Find Funding Opportunities

Pivot Training: Pivot allows researchers to search funding opportunities, save results, set automated funding alerts, and identify potential collaborators. The Library, is pleased to offer monthly Pivot trainings for faculty, staff, post-docs and students. Go to Extramural Funding tab below for more information.
Intramural Funding

Resource Allocation Program (RAP)

The Resource Allocation Program (RAP) acts as a one-stop shop for several intramural funding mechanisms by managing the dissemination, submission, review and award for these opportunities.  For more information, visit the RAP webpage. Contact Emy Volpe, Manager, at 415/502-1674.


Other on-Campus Funding Opportunities

The Program for Breakthrough Biomedical Research (PBBR): Seeks to stimulate and support highly innovative basic science research at UCSF. The focus is on potentially high-impact basic science projects that are creative, risky, and transformative. They seek novel ideas that are more ambitious than those that receive funding from NIH and other traditional funding mechanisms. Contact Kerri Santos, Program Manager, at 415/476-8445.

The Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center - American Cancer Society Individual Research Award: This HDFCCC program is to make seed funding available to encourage junior investigators to initiate promising new projects in cancer-related research that may enable them to compete successfully for national research grants. Targeted are projects in basic, clinical, health policy, health services, psychosocial and behavioral, epidemiologic, and control research that seek to answer fundamental questions about the development and nature of cancer; have direct application to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer; relate to health policy or delivery of cancer care; investigate the psychosocial and behavioral impact of cancer; or study the circumstances under which cancer occurs in populations. For more information on the ACS grant, see the ACS Award page.

The School of Medicine Bridge Program: bridges gaps in funding monies for both new and established investigators. Contact Linda Tsiu, Analyst, at 415/476-1977.

University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR): Facilitates the allocation of monies endowed to UCSF. These funds are usually dedicated to specific departments or areas of research and typically are to be used at the investigator's discretion. Contact Evan Kennedy, Associate Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations.

UCSF Hellman Fellows Program:
Funded by the Hellman Fellows Fund

The purpose of the Hellman Fellows Program is to provide short-term support for outstanding faculty at the assistant professor level whose work shows originality and promise of distiction, and to assist promising young faculty at the point at which start-up funds have been exhausted and before their research qualifies for other external support.

Call for applications goes out every February via the Limited Submissions listserv. To subscribe to the listserv, please contact: [email protected] to be added. You may also check to the LSP website for current Limited Submission Opportunities (LSOs).

The QB3 Bridging-the-Gap Awards: QB3 believes there is a funding gap between NIH-based traditional research funding and startup commercial funding. To help address this funding gap, and the research that languishes between these sources of funding, we created the QB3 Bridging-the-Gap awards with generous support from the Rogers Family Foundation and other sources.

The Academic Senate represents the faculty half of the shared governance of UCSF and provides grants for investigators. Contact Alison Cleaver, Senior Senate Analyst, at 415/376-3808.

Mission Bay Capital: Mission Bay Capital LLC uses capital and expertise to help entrepreneurs emerging from the University of California change the world.   
For more information: 415/240-4970 or [email protected]

Extramural Funding

How can you find available funding opportunities for your research?  You'll find several options listed below.

Pivot™ Funding Opportunities Database
Pivot is one of the most comprehensive searchable funding opportunities databases available, with approximately 40,000 opportunities that are private, federal and international in nature. Pivot allows researchers to search funding opportunities, save results, set automated funding alerts, and identify potential collaborators. Pivot is free to all UCSF faculty, staff and students.

Pivot Training
The Library, is pleased to offer monthly Pivot trainings for faculty, staff, post-docs and students. For the current schedule, go to the RDO website.


Limited Submission Opportunitites (LSOs)

Limited submission opportunities (LSOs) are extramural funding opportunities that either limit the number of applications UCSF may put forward to a given sponsor or require another kind of internal coordination (i.e., to eliminate unnecessary duplication of instrument requests). The Limited Submission Program (LSP) is responsible for notifying the campus of these opportunities, coordinating the internal review and selection process, and notifying all applicants of outcomes. For more information, please visit the LSP website.  


Other Special Funding Opportunities

Sometimes private foundations send the Chancellor or the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost an invitation to compete for funding from their foundations. Or, NSF has an initiative that is of particular strategic interest on campus but might not typically be on a PI’s radar. In such cases, we maintain a table listing these opportunities by submission due date. If you have questions, please contact [email protected].


UCSF Innovation, Technology & Alliances (ITA)

UCSF Innovation, Technology & Alliances (ITA)

Finding the funding to develop a research opportunity through proof-of-concept and beyond is increasingly challenging. The barriers to entry for investors are set higher every year. To help investigators bridge this funding gap, UCSF Innovation, Technology & Alliances (ITA) compiles a range of relevant funding opportunities for researchers, from traditional government sources to non-traditional sources, such as crowdsourcing and disease foundations - See more on their website



Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project by soliciting relatively small donations of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. There are numerous third party crowdfunding services on the market, with varying terms and conditions.

UCSF provides three crowdfunding platforms that are integrated with campus development operations, each with demonstrated success. Faculty interested in raising funds from individuals may use one of these platforms:

  1. UCSF Crowdfunding –
  2. UCSF Indiegogo –
  3. UCSF CrowdRise –

These sites allow us to realize the benefits of crowdfunding that, in addition to raising money; include the possibility to inspire other great ideas.

Please note that successful crowdfunding is not simple. Although it is relatively straight-forward to post your project on a crowdfunding platform, achieving effective donor outreach and communication through networks (and raising a reasonable amount of funding) takes substantial time and effort, such as producing compelling narratives and engaging videos. Because of this, the UCSF Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR) office has experts available who can help you develop a fundraising strategy, campaign materials and communications plan.

There has been some interest in using other, third party crowdfunding services. UCSF policy requires that all fundraising activities shall be coordinated through UDAR; this includes crowdfunding for UCSF projects. UDAR helps ensure adherence to the Regents' policy on fundraising campaigns and the UCSF Foundation’s gift processing procedures.

UDAR continually reviews other crowdfunding services for possible inclusion in the approved list and you can also propose a new site to add. Gifts will not be accepted for the university from a crowdfunding site unless it has been preapproved. At this time, the three sites listed above are the only ones endorsed for UCSF use for the following reasons:

  • Use of the UC San Francisco name: UCSF’s name may only be used to raise money that will be deposited into an established university gift fund and in accordance with UDAR policies.
  • Donors’ experience:
    • The donations made through the three UCSF crowdfunding platforms are integrated into UCSF’s development operations.  
    • Sites provide donor information to UCSF, including their preferences for anonymity and recognition.
    • The receipt of donors’ data allows us, when permitted, to engage with the donors and to consider them for future solicitations in support of your funding goals.
  • Intellectual Property: Appropriate safeguards are in place to protect the intellectual property of our UCSF community.
  • Compliance: Adherence to UCOP guidelines (e.g., online payment standards).

Please note that all gifts raised through crowdfunding are subject to UCSF’s Infrastructure and Operations Fund assessment.

Questions? Contact Megan Smith, Senior Director, UCSF Annual & Special Giving at [email protected] or 415-476-9160.


UCSF Library

The UCSF Library provides access to a variety of different databases, including those listing private foundation funding categorized by study area. Visit the UCSF Library online to learn more about this resource. 


Other Places to Find Funding Opportunities

NIH Office of Extramural Research is the largest funder of biomedical research in the world. The Grants and Funding page includes extensive information about NIH grants, as well as a place to search NIH funding programs. NIH also has an advanced search page, which offers a wide range of search options. 

National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that funds approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted at America's colleges and universities. You can search for funding opportunities on the NSF website

Department of Defense (DOD) is home to the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP), which supports biomedical research in specific agency-designated strategic areas. The CDMRP page lists current areas of interest and available funding opportunities.

Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) offers some research funds or research capabilities through a task contract with the federal government. Opportunities for these contracts can be found on the FBO page.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is authorized by Congress to conduct research to provide information about the best available evidence to help patients and their health care providers make more informed decisions.

Grant announcements from the Agency for Health-Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) for supporting research to improve the quality, effectiveness, accessibility, and cost effectiveness of health care.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) makes grants to organizations to improve and expand health care services for underserved people.