Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunities

Pilot/Feasibility Grants

Request for Applications
Liver Center Pilot/Feasibility Awards

The Liver Center is now inviting applications for 2023 Pilot/Feasibility Awards.
Three (3) one-year grants of $50,000 will be awarded on June 1, 2023.


2023 Pilot/Feasibility Program Dates

Letter of intent due January 31, 2023
Notice of invitation to submit a full application February 17, 2023
Full applications due      March 31, 2023
Presentations to the External Advisory Board May 11, 2023
Award date June 1, 2023

What is the purpose of the Liver Center Pilot/Feasibility Award Program?
The Pilot/Feasibility Award Program provides seed money to investigators who are attempting to launch new liver-related research projects. The program supports both clinical and basic research relevant to the liver. The goal of the program is to enable investigators to test new hypotheses and obtain preliminary data that can ultimately be expanded into a larger grant application. The expectation is that awardees will utilize the resources of the Liver Center to move their research forward.

What is the nature of the award?
The award is a one-year grant of $50,000 with no indirect costs. Funds can be used for salary, supplies and core services but not for equipment or travel. Prior awardees can submit a new application after a hiatus of three years.

Who is eligible to apply?
Applicants must be affiliated with UCSF or one of its partner or neighboring institutions (Gladstone Institutes, CPMC, UC Berkeley, CHORI) and fall into one of the following categories of eligibility:

  • New investigator (N)*
  • Established investigator, new to liver research (EN)
  • Established investigator, typically a Liver Center member, with a new, innovative research idea (E)

*Category N investigators can be (a) junior faculty in liver research without current or past NIH support (career development awards excluded), or (b) senior trainee investigators in liver research in transition to an independent career. Senior trainee investigators must be in their final year of postdoctoral training during the award year and have a clear plan for transition to independence, i.e., active or pending application for an NIH or equivalent career development award, and must provide a letter of support from their department chair.

What are the main review criteria?

  • Relevance of the proposal to the Liver Center’s research themes/programs
  • Mandatory use of one or more Liver Center cores
  • Realistic scope of research for a one-year time frame
  • Likelihood that the research will result in new liver-related extramural funding and publications
  • Innovation and expansion beyond research currently conducted by Liver Center members (for category E applicants)
  • PLEASE NOTE proposals from category N applicants will have the highest priority (followed by EN and subsequently E applicants)

What types of research are eligible for Pilot/Feasibility Grants?

  • Cell and molecular biology
  • Disease mechanisms
  • Epidemiology and health outcomes

What types of research are not eligible?

  • Quality improvement
  • Provider and patient education

What is the application process?
Applicants must first submit a letter of intent, no more than one page in length, briefly describing the background and objectives of the proposed research project. The letter must be accompanied by an NIH biosketch and a statement justifying eligibility. PLEASE NOTE the eligibility statement must include a paragraph indicating how the applicant intends to use the Liver Center cores and engage with its members if funded.

  • Letters of intent are due January 31, 2023
  • Applicants selected to submit a full application will be notified by February 17, 2023
  • Full applications will be due on March 31, 2023
  • Finalists will be required to present their proposed projects in person to the Liver Center External Advisory Board on May 11, 2023
  • Awards will begin June 1, 2023

What is the deadline for first-phase submission?
The deadline for receipt of letters of intent (letter + eligibility statement + biosketch as a single PDF) is 5 PM on January 31, 2023. Please email letters of intent to Sandhya Adiyodi Veetil.

Where do I get further instructions?
If you have additional questions please contact the Liver Center Program Manager Sandhya Adiyodi Veetil.