UCSF Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (NORC) Pilot and Feasibility Awards

Project Award Amount up to $50,000

Offered this Spring 2021 Cycle
This grant will not be reviewed by RAP review committees; It will be independently reviewed by the sponsoring agency.


The Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) at UCSF is sponsoring an open Request for Applications (RFA) for Pilot and Feasibility Grants, which provide funding for investigators to pursue novel and promising ideas broadly relevant to nutrition, obesity, and metabolism research. The NORC Pilot and Feasibility Program is funded through a Center grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to facilitate the engagement of junior faculty and encourage new directions in NORC related research, regardless of a laboratory’s historical research focus.

Pilot funding of up to $50,000 per application is available for a period of 12 months from the time of award.

Sufficient financial support during the P&F funding year is intended to aid the research project to eventually secure extramural (preferably NIH) funding. Applicants are encouraged to make use of the Core Services supported by the NORC (see http://norc.ucsf.edu/cores) and will benefit from the subsidized rates as they will become NORC members at least for the duration of the award. Grantees will be invited to present at the yearly NORC retreat.

Covid-19 related proposals: Proposals studying Cpvid-19 are welcome if they are related to the NORC mission, for example exploring the relationship between obesity and diabetes and Covid-19 presentation or outcomes, and there is a plan for follow-on studies by applying for extramural funding.

Any resulting publication must directly acknowledge the NORC grant award P30DK098722.


Who's Eligible: UCSF Assistant Professors Faculty in any Series (Ladder Rank, In Residence, Clinical X, Health Science Clinical, Adjunct)

Who's Not Eligible: Full Professors, Associate Professors, Residents, Fellows, Post-Docs, Instructors, Specialists, Research Series.

Preference will be given to independent junior faculty engaged in research broadly relevant to nutrition, obesity, and metabolism, who do not yet have NIH R01 funding (K awardees are eligible to apply). Established investigators without any prior research in the field interested in launching a new direction related to core NORC interested are also eligible to apply. Collaborative projects with colleagues at UCSF, UC Berkeley or UC Davis are encouraged. For collaborative applications all PIs need to meet the eligibility criteria listed for this grant mechanism.

Please contact Brian Feldman ([email protected]) if more information is needed.

Review Criteria

The reviewers will examine proposals for eligibility of the investigator innovative research that will generate data sufficient for future extramural funding opportunities broadly related to metabolism, obesity and nutrition. NIH review criteria (Significance, Investigators, Innovation, Approach, Environment) will be used.


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. 


Format Requirements: Arial font; 11 pt; minimum 0.5 inch for all margins; no appendices; include page numbers and table of contents.

1. Cover page: Title of proposal, amount of funding requested, Principal Investigator name(s), academic title(s), department(s), phone number(s), UCSF box number(s), and email address(es).

2. Abstract: One half page

3. Biosketch: An NIH Biosketch including personal statement, for each PI - example: https://rap.ucsf.edu/sites/g/files/tkssra4646/f/biosketch-blankformat_RAP_version%20E.pdf

4. Current & Pending support: All current and pending intramural and extramural research support information for each PI, following the NIH format.

5. Proposal (maximum 2 pages, including figures and tables, excluding literature cited)

  • Background, Significance and aims
  •  Experimental Design and Methods
  •  Literature cited (not included in page limit)

6. Statement of Collaboration detailing interaction with NORC and proposed core usage on separate page (1-2 paragraphs)

7. Budget and Budget Justification: Detailed budget and budget justification explaining how the funds will be used (any format).