RDO Newsletter

               Research Development Office


October 2017

Bi-Monthly Email Newsletter                          

Volume 3, Number 5
The RDO serves at the nexus of research and research administration, acting as a catalyst for the UCSF research enterprise by facilitating productive research collaboration, early pilot funding, and effective proposal development.
  • SSP: Special Strategic Projects
  • RAP: Resource Allocation Program
  • 3TS: T32 Trainee Tracking Program
  • LGDP: Large Grant Development Program
  • TSP: Team Science Program
  • LSP: Limited Submission Program
  • RDO Team News and Outreach Activities
  • Research Development Internship Opportunity

SSP: Special Strategic Projects

NIH’s Next Generation Researchers Initiative

Effective August 31, 2017, NIH has instituted the Policy Supporting the Next Generation Researchers Initiative to provide opportunities for earlier research independence while enhancing workforce diversity. The policy requires institutes and centers (ICs) to prioritize awards that will fund Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) and Early Established Investigators (EEIs). Approximately 3% of the NIH budget will be redirected to support this Congressionally-mandated initiative. Each IC will independently determine how to meet this mandate in their IC.

A summary of this policy is available on the RDO website. Complete details can be found via notice number NOT-OD-17-101.

Open Knowledge Network Workshop was held on October 4 & 5 in Bethesda, MD

We contributed to the planning and organization of a workshop hosted by UCSF and NIH. The goal of this workshop is to identify a clear set of actions we can take within 1, 2 and 3 years to enable an open community, within and across disciplines, to actively contribute towards the development of an Open Knowledge Network. Recordings of common sessions will be available soon.

RDO-Sponsored Funder Visits and Funder Updates

DARPA’s Biological Technology Office Visit to UCSF

The RDO is excited to invite you to join us on November 16th as we welcome program leadership of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Biological Technology Office (BTO) for an outreach visit to UCSF. As many of you know, the DARPA BTO mission is to foster, demonstrate, and transition breakthrough fundamental research, discoveries, and applications that integrate biology, engineering, and computer science for national security and beyond. BTO is responsible for all neurotechnology, human-machine interface, human performance, infectious disease, and synthetic biology programs within DARPA. They seek to establish and invest in new communities of scientific interest at the intersection of traditional and emerging disciplines – right up our alley! For more information on the mission of the Biological Technology Office of DARPA, click here.

DARPA leaders will give an overview of BTO programs and offer insights on strategic areas of current and future funding topics. Following the overview presentation (from 1-2pm), please join us for a networking reception.

Get to Know PCORI

On the afternoon of October 2nd, the RDO hosted an event for all UCSF faculty and staff interested in hearing more about funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The event included a presentation from Dr. Joe Selby, Executive Director of PCORI, and a panel discussion with five PCORI-funded UCSF investigators (Drs. Dan Dohan, Kathleen Tebb, Anda Kuo, Mark Pletcher, and Anne Lown). Dr. Selby’s presentation was recorded and will be posted on the RDO website soon.

UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences 2017 Trailblazer Award Program

The awardees for the Weill 2017 Trailblazer awards are:


Proposal Title

Vikaas S. Sohal

Targeting VIP Interneurons to Ameliorate Anxiety

A. Jeremy Willsey

Identifying Convergent Molecular Networks in Autism

Noah Zaitlen

A Cell-free DNA Solution to the ALS Biomarker Dilemma

Felice A. Dunn

Xin Duan

New Genetic Approaches to Deciphering Neuronal Diversity, Function, and Dysfunction

Suzee Lee

Maria Luisa Gorno Tempini

Cognitive and Neuroimaging Features of Children Carrying Frontotemporal Dementia Genes

Daniel L. Minor, Jr.

Adam Renslo

Chemical Biology Probes for Thermo- and Mechano-sensitive K2p Channels

Scott S. Zamvil

Bruce A.C. Cree

Role of the Gut Microbiome in NMO Pathogenesis

The UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences brings together world-class researchers with top-ranked physicians to solve some of the most complex challenges in the human brain. The Institute’s 2017 Trailblazer Award Program seeks to fund compelling, high risk/high reward research in the neurosciences. The target for this program is clinical and translational research focused on a broad spectrum of neuroscience challenges, including therapeutics, diagnostics, imaging technology, biomarker discovery/validation, and computational methods. This year the award program will support one-year grants of $100,000 for individual PI-led projects or $200,000 for multi-PI projects. Please direct any queries on this program to Gretchen Kiser at rdoinfo@ucsf.edu.

RAP: Resource Allocation Program

RAP is celebrating its 10 year anniversary and we marked this milestone with a party! We had a great get-together with the program founders, program participants, and other friends and benefactors of RAP.

The RAP Fall Cycle Review is Underway!

RAP received a total of 166 proposals. Of these, 16 were submitted to the Catalyst Program and will be reviewed independently from RAP. 150 proposals will be reviewed by the RAP review committees based on subject area. The results of this Fall 2017 competition will be available before the winter break. All applicants will be notified of the results and will receive written critiques and final numeric score.

3TS: T32 Trainee Tracking Program

The T32 Trainee Tracking System program is an application with the goal to support faculty and staff in actively preparing for T32 grant renewals by helping them with several of the required data tables. The program also provides institutional support outside of the 3TS, such as ‘how-to’ guides to assist faculty and staff involved in preparing a T32 renewal application and notices to the community about changes coming from the NIH.

For information and updates to T32 grants please feel free to join the T32 Administrators Group on Chatter.

Type of Grant

Program Description

Renewal Due Dates

T Series

(T32 & TL1)

Institutional National Research Service Awards

Other Training Grants

To enable institutions to make National Research Service Awards to individuals selected by them for predoctoral and postdoctoral research training in specified shortage areas.

  • January 25

LGDP: Large Grant Development Program

Recently Supported Projects

We are excited to announce the following LGDP-supported proposals were recently funded:

  • Trevor Bivona’s NCI-funded U54 to develop innovative strategies to study mechanisms of tumor resistance or sensitivity to anticancer therapy.
  • The NIH-funded Program in Prenatal and Pediatric Genomic Sequencing (P3EGS) at UCSF (PIs Pui Kwok, Barbara Koenig, Anne Slavotinek, and Mary Norton). A press release is available here.

If your team will soon be developing a large, multi-investigator proposal, our Large Grant Development Program (LGDP) is here to help! Here are just some of the services that the LGDP can provide:

  • Strategy and grantsmanship input
  • Project management of the proposal preparation process
  • Technical writing and editing

RDO’s Templates and Guides

All UCSF staff and faculty have access to library of grant template text, managed by the RDO and hosted on a UCSF Library Guides page. Do you have suggestions of other templates to add, or see something that needs to be updated? Please let us know by emailing the LGDP manager, Kristin Dolan.

TSP: Team Science Program

The TSP develops and facilitates intra- and extramural networking events enabling participating researchers to meet investigators outside their usual circle of collaborators in order to foster a broader network, and to brainstorm new research ideas or expand the aims of their current work.

We developed a full service menu so faculty interested in building teams can select from a variety of specific services to meet their needs. This menu is now available on our website.

Upcoming Events

We have a few events in the works. Check back for more details.

  • Year two mixer for the Marcus Program in Precision Medicine, slated for late this year
  • “In the Mix” – a networking event series designed to build collaborations between UCSF and SFSU faculty. This event is scheduled for January 2018.

If you are interested in participating or developing a separate networking event, please contact Page Sorensen.

LSP: Limited Submission Program

Current LSOs of note:

Internal Deadline


Opportunity Title

October 10, 2017


Collaborative Program Grant for Multidisciplinary Teams

October 26, 2017

W. M. Keck Foundation

Medical Science Program and Science and Engineering Program

Important Links: More information about the LSP & Current LSO listings: rdo.ucsf.edu/LSP.

RDO Team News and Outreach Activities

Would you like to inform your faculty of the menu of services and resources available through the RDO?

We are looking for opportunities to speak to groups of faculty to inform them of the programs and resources available through the RDO. Please contact us at rdoinfo@ucsf.edu if you think you could open a time slot for us to speak at your next faculty meeting.

Do you facilitate research team interactions? Or do you help prepare large grant proposals? Do you manage programs that benefit a large cadre of research faculty? Or are you a researcher who now focuses on research administrative functions? If so, then you are likely doing work associated with the emerging field of research development. If these descriptions strike a chord with you, the UCSF RDO encourages you to check out National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP).

Research Development Internship Opportunity

Are you a graduate student or post-doc looking to explore a different career path for PhDs? Contact Gretchen Kiser gretchen.kiser@ucsf.edu in the RDO for information about an internship in research development.

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