Mentored Scientist Award in Pancreas Cancer

Project Award Amount $50,000


The Mentored Scientist Award in Pancreas Cancer is a mentoring and training grant targeted toward early stage (either at a senior stage of clinical or postdoctoral training, or junior faculty) investigators at UCSF or affiliated partner institutes who plan to include the study of pancreatic neoplasia as a focus of their career. These awards are typically used to acquire preliminary data and research skills leading toward a future grant effort. Applicants for this award must indicate a faculty research mentor(s) who will commit to guiding the applicant throughout the duration of the proposed project.

This funding is intended to support projects focused on pursuing the research and eradication of pancreatic neoplasias. We are particularly interested in projects relevant to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and early detection and treatment. Research proposals should focus on the biology, early diagnosis, treatment and/or prevention of pancreatic cancer. Applications in any aspect of clinical or basic research directly related to pancreatic cancer will be considered.

Each Award will have a maximum budget of $50,000. The funding period is for one year and is not renewable. A progress report is required at the end of the funding period, identifying resulting publications and subsequent funding obtained to support the expanded/extended projects. Awardees will also be expected to give a seminar, either as part of a UC Pancreatic Cancer Consortium symposium, or via the monthly seminar series. Any resulting publication must directly acknowledge the funding agency.


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

Investigators must be at UCSF or affiliated partner institutes (Gladstone Institutes, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center.) Investigators with backgrounds in clinical, basic, behavioral-epidemiological, implementation, and/or health disparities research are all welcome to apply.

Who is eligible:

  • Postdoctoral or clinical fellows in training
  • Current faculty in any Series (Ladder Rank, In Residence, Clinical X, Health Science Clinical, Adjunct) at the Assistant Professor or Clinical Instructor level (including "acting positions") who have not yet received an R01-equivalent award.
  • Non-faculty series - Professional Research Series including Specialist Series. Investigators in these series must make a strong case for their plan for becoming independent researchers.

Who is Not eligible: Associate and Full professors; staff; Applicants without terminal degrees (e.g. PhD and MD).  

Submission Rules

Designation of Mentor
All Mentored Scientist Award applications require a research mentor. 

Note: the mentor is allowed but not required to have supervisory authority over the applicant during the project period. The mentor should be recognized as an accomplished investigator in pancreatic cancer research, and should be able to demonstrate past success in training/mentoring independent investigators. The mentor’s role is to provide oversight on the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed research. In addition, the mentor must commit to mentoring the applicant throughout the duration of the research project.

Criteria for Review/Evaluation of Applications

We encourage the submission of innovative projects focused on improving the diagnosis and treatments for pancreatic cancer. Proposals will be evaluated based on the quality of the proposed scientific investigation, the significance of the proposed research for the field of pancreatic cancer research and, 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.

Projects that involve human subjects will require human research committee (IRB) 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.

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.  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 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. 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 Mentoris required in all cases.

1. Investigator Name

2. Project Title

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

  • Aims. (at least two aims)
  • 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.)
  • Mentoring Plan:
    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; round up to the nearest thousand (i.e. instead of $49,869 list $50,000).
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 Salary *



Co-Investigator(s) Salary



Post Doc Salary



Network Recharge Rates



General Automobile and Employee Liability (GAEL)



Administrative Support












Personal Computers












Research Staff Support (e.g. SRA; 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 ~50% of the requested award amount (e.g., $25,000 of a $50K award proposal, not 50% 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.  

  • The 50% 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.  Budget Overlap - If the proposed study is closely related or a sub-study of existing funded research listed in the applicant’s bio sketch, clarify the relationship between the two projects and confirm that there is no overlap in funding.

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 ~50% 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:

Include the letters of support at the end of your PDF proposal and address it to the RAP Committee.

Provide a letter of support from your Research Mentor, and for post-doctoral candidates whose mentor is not their direct supervisor, also a letter from your supervisor, that includes the following information:

  1. Specific areas/fields in which mentoring in pancreatic cancer research will be provided
  2. Mentor/collaborator’s background in pancreatic cancer research
  3. Describe how the project fits with the mentor’s research agenda and mentee’s career development (optional)
  4. Describe mentor/collaborator’s working relationship (previous and/or current) with applicant 

Include the letters of support at the end of your PDF proposal and address it to the RAP Committee.

Applicants who hold a faculty position should also provide a letter of support from the department chair or other unit head, which should comment on the independence of the applicant and availability of research space and other resources for the proposed research.

Program Contact - Should you have any questions regarding submission or reporting procedures, please contact Kurt Giles, [email protected], Associate Director, UCSF Pancreas Center.