Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunities

Pilot/Feasibility Grants

Request for Applications
Liver Center Pilot/Feasibility Awards

The Liver Center is now inviting applications for 2024 Pilot/Feasibility Awards.
Three (3) one-year grants of $50,000 will be awarded on June 1, 2024.

Full Application Instructions

2024 Pilot/Feasibility Program Dates

Letter of intent due January 5, 2024
Notice of invitation to submit a full application January 23, 2024
Full applications due      March 8, 2024
Presentations to the External Advisory Board April 18, 2024
Award date June 1, 2024

What is the purpose of the Liver Center Pilot/Feasibility Award Program?
The program provides seed money to investigators who are attempting to launch new liver-related research projects. The program supports basic and clinical research relevant to the liver. The goal of the program is to enable investigators to 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 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 (CPMC, UC Berkeley) and fall into one of the following categories of eligibility:

  • New investigator (N)*
  • Established investigator, new to liver research (EN)
  • At-risk established investigator, Liver Center member at risk of losing funding (ER)

*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.

*Category ER investigators are defined as facing the risk of having no independent NIH R01 or R01-equivalent grant support if they do not secure a substantial grant award in the near future.

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 impact of the field
  • PLEASE NOTE proposals from category N applicants typically have the highest priority 

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 NIH Other Support page (both using currently approved versions) and a statement justifying eligibility. PLEASE NOTE the eligibility statement must include a paragraph indicating how the applicant's plan to use the Liver Center cores and engage with its members if funded.

  • Letters of intent are due January 5, 2024
  • Applicants selected to submit a full application will be notified by January 23, 2024
  • Full applications will be due on March 8, 2024
  • Finalists will be required to present their proposed projects in person to the Liver Center External Advisory Board on April 18, 2024
  • Awards will begin June 1, 2024

What is the deadline for first-phase submission?
The deadline for receipt of letters of intent (letter + eligibility statement + biosketch + other support as a single PDF) is 5 PM on January 5, 2024. 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.