UCSF’s Resource Allocation Program (RAP) Accepting Applications for the Spring 2019 Cycle

test tubes and vials on a table in a laboratory

The Resource Allocation Program (RAP), in partnership with many on-campus sources of research funding, facilitates the dissemination, submission, review and award of intramural research funding opportunities on campus.

RAP offers a single online application process for a variety of intramural funding opportunities and is now inviting applications.

The Spring 2019 Cycle e-application deadline is Monday, March 11, 2019, at 2 p.m. (PT). This cycle includes 22 funding agencies sponsoring 27 different grant mechanisms.

Spring 2019 Cycle Highlights

  • UCSF’s Research Resource Program (RRP) is sponsoring “Core Operational Improvement Awards (COIA)” designed to support the Cores with the goal of improving operational efficiency.
  • CTSI Pilot Awards is sponsoring a new grant mechanism “Pilot Award for Prevention and Treatment of Opioid Use Disorders”.  This funding opportunity is intended to support research projects focused on prevention and treatment of opioid use disorders. Of particular interest are projects that will generate preliminary data needed to develop clinical trials or population-based community interventions. Projects should be relevant to these broad areas related to opioids: pain management, standard of care and opioid prescribing patterns, and improving prevention or treatment of opioid misuse and addiction.   

The RAP network is broad and includes the applicants, the funding programs, and the reviewers, all enabling “Seeding Outstanding Research.”

The best evidence of the program’s value to the UCSF campus are our award recipients. Here is what a few of them have to say:

Mallar Bhattacharya, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine

Bhattacharya is the recipient of the Pilot for Junior Investigators in Basic and Clinical/Translational Sciences with a grant titled “Macrophage Function in Lung Fibrosis.” He explains that: “lung fibrosis is a highly morbid disease with few disease-modifying treatments and often leads to respiratory failure requiring lung transplant. A better understanding of disease mechanisms is crucial, and little is known about the function of macrophages, which have been noted to be plentiful in patient tissue samples. This RAP award will allow me to test hypotheses motivated by our recent single cell studies with lung macrophages, where we found a unique, monocyte-derived population that drives fibrosis in mouse and human models… .”

Judy Hahn, PhD, MA
Professor, Department of Medicine

Judy Hahn, recipient of multiple RAP awards, explains: “over the past 12 years at UCSF, I received several RAP awards that have been vital to my career. I highly recommend that all investigators consider applying.

I first received a RAP award when I was a new investigator in 2007, and it enabled me to collect data on the important issue of alcohol and HIV viral suppression using a novel alcohol biomarker as an objective measure of alcohol use. The research experience and the data provided me with the track record and preliminary data to receive NIH funding, including my first R01, three years later.

As a mid-career investigator, I received several RAP Mentored Scientist Awards that allowed me to expand my own research, while helping the careers of several mentees who subsequently received K awards. These successes in mentoring likely helped me receive K24 funding, which currently provides valuable support for my program of mentoring and research.

More recently, I received a Pilot for Established Investigators award, and it enabled me to conduct my first mHealth study. In addition, I have been a long-term reviewer of RAP grants; this process has exposed me to a wide variety of research areas, and has made me acutely aware of grant writing as a skill, and now I teach several grant-writing workshops. I highly recommend serving as a reviewer. Overall, the RAP program has been a very important part of my research career.”

The applicants contribute to the continuous improvement of the program thanks to their constant feedback provided through open-communication channels.

The RAP consortium is a partnership among the funders, RAP Leadership, and Central RAP Staff and together they share the goal of funding as much good science as possible.

Two outstanding funders – one new and one old (since 2007!) – are the Posey Family Fund, and the School of Medicine’s Research Allocation & Evaluation Committee (REAC). They respectively exemplify types of campus funders participating in RAP.

The Posey Family Fund, under the leadership of its Director Mignon Loh, MD, joined RAP in Spring 2018.

Mignon Loh, MD
Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Loh, a professor in the Department of Pediatrics, comments: “Money from the Posey Family Fund has been allocated to the RAP program for proposals that focus on some aspects of pediatric cancer. Using the RAP mechanism to vet grants through a peer-reviewed system, allows us to confidently say that the awardees are selected stringently, and without bias by a group of expert colleagues at UCSF. This process thus ensures that the funds are being used for only the best work being conducted for childhood cancer at UCSF.”

Philip Rosenthal, MD
Professor, Department of Medicine

The director of the REAC program, Philip Rosenthal, MD, a professor in the Department of Medicine, states: “RAP provided a wonderful innovation for UCSF, offering researchers “one stop shopping” in applying for internal research funding, and providing the REAC committee with a streamlined system for equitably distributing research dollars to our faculty at UCSF.”

RAP greatly values this partnership with the funding agencies; this synergy has allowed the program to evolve throughout the years with new ideas, offering new funding mechanisms, and expanding its goal.

Finally, another important component of the RAP, the faculty reviewers, make the fair and transparent assessment of research proposals possible by participating and generously volunteering their time and expertise. RAP utilizes 11 highly specialized standing review committees and draws from a large pool of UCSF faculty. Their commitment is our success and we are grateful for their service.