Special Strategic Projects (SSP)

SSPs involve facilitating cross-institutional research collaborations or donor proposal development, as well as supporting campus-wide initiatives such as our Precision Medicine Initiative. This program also includes outreach activities with other research development and research administration partners within UCSF, UC and across the nation – Gretchen Kiser: [email protected]


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.

Recipients are listed here.

Tri-Institutional Partnership in Microbiome Initiative

UC San Francisco (UCSF), UC Davis (UCD), and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) have formed a new partnership to encourage research collaboration among the three institutions 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.

In May 2020, the TrIP Microbiome held its first research grant funding competition. We received many highly innovative, collaborative project proposals and have now announced the names of the 2020 award recipients.


UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences Program in Neuroscience Innovation

The UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, established by the extraordinary generosity of Joan and Sanford I. Weill, brings together world-class researchers with top-ranked physicians to solve some of the most complex challenges in the human brain.

The UCSF Weill Institute leverages UCSF’s unrivaled bench-to-bedside excellence in the neurosciences. It unites three UCSF departments - Neurology, Psychiatry and Neurological Surgery - that are highly esteemed for both patient care and research as well as the Neuroscience Graduate Program, a cross-disciplinary alliance of nearly 100 UCSF faculty members from 15 basic-science departments, which awards doctoral degrees in a variety of research areas. Also included is the UCSF Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, a multidisciplinary research center focused on finding effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.


Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation

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.

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.

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. The MPPMI will advance precision medicine at UCSF through events that actively motivate and foster collaborations, and through direct funding of innovative research projects.