Pilot Awards

Seeks to advance clinical and translational research at UCSF by providing funding resources to catalyze research and career development activities in clinical and translational sciences.

Formerly known as Strategic Opportunities Support (SOS)


  • To advance clinical and translational research at UCSF by providing resources specifically aimed at catalyzing research and career development activities in clinical and translational sciences.
  • To be a catalyst for researchers to explore novel areas and test the limits of innovative technologies and methodologies.
  • To accelerate the conversion of scientific discoveries from laboratories to the clinic and into practical medical advances for patients and communities that need them the most.
  • To provide a transparent, peer-reviewed process that awards funds to encourage and to enable research and career development in clinical and translational research.
  • To enhance the careers of investigators who are interested in obtaining expertise and skills required for modern clinical and translational research.

Resources and Services

Funding: Pilot Awards provide funding to support researchers at UCSF

Research Grants

  • Pilot for Junior Investigators in Basic & Clinical/Translational Sciences: For new and junior faculty conducting research in clinical and translational science, including research in digital health.
  • Team Science Grant: The goal of this award is to stimulate new collaborations of UCSF scientists from diverse fields, including social, basic, and clinical research, which address clinical and translational research questions that require an innovative, multidisciplinary approach. This award will provide funding to develop complex cross-disciplinary research projects, including arranging meetings of investigators, performing preliminary studies and preparing grant applications. In addition, we encourage teams that are diverse based on gender, ethnicity, race and other characteristics.

Career Development

  • Under-Represented Faculty & Senior Fellows in Clinical and Translational Research Awards: This grant mechanism provides support for senior fellows, instructors, assistant, associate and full professor faculty from historically disenfranchised racial and ethnic groups that are under-represented in health sciences, or from economically or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. The goal is to encourage fellows and junior faculty from economically or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds to remain in academia for their career, and thus increase the diversity of our faculty.
  • Family Support Award: Provides support for clinical and translational research faculty who are returning to work after caregiving leave by providing funding for supplemental research support.


In addition to standard CTSI Pilot Awards grants, Pilot Awards offers additional awards in partnerships with:

  • CTSI - Catalyst Awards for the Development of Diagnostics, Devices, Therapeutics and Digital Health
  • UCSF – Resource Allocation Program (RAP)