Integrative Cancer Pilot Award

Project Award Amount: Up to $50,000

These pilot awards support projects in integrative cancer research. We encourage rigorous scientific evaluation of integrative health approaches to improving the lives of people affected by cancer. We are particularly interested in collaborative projects that develop new insights into cancer care, new strategies to prevent and treat cancer, or new ways to support people with or surviving cancer. As defined by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the National Institutes of Health, integrative medicine "combines mainstream medical therapies and complementary therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness." These pilot projects are intended to support a wide range of research, including basic science, clinical/translational science, social science, and behavioral science.

Each pilot project will have a maximum budget of $50,000. Projects related to integrative medicine with a budget of $30,000 or less may also be eligible for other RAP funding. Partial investigator salary support may be requested.

Pilot projects are for one year and are not renewable. Two reports are required: a) a project end report at the end of the funding period; and b) a follow up report 12 months after the project end date. Reports should identify resulting publications and subsequent funding obtained to support expanded/extended projects. Any resulting publication must directly acknowledge the funding agency.


Eligibility requirement need to be met as of date of submission, no waivers allowed.

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), Fellows and Postdoctoral Fellows, Appointees to the Professional Research Series and to the Librarian Series may apply. Applicants not affiliated with the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine must be sponsored by an Osher Center faculty member (evidenced by a letter of support). Although it is not required, including an Osher Center faculty member on the research team—to strengthen cross-program collaboration when appropriate—is advisable. 

Who's Not Eligible:

Residents, Specialists.

Criteria for Review/Evaluation of Applications

Projects that develop or build on meaningful collaborations between integrative medicine researchers and oncologists are encouraged. Proposals will be evaluated based on the quality of the proposed scientific investigation, the significance of the proposed research for the field of integrative medicine and overall public health, the potential of the proposal to lead to future successful NIH grant applications, and the quality and promise of the applicant and the research team.

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

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
STEP 2) 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.


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(s) - Optionally, you may apply with two PIs. 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)

  • 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 time-table)
  • Explain how this pilot project is important for your career goals (e.g., lead to major funding, etc.)
  • Mentoring Plan: (required for fellows and junior faculty)
    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 ($50,000 maximum per proposal) and please round up to the nearest thousand (i.e. instead of $49,867 list $50,000).

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

Include the 10% Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) fund assessment in your budget.



Not Allowable

PI Salary *





Post Doc Salary



Administrative Support












Personal Computers












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



Patient Care



International Subcontracts


Indirect costs on subcontracts


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

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

6. NIH Bio-sketch of Principal Investigator(s) and Co-Investigator(s) and UCSF Faculty Mentor(s) (if applicable) (5-page maximum):
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) or UCSF Faculty Mentor(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.

7. 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. 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.

8. Letter from the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine acknowledging that the PI is affiliated with the Osher Center or sponsored by an Osher Center faculty member. This letter should come from either Dr. Shelley Adler, Director of the Osher Center, or from Dr. Rick Hecht, Director of the Osher Center Research Program. Include this letter at the end of your pdf proposal and address it to the RAP Committee. In the case of multiple PIs only one of the PIs would need to obtain this letter.