April 2, 2020


SUBJECT:    Research Town Halls, Funding Opportunities and Support

As we all move through the complexities of maintaining research activity during the COVID-19 emergency, I am aware that researchers continue to identify challenges as well as opportunities to respond effectively to these times. In order to hear more from you about this, I will be hosting Research Town Hall webinars on April 9th and April 15th to answer and address questions, and inform you about our efforts to ensure that UC San Diego’s research continues to thrive in the months ahead. Please read on for information about those events and other important information.

Find out more information about, and register for, Research Town Hall webinars to be held April 9th and April 15th from 12:30–2:00pm at We’ll have representatives from the Office of Grants and Contracts, Research Proposal Development Services, the Animal Care Program, Human Research Protection Program, and other offices on hand to answer questions and hear from you.

Bookmark and regularly visit our COVID-19 Funding Opportunities listing at to stay up-to-date on current opportunities.

UCOP is finalizing plans to support and incentivize research on SARS/CoV-2 and COVID-19. We anticipate that once details are finalized, the deadlines for submitting proposals will be quite soon.

Open UC Opportunities:
The UC Institute of Transportation Studies ( Data Collection Grant will fund immediate data collection needs that either 1) inform broader COVID-19 Response and Recovery research activities or 2) take advantage of natural experiments that can inform future transportation research on themes relevant to the UC ITS research program. Data collection proposals are due Sunday, April 19th.

The University’s Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives RFP, available at MRPI projects are multicampus or systemwide research collaborations, and therefore a good opportunity for collaboration with colleagues at other UC campuses to join forces in response to the pandemic. Letters of Intent are due by noon on April 22nd.

Additional funding opportunities:
Numerous federal agencies and other organizations have issued RfPs for research related to COVID-19. The National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Digital Transformation Institute are among those with open calls for new proposals to support such research.

Additionally, federal agencies are making supplemental funding available to those with current grants to help cover the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the OCGA website at for the most recent guidance about proposal and reporting deadlines, allowable costs, managing awards, and compensatory supplements. Information is available there from NIH, NSF, DoE, DoD, and other funding agencies. Contact your local grants management staff as well as agency project managers to inform them of impacts of the pandemic that will lead to extension or supplemental funding requests. Track closely all expenses related to COVID-19 to assist in the preparation of those supplemental funding requests.

In addition to the assistance your departmental business offices can offer in preparation of supplemental funding and new proposals, Research Affairs has expanded assistance available to help you. Contact for assistance.

Finally, ORA has created an online portal for researchers interested in pursuing COVID-19 related research to identify one another. Please visit to see the listing or to add yourself to it.

We know that it takes time to build an effective and stable research team, and that the reduction of on-site research activity required to maintain necessary physical distancing and safeguard public health puts those teams at risk. We encourage all PIs to maintain their research staff by assigning all staff members work that can be done remotely, such as data analysis, updating laboratory SOPs, literature reviews, and grant preparation. The interruption to on-site research is an opportunity to for staff to complete required trainings, or to learn how to engage in work that they normally do not have time to learn. Our goal is to help you maintain the stability of your research team so that when a return to on-site research is feasible, you’ll be able to “ramp-up” without being slowed down by staff vacancies. Information specific to supporting graduate students in your lab is available from the UC San Diego Graduate School ( Information on supporting other research personnel will be regularly updated at

UC San Diego Triton ingenuity and commitment to community are the best resources we have to meet the current challenge. That ingenuity and commitment have been demonstrated across the campus as researchers work to refocus their effort and redirect their expertise in response to this challenge. It’s an honor for all of us to work with you in this effort. Thank you for your continued commitment to outstanding and innovative research and scholarly activity during this emergency.

Sandra A. Brown
Vice Chancellor for Research