Tips on How to Submit Successfully to RAP

Common sense? Think again!

The following tips are generated by RAP staff based on common errors observed in previous years.


  • Do not write a proposal at the last minute! Lack of preparation may reflect poorly upon review of the application content. Proposal organization is key.Submitting a poorly synthesized proposal (format and content) can ruin your reputation! Keep in mind that during this internal competition, your colleagues may be your reviewers.
  • Luck can be against you when you act at the last minute! Computers may be possessed or you and/or unexpected illness for you or your family members may deter productivity and progression of the application process.
  • Last minute submission of application from home is highly discouraged. Remote connectivity can be unreliable and, if a technical transmission issue arises, seeking immediate assistance from colleagues, administrative staff, or IT support can be slow or unavailable.
  • Do not contact RAP staff for advice on scientific soundness - contact your mentor, senior faculty, or experts in your field.
  • Avoid over-interpretation of direct statements and/or instructions. That which is stated means exactly what is intended to be considered or to be acted on.
  • Do not ask for a deadline extension unless you have a serious reason (death in the family, visits to the emergency room, car accident, house fire, etc…).


  • Read the RAP home page to learn what’s new and start planning ahead for the application submission deadline.
  • Carefully read the entire RFA and Submission Rules after the official “call for applications” launch date; content may change between each application cycle.
  • Review the RAP Determine Eligibility & Compare Grant online section to determine eligibility and to find the grant mechanism that is the best match for you.
  • If you are unsure of your UCSF affiliation (rank, faculty series, and/or title) please check with HR or your department administrative staff.
  • Secure your letters of support early as your Department Chair (or similar) may be unavailable to sign these documents within short notice.
  • Follow the precise grant-specific instructions listed on the RFA and include all required documents.
  • Seek professional help when preparing the budget (financial analyst or pre-award team member in your unit).
  • Carefully review your submission (data entered in the electronic application fields and uploaded proposal PDF) prior to the deadline. Did you upload the correct PDF file? Does the PDF file contain all the supporting documents as requested (budget, budget justification, bio-sketches)?
  • Call or email RAP or funding agencies if you have questions or are in any doubt.