Apply for Funding


Current Application Cycle

A part of our mission to reduce disparities in preterm birth rates and improve outcomes for babies who are born too soon is realized by funding innovative projects in prematurity research. Once a year, in spring, we accept applications through the UCSF Research Allocation Program (RAP) in two categories: Pilot Awards, up to $50,000 over one year, and Innovation Awards, up to $150,000 over two years.

Applications for Spring 2020 will be accepted on January 27th, 2020 with a deadline of March 2nd, 2020 at 2:00 pm.

For more information please see the RAP website

Spring 2020 Request For Applications (RFA) - Coming in January!

    Informational Webinars

    PTBi-CA will host two informational webinars for applicants interested in speaking with members of the Community Advisory Board about their proposed projects and plain language summaries. This is an opportunity for applicants to receive feedback about study protocols, recruitment strategies, dissemination plans, and mechanisms for community engagement. Please check our website in January for webinar dates and times.


    All projects require the participation of a UCSF Co-Investigator:
    • UCSF Faculty in any series, including adjunct and professional research series, and at all ranks: Instructors, Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, Professors can apply.
    • Residents, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Clinical Fellow, clinical and staff research scientists, can also apply.
    • Research teams outside of UCSF and/or community-based investigators in one of our three target geographies are encouraged to contact [email protected] to be matched with an interested collaborating UCSF co-investigator.
    Researchers with the following affiliations are encouraged to apply:
    • UCSF-Affiliates
    • Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland (BCHO) researchers: all research, hospital-based, clinical and staff scientists at any level (including postdoctoral fellows), including those affiliated with the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI).
    • UCSF Fresno researchers: all affiliated researchers including faculty in any professional research series, fellows, research scientists and emeritus faculty.


      Review Process

      Applications that are complete and meet eligibility requirements will be evaluated by three committees: the PTBi-CA Community Advisory Board (CAB), a UCSF scientific review committee, and the PTBi-CA leadership team. The Initiative will make the final funding decisions after considering the Community Advisory Board and scientific reviews and the alignment of the highest quality proposals with our stated goals and current research portfolio.

      Community Advisory Board (CAB) Review

      Board members evaluate submitted proposals based on the scientific abstract, and a plain language summary detailing the project’s background and history of the work, scope, community-engagement efforts, and impact (see #3 below in Application Instructions), with access to the full proposal upon request. It is essential that applicants develop a plain language summary that is clear, engaging, and written specifically for a general, lay audience. Please note that the Community Advisory Board review is a significant component of the review process. Board review criteria include:

      • Impact
        Will the study answer questions that are important to women of reproductive age and their families in San Francisco, Oakland, or Fresno?
      • Partnership
        Does the application demonstrate engagement and involvement of community members or community-based organizations in the planning and/or performance/review of the study?
      • Dissemination
        Is the plan to disseminate study results to the project participants (and the broader community, if applicable) appropriate and effective?

      Scientific Review

      Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by a review committee convened by the UCSF Resource Allocation Program (RAP) and assigned an overall score, in accordance with specific PTBi-CA review criteria:

      • Scope
        Does the project address the research priorities outlined in the RFA?
      • Impact
        Will the project lead to improvements in the prematurity research field for the populations and geographies of focus?
      • Approach/Innovation 
        Is the research question and proposed design appropriate for the project scope and timeline? Is the proposal novel or innovative?
      • Investigative team
        Does the proposed team include members who are experienced in areas that are directly related to the proposed project?
      • Transdisciplinarity
        To what degree does the project use a transdisciplinary approach, including engagement with the community? A transdisciplinary team with differing areas of professional and community-based expertise is encouraged.
      • Institutional support
        Does the project have the support of the departments and/or organizations involved?
      • Budget
        Is the budget appropriate for the project scope and timeline?

      Terms of the Award

      PTBi-CA is committed to building capacity among researchers and community stakeholders to engage in collaborative transdisciplinary work and the dissemination of new ideas. Awardees are required to attend two meetings that are meant to encourage the cross-fertilization of ideas that spark new transdisciplinary, cross-sector partnerships (which may lead to further funding opportunities):

      • PTBi-CA grantees meeting (one-day retreat held during the funding period) to discuss/present works-in-progress or results with other grantees, researchers, the PTBi-CA Community Advisory Board, and other PTBi-CA stakeholders.
      • Events to honor World Prematurity Day.

      Grantees are also encouraged to attend other PTBi-CA-sponsored networking opportunities that foster innovation and collaboration, including our monthly Collaboratory series.

      All investigators who enroll human subjects must include a plan to disseminate their research results to the project participants and the broader community.

      All studies involving human participants will require approval by or exemption from the UCSF Committee on Human Research (CHR) as well as evidence of IRB approval from other institutions involved in the project (as appropriate) within three months of receiving their award letter. Studies involving research on live animals or tissues collected from live animals will require approval from the UCSF Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) within three months of receiving their award letter. If a project is selected for funding, proof of CHR or IACUC approval must be supplied before funds can be released.

      Investigators seeking funding for biospecimen testing will be asked to submit a data-sharing plan that will allow the sharing of individual-level biomarker/-omic data (without identifiers) through collaborative agreements after the initial publication of results.

      PTBi-CA actively encourages the publication of results from all work, including those that do not find an association or effect. All publications and presentations resulting from the research funded by PTBi-CA must be acknowledged as: This research was supported by the University of California, San Francisco’s California Preterm Birth Initiative, funded by Marc and Lynne Benioff.