step 1: Submission

The initial submission will consist of a two-page 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. One additional page of figures (including legends) and one page of references will be permitted.

Step 2: Idea Pitch

Eight finalists will be invited to pitch their ideas in a 10-minute public UCSF presentation in front of the panel followed by Q&A. The review panel will look for bold ideas and support original ideas to fund studies that may have a significant effect psychiatry/neuroscience disorders or cancer through basic research. Winners will be announced at an event at bar Oda following the presentations.

Application Instructions

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.

Applications should be sent to

Any Graduate Student, PostDoc, or Investigator of UCSF may apply for this award.

Ideas will be judged on the following criteria:

  • -    At least two investigators involved
  • -    Psychiatric/neuroscience relevance or Cancer relevance
  • -    Special attention to those combining psychiatry/neuroscience and cancer
  • -    Boldness of approach and idea
  • -    Will affect or influence a new direction in a given research field

Step 2:

Presentations to a panel will be ten minutes in length, with a Q&A session, in front of a public UCSF audience. At this time, a preliminary budget will be required – PI salary support is not allowed.


May 12, 2017 - First-round applications due

June 9, 2017 - Notification of first-round selection

June 15, 2017 - Second-round Pitch Event and Selection Award
July 1, 2017 - Award start date

We will also award four $50,000 fellowships to help pay for a student/post-doctoral fellow that will work jointly between a basic and a clinical scientist.

The clinical component for both could involve incorporating clinical information, interpretation of patient-derived mutations or work related to treatment outcome.

Application Instructions

Applications are limited to a one-page (11-pt Arial font, ½-in margins, single-spaced) description of the proposed work, the labs involved and the individual that will be jointly working between the PIs and how their efforts will help connect the research of the two groups.

Only one of the applicants needs to be affiliated with a graduate program.

The applications will be due May 12, 2017, and judged by a panel; no interview process will take place. The winners of the BOLD & BASIC GRANT will be announced on the website.

The deadline f
or all applications is May 12, 2017.