Why do I need to pay attention to the Facilities/Resources section on the NIH grant application form?
Reviewers need to be able to assess the availability and capability of the organizational resources to perform the work you propose. Under the NIH scoring system, this section is aligned with the scoring criterion “Environment,” and it contains information relevant to potential for success (the essence of the “Overall Impact” score).
Make certain you customize the information you supply (don’t just drop in boilerplate material without revising it to be specific to your proposal). Describe the organizational resources (people and equipment, organizational units and buildings) available to perform the specific work you are proposing to do. You may use this space to provide details that do not quite fit into other sections of the application. Guidelines do not limit length of this section as long as the material relates back to facilities and resources.
What information must I provide in the Resources section?
Make certain you answer the following questions:
What facilities will be used? Include the following subheadings (indicate N/A if not applicable):
Other, e.g., machine shop, electronic shop.
Biohazards or Other Potentially Dangerous Substances – If you are using anything classified as Select Agent, describe here any special facilities used for working with these substances.
Physical resources; and
For Early Stage Investigators describe:
Institutional investment in your success, e.g., resources for classes, travel, training;
Collegial support, e.g., mentors provided through campus, college, division, departmental, or other process; career enrichment programs; assistance and guidance in the supervision of trainees involved with the project; and availability of organized peer groups; and
Logistical support, e.g., administrative management and oversight and best practices training; and
Financial support such as protected time for research with salary support.
Hints for Writing Effective, Score-Boosting Facilities and Other Resource Sections
When applicable, remember to:
Elaborate on any collaborations and trans- or interdisciplinary aspects of the proposal (part of the intellectual rapport).
Emphasize the unique population of the state of California that UCSF serves, i.e., diverse, underserved, high incidences of a particular disease, etc.
Discuss how the UCSF campus has a well-connected network of sites with access to resources through its geography or layout. If a resource is on the same campus, or next door, emphasize the accessibility.
Provide ample proof of institutional support, especially if you are a New Investigator or Early-stage Investigator, e.g., mentoring, lab management advisement, intramural RAP grants, Clinical Translational Science Institute, access to equipment via the Research Resource Program, etc.
Wherever possible in the text of the Research Strategy section refer reviewers to the Resources section. Also, make certain Facilities and Other Resources text aligns with budget requests of the proposal.
Use adjectives (when true) in describing the resources, e.g., “modern laboratory,” “for high- performance imaging,” “specially constructed unit,” “multifaceted clinical operations,” or “high- throughput analysis.” Other descriptive words: “fully accredited,” “specialized,” “centralized.”
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO (UCSF)
The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), one of the ten campuses of the University of California, is devoted solely to graduate education and research in the health sciences. UCSF is composed of the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Nursing, and the Graduate Division. In both size and number of students, UC San Francisco is the smallest of the UC campuses. Nevertheless, its relative size belies its distinction as one of the leading biomedical research and health science education centers in the world. In addition, UCSF is a major health care delivery center in northern California with a high volume of regional, national, and international patient referrals.
Over the last century, the original nucleus of academic schools and divisions has grown to include a School of Nursing (1939); the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute (1942), which contains the city's first psychiatric hospital; and a Graduate Division (1961). The Graduate Division functions as the administrative and quality control unit for more than 1,100 postdocs and 1,000 students enrolled in 31 PhD and master’s programs in disciplines ranging from bioengineering to chemical biology, from biopharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics to nursing, and from global health to sociology. UCSF’s four professional schools (Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy) are ranked in the top tier nationally and internationally (measured by academic quality, publication citations of faculty, and amount of extramural support for research and education) as centers for education and research in the various disciplines. There are 40 academic departments and over 50 NIH-funded multidisciplinary research center grants including 11 Research Program Projects (P01), 14 Center Core Grants (P30), 6 Specialized Center Grants (P50), and 9 Program (U19)/Center (U54) Cooperative Agreements. In addition, the NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) is dedicated to research and education in clinical and translational science at UCSF, at affiliated institutions, and in participating communities.
UCSF is one of the leading biomedical research and graduate education centers in the world, and it ranks in the top group of institutions of higher learning in total federal funding for research and training. UCSF has an annual budget of over $5 billion to support its various research, teaching, and patient care activities. A large portion of the extramural funds received is allocated for biomedical research. Research funding primarily is obtained on a competitive basis from the federal government. Additional research funding is received annually from the State of California, the University of California Office of the President, private research foundations, state and local government agencies, private philanthropy, and industry.
In 2018, UCSF received 1,309 grants and contracts totaling $647.8 million – a 9.1 percent increase over 2017 and the largest single-year surge in UCSF’s NIH funding in nearly a decade. UCSF was the only public institution – and one of only two institutions nationwide – to receive more than $600 million from the NIH, making 2018 the first year in which UCSF surpassed the $600 million mark. Four UCSF Schools ranked first in NIH funding: School of Nursing received $9.1M, School of Pharmacy received $28.9M, School of Medicine received $577.7M, and the School of Dentistry received $24.4M. Among faculty members are five Nobel laureates, 35 National Academy of Sciences members, 61 American Academy of Arts and Sciences members, 97 National Academy of Medicine members, and 26 Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators.
Descriptions of many of the facilities and resources available to UCSF investigators are listed below.
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Looking to overhaul your Facilities and Other Resources document? Start by reviewing these documents.