Introduction to RAP

What is the Resource Allocation Program (RAP)?

RAP is a campus-wide program whose aim is to coordinate intramural research funding opportunities for the UCSF campus, while allowing funding agencies to maintain full autonomy over their funding mechanisms and awardees.

Before Submitting

What is the difference between the Request for Application (RFA) and the Application Deadline?

The RFA (Request for Applications) or "Call for Applications" indicates when the competition begins and when you can begin the application submission process.  Grant offerings, application rules, eligibility criteria, and other requirements are subject to change from cycle to cycle.

Be sure to review the website after every "Call for Applications" is launched in order to learn about the updates so that you can prepare your application accordingly.

The application deadline is the final date and time to submit an application. 

Can I submit two applications through RAP?

Generally speaking no, but there are some exceptions. Check the Submission Rules page on the RAP website.

Who can sign the letter of support?

The Department Chair, Vice Chair or Division Chief can all sign as they would be in a position to verify space and time commitment for the applicant.

Is the page limit for NIH bio-sketches four pages total for all investigators or for each one?

Each investigator may have up to four pages.

May I submit as a PI for one proposal while being listed as a co-investigator on a different proposal during the same cycle?


If a grant mechanism mentions a percentage of active time committed to research, does that mean research in general or research on that particular project?

That percentage refers to research in general.

For the Shared Technology Award, can two PIs write two separate proposals for the exact same piece of equipment?

No, only one proposal can be submitted for a piece of equipment. RAP requires that one be the co-investigator on the other's application.

Can RAP fund only 1 year of a project that will likely take a few years to complete?

The budget should be considered for one year unless the grant RFA states that it is for 2 years. The grant mechanism instructions  require a Feasibility Statement: Describe exact steps taken to ensure that the proposed project can reasonably be completed within a one year project time period. (300 words max).

Eligibility Questions

My PI faculty appointment is pending. Can I get a P.I. waiver and apply with P.I. status?

No. Eligibility requirements are required to be met as of date of submission. Waivers are NOT allowed.

As a research specialist, for which awards am I eligible?

UCSF appointees to the 'Specialist Series' are ONLY eligible for a few grants. The RFA for each grant mechanism will specify if specialists are eligible. 

I am an adjunct professor - may I apply to RAP?

UCSF Faculty in any Series (Ladder Rank, In Residence, Clinical X, Health Science Clinical, Adjunct) are eligible. 

Can Professional Research Series Members apply?

Yes, for the majority of grants. Exclusions are listed in each of the grant's RFA "Eligibility' section. Also, check the 'Eligibility & Compare Grants' tab at the top of RAP's web homepage.

Can Faculty without salary (WOS) apply to RAP?

Faculty Without Salary (WOS) ARE eligiblie IF they provide:

  • Department Chair waiver
  • Department Commitment to provide an account to receive the funds.

I am a UCSF faculty but my salary is paid by the VAMC, do I qualify?

Yes, you qualify.

Are researchers in the 'Professional Research Series' eligible for the Family Support Award?

No, these awards are for faculty only.

Can a resident be a co-investigator?


Who may be considered as a senior fellow or post-doc?

Trainees in their 2nd and/or 3rd year and/or, when ready to write a 'K-award' - will be considered as a senior fellow or post-doc.

Budget Questions

Does the amount awarded represent direct costs only or does it include indirect costs?

Awards are for direct costs only.

Is there a limit to salary support effort I can include in my request?

The request for salary support should be clearly justified and proportionate to the effort on the project. Generally speaking, 10% of the award amount is considered acceptable. If you need to request more, make sure that the additional amount requested is well justified. The request for salary support will be considered during the proposal review.

PI salary is allowable. What about the co-PI salary - is that allowable as well?

Faculty collaborator salary is allowable and should be clearly justified.

Can a co-investigator request salary support?


Can membership fees to institutions such as the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) or the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) be charged to the grant?

No, membership fees for any given organization are not allowable for RAP proposals. In general, only costs associated with the actual research are fundable.

Can I use funds to conduct work in other countries?

Yes, in some instances. Please clearly justify use of funds in your budget. Many agency policies rule against funding activities outside of the US, but not all.

Does the 10% grant sum limit for PIs and Co-PI salary include support for benefits?

Yes, the salary for the PIs is fully loaded, meaning salary plus benfits. 10% maximum and, if you have 2 PIs, they will need to share that 10%.

Is there a limit to the percent of grant sum that can support a co-investigator's salary?

For co-investigators there is no percentage limit on the requested salary amount since they are usually the ones who end up performing the majority amount of the project work.

Can I propose to use part of the funds to pay for experiments/analysis at a core facility at another university if the services are not available at UCSF?

Yes, part of the funds to pay for experiments/analysis at another core facility may be proposed if the service(s) is not available at UCSF.

Post-Award Questions

Who handles award set up?

The funding agencies that award grants to applicants are responsible for managing all post-award activities. This includes award set up.

When will I be notified of approval or denial of an award?

After each RAP Final Funding award meeting, applicants will be notified via RAP (portal) email. The RAP website (homepage) displays the bi-annual cycle month in which the final results are made available. 
This is approximately four months after the 'Call for Applications' is launched. Funding agencies will notify their awardees within 2 weeks of email award notification and send an official award letter detailing terms. 

Can I carry forward funds?

Carry forward allowances are ar the discretion of each funding agency and will be clearly stated in the award letter. If not stated in the letter, awardees should check directly with the funding agency.

If I leave UCSF, can I keep the awarded money?

No. University status change must be communicated to the funding agency and to the RAP Director. In general, funding stays within the institution - awardees may not transfer awarded monies to another institution.

If I am awarded by a funding agency outside of RAP for the same proposal can I accept both?

This will be decided on a case-by-case basis by the individual funding agencies. You are required to notify the funding agency directly of overlapping funding from other sources. 

REAC Questions

Are graduate student stipends allowable on a REAC budget?

The REAC and RAP Committees will consider graduate student stipends in the same category as post-doc and research support staff, and are thus allowable. However, the applicant or award recipient must have an appointment with UCSF and School of Medicine. Check and confirm stipend allowability via the "Eligibility for Awards" chart on the RAP website.

Review Questions

Will I receive written reviews?

Yes.  All applicants will receive reviewer comments/general critique at the conclusion of each funding cycle.

Will I receive an application review score?

Yes. All reviewed applications that are not "triaged" (not discussed by the review committee; initial individual application review score is usu. 7.0 or higher) will recieve a final score and can be found in the review results sent to applicant during final award notification.

Can I contact the reviewers to dispute my critiques?

No, applicants contacting reviewers directly to dispute or discuss comments is not an option.

Are written reviews and scores made available to the applicant?

Yes, the final score and anonymous reviewer comments are available to all applicants (funded and not-funded) when award result notifications are e-mailed to applicants via the RAP portal. The results of a competition remain available on the applicants' RAP portal dashboard.

Do favorably high final review scores (1-4) from review committees guarantee funding?

No. Funding decisions are made independently by each funding agency and are based on the following factors:

  1. final review score
  2. overall scientific merit of proposed research
  3. alignment of proposed area of research to funder's strategic goals
  4. meeting of specific eligibility requirements of the funding agency (i.e. center membership, school affiliation, relevance to a stated auxiliary topic).

Will I always receive a final score?

No. If your proposal was "triaged" (not discussed during the review committee meeting) you will not receive a final score.  

How many resubmissions are allowed?

RAP allows a NEW submission, a 1st resubmission, and a 2nd resubmission of the same proposal (a 2nd resubmission is by the review committee invitation only). The review response will state if a second resubmission is allowed.

Conflict of Interest (COI)

Can a reviewer be an applicant in the same review committee?

No. Being an applicant and a reviewer in the same committee constitutes a conflict of interest (COI).

Can a Chairperson be an applicant in the same review committee?

No. A chairperson may not serve in this role as this would constitute a COI. The Chairperson will be required to delegate his/her functional responsibilities to the appointed committee Co-chair. 

Can a Faculty Funding Agency Director be an applicant and also participate in the awardee selection process?

No. This would constitute a COI. A faculty funding director who applies for a grant will be required to delegate his/her functional responsibilities to a campus colleague who can represent award decisions on behalf of the funding agency.

Can a mentor be in conflict with an applicant?

It depends on the type of mentor-applicant relationship. In the case of the faculty reviewer, the COI is defined as a situation in which a reviewer cannot be objective due to a recent close collaboration (articles published together in the last 2 years where reviewer or applicant had significant input or, in previous 2 years where grants or grant applications were submitted together). 

  • Being a research mentor constitutes a COI. 
  • Being a career mentor does not constitute a COI.