Special Strategic Projects (SSP)

The Special Strategic Projects program facilitates and supports cross-institutional research collaborations, donor proposal development, supporting campus-wide initiatives such as the Precision Medicine Initiative, and outreach activities with other research development and research administration partners within UCSF, UC and across the nation.


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Advanced Research Project Agency for Health (ARPA-H) Resources

Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovations

UC Noyce Initiative

COVID-19 Rapid Response Pilot Grant Initiative

Tri-Institutional Partnership in Microbiome Research

UCSF Abortion Research Rapid Response Grant

Contact


Advanced Research Project Agency for Health (ARPA-H) Resources

A new federal funding agency - the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) – was created to speed medical breakthroughs to patients who urgently need them. ARPA-H is focused on a bold mission to advance high-potential, high-impact biomedical and health research that cannot be readily accomplished through traditional research or commercial activity. ARPA-H will make big bets to build high-payoff capabilities or platforms to drive biomedical breakthroughs – ranging from molecular to societal – that will provide transformative solutions for all individuals. ARPA-H will be looking for projects that are transformational, driving biomedical breakthroughs. They will not support incremental research efforts. They seek to support "Imagine if..." projects.


Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation

The RDO is excited to announce the 5th Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation (MPPMI) which seeks to fuel innovation in precision medicine by fostering creative, high risk, high impact team science projects supporting the precision medicine continuum. Precision medicine aims to harness vast amounts of biological and biomedical data – from basic molecular research to clinical, environmental, socioeconomic and mobile lifestyle data – and use it to define biological processes and disease mechanisms, to understand why different individuals respond differently to treatments, and to help guide more precise, predictive and preventative medicine. MPPMI invites proposals for our 2022 funding in four award categories, Seeding Bold Ideas, Transformative Integrated Research, ELSI in Precision Medicine, and a brand-new IDEA award focused on equity and anti-racism. These relatively short proposals are due Tuesday, November 29, 2022. See the full 2022 RFA here.

George and Judy Marcus has generously provided funding to drive innovative and collaborative efforts between basic researchers and clinical or social/behavioral/population scientists, which are essential to making precision medicine a reality. Precision medicine aims to harness vast amounts of biological and biomedical data– from basic molecular research to clinical, environmental, socioeconomic and mobile lifestyle data – and use it to define biological processes and disease mechanisms, to understand why different individuals respond differently to treatments, and to help guide more precise, predictive and preventative medicine. The Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation will advance precision medicine at UCSF through events that actively motivate and foster collaborations, and through direct funding of innovative research projects.

Check out this article about the impact of the Marcus Program: Marcus Awards Funds Bold Ideas, Transformative Collaborations, and Innovative Social Research

Recipients are listed here: 2017 - 2018 - 2019 - 2020 - 2022


UC Noyce Initiative

The UC Noyce Initiative is a partnership between five University of California campuses (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara) that honors the legacy of Ann S. Bowers and Robert N. Noyce by advancing computing, information science, and engineering for the benefit of society. To further this aim, the UC Noyce Initiative intends to support research efforts that are innovative, have the potential for high impact, and hold a strong promise for follow-on funding. The UC Noyce Initiative is particularly interested in supporting high-risk, high-reward research that typically does not qualify for traditional or federal funding agencies.

UC Executive Leadership Team: UC Berkeley – Kathy Yelick; UC Davis – Prasand Mohapatra; UC-Irvine – Pramod Khargonekar; UC Santa Barbara - Pierre Wiltzius; UC San Francisco – VCR Hal Collard

UCSF Administrative Director: Gretchen Kiser ([email protected])

Cross-UC Research Grants

We anticipate a research funding call in the first quarter of 2024.

In 2023, the UC Noyce Initiative collaboratively solicited and awarded proposals in two formats - $1 million, 2-year Multi-Campus Partnership Awards and $300,000, 2-year Single Campus Awards - focused on two thematic areas: (1) Computational Health; (2) Privacy and Security.

Check out the detailed RFA here and an associated FAQ document, as well as the link to the June 27, 2023 informational webinar. Use the following link for a list of awarded projects [add the links in here].

2022 Noyce Initiative - UC Partnership in Computational Transformation Award Program
In 2022, the Initiative solicited and awarded $200,000 - $280,000, 18-month UC Partnership in Computational Transformation Awards for computational research related to Cybersecurity, Computational Precision Health, or Quantum Computing.

Follow these links for the 2022 RFA, a Budget Template, and other related FAQs. Use the following link for a list of awarded projects.

UCSF Noyce Initiative for Digital Transformation (now suspended)

In 2021, supported by the UC-wide Noyce Initiative, UCSF introduced a campus Initiative for Digital Transformation in Computational Biology and Health Data Science. This UCSF initiative seeks to foster computational excellence at UCSF at all levels, with a broad range of activities from innovative curricular development, to recruiting and funding computationally-oriented predoctoral and postdoctoral learners, to funding innovative computational projects with substantial translational potential.

The UCSF Program Steering Committee:
Faculty Director: Ryan Hernandez, PhD
Administrative Director: Gretchen Kiser, PhD
Members: Atul Butte, June Chan, Michael Keiser, Raman Khanna, Gretchen Kiser, Dan Lowenstein, Katherine Pollard, Angela Rizk-Jackson, Jason Solle and Bob Wachter.

2021 Noyce Scholar: The UCSF Noyce Initiative for Digital Transformation provided recruitment scholarships to 35 computationally-focused predoctoral scholars across graduate programs who will join us in the fall. These awards are targeted towards using computational innovation to understand the root causes of diseases and health, to predict and prevent disease, to transform diagnostics, and to develop better treatments. Follow this link to see the 2021 Digital Transformation Scholars.

2021-2022 Computational Innovator Faculty Research Grants and Fellowships:

  • UCSF Initiative for Digital Transformation solicited and awarded ~$100,000, 2-year Computational Innovator Research Grants supporting research projects that utilize computational methods that leverage digital technology, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML & AI), promise a transformation in how we identify the fundamental scientific underpinnings of human health and the root causes of disease, how we predict and prevent disease, how we diagnose diseases, and/or how we treat patients.
  • In support of the digital innovation pipeline, the Initiative solicited and awarded Pre-doctoral Computational Innovator Fellowships ($65,000) and Post-doctoral Computational Innovator Fellowships ($75,000), covering such expenses as stipend/salary, academic fees, or research expenses.

See the 2021/2022 RFA here for details.

2022 Noyce Scholar: Recruitment scholarship for a computationally-focused predoctoral scholar who will join us in the fall. These awards are targeted towards using computational innovation to understand the root causes of diseases and health, to predict and prevent disease, to transform diagnostics, and to develop better treatments.

Please see the following links for lists of the awardees: UCSF Noyce Initiative for Digital Transformation in Computational Biology and Health Data Science 2021-2022 Computational Innovator Awardees and 2022 Noyce Initiative Scholar


COVID-19 Rapid Response Pilot Grant Initiative

In March and April, the RDO partnered with the UCSF Academic Senate, UC National Laboratory Fees Research Program (LFRP) Block Grant through UCOP, UCSF-Gladstone Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), and the Chancellor’s COVID-19 Response Fund to develop, manage a funding competition and award funds for the COVID-19 Rapid Response Pilot Grant Initiative. The program offered two tiers: $5000 and $40,000, both for one-year projects. Initiative proposals were due on April 21st and we received 15 proposals to the Tier 1 ($5000) and 60 proposals to the Tier 2 ($40,000) initiatives. These received expert scientific review and discussion. The review committee delivered scores and comments as well as a slate of 10 proposals in each tier recommended for funding. The directors of the funding entities met and made funding decisions based on these recommendations, their agency priorities and available funding. Note that even more proposals were funded than the program originally had funding to support. Specifically, CFAR was able to support additional HIV-associated COVID-19 projects, and the RDO sought additional funding from the Chancellor to fund two additional $40,000 proposals. Collaboratively, we were able to award over $485,000 for 10 Tier 5K and 11 Tier 40K proposals.

See the full RFA here.

Recipients are listed here.


Tri-Institutional Partnership in Microbiome Research

A new partnership between UC San Francisco (UCSF), UC Davis (UCD), and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), formed to encourage research collaboration focused broadly on understanding microbiomes. The aim of the initiative is to catalyze bold, synergistic, and potentially transformative collaborative research through joint seed grants and position the institutions favorably for follow-on extramural funding.

See the full RFA here.

Recipients are listed here.


UCSF Abortion Research Rapid Response Grant

In the wake of the US Supreme Court’s ruling to end the constitutional right to abortion, UCSF’s research in reproductive healthcare has never been more essential. The UCSF Abortion Research Rapid Response Grant Program aims to support rapid response research at UCSF and invited proposals on a broad range of abortion-related research. We are pleased to announce the 2022 Awardees for these grants.


Contact

Gretchen Kiser
[email protected]
[email protected]