Global Cancer Pilot Award

Project Award Amount: Up to $40,000 over one year


Cancer now accounts for more deaths worldwide than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. By 2030, the number of annual global cancer deaths is projected to reach 13.2 million, due to population growth and aging. Nearly 70% of cancer-related deaths will occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The purpose of these grants is to support innovative projects that address topics related to prevention, screening, diagnosis, and/or treatment of cancer in LMICs.

These pilot awards are intended to support a wide range of research, including basic science, clinical/translational science, implementation science, epidemiology, social science, and behavioral science. Though all types of research will be considered, proposals with a strong, clearly defined public health impact will be prioritized. While applications to develop capacity-building projects are allowable, this mechanism will prioritize the funding of research projects that will lead to future NIH grant proposals or other substantive extramural funding. The project must be a collaboration between a UCSF faculty member or trainee and a named investigator at an academic institution in a LMIC. A letter of support from the collaborating LMIC institution is required with the submission. Residents, Doctoral Students, Post-Doctoral Fellows, or Clinical Fellows are encouraged to apply with a named UCSF faculty member on the application.

Funding decisions will be based on merit, responsiveness to this call for proposals, feasibility of completing the project in a timely manner, alignment with UCSF HDFCCC Global Cancer Program priorities, and availability of funds. In light of the Global Cancer Program’s aim to foster multi-disciplinary collaboration, proposals that stimulate new collaborations of scientists from diverse fields are strongly encouraged.  To align with the Global Cancer Program’s values of equity and empowerment, applications that include capacity building elements into research proposals are encouraged. Applications that include an explicit demonstration of equitable partnerships are strongly encouraged. Applicants may include an equitable partnership declaration or statement as an appendix to their application.  

NOTE: This funding mechanism will not support interventional therapeutic clinical trials outside the Global Cancer Program regional hubs of Tanzania, Mexico, and Vietnam. To align with the Global Cancer Program’s values of sustainability, clinical trials must demonstrate the availability of therapeutics locally and also include elements of capacity building in the proposal.

Eligibility requirements need to be met as of date of submission; no waivers are allowed.

Who's Eligible:
UCSF Faculty in any series (Ladder Rank, In Residence, Clinical X, Health Science Clinical, Adjunct) at all ranks (Instructors, Assistant, Associate, Full Professors) may apply. Appointees to the Professional Research Series and Librarian Series may also apply. Residents, Doctoral (PhD) Students, Post-Doctoral Fellows, and Clinical Fellows with protected research time are also eligible. If the Primary applicant is a trainee, a UCSF faculty mentor should be named.

Applications that include collaborations with low- and lower-middle income countries, as defined by the World Bank or Global Cancer Program regional hubs (Tanzania, Mexico, Vietnam). Click here to confirm World Bank categorization. 

Who’s Not Eligible?
Maters-level graduate students, and Specialists.

Applications that include collaborations with upper-middle or high-income countries, as defined by the World Bank. Click here to confirm World Bank categorization. 

Submission Rules

Criteria for Review/Evaluation of Applications
Projects that are in alignment with the overall priorities of the UCSF HFDCCC Global Cancer Program are encouraged. These priorities include developing or building meaningful collaborations between UCSF and LMIC institutions. Proposals will be evaluated based on the quality of the proposed scientific investigation, the significance of the proposed research for the field of global cancer, the overall public health impact, and the potential of the proposal to lead to future successful NIH grant applications. Pilot projects that involve human subjects will require human research committee approval before funding is released.

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


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 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.

1. P.I. Name(s) - If funded, PI1 will be the primary contact for the award set up and management. If the proposal has multiple PIs, both PI1 and PI2 need to meet the eligibility criteria listed for this grant mechanism. Only ONE application as PI (PI1 or PI2) is permitted per cycle.

2. Project Title

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

4. Detailed Budget: $40,000 maximum per proposal; and round up to the nearest thousand
    (i.e. instead of $39,869 list $40,000). 
    Use the following form: PHS 398 Form Page 4 "Detailed Budget for the Initial Period":
    Add the network recharge rates to your budget.

    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 Salary *



Co-Investigator(s) Salary


Network Recharge Rates X  

Post Doc Salary



Administrative Support












Personal Computers












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



Patient Care



International Subcontracts**



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

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.
  • International subaward indirect costs are allowable if required by the international institution. UCSF costs should be direct costs only.

5. Budget Justification: Clearly and fully justify all costs.
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.

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

7. Letter(s) of support: Provide a letter of support from the department chair or other unit head VIEW SAMPLE.  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. If there are multiple (two) PIs, a letter of support is required for both PIs. If PIs are in the same department, the chair can vouch for both PIs in a single letter.  A letter of support from the collaborating LMIC institution is required with the submission. 

8. Statement of Equitable Partnership [Optional]: Applicants may provide an optional statement of equitable partnership to demonstrate how international collaborators will be involved in study design, study implementation, data analysis, and manuscript development. Please include a description of any long-term commitment to the partnership, including training and development of research capacity and infrastructure in the future.