The David Geffen School of Medicine Research Themes have been charged with increasing the impact of basic, translational, clinical, and community research at UCLA in high-priority and broadly defined biomedical research areas. The Research Themes are also catalyzing the establishment of multidisciplinary teams that can promote innovative thinking and lead to groundbreaking discoveries. To allow UCLA faculty and teams of faculty to pursue their innovative new ideas, we are pleased to announce the establishment of a greatly enhanced David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM) Seed Grant Program, developed in close collaboration with the DGSOM Research Themes, the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and key donors.
The results obtained in studies funded by the seed grants promise to advance our understanding of fundamental biological processes and human disease, lead to novel therapeutic or diagnostic strategies to improve human health, or suggest improved strategies for healthcare delivery or for reducing healthcare disparities. The results are also expected to lead to larger extramural grants from the National Institutes of Health or from other funding agencies or foundations.
Applications from both individual faculty and research teams are encouraged via a centralized mechanism that has been established for the submission of Letters of Intent (LOIs) and full applications. Submitted LOIs and applications will be reviewed by committees assembled by each of the six Research Themes:
Each Theme will distribute a total of at least $400,000 for the 2017 competition. A seventh review committee will evaluate LOIs and applications that do not fit under the umbrella of any of the six Themes. The lead Principal Investigator on each application must hold a primary appointment on the UCLA campus (specifically, their extramural grant applications must typically be submitted through the UCLA Office of Contract and Grant Administration).
The leadership of each of the six Themes has defined funding amounts and specific criteria for solicited applications. Please see the “Theme-Specific Programs and Criteria” tab below for additional information.
Generous funding for this program is provided by the Spitzer Family Foundation, the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation (for Cancer grants), the UCLA Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, and the DGSOM Dean’s Office.
Please direct questions to Dion Baybridge at DBaybridge@mednet.ucla.edu
Please also see Theme-specific eligibility.
The PI of each funded award must submit a six-month progress report and final annual report. The reports will include:
General evaluation criteria for all LOIs and full applications:
Cancer Theme Seed Grant Programs
The Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC), which encompasses the Cancer Theme, provides funding for both Seed Grants and Impact Grants.
JCCC/Cancer Theme Seed Grant Program
The goal of the Seed Grant Program is to provide research funding to investigators from all areas of cancer research, including basic, translational, clinical and population science. The Seed Grant Program is open to JCCC members and non-JCCC members; non-JCCC members are encouraged to apply for membership if their application is funded (http://www.cancer.ucla.edu/research/find-become-a-member/become-a-member/member-application-guidelines-and-objectives#Membership%20Application). Seed grants provide up to $50,000 for one year. Seed grant funds cannot be used for faculty salary support. In addition to the General Evaluation Criteria, the scientific independence of the applicant and the relevance of the proposal to cancer will be considered. A committee that includes JCCC members from the various JCCC Program Areas will review the applications.
JCCC/Cancer Theme-CTSI Impact Grant Program
The goal of the Impact Grant Program is to assist investigators who are working together on a cancer problem and to promote the submission of a multi-investigator application (i.e., PO1, SPORE) to an extramural funding agency. Eligibility is limited to UCLA faculty who are members of the JCCC. Teams must consist of three or more faculty, and the formulation of new teams of investigators who have not previously interacted is encouraged. Impact grants provide up to $200,000 and awards are for one year. Impact grant funds cannot be used to support the salary of the applicants. In addition to General Evaluation Criteria, the relevance of the proposal to cancer research and the interdependence of the individual projects will be considered. A realistic timeline for submission of a future multi-investigator application is required.
Cardiovascular Medicine Theme Seed Grant Programs
The mission of the UCLA Cardiovascular Medicine Theme (CVT) is to prevent, diagnose and cure cardiovascular diseases through innovation and discovery. The CVT Research Committee is pleased to announce the following funding opportunities:
UCLA-CV Theme Innovation Award Program
The goal of the UCLA-CVT Innovation Awards Program is to support early stage innovative research in cardiovascular biology and medicine at UCLA. Total requested budget is limited to $50,000. The final number of funded projects and level of funding will be determined based on merits and available funds upon review by the CV Theme Research Committee.
In addition to the General Eligibility Requirements and General Evaluation Criteria, the following should be considered:
CV Theme-CTSI Team Science Award Program
The purpose of the CV Theme-CTSI Team Science Award Program is to support innovative UCLA research teams composed of two or more faculty to conduct novel, multidisciplinary, team-oriented and high-impact research in diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The team-oriented approach is essential to the feasibility and potential success of the proposal. The 2017 CV Theme-CTSI Team Science Award Program will support up to two cardiovascular research teams, intended to be broadly and inclusively interpreted, with a particular emphasis on multi-disciplinary approaches. The requested budget is up to $100,000. Final number of projects and total funding level will be determined by merits and available funds.
In addition to the General Eligibility Requirements and General Evaluation Criteria, the following should be considered:
Please address any questions related to UCLA Cardiovascular Theme or submission of applications for this RFA:
Jake Lusis, Ph.D.
Chair, Cardiovascular Research Initiative, Research Committee
Immunity, Inflammation, Infection, and Transplantation (I3T) Theme Seed Grant Programs
The mission of the UCLA I3T Research Theme is to prevent, diagnose and cure human diseases through innovation and discovery in the fields of inflammation, infection, immunology and transplant. To accomplish this mission, the I3T is pleased to announce two funding opportunities.
The I3T Discovery Seed Grant Program will provide financial support to individual investigators for early stage, groundbreaking efforts in the research arena covered by the I3T Theme. The I3T-CTSI Team Science Awards will fund highly innovative, interdisciplinary research proposals from 2 or 3 investigator teams.
Proposals should be focused on innovative basic, translational and clinical research that has the potential to significantly impact the treatment of human disease. It is expected that funding from both programs will ultimately be leveraged into extramural funding and facilitate the development of a self-sustaining research program.
In addition to the General Eligibility Requirements and General Evaluation Criterai, the following specific requirements should be considered:
We are happy to introduce the Metabolism Theme Seed Grants, which we have named after the founders of our field.
Each faculty member may submit one LOI for the Fusion award and one LOI for the individual (Focus) award as a PI; the committee will invite each PI to submit a maximum of one full proposal for one award. Please note that a faculty member who submits an LOI for a Metabolism Theme award as a PI may not submit an LOI to any of the other Themes as a PI.
Krebs Pilot Award Program
A. Metabolism Theme Focus Pilot Grants:
The Metabolism Theme will award one $50,000 pilot award in each of the focus areas of the Theme:
The goal of these awards is to facilitate the development of new line of studies in the three focus areas of the theme. Topics may include basic, translational, clinical or pre-clinical research. Review criteria will include creativity, potential impact and relevance to the Theme focus areas and productivity. When submitting, the applicants can indicate that the application may fit for one or more of the awards. For example, a project that looks at the role of obesity in cancer metabolism may fit for either the Randle or Warburg awards. The applicant should indicate both and the review committee will help assign to one.
The Energized Young Investigator, NADH award
One award of $40,000 will be dedicated to a young investigator in any of the 3 focus areas. Young investigator will be defined as a PI at the assistant professor level that has not yet been awarded an NIH grant (RO1 or similar) as a PI/Co-PI. Review criteria will include potential development into a funded program and relevance to the Theme focus areas. Please indicate to which of the focus areas of the theme the application fits the most.
B. The Metabolism Theme-CTSI Collaborative Fusion Award:
The Metabolism Theme together with the UCLA CTSI will award one grant of $200,000 to a group of 3-5 principal investigators who are all UCLA faculty and members of the Metabolism Theme. The Fusion Award is focused on providing funds to help ignite a new line of research that fits with the focus areas of the theme. Emphasis will be put on the complementary and synergistic aspects of the proposed collaboration. Productivity of the involved PIs will be included in the considerations. The award should fund a project that is currently not funded by extramural funds, with the exception of small extramural pilot awards.
C. Drug Screening Pilot Award
This $17,500 award is offered as a partnership between the Metabolism Theme, The Drug Discovery Core and UCLA Technology Development Group. This program is dedicated to projects that already matured to the stage where utilization of the Drug discovery Core at UCLA will allow for the translation of previous discoveries. In addition to the funds, the Theme, the core and UCLA technology development group will provide guidance in the development of the screen and assist in developing partnership with biotech and entrepreneurs that may put additional resources toward these projects.
The Neuroscience Theme will consider proposals for individual UCLA Neuroscience Seed Grants and collaborative grants for two or more faculty (UCLA Neuroscience-CTSI Team Science Awards) to support new projects in fundamental and translational research. Applicants are encouraged to apply for funding to initiate efforts to address major unsolved problems in neuroscience. It is anticipated that this seed funding will provide preliminary data for grant applications for funding from the NIH. Proposals by individuals or teams of researchers with budgets up to $100K will be considered. We anticipate awarding funding for four proposals. At least one award will be devoted to funding a team-based approach.
The Regenerative Medicine Theme provides individual Seed Awards and CTSI Team Science Awards to support highly competitive applications from UCLA faculty proposing innovative science that will advance the understanding and utility of stem cells and regenerative medicine. These awards are not intended to replace currently funded efforts. The program provides one year of support. The Regenerative Medicine Theme do not guarantee funding of any applications during a particular award cycle. Extramural collaborations will be considered with a compelling justification
$50,000 - $100,000 for one year to support direct research costs (for both individual Seed Awards and Team Science Awards)
Funds are released in six month intervals based on semi-annual progress reports.
PI salary and benefits can be included, but must be no more than 10% of the total award.
Equipment will be funded in exceptional cases with specific justification.
The award may be used for travel to relevant scientific meetings (no more than $3000 per year).
Review process: Submitted documents are assessed and rated according to scientific merit by intra- and extra-mural peer reviewers appointed by the Regenerative Medicine Theme. Following committee review and scientific priority ranking of all applications, recommendations for funding will be developed by the Regenerative Medicine Theme Director’s Administrative Review Committee in accordance with the available research funds.
Acknowledgements: All publications and presentations resulting from research projects supported by the Regenerative Medicine Theme should acknowledge support in the publication from the "UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine Regenerative Medicine Theme."
Please contact the Regenerative Medicine Theme if you have any questions:
Grants Manager Noushig Karpanian
Although a high percentage of research activities within the David Geffen School of Medicine fall under the umbrella of at least one of the six Research Themes, a number of outstanding faculty work in areas that cannot be connected to a Theme. These faculty deserve a similar level of support for their innovative, unfunded ideas and require similar encouragement to develop new collaborations with the potential for groundbreaking discoveries. With this in mind, Seed Grant applications from individuals, as well as Team Science Award applications from two or more investigators proposing a new collaborative effort, are encouraged. The Seed Grant and Team Science applications must not exceed $50,000 and $100,000 in total direct costs, respectively.Upon receipt of the applications, a preliminary evaluation of the topic will be conducted. Applications that are considered to fall under the umbrella of one of the six Research Themes will be forwarded to the Theme’s review committee. Applications that cannot be connected to a Theme will be reviewed by an evaluation committee with appropriate expertise assembled by the DGSOM Dean’s office.
The Letter of Intent document should include the following three items assembled into a single PDF:
Full applications will be invited from a select group of faculty who have submitted LOIs.
Instructions for full applications are as follows:
Applications are by invitation only, notices will be sent to the selected individuals, to submit no later than 5:00PM PST on May 31, 2017.