December 8, 2017


UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter


Michael Pazzani

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development

Grant Opportunity Search:


In this Newsletter


·     NSF Award Statistics: FY16-17

·     Availability of Cannabis Research Funding

·     UC-Mexico Initiative - Call for Opportunity Fund Proposals

·     UC-Mexico Initiative - Concept Paper Call

·     UC Cancer Research Coordinating Committee RFP

·     UC & OptumLabs Data Warehouse (OLDW)

·     Loggerhead Shrike


NSF Award Statistics: FY17


NSF released data recently on the acceptance rate and award sizes in FY17. A total of 49,424 proposals were received and 11,456 funded for an overall rate of 23% percent. The data is available at One can drill down to find acceptance rates and award sizes of directorates, divisions and programs as the tables below show.


Availability of Cannabis Research Funding - TRDRP


Since its inception thirty years ago with voter approval of Proposition 99, the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP), which is based in the office of Research and Graduate Studies (RGS) at the UC Office of the President, has funded research into cannabis use as it relates to tobacco use. While TRDRP will continue to prioritize support for tobacco-related research, the passage of Proposition 56 in 2016 expanded both the budget and scope of health-related research supported by TRDRP. Investigators seeking to understand the contribution of cannabis use to, or medical use of cannabis with, different cancers, cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, and oral health and disease, are eligible to submit applications. 


In its most recent call for applications, TRDRP received thirty-two applications that are cannabis-related, totaling over $23 million in requested funds. Fourteen of these proposals are categorized as social behavioral, 6 as policy research, 5 as environmental toxicology, 4 as neuroscience, 2 as pulmonary, and 1 as cancer. Peer reviews of these proposals are pending, but it is anticipated that the program could fund up to $10 million in cannabis-related research over its two funding cycles during the 2017-18 fiscal year. Researchers interested in conducting health-related cannabis research should consider this source of funding.


Required letters of intent (LOI) for the upcoming TRDRP funding cycle can be submitted between December 15, 2017 and February 2, 2018 with applications due on February 28, 2018.


Questions may be directed to the Program Officer specific to the area of research as listed on the TRDRP website contacts page. 


Additional information including application details:


Please note that Cannabis or THC cannot be brought to any UC campus without a DEA license, even after January 1, 2018.


The passage of Proposition 64 in 2016 will provide additional funding for cannabis research. Once funding arrangements have been established for these resources, research areas beyond health-related concerns, such as economic and environmental impacts and public safety, can also be supported.


UC-Mexico Initiative - Call for Opportunity Funds Proposals


California and Mexico have a long shared history of traditions, cultures, people, geography, and issues. In the past 30 years, these regions have experienced and continue to be impacted by migrations, increased labor market integration, natural disasters and environmental challenges, among other things. This, combined with a complex political relationship between our nations, has created a dynamic and unique moment in time, and an opportunity to address these challenges in a responsive manner.


Recognizing the need to respond to these dynamic relations and situations, the UC-Mexico Initiative is providing opportunity funds to address them. These resources are intended to take advantage of special opportunities or emerging issues that require a responsive approach, and that would benefit from collaborative research or scholarly activity between UC and Mexican counterparts. These funds are to be a flexible source of financial and technical assistance, and will support emerging, high-impact, and time sensitive opportunities.


The UC-Mexico Initiative will make available opportunity funds to support proposals that meet the following criteria:

·     Provide a timely response to an emerging or time-sensitive issue, or a unique opportunity

·     Have implications and possible application for formation of public policy or will provide useful data for decision makers

·     Potential impact on or benefit to both California and Mexico

·     Appropriateness of budget

·     No more than 10 percent on administrative expenses

·     Within established dollar limit of $10,000[1]

·     Opportunity to leverage funds from external sources

·     Submission of final report on deliverables or outcomes and, if applicable, next steps


Because proposals are time sensitive, they may be submitted at any time and will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the UC Mexico Initiative Leadership Council. Proposals must include a clear statement that explains why the proposed activity should be considered particularly dynamic, high risk or high impact, and the nature and significance of its potential impact on the field. In addition, the proposal needs to identify deliverables or outcomes, a timeline, and budget with related justification.


It is strongly encouraged that applicants contact the UC-Mexico Initiative at or 951-827-4558 before submitting an opportunity fund proposal. This will help ensure that applicants meet the requirements.


[1] If funding needs exceed $10,000, please contact the administrative office of the UC-Mexico Initiative by email at, or by phone at 951-827-4558.


UC-Mexico Initiative - Concept Paper Call


The UC-Mexico Initiative provides a strategic framework for development of research, education, and outreach programs on issues of critical importance to California and Mexico. These efforts are carried out in collaboration with academia, government, and industry in Mexico and, as appropriate, with partners in California and the US as well.


Today, the California- Mexico relationship is more important than ever. The UC-Mexico Initiative invites the submission of one-page pre-proposals on topics of critical importance to both California and Mexico that define priority areas of research for the UC system in collaboration with Mexican partners. Pre-proposals should have the potential for development into proposals that would also have a policy dimension. Criteria that will be considered include the following:

·     A shared challenge, issue, or opportunity between Mexico and California, with the potential to make a difference or have a significant impact on both (with possible extrapolation to the US)

·     Implications for the creation, implementation, and evaluation of public policy

·     Availability of UC expertise and resources that can be brought to bear on the issue

·     Engagement of multiple UC campuses and/or national laboratories

·     Potential collaborator(s) in Mexico

·     Opportunity to leverage UC investment with external funding

·     Multi-year funding cannot be guaranteed


Topics should be focused on a specific issue of opportunity, and not a broad domain. Examples of topics that have been suggested for support by the UC-Mexico Initiative include:

·     Impact of technology on agricultural labor in California and Mexico

·     Educational challenges facing K-12 students who cross the border, sometimes frequently

·     Impact of environmental factors and climate change on mitigation of Valley fever

·     Accelerating the transition to energy efficient buildings and cities in California and Mexico


Pre-proposals should be limited to two pages, or approximately 1000 words. Pre-proposals should outline the project or activity, highlight deliverables/outcomes, and provide a high level timeframe and budget. Please submit by January 15, 2018 to:


Pre-proposals will be reviewed by members of the UC-Mexico Initiative Leadership Council. A subcommittee will review submissions to select 3 to 5 priority issues that leverage unique expertise across the university system. These will be invited to submit full proposals of up to $250,000.


UC Cancer Research Coordinating Committee RFP


The Cancer Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC) is pleased to issue a Request for Proposals for the awards for 2019. Administered by UC Research Initiatives in the UC Office of the President, the CRCC is a systemwide, faculty-directed cancer research program that provides one-year seed grants for topics in any discipline that address any aspect of cancer, including its origins, prevention and cure.


CRCC funds support meritorious research spanning all areas from basic research to applied clinical and community-based research in any field relevant to cancer. Currently, the CRCC awards grants to:

·     New UC faculty to initiate cancer research projects;

·     Established investigators in other areas of research to initiate cancer research projects;

·     Established cancer investigators to initiate cancer studies in new areas.


The maximum funding request is $75,000.



·     This program is open only to tenured or tenure-track UC faculty. The program offers two categories of awards:

·     New Assistant Professor (NAP): Eligibility for the NAP category requires that the applicant have an effective initial UC appointment date (for the purpose of merit and promotion timing) between January 1, 2014 and January 1, 2017. If the PI’s promotion schedule has been altered for any reason, changes must be explained in the LOI and will be reviewed and approved as part of the LOI process. PIs must be in their second year or later of their first UC faculty appointment, and applicants eligible for the NAP category may not apply in the REG category.

·     Regular (REG): A professor who does not meet the NAP criteria and who is proposing a new research direction related to cancer. A logical extension of prior work is not eligible for CRCC funding.

·     If you have current CRCC funding, you are not eligible to apply until that project ends. If you have more than $350,000 of direct costs in existing funding in your lab during the year you are proposing (2019-20), you are not eligible. If you had a REG proposal declined last year, you must wait one year before reapplying (that is, you can only apply under REG every two years).



The CRCC Request for Proposals for award year 2019 can be found at:


Key Dates:

Applicant Teleconference (optional)*: Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Required Letters of Intent Due:  Thursday, January 25, 2018 at 12:00 PM PT

Notification of LOI Decision:  by Monday, February 5, 2018         

Full Proposals Due: Thursday, April 5, 2018


The applicant teleconference is strongly encouraged for new applicants and for previous applicants who are not familiar with proposalCENTRAL.


Register for the teleconference here:


Additional Information:

For questions on program scope and priorities, please contact:

Administrative questions regarding the application process may be directed to:


UC & OptumLabs Data Warehouse (OLDW)


As part of the strategic partnership between UC and OptumLabs, UC researchers will be provide 7 researchers with free access (aka: “research credits”) to OptumLab’s data warehouse. OptumLabs is an open, collaborative center for research and innovation focused on improving patient care and value. The database includes de-identified plan enrollment information, medical and pharmacy claims, and lab results from multiple payers, all integrated across care settings and longitudinally linked at the patient level.


UC will be soliciting proposals for research ideas that leverage the OptumLabs data. Examples of research projects using OptumLabs data include: Variation in care, Utilization, Safety and efficacy, Predictive modeling, Policy and incentives, Outcomes, Methods, Literature review, Health economics, Guidelines/Quality of care, Epidemiology, Disparities, Delivery of care, and Comparative effectiveness.


Dr. Tsotras, from Computer Science, and Dr. Brown from SOM, have been selected as primary UCR contacts to explore the OLDW.  


Timeline (dates could vary slightly):

·     Announce Call for Proposals: January 8, 2018

·     Brief Research Proposal Form due February 2

·     Brief overview of project, data required, and resources available

·     Review by UC BRAID-selected review committee and by OptumLabs research staff (the latter for feasibility only)

·     Notification of selected candidates by end of March

·     Additional details on the timeline, process for the OptumLabs review and data access will be described in the January 8 CFP announcement


Eligibility (*note the change from last year):

·     The Principal Investigator, or at least one Co-PI, must be full time faculty at one of the five UC academic medical centers (UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UCSD, UCSF) and eligible to submit grants

·     Principal Investigators or Co-PIs at all 10 UC campuses are eligible on proposals (with at least one Co-PI meeting the above criteria)


Note: You do not have to wait for the competition to get started. If you wish to purchase a data license to access to the OptumLabs Data Warehouse, you can move forward immediately. You will find the Sandbox Fee Schedule on the UC-OptumLabs micro-site.


Get more information by visiting the UC-OptumLabs microsite/knowledge repository:


Ask questions about the OptumLabs data or your research idea by contacting Sarah Thayer, PhD (OptumLabs, Director of Research) at


Stay up to date on the latest OptumLabs opportunities and information by signing up for the OptumLabs listserv:


Loggerhead Shrike


Here's a loggerhead Shrike from the Salton Sea.


UC Riverside | 900 University Ave, UOB 200, Riverside, CA 92521


Michael Pazzani

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development

Professor,  Computer Science & Engineering

University of California, Riverside

200 University Office Building

Riverside, CA 92521


To schedule a meeting with me, please contact Bri Cates at

Email: or 951-827-4800


If the Artificial Intelligence in my iPad can't fix my typing, imagine what will happen when my car drives itself.