To strengthen the intellectual community spanning public health and the social sciences at UCSF & UCB, the RWJF Health Disparities working group provides internal funding on a competitive basis. This funding enhances the research environment for the RWJF Scholars, promoting new projects that model innovative approaches in population health and provide opportunities for collaboration with affiliated UCSF faculty and postdocs.


  • Involve collaborators across units/disciplines
  • Involve the HSS Scholars either as lead investigators or co-investigators
  • Build on distinctive strengths of HSS
  • Address central questions in population health
  • Introduce theoretical or methodological approaches new to population health
  • Could lead to extramural funding

HSS seed grants usually support research projects, including both stand-alone projects and pilot research for an external grant proposal. Awards average around $10,000 and have ranged between $3,000 and $30,000. Seed grant proposals are accepted on a rolling basis. Proposals are presented by the applicants to the Health Disparities group for discussion. Final approval is made by the RWJF UCSF HSS Directors based on the discussion relevance to criteria and available funding. Applicants must be willing to include collaboration, within limits, from others (ie additional research questions). If revisions are recommended and agreed upon, they should be incorporated and the proposals must be resubmitted.


ELIGIBILITY: With an appointment at UCSF, H&S Scholars and affiliated faculty and postdocs are eligible to apply for internal funding

APPLICATION: Submit proposals by email to Dina Dudum Freij ([email protected])

BUDGETS & APPROVALS: In accord with University policy, all proposals involving human subjects research must undergo IRB review. Proposals that have not undergone such review may be reviewed and support may be awarded, but no funds will be released for empirical research until the proposal receives IRB approval. Please forward all necessary approvals and exemptions from CHR and/or CAR to Jennifer Taggart ([email protected]) at Campus Box 0844. Jennifer will also provide you with a quarterly budget report and will be available for questions regarding spending. The funding period is from September 1-August 31st. Funds that are awarded on or after September 1st, must be spent by August 31st.

REPORTING:Periodically, HSS staff will request a brief report summarizing the results of the project in preparation for the RWJF site visit in the spring. We also ask that you notify HSS staff when any publications result from the project and send one hard copy and an electronic copy to Michael Da Luz at ([email protected]) at Campus Box 0844.

MEETING: The group will conduct meetings on a quarterly basis.


Include the project title as well as the name, title, department, email address, and phone number for each investigator.

Include a brief one-paragraph abstract suitable for use in public reports.

The narrative should describe the plan of work, participants, and relevance to population health research. Research project proposals should summarize the research question, existing literature, plan for empirical research, and significance of the project that the seed grant will help you develop. The narrative should also describe the benefits of the project for the H&SS program at UCSF/UCB.

1-3 pages (excluding references).

If a seed grant proposal is submitted for consideration and involves an international component and/or travel, the program must first seek the approval of the NPO and RWJF prior to awarding the seed grant.

Please Note:

  • Requests to use seed grants funds to support an international component and/or travel post the seed grant being awarded, will not be considered.
  • RWJF HSS seed grant funds may not be used for travel to present results (Internationally or Domestically).
  • In cases where an HSS scholar receives a seed grant award, the scholar may submit an international travel request for consideration (post-seed grant award) to present seed grant results at an international conference utilizing their scholar travel funds. 
  • Non-HSS scholars who receive a seed grant award must use non-RWJF HSSP funds to present any results internationally or domestically.


APPENDIX : Relation of Proposed Activities to Other Current or Pending Funded Projects

If the seed grant proposal is related to currently funded or pending projects - including projects supported by internal or external funders - please briefly describe those other projects and describe how the seed grant project is distinct from (and may help leverage) these other projects.

The budget should itemize all expenses, indicating where applicable the time commitment of faculty or student research assistants. In general, faculty salary is an unallowable expense.

Requests for data or computer hardware or software indicate specifically what the request is for (rather than simply "Software" or "Data") and the justification should briefly describe the need for this item. The timeline should not exceed 12 months.

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