Award Types

We are proud to offer four distinct awards for breakthrough basic science researchers, designed to further biomedical discoveries, encourage new areas of exploration, and support emerging talent. 

New Frontier Research (NFR)

$25,000 to $150,000 for one year

  • Supports basic science research projects at levels of risk and innovation substantially exceeding levels supported by NIH.
  • Multiple awards issued annually.
  • Single-PI and multiple-PI applications are welcomed.
  • Investigators at all stages in their careers are encouraged to apply
  • We welcome multiple-PI projects that combine distinct research approaches to focus on a single problem.
  • Projects spanning multiple UCSF campuses are also encouraged.

Technologies, Methodologies, and Cores (TMC)

$50,000 to $500,000 for one year in matching funds

  • Strong emphasis on invention and development of new technologies and methodologies; the establishment of technology cores and acquisition of shared instruments that will serve a broad community will also be considered.
  • Awards can be made to both single-PI and multiple-PI projects, especially those that combine distinct research approaches to focus on a single problem and conduct work at different UCSF campuses.

UCSF Sandler Fellows Program

Institutional support is granted for five years and is sufficient to maintain a small laboratory of two to four members.

The UCSF Sandler Fellows Program brings exceptionally promising young scientists to UCSF in a special capacity, in which they establish independent research programs with the sole mandate to do their best science. UCSF Sandler Fellows are small-group leaders with PI status in the University − which enables them to obtain extramural grant support to support the growth of their programs − and thus are of a special class of “Faculty Fellows” markedly distinct from traditional postdoctoral fellows. This program seeks recently graduated PhDs or MDs whose potential as investigators indicates they would benefit from a sheltered independence. UCSF Sandler Fellows enrich our interactive intellectual community with their enthusiasm and sole focus on research and are at the same time mentored by our community. Former and current UCSF Sandler Fellows have been resoundingly successful in formulating extraordinarily creative and vital research programs. The combination of independence, singular focus, and effective mentoring facilitates the development of remarkable young scientists who are becoming the next generation of scientific leaders, both at UCSF and in the larger biomedical research community. 

Independent Postdoctoral Fellow Research Award

$15,000 one-year fellowship for meetings, courses, or research expenses

These fellowships are designed to encourage creative and independent research driven by postdoctoral scholars. The fellowships support UCSF postdocs who wish to explore biomedical research directions that are not directly linked to the research interests of their postdoctoral mentor and require the engagement of an additional collaborator or co-mentor. The Call for Proposals for the Independent Postdoctoral Fellow Research Award is announced once a year.

Studies Related to SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19

These unique awards range from $50,000 to $200,000

UCSF recently secured $2 million to provide rapid support of innovative basic research relevant to COVID-19 or the virus that causes it, SARS-CoV-2. A variety of research approaches were eligible for funding, including projects that aimed to better understand or analyze viral infection, viral spread, pathogenicity, cell biology, diagnostics, or therapeutics. To be eligible for funding, at least one principal investigator from each team had to be a member of UCSF’s biomedical, biological sciences, or quantitative biology training programs.