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Emergency COVID-19 Research Seed Funding

Applications are being accepted from April 6, 2020, until funds are expended for $25,000 proposals to address COVID-19.

Update: This opportunity is now closed

In light of the emergence and spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in California and beyond, the statewide funding programs of the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) Research Grants Program Office (California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP), Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP), California HIV/AIDS Research Program (CHRP)) and the Type 1 Diabetes Research Fund are together making available up to $2M to immediately support urgent research to mitigate the pandemic.

Emergency Request for Proposals (pdf)

Brief project proposals for a maximum of $25,000 direct costs and 6 months duration will be evaluated based on the potential to (a) generate rigorous, actionable science by qualified teams with essential infrastructure support; (b) yield measurable, short-term outcomes that, when taken to scale, can help blunt the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak; (c) address the needs of vulnerable populations, including those with the co-morbid conditions of HIV infection, COPD or other lung diseases, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or cancer, as well as the medically underserved.

Successful applicants will be eligible to apply for continuation funding prior to the expiration date. These continuation applications will be more substantive and will undergo competitive peer review.

This request for proposals aims to support rapid research focused on immediate outcomes and deliverables to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 disease severity, especially among those with cancer, HIV, and tobacco-related diseases, and it does so with a special focus on vulnerable populations.

RGPO will review and agree to fund proposals within two weeks of submission (actual receipt of funds will follow). Competitive continuation awards will be available before the end of the award period.

Projects will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting immediately and continuing until all available funds are expended. The project start date is immediately upon notification of award.

How to Apply

Update: Please note that this opportunity is now closed.

Applications must be submitted through SmartSimple ( See the RFP for instructions on accessing SmartSimple.

Once logged into SmartSimple, click on “Available Funding Opportunities” (upper right). Find the row for the Emergency COVID Research Seed Funding, then click “Apply.” You will then be taken to the Eligibility Check. Once you complete the Eligibility Check, you will be able to start the application process.

Any individual or organization in California may apply. The project must be conducted primarily in California. We welcome investigators from community organizations, public or privately owned corporations and other businesses, volunteer health organizations, health maintenance organizations, hospitals, laboratories, research institutions, colleges, and universities.

For more information and technical assistance contact CBCRP Program Officer Nicholas Anthis, DPhil, at

Emergency Request for Proposals (pdf)

Additional Instructions:

COVID-19 Resources and Updates

Keep up to date on the latest from CBCRP, RGPO, and UC related to the COVID-19 pandemic.