Cancer and Environmental Health Research Pilot Award

Project Award Amount $50,000 ~ NOT OFFERED IN SPRING 2022


The UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (HDFCCC) and P30 Center for Environmental Research and Translation for Health (EaRTH) jointly invite applications for pilot projects in basic science, clinical science or epidemiology focused on cancer and environmental health. Projects should be exploratory in nature, overtly related to cancer and broadly aligned with the theme of the EaRTH Center, which is to understand how exposure to environmental pollutants and/or environmental chemicals during development influence disease and to intervene and prevent exposures to improve health throughout the lifespan, especially among vulnerable and underserved populations. Exposures may include relevant environmental chemicals and food additives as well as factors that may affect biological responses to exposures such as psychosocial stress.

Each pilot project will have a maximum budget of $50,000. Pilot projects are for one year and are not renewable. A progress report is required at 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 publications must directly acknowledge funding from the HDFCCC and UCSF P30 EaRTH Center.

Contact: UCSF EaRTH Center [email protected] or Pilot Program Director Dr. Diana Laird [email protected]


Eligibility requirements need to be met as of date of submission; no waivers will be accepted.

Who's Eligible:

UCSF Faculty in any series (Ladder Rank, In Residence, Clinical X, Health Science Clinical, Adjunct) in all ranks (Instructors, Assistant, Associate, Full Professors) and Appointees to the Professional Research Series and to the Librarian Series may apply.

Who's Not Eligible:

Residents, Fellows and Postdocs, Specialists.

Submission Rules

Criteria for Review/Evaluation of Applications

This grant will not be reviewed by RAP review committees; It will be independently reviewed by the sponsoring agency.

We invite the submission of innovative and collaborative pilot projects that relate to cancer and environmental health. Proposals will be evaluated based on the quality of the proposed scientific investigation, innovation in ideas or approach, the quality and promise of the applicant and the research team, and the potential of the proposed research to impact understanding and prevention of harmful environmental exposures as well as to lead to future successful NIH grant applications.

Selection of Awardees

Finalists will be asked to present a brief overview of their proposal to the P30 EaRTH Center Executive Committee and HDFCCC Leadership. Funding decisions are based on several factors – scientific review score, link to cancer, alignment of proposal with the HDFCCC’s and P30 EaRTH Center’s strategic goals, proposal research area of focus, conformity to stated guidelines, and potential for to lead to future successful NIEHS or NCI grant applications. Information on the EaRTH Center goals will be available at Information on HDFCCC goals is available at


STEP 1) Complete the electronic application form.  Please note there are several pieces of information that need to be provided directly via the electronic application form (selecting the appropriate grant mechanism, providing demographic information, uploading an abstract, etc.).

Click here to preview an inactive template of the electronic application form.

STEP 2) Upload your proposal as a SINGLE PDF that includes all the things listed in numeric order in the instructions below.


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 2 pages, plus one page of figures and tables; literature cited should be listed separately and is not included in the page limit.

Format Requirements: Arial font; 11 pt; minimum 0.5 inch for all margins; no appendices; include page numbers.  Table of content is not needed.

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. Make sure the new edits 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". A new letter of support from the Department Chair or other Unit Head is required in all cases.

1. P.I. Name(s) 1-3 PIs are allowed, with cross-disciplinary approaches encouraged. No prior experience in environmental health or cancer research is required. A lead PI must be designated. Early stage investigators, (ESIs) as defined by the NIH, are encouraged to apply. PIs need to indicate if they are ESI in their bio sketch. If funded, PI1 will be the primary contact for the award set up and management. Only ONE application as lead PI is permitted per cycle.

2. Project Title

3. Proposal (maximum 2 pages, plus one page of figures and tables; literature cited should be listed separately and is not included in the page limit. Table of content is not needed.)

Applications must adhere to the following requirements and instructions or may be otherwise disqualified.

  • The proposal should include background and rationale, a description of your project for a broad scientific audience with inclusion of only necessary details, potential impact for the field, and uniqueness of proposed work.
  • Current membership in the P30 EaRTH Center or HDFCCC is not required, although awardees will be required to participate in Center functions during the duration of their project and present the results.
  • Proposals must involve at least one P30 EaRTH Core service with budgeted costs of at least $10,000. Please consult or reach out to [email protected] to discuss details.
  • Pilot projects that involve human subjects will require human research committee approval before funding is released.
  • Remaining funds must be relinquished if the PI leaves the university during the project duration.

4. Detailed Budget. $50,000 maximum per proposal; round up to the nearest thousand (i.e. instead of $49,869 list $50,000). Add the network recharge rates to your budget.

Use the following form: PHS 398 Form Page 4, "Detailed Budget for the Initial Period"

    Budget Preparation Resources:
    OSR: Develop a Budget 
    Standard Budget Components, including information on personnel costs (salary and benefits)
    NIH: Develop Your Budget



Not Allowable

PI and/or Co-PI Salary *



Salary for trainee (postdoc or student)


Network Recharge Rates  X  

EaRTH Core Services †



Administrative Support












Personal Computers












Research Staff Support

 (e.g. SRA; Technician, Clinical coordinator)



Patient Care/Patient remuneration



International Subcontracts



Indirect costs on subcontracts



†All applicants, including current EaRTH Center members must budget at least $10,000 toward any combination of core facility services offered through the P30 Center. Please discuss details with Alana D’Aleo ([email protected]) or specific core directors listed at

General Guidelines:

*The NIH base salary cap applies.  PIs are required to list their effort whether it is paid or in kind.

PI partial salary support should be well-justified with respect to project activities. Due to their small size, RAP grants are designed for project support and are not intended to provide PI salary support unrelated to the project.  PI salary amounts greater than ~10% of the requested award amount (e.g., $5,000 of a $50K award proposal, not 10% FTE) must be well justified and it should reflect work done by the PI to conduct specific scientific tasks on the project (e.g. data collection, computation) and not merely general supervision of project goals and personnel.

Multiple PIs can decide how to distribute the 10% salary support among themselves (e.g., 5%/5% or 6%/4%).

  • The 10% limit on salary support is a guideline and includes SALARY & FRINGE BENEFITS.
  • Update: General Automobile and Employee Liability (GAEL) are NOT allowable costs.
  • The award amount is DIRECT COST ONLY

5. Budget Justification: Clearly and fully justify all costs. For each person involved, include a brief description of their role and relevant experience. Note: as this is a pilot award, we encourage applicants to venture into new territory (1 page). For all personnel, clearly identify any discrepancies between the actual effort (i.e. real percent time) the individual will contribute to the project, versus the amount of salary effort they are requesting.  This is particularly important for personnel/PI's who expect to contribute project effort with little or no salary, such as those whose salary is above the NIH base salary cap.

Recall: PI salary amounts greater than ~10% of the requested award amount must be well justified.

6. Facilities and Equipment: Briefly summarize the laboratory facilities where the proposed project will be carried out including any essential equipment (1 page).

7. NIH Biosketch of Principal Investigator(s) and Co-Investigator(s) (5 page maximum per biosketch):
Use this version: Biosketch Version E. Include biosketches for all PIs of a multi-PI application, and any other key personnel such as Co-Investigator(s). In section "D. Additional Information", list the relevant recent past, planned, active, and pending proposals, including percent effort and total direct costs (annual), where possible. Include a brief discussion of any potential overlap with the current proposal.