Pilot for Research on Racism Impacting Black People

Project Award Amount: $50,000


The UCSF Office of Research has committed to the goal of anti-racism and racial equity in research. As one action for this initiative, the Office of Research has convened campus partners to create an anti-racism research pilot grant program. Funding for this initiative is provided by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), Academic Senate, School of Medicine’s Research Evaluation and Allocation Committee (REAC), and the Research Development Office.

For this inaugural pilot funding opportunity, we will support research projects addressing anti-Black racism. We anticipate making 4 - 8 awards ranging from $25,000 up to $50,000.

For decades, Critical Race Theory has been the foundation of anti-racism scholarship driving the understanding and uprooting of the causes of racial hierarchies and their consequences. The Public Health Critical Race Praxis is one of several models that translates Critical Race Theory for empirical research of “contemporary racial phenomena, illuminating disciplinary conventions that may inadvertently reinforce social hierarchies and offers tools for racial equity approaches to knowledge production.” Through these pilot grants, we seek to identify key causes and pilot solutions addressing present day patterns of anti-Black racism.

To address the multiple levels at which structural anti-Black racism has impacted racial equity, these pilot projects will support research that: (1) examines racist actions, ideas, and policies that have led to structural anti-Black racism within institutions; these institutions may be community and civic organizations (e.g., schools, police departments, social service agencies) or academic health centers, including UCSF and its affiliates; (2) pursue action-based aims focused on ending systemic and institutional racism in all its forms. We expect that this research will bring new knowledge on important topics related to confronting racism at the societal, community, and institutional level: at the university, in policing, criminal justice, and beyond. We are particularly interested in supporting projects whose aims include implementation strategies at an institutional or systems level or that would significantly inform policy change.

Such projects may include (but are not limited to):

  • analysis of new or existing data that inform or examine the effects of racist policies or anti-racist initiatives;
  • a historical analysis of the roots in racism of current policies or institutions with a focus on addressing these roots in current policy and practice in the biomedical research or healthcare setting;
  • evaluations of anti-racist policies, programs or training initiatives; or
  • convening and engagement of stakeholders to develop intervention strategies to address racist policies or structures.

Projects focused solely on inclusion of diverse or historically excluded populations in traditional biomedical research will be considered non-responsive to this initiative. Rather, this pilot grant is meant to support anti-racism research.

We encourage a diverse pool of applicants from faculty at all stages of their careers and who are from historically excluded in healthcare, medicine, and public health. Community-academic partnerships are encouraged and may include local, county, or state governments, police departments, court systems, and/or high-impact nonprofits or community-based organizations.

Pilot projects are for one year and not renewable. (Some funding agencies may allow for no-cost extensions. This will be clarified in the Award Letter.) All funding agencies require progress reports at the completion of an awarded project. The number and timing of those reports varies between the agencies and detailed information about this will appear in the respective funding agency’s Award Letter.

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

Who's Eligible as a PI:
UCSF Faculty in any Series (Ladder Rank, In Residence, Clinical X, Health Science Clinical, Adjunct) in the ranks of Instructors and Assistant/Associate/Full Professors may apply. Appointees to the Professional Research Series in the rank of Assistant/Associate/Full Research can also apply. Appointees to the Librarian Series may also apply. Every proposal must have at least one PI that meets the Faculty eligibility requirements just above.

Academic Senate can only fund those faculty with Academic Senate appointments.

CTSI-Pilot Awards – Current K scholars are not eligible to receive salary support from CTSI-Pilot Awards. K scholars must submit the type of K award received and award dates. Current K scholars must also submit justification for the differences between K-awarded project and RAP project. KL2 awardees are not eligible.

Research Evaluation and Allocation Committee (REAC) can only support projects from UCSF School of Medicine faculty PIs.

Who's Not Eligible as a PI:
Fellows are not eligible. Specialists are not eligible.

Criteria for Review/Evaluation of Applications

Projects will be evaluated based on:

  1. the quality of the proposed research plan,
  2. the potential of the proposal to lead to clear, actionable next-steps, and
  3. the quality and potential of the applicant and the research team to successfully complete the specific aims of the proposed project.

In addition, the following specific evaluation criteria will be considered:

  1. Priority will be given to PIs who have been historically excluded in healthcare, medicine, and public health research;
  2. Priority will be given as well to projects with cross-sector and/or trans-disciplinary teams, where “sector” refers to community, government, non-profit, industry, academia, etc. and where “discipline” refers to research expertise. Pilot projects that involve human subjects will require IRB approval before funding is released.

Selection of Awardees
Funding decisions will be made independently by each funding agency based on factors including expert review score, secondary review by a sub-committee from the Office of Research Racial Equity and Anti-Racism TaskForce, and alignment with the funder’s strategic goals.


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. 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; 11pt; minimum 0.5 inch for all margins; no appendices; include page numbers and table of contents.


1.   PI Name(s)-You may apply with multiple PIs. If funded, PI1 will be the primary contact for the award set up and management. At least one PI must have a UCSF faculty appointment. Only one RAP application from any person named as a PI (PI1 OR PI2) is permitted per cycle.

2.   Project Title

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

  • 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
    • Where applicable,
      • describe how successful completion of the proposed project contributes to a culture of anti-racism at UCSF (2-3 sentences),
      • describe how successful completion of the proposed project increases the understanding of causes of racial hierarchies and their consequences, and/or,
      • describe how successful completion of the proposed project will identify structural anti-racism strategies or will inform structural policy change.
  • Preliminary studies
  • Experimental Design and Methods (include a clear plan of project execution including a detailed timeline (12 month project period) and intended outcomes)
  • Literature cited (not included in page limit)

It is recommended that PIs with projects involving human subjects prepare an IRB application concurrently with the application for funding. Please refer to the UCSF Human Research Protection Program to determine if your research requires IRB review and if your research meets the definition of human subjects research.

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.



Not Allowable

PI Salary *



Co-Investigator(s) Salary



Post Doc Salary



Community member participation compensation



Administrative Support












Personal Computers












Research Staff Support (e.g., RSA; LabTechnician)



Patient Care



International Subcontracts**



Indirect Costs on Subcontracts at other Universities



 * NIH base salary cap. Fully justify all requests.

General salary guideline:

•     It is recommended that PI(s) partial salary support should not exceed 10% of the requested award budget - NOT 10% of a PI’s salary. An amount over 10% of the award budget must be well justified. Multiple PIs can decide how to distribute the 10% salary support among themselves (e.g., 5%/5% or 6%/4%).

•     10% includes SALARY & BENEFITS

•     10% IS A GUIDELINE

The award amount is DIRECT COST ONLY

In general, administrative support, mail, and travel must be required specifically by the research project proposed and must be clearly justified.

General Automobile and Employee Liability (GAEL) can be included in the requested budget.

If you need assistance with budgeting for statistical or recruitment help, please contact CTSI-Consultation Services. Consultation Services offers a free hour to all researchers per project and service, and it can assist with appropriate budgeting if your project is awarded.

Specific funder budget constraints:

CTSI-Pilot Awards cannot fund any international projects or expenses, including projects where there may be foreign co-authorship (if the tool/research becomes the basis for a paper that will be co-authored by someone external to the US). Current K scholars are not eligible to receive salary support from CTSI-Pilot Awards. K scholars must submit the type of K award received and award dates. Current K scholars must also submit justification for the differences between K-awarded project and RAP project. KL2 awardees are not eligible.

5.   Budget Justification: Clearly justify all costs fully.

6.   NIH Bio-sketch of Principal Investigator(s) and Co-Investigator(s) and UCSF Faculty Mentor(s) (5 page maximum): Use Form (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/SF424R-R_biosketchsample_VerC.docx) with ‘Other Support’ pages. Include active, pending, and planned proposals. Include percent effort, total direct costs (current year) and potential overlap with the current proposal. Include bio-sketch for both PIs of a multi-PI application.

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 document 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. VIEW SAMPLE.
  • If applicable, provide a letter of support from all community partner groups.