Weill Award for Junior Investigators in the Neurosciences Impacted by COVID-19 Setbacks

Project Award Amount: $50,000


RFA NOW CLOSED. Thank you to all who submitted proposals. Recipients will be notified in June.


The UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, established by the extraordinary generosity of Joan and Sanford I. Weill, brings together world-class researchers with top-ranked physicians to solve some of the most complex challenges in the human brain.

Weill Institute Awards seek to fuel innovation in neuroscience by fostering high need, high reward, translational or clinical research through funding of highly meritorious research projects and supporting high-potential neuroscience researchers.

The target for this Weill Award is to support junior investigators working on a broad spectrum of neuroscience challenges whose research was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Areas of focus may include therapeutics, diagnostics, imaging technology, biomarker discovery/validation, and computational methods. We seek to support creative research projects that have high potential to advance understanding of brain disease or improve patient outcomes.

Each project will have a maximum budget of $50,000. Projects are for one year and are not renewable. A short progress report is required at the end of the funding period, identifying resulting publications and subsequent funding obtained to support the expanded/extended projects. Any resulting publication should acknowledge the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences.


Who's Eligible:

This program is open to Instructors and Assistant Professors (in any series) and all Postdoctoral Fellows at UCSF. Recipients should meet these eligibility criteria at the time of award.

Who's NOT Eligible:

Associate and Full Professors, Residents, and Specialists.

Criteria for Evaluation of Applications

  • Projects should address important problems with high impact to clinical or translational neuroscience and human health.
  • Projects that mitigate a research-related setback experienced by the investigator due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be given priority.

Projects that involve human subjects will require human research committee approval before funding is released.

The UCSF Weill Institute is committed to funding a diverse community of investigators. We encourage participation and proposals from members of underrepresented groups.

Selection of Awardees

Funding decisions will be based on scientific review score and alignment of the proposal to the UCSF Weill Institute’s strategic goals, as judged by a review committee. All applicants will be notified of final decisions, but to ensure a timely and streamlined process, further review information will not be provided.



To Apply

Please prepare your proposal following the provided instructions and submit as a single/consolidated PDF file. Include all items in the order listed. Do not include form fields in your PDF document.

Please submit final proposals via email to Shannon Warto ([email protected]).

Proposals Due
April 23, 2021, by 5:00pm (PST)

RFA NOW CLOSED. Thank you to all who submitted proposals. Recipients will be notified in June.


Proposal Length: Maximum 2 pages, including figures and tables, and excluding literature cited, budget, and biosketches.
Format Requirements: Arial font; 11 pt; minimum 0.5 inch for all margins; no appendices; include page numbers.

1. P.I. Name(s): Proposals may include up to two principal investigators (PI). If funded, PI one will be the primary contact for the award set-up and management. If the proposal has multiple PIs, both PI one and PI two need to meet the eligibility criteria listed above. Only ONE application per PI is permitted (as either PI one or PI two).

2. Project Title

3. Lay Summary (a few sentences that describe your proposal in lay terms)

4. Project Proposal:

  • Aims
  • Background and Significance
  • Preliminary Studies (if applicable)
  • Experimental Design and Methods 
  • Briefly explain how this project was adversely affected by the pandemic (if relevant)
  • Literature cited (maximum of 10 references; excluded from proposal page limit)

5. Budget (excluded from proposal page limit): $50,000 maximum per proposal; please round up to the nearest thousand (e.g., instead of $39,869 list $40,000). Salary support for the PI (or PI one + PI two) should not exceed 10% of the total budget. 

6. NIH Biosketch(es) (maximum 6 pages per biosketch; excluded from proposal page limit): Include an NIH-style biosketch for each PI, as well as any additional key personnel such as Co-Investigator(s) and UCSF Faculty Mentor(s) (if applicable).