Alzheimer Disease Research Center (ADRC) Pilot

Project Award Amount $25,000

The ADRC considers applications for funding once a year, during the Fall Cycle only.

Pilot applications submitted during the Spring cycle will not be considered for funding by the ADRC, though they may be eligible for funding by other RAP agencies

These pilot projects are intended to support a wide range of biomedical research, including fundamental basic science, clinical/translational science, health policy and social science, and population science.

Pilot projects are for one year and not renewable. A progress report is required 3 months prior to the end of the funding period and one year later, identifying resulting publications and subsequent funding obtained to support the expanded/extended projects. Any resulting publication must directly acknowledge the funding agency.


  •  NOTE: Eligibility requirement need to be met as of date of submission

Who's Eligible:
Fellows, Post Docs, Instructors and Assistant Professors in the early phase of their career may apply.

Who's Not Eligible:
Current K scholars are not eligible

Designation of Research Mentor
All pilot award applications from individuals at the Assistant Professor level or below require the designation of a faculty mentor. This should be an individual who has primary responsibility for overseeing the research career development of the applicant.

Criteria for Review/Evaluation of Applications
Projects will be evaluated based on the quality of the proposed scientific investigation, the significance of the proposed research for the field of neuroscience/dementia and overall public health, the potential of the proposal to lead future NIH grant applications, and the quality and potential of the applicant and the research team.

Pilot projects that involve human subjects will require human research committee approval before funding is released

More on the funding agency
(Please note, this is provided for informational purposes only since the review process is centralized).

The Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center is supporting two awards ($25,000 each for one year) for promising pilot projects. Funded by the NIH, the national Alzheimer's Disease Research Center Project is a large collaborative investigation involving multiple academic institutions. It is designed to integrate basic science and clinical resources in order to investigate the clinical, molecular, neuropathological and neuroimaging features of Alzheimer's disease (AD), non-AD dementias, and mild cognitive impairment. The UCSF ADRC, coordinated by the Memory and Aging Center in the Department of Neurology, promotes novel dementia-related basic biomedical and patient-oriented research. The ADRC uses standardized and novel methods to examine patients and biological specimens, so that new hypotheses can be tested regarding the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of dementia. Its two overarching aims are: 1) To bridge the gap between laboratory and clinical studies in dementia and aging, and 2) To explore the unique and overlapping symptoms seen in various neurodegenerative diseases. Applications for pilot projects from junior investigators, including fellows, are the preferred target for this RFA.

Selection of Awardees
Funding decisions are made independently by each funding agency based on several factors – scientific review score, alignment of proposal to funder’s strategic goals, proposal research area of focus, and specifically called out eligibility or other requirements like membership in a center, affiliation with a specific school or relevance to a stated auxiliary topic.


STEP 1) Complete the electronic application form.
Upload your proposal as a SINGLE PDF that includes all the things listed in numeric order in the instructions below. Do not include form fields in your PDF document.

Instructions for Proposal PDF

Please write your proposal following the instructions listed below and create one single PDF file. Do not include form fields in your PDF document.

Proposal Length: Maximum 6 pages, including figures and tables, excluding table of contents and literature cited.
Format Requirements: Arial font; 11 pt; minimum 0.5 inch for all margins; no appendices; include page numbers and table of contents.

Definition: Same research topic with an amended application or research plan rather than a new research topic and new research plan.
Requirements: Please use up to one extra page to introduce your revised proposal, addressing the issues raised in the review, and any additional changes to your proposal. A new letter from the Chair is not required if the resubmission is within 2 cycles (one skipped cycle max). You will include the old letter and state your resubmission is within 2 cycles and new letter is not required. Make sure the new changes are highlighted in bold or italic font so the reviewers can easily see where and how the proposal has changed. Do not use track changes.

1. P.I. Name (no multiple PIs)

2. Project Title

3. Proposal (maximum 6 pages, including figures and tables, excluding literature cited)

  • Aims
  • Background and Significance
  • Preliminary studies
  • Experimental Design and Methods (include time-table)
  • Explain how this pilot project is important for your career goals (e.g., lead to major funding, etc.)
  • Mentoring Plan: Please describe the plan for oversight of this project by your mentor(s), including the specific role of your primary mentor named in this application.
  • Literature cited (not included in page limit)

4. Detailed Budget

  • $25,000 for one year

Use the following form: PHS 398 Form Page 4, "Detailed Budget for the Initial Period": Add the network recharge rates to your budget.



Not Allowable

PI Salary *






Post Doc Salary



Administrative Support












Personal Computer












Research Staff Support (e.g. RSA; Lab. Technician)



Patient Care



International Subcontractors



Indirect Cost on Subcontractors



*NIH base salary cap. Fully justify all requests. Generally PI partial salary support should not exceed 10% of the budget, anything over 10% must be well justified. 

6. Budget Justification: Clearly justify all costs fully.

7. NIH Bio-sketch of Principal Investigator(s) and Co-Investigator(s) and UCSF Faculty Mentor(s) (5 page maximum): Use Form ( with other support pages. Include active, pending, and planned proposals. Include percent effort, total direct costs (current year) and potential overlap with the current proposal. 

8. Letter(s) of support: Provide a letter of support from the department chair or other unit head. In addition, for junior investigators, department chairs/unit heads should comment on the independence of the applicant and availability of research space and other resources for the proposed research. Include the letter of support at the end of your PDF proposal and address it to the RAP Committee.  VIEW SAMPLE