Pilot Award In Precision Imaging of Cancer and Therapy

Project Award Amount $50,000


The purpose of these grants is to support pilot studies in Precision Imaging in cancer research including pre-clinical, clinical and translational.


Projects should involve new, high-risk, high-reward collaborative research between a member of Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (HDFCCC) and a member of the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging  (RBI) who have not previously collaborated, and should aim to gather preliminary data for a future grant effort.  Junior faculty members are encouraged to apply.  The pilot project will have a maximum budget of $50,000 and three projects will be funded.


Funding decisions will be based on merit, responsiveness to this call for proposals, feasibility of completing the project in a timely manner, and availability of funds.  Pilot projects are for one year and not renewable. A progress report is required 3 months prior to the end of the funding period and one year later, identifying resulting publications and subsequent funding obtained to support the expanded/extended projects. Any resulting publication must directly acknowledge the funding agency. 


More about PICT

The Precision Imaging in Cancer and Therapy (PICT) program forms a bridge between the RBI and HDFCCC that takes advantage of natural synergies between them. It brings together basic, translational and clinical scientists in order to integrate cutting edge, multi-modality imaging into all aspects of patient care and cancer research.

Research under the below stated themes is encouraged:

1.   Integrating quantitative imaging into clinical studies for stratifying cancer patients into more uniform subgroups and to provide objective metrics of response to therapy

2.   Developing novel multi-parametric image acquisition methods and computational tools for quantitative data analysis for characterizing disease and assessing outcomes

3.   Providing a pathway for studying the interplay between non-invasive imaging parameters and genomic data

4.   Accelerating the pre-clinical testing of new therapies by developing companion imaging biomarkers to directly monitor their impact upon specific molecular targets at the earliest possible time point

5.   Providing molecular imaging probes for studying the biological mechanisms of oncogenesis and metastasis

PICT provides access to the full suite of Biomedical Imaging Research Support Services, which facilitate the use of cutting edge imaging technologies and ensure that research studies requiring these capabilities are conducted to their full potential.


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

Who's Eligible:
 UCSF Faculty including adjunct and professional research series (assistant, associate and full professors) and specialists. Please note that two faculty members are required in order to apply, one from RBI and another from HDFCCC.

Who's Not Eligible: Post Doctoral Fellows are not eligible.

Criteria for Review/Evaluation of Applications:
Projects will be evaluated based on the quality of the proposed scientific investigation, the potential of the proposal to lead to a fully funded independent research grant, and the quality and potential of the applicant and the research team.

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. Names – Two faculty members or specialists who have not previously collaborated should apply (one from RBI and one from HDFCCC). One of the PIs must be stated on the application as the primary contact (PI1).   If funded, PI1 will be the primary contact for the award set up and management. Both PIs 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
  • Background and Significance
  • Preliminary Studies
  • Experimental Design and Methods (include time-table)
  • Explain How This Pilot Project is Important for Your Future Funding (e.g. Lead to Major Funding, etc.)
  • 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" http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html
. Add the network recharge rates to your budget.

Allowable costs

   Allowable Not Allowable
PI Salary   X
Co-Investigator(s)   X
Post Doc Salary X  
Administrative Support   X
Supplies X  
Equipment X  
Software X  
Personal Computers   X
Mailing   X
Travel   X
Research Staff Support (e.g. SRA; Lab Technician) X  
Patient Care   X


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 pages 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.   Letters of support: Provide a letters of support from the department chair or other unit head for each PI. 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.