Family Support Award

Project Award Amount $40,000

  • Academic Senate (Spring and Fall Cycles) and can only support Faculty members
  • CTSI Pilot Awards (Spring Cycles Only)

NOTE: There are unique, sponsor-specific criteria; please read eligibility carefully.


Family Support Award proposals are intended to help researchers maintain research productivity in the face of significant but temporary time commitments related to significant family caregiving needs. During the development of a research career, faculty need to focus intensively on their research over an extended period of time. Due to the demands of family care, faculty may struggle to keep up with an ambitious research agenda especially during and immediately after periods of more intense family caregiving. The funding will provide supplemental support to assist with addressing gaps in research productivity (e.g., obtaining preliminary data for grant submission, PI salary to support research activity both on projects or for grant writing, research personnel or research material support to enhance productivity, to aid grant proposal preparation tasks, etc.).

This mechanism is specifically designed to support investigators with significant caregiving needs (e.g., caring for an ill child, or caring for an ill or elderly parent, partner, or loved one). Personal or professional context or background related to income disadvantage, gender or underrepresented investigator status may also be described if there are intersectional impacts relevant to caregiving responsibilities or capacity to conduct research.

Eligible faculty (see below) will complete a structured application describing the need for additional support, the value and goals of the research to be pursued, and how the funding will extend the current research program.

Applicants must demonstrate a compelling need for the supplement that is related to caregiving responsibilities which interfere with time available for research. Funds are meant to provide additional support for ongoing research during this period. All applicants must have existing research support such as a career development award or research project grant and show evidence of strong research training and productivity. Funds cannot cover investigator time that is already supported through an alternative mechanism (i.e., department-covered parental leave).

The research funding proposed may be to maintain effort on a currently funded project when research activity is interrupted due to caregiving responsibilities; proposed funding may also be used to support extensions of currently funded research aims or new research aims in the context of gaps due to funding efforts impacted negatively by caregiving responsibilities. Projects are for one year and are not renewable.


  • Eligibility requirements need to be met as of date of submission. No waivers will be accepted.
  • Cycle Break Rule does not apply to this grant mechanism
  • Academic Senate and CTSI’s Eligibility criteria are different (see below for Funder-specific requirements)

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). Junior faculty applicants need to have a mentor who is appropriate for the planned research activity.

Who's Not Eligible: Faculty without salary (WOS), UCSF Appointees to the Professional Research Series, Appointees to the Librarian Series, Graduate Students, Residents, Fellows, Postdocs, Specialists.

Funder-specific requirements

Academic Senate (Spring and Fall Cycles)
Academic Senate funding has a broad scope: it can support eligible junior or senior faculty who are experiencing a hardship due to significant caregiving responsibilities involving family members, from children to partners to elders.
The Academic Senate can only support faculty members (including appointees to the Professional Research Series and Librarian Series) and cannot fund the Specialist series.

CTSI Pilot Awards (Spring Cycles Only)
Early Career Faculty in the Schools of Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy and faculty with degrees other than an MD or DO in the School of Medicine who have a demonstrated commitment to clinical and translational research and high potential for academic success can apply. The general CTSI Pilots funding can support studies that include animals or primary tissues derived from animals, assuming that the research advances science along the translational spectrum. The proposed research must be clearly justified as being on the path to potential use in humans. In compliance with funder requirements, CTSI cannot fund any international projects or expenses; projects where there may be foreign co-authorship will require additional approval prior to release of funds.

Submission Rules

Criteria for Review
Applications that meet the basic criteria for a faculty with significant caregiving needs will be assigned by default to the Career Development Review Committee. Each application will be reviewed for scientific merit and for caregiving burden and resulting hardship:

  1. General critique and summary of the proposal.
  2. Significance: Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field?
  3. Approach. Are methods, study design and analysis appropriate?
  4. Is the study original and innovative?
  5. Investigator: Is the applicant(s) trained to do the studies? Does the applicant have life experience or positionality that make them uniquely qualified to conduct the research?
  6. Environment: Will the scientific environment where the work will be done contribute to the probability of success?
  7. Budget and Budget Justification: Does the proposed budget include only allowable expenses? Has the applicant clearly described the need for the funds and how they will be used to continue their research program? Is there a clear description of how the funds will be used and how an award will increase capacity to conduct research (given the researcher’s context).
  8. Eligibility. Did they clearly describe their significant family caregiving burden? Such responses should include:
  • Description of the significant caregiving burden and impact of this caregiving on capacity to conduct research and/or to financially support the applicant’s research program.
  • Identification of a qualified research and career mentor who have provided guidance in the past – if applicable
  • Description of the qualities and potential of the applicant within the context of their overall contributions to UCSF, as well as their field(s) of research expertise.

Award Administration and Restrictions
Projects are typically for one year. A progress report is required of all recipients of an award at the end of the funding period and at one year and five years following the funding period, identifying resulting publications and subsequent funding obtained to support expanded/extended projects.

The proposal will be evaluated based on the following questions: click here to view the review form for this grant mechanism.

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 formPlease 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 6 pages, including figures and tables, excluding table of contents, literature cited, and community engagement component, if applicable.

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. 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 (no multiple PI). Only one application as PI is permitted per cycle.
  2. Project Title
  3. Proposal - (maximum 6 pages, including figures and tables; excluding literature cited, significant caregiving burden description, and community engagement component, if applicable).
  • Aims. Do not submit an application that describes an idea that is the same or similar to one used in a previously funded RAP grant. If it is a similar idea, describe how the new proposed research is uniquely different.
  • Feasibility: Describe what steps you are taking to ensure the proposed project can be completed within the one-year project period for this grant (approximately 300 words max).
  • Background and Significance
  • Preliminary Studies
  • Experimental Design and Methods (include timetable)
  • It is recommended that PIs with projects involving human subjects prepare an IRB application concurrently with the application for funding. Please refer to the UCSF Human Research Protection Program to determine if your research requires IRB review and if your research meets the definition of human subjects research.
  • Describe how this project will further your career or lead to follow on extramural funding (e.g., lead to major funding, etc.)
  • Literature cited (not included in page limit)
  • Significant family caregiving burden and resulting hardship
    • Explanation of why the funds are needed to provide financial support during significant caregiving hardship and how the funds will be used
    • Description of the significant caregiving burden and impact of this caregiving on capacity to conduct research; personal or professional conditions related to economic disadvantage, gender or underrepresented investigator status may be described if there are intersectional impacts on caregiving responsibilities or capacity to conduct research.
    • Demonstration that the research plan is relevant to the applicant’s ongoing research
    • Identification of a qualified research and career mentor who have provided guidance in the past, if applicable

4. Detailed Budget $40,000 maximum per proposal; round up to the nearest thousand (e.g., instead of $39,869 list $40,000).

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

  Budget Preparation Resources:





Not Allowable

PI Salary *








Network Recharge Rates




General Automobile and Employee Liability (GAEL) insurance




Post Doc Salary




Research Staff Support




Administrative Support
















Personal Computers
















Patient Care




Indirect Costs on subcontracts




Publication fees; max $5K    X  
  • General guidelines:
    *The NIH base salary cap applies. PIs are required to list their effort whether it is paid or in kind.
  • The award amount is DIRECT COST ONLY.

5. Budget Justification: Clearly and fully justify all costs. Describe how an award will increase capacity to conduct research (given the researcher’s context). Budget Overlap - If the proposed study is closely related, directly supplementing a current study, or a sub-study of existing funded research listed in the applicant’s bio sketch, clarify the relationship between the two projects and explain why the additional funding is needed.

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.

NOTE: If your Other Support references projects that may appear to have scientific or budgetary overlap with this proposal, please clearly identify and explain why this proposal is unique and non-overlapping.

6. NIH BioSketch of Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator(s) and UCSF Faculty Mentor(s) (if applicable), (5 page format):

·         Use Form Version H at
·         Include bio sketches for both PIs of a multi-PI application.
·         Only NIH Bio sketch version H will be accepted with RAP applications this Spring 2024 Cycle.

   Other support pages of Principal Investigator(s) and Co-Investigator(s) and UCSF Faculty Mentor(s)

·         Use form at

7Letter(s) of support: Please include a one-page letter from your Department Chair, or other Unit Head, describing the applicant and including a clear statement describing the long-term commitment to the applicant’s career. This letter should describe the department’s intention to support the candidate and explicitly address how this award would enhance these efforts. Include the letter of support at the end of your PDF proposal and address it to the RAP Committee.