RDO Newsletter

               Research Development Office


June 2017

Bi-Monthly Email Newsletter                          

Volume 5, Number 3
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.
  • Funder News
  • RDO Team News and Outreach Activities
  • LGDP: Large Grant Development Program
  • SSP: Special Strategic Projects
  • TSRIP: Team Science for Research Innovation Program
  • RAP: Resource Allocation Program
  • LSP: Limited Submission Program
  • Research Development Internship Opportunity

  • Funder News

    NIH’s Next Generation Researchers Initiative

    Earlier last month, NIH announced plans to balance the biomedical research workforce by using a new measure called the Grant Support Index (GSI) (announcement posted here). As a result of the intense feedback received from the scientific community, NIH announced at the June 8th Advisory Council to the NIH Director its decision to shift its efforts toward a bold, more focused approach to bolster support to early- and mid-career investigators.

    The effort, now named the Next Generation Researchers Initiative, will not include the Grant Support Index to adjust the distribution of NIH funds among investigators. However, the initiative will reprioritize funds ($210M this year and up to $1.1B per year in five years) to support additional meritorious early-stage and mid-career investigators. These funds will be used as follows:

  • Further extending the payline for early stage investigators, with an aim of funding most applications that score in the top 25 percent;
  • Providing additional support for mid-career investigators by
    • Extending the payline for those about to lose all NIH funding, and
    • Identifying “rising stars” who are seeking support for their second RPG, but just missed the payline;
  • Placing greater emphasis on current NIH funding programs aimed at early-stage and mid-career investigators
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of this initiative, NIH will continue to track the impact of NIH Institute and Center funding decisions for early-stage and mid-career investigators and also encourage the development and testing of metrics that can be used to assess the impact of NIH grant support on scientific progress. For more information about the initiative, please visit https://grants.nih.gov/ngri.htm.

    If you’d like to send NIH a comment on this initiative, email publicinput@od.nih.gov or post your comment here.

    RDO News and Outreach Activities

    National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP)

    The 9th annual NORDP conference was held on May 8-10 in Broomfield, CO. This annual conference provides opportunities to share best practices, learn about trends, and network with colleagues. We were proud to be able to share some of our UCSF RDO programs through two poster presentations: Using “Best Practice” Events to Synergize Center Grants: A Case Study presented by Kristin Dolan and Increasing Research Development Office Efficiency by Utilizing Existing Tech Tools: 3 Pilots Implemented at UCSF presented by Page Sorensen. Feel free to stop by the RDO office and take a look at these posters.

    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 NORDP.

    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.

    LGDP: Large Grant Development Program

    Recently Supported Projects

    We recently supported an application to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). If funded, this $90 million 5 year project will provide sustainable technical assistance to end the HIV epidemic in several countries. This project was our first time supporting an application to HRSA. We learned a lot about this agency and look forward to practicing our new HRSA skills again soon.

    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.

    SSP: Special Strategic Projects

    Upcoming Event

    National Science Foundation Outreach Visit to the Bay Area: We are pleased to welcome Charles Cunningham, PhD, a Program Director for Cellular Dynamics and Function in the Division of Molecular & Cellular Biosciences (BIO/MCB) at NSF for an outreach visit to UCSF on June 21st. Faculty and research development professionals from throughout the Bay Area and Central Valley are cordially invited to join us on the UCSF Mission Bay campus. Dr. Cunningham will give an overview of NSF programs relevant primarily to cell and molecular biology and share key strategic areas of current and future NSF funding focus. His presentation will be followed by a networking reception. Register here to participate in this event.

    Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation (MPPMI)

    2017 Awardees Announced!

    The Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation (MPPMI) seeks to fuel innovation in precision medicine by fostering creative, high risk, high impact team science projects anchored in basic science and extending into the precision medicine continuum toward improved patient outcomes. The MPPMI funds projects in two award categories, Seeding Bold Ideas, and Transformative Integrated Research. See the list of 2017 awardees on the MPPMI website.

    Contact Gretchen Kiser if you have any questions.

    UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences 2017 Trailblazer Award Program

    Deadline for this year’s award program is June 16th

    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. We seek to support creative research projects that are focused on improved patient outcomes, especially those that employ concepts of convergent neuroscience research, crossing levels of analysis from genomics and imaging to behavior and implementation, and considering the dimension of time. 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. We expect to announce the awardees before the end of July. Please direct any queries on this program to Gretchen Kiser at rdoinfo@ucsf.edu.

    TSRIP: Team Science for Research Innovation Program

    The TSRIP 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.

    Upcoming Events

    Consortium on Infant Crying: The idea for this event is based on several questions: Crying is such a basic thing that babies do, but how much do we really understand about it? What makes one baby cry more than another? What are the best ways to measure how much a baby cries? How should we manage excessive infant crying (i.e. infant colic)? How can we help reduce parental frustration and minimize risk of shaken baby syndrome? We are organizing this event in collaboration with Dr. Amy Gelfand and have identified distinguished speakers from diverse backgrounds, including neurology, neonatology, nursing, pediatrics, and child abuse prevention.

    If you’re interested in these questions, please join us on Tuesday, August 15th from 3:30-5:30pm on the Mission Bay Campus. Find more details and register here.

    Stay tuned for a couple of events that we’re planning focused broadly on immunology.

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

    RAP: Resource Allocation Program

    The RAP Spring 2017 Cycle - competition is completed!

    We received a total of 236 applications competing for funding from 20 funding agencies. Of the 198 applications that went through the RAP review, 86 were funded for a total of $4,391,430 (43% success rate). 38 applications were reviewed independently by the Diabetes Center and by the Catalyst Program. The Spring Cycle saw an overall increase in well-scored proposal, making the review and award process very competitive. The awardees and full statistics of the Spring Cycle will be posted on the RAP website under “Resources”. RAP made the reviews and final scores available to all applicants via the RAP portal. All post-award activities will now be handled by the funding agencies for their specific awardees.

    The numbers for the entire academic year 2016-17 show 387 proposals submitted in total. 324 proposals were reviewed by RAP review committees. 63 proposals went through Independent Review (Catalyst and Diabetes). RAP review saw a 46% success rate with 149 awards made, and a total of $7,129,526 disbursed to faculty and post-doctoral researchers at UCSF and affiliated sites.

    Please note for future cycles: A first resubmission is granted automatically to all new submissions that were not funded and wish to resubmit. Second resubmissions are allowed only under review committee approval as specified in the review.

    Stay tuned to learn all the updates we will bring to you in the upcoming Fall 2017 Cycle!

    During the summer months, RAP will work with the funding agencies to produce new and revised grant RFAs for the next Call for Applications scheduled for August 21, 2017. The Deadline to submit applications for the Fall Cycle is September 18, 2017 2pm PST.

    Drop-In Q&A

    RAP will continue to offer drop-in sessions to applicants who need clarification and guidance. The two sessions will take place at Mission Bay on the following days: September 7 and 12.

    LSP: Limited Submission Program

    Current LSOs of note:

    Internal Deadline


    Opportunity Title

    June 21st, 2017


    Bridges to the Doctorate

    June 22nd, 2017


    Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs: Establishing Spokes to Advance Big Data Applications (BD Spokes)

    July 7th, 2017

    Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust

    Searle Scholars Program

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

    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.

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94143-2140