Emergency COVID-19 Research Seed Funding
To help California address some of the critical needs brought on by the COVID-19 public health crisis, the grantmaking programs of the UC Office of the President, the Research Grants Program Office (RGPO), collectively made $2.7 million available in emergency funding to support urgent research to help mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic. Of that figure, $2.1 million was awarded by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, the California Breast Cancer Research Program, the California HIV/AIDS Research Program, the Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives, and the Type 1 Diabetes Research Fund to support $25,000 seed funding proposals submitted in response to an RFA. These 6-month projects address critical needs resulting from the pandemic, with a particular focus on individuals at high risk for coronavirus infection and other vulnerable populations. An additional $623,725 was provided by UC Research Initiatives to support UC campus research to address the pandemic.
To achieve its rapid response goal, RGPO received applications on a rolling basis and notified applicants of their funding status within two weeks of submission (average response time was less than nine days). This streamlined process resulted in a one month turn-around time from the RFA release date (April 6) to the selection of the final awards (May 6). In all, 85 projects totaling $2.1M were awarded through this process to investigators throughout the state. Recipients of these seed awards will be invited to apply for $150,000 (direct costs) in follow-on funding in the form of one-year pilot grants.
COVID-19 Research Continuation Funding
Building upon the Emergency COVID-19 Research Seed Funding Initiative, RGPO developed and released a research initiative that provided an additional $2.4M for limited competition to support the continuation of rapid research on immediate outcomes and deliverables to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 severity. Priority topic areas included cancer, HIV, and tobacco-related diseases. Applicants were urged to place a special focus on populations at greater risk for coronavirus infection and adverse health outcomes. These continuation awards, which were open only to seed awardees, provide a maximum of $150,000 direct costs and 1-year project periods. Review criteria included projects’ potential for near-term (12-24 months) impact on the detection, diagnosis, or treatment of COVID-19 disease, and/or a reduction in the community and social burden of COVID-19 in California; methodological rigor and dissemination plans; and the feasibility of the proposed work under the shelter-in-place orders.
RGPO received 62 applications from the investigator teams that received seed awards and that were natural continuations of those initial awards. Of these, 12 awards requesting approximately $2.4M in research support were made. A listing of these applications, including the applicant institutions and principle investigators, project titles, and project abstracts is available(PDF).
Publications from RGPO COVID-19 Awards
- Ayers JW, Leas EC, Johnson DC, et al. Internet Searches for Acute Anxiety During the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Intern Med. Published online August 24, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.3305
- Chakladar, J., Shende, N., Li, W.T., Rajasekaran, M., Chang, E.Y., Ongkeko, W.M. Smoking-Mediated Upregulation of the Androgen Pathway Leads to Increased SARS-CoV-2 Susceptibility. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 3627. doi: 10.3390/ijms21103627
- Chambers C, Krogstad P, Bertrand K, et al. Evaluation for SARS-CoV-2 in Breast Milk From 18 Infected Women. JAMA. Published online August 19, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.15580
- Lee, A.C., Chakladar, J., Li, W.T., Chen, C., Chang, E.Y., Wang-Rodriguez, J., Ongkeko, W.M. Tobacco, but Not Nicotine and Flavor-Less Electronic Cigarettes, Induces ACE2 and Immune Dysregulation. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 5513. doi: 10.3390/ijms21155513
- Purkayastha, A., Sen, C., Garcia Jr., G., Langerman, J., Shia, D.W., Meneses,L.K., Vijayaraj, P., Durra, A., Koloff, C.R., Freund, D.R., Chi, J., Rickabaugh, T.M., Mulay, A., Konda, B.,Sim, M.S., Stripp, B.R., Plath, K., Arumugaswami, V., Gomperts, B.N., Direct exposure to SARS-CoV-2and cigarette smoke increases infection severity and alters the stem cell-derived airway repair response, Stem Cell (2020), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2020.11.010.
- Torrente-Rodriguez RM, Lukas H, Tu J, Min J, Yang Y, Xu C, Rossiter HB, Gao W. SARS-CoV-2 RapidPlex: A Graphene-based Multiplexed Telemedicine Platform for Rapid and Low-Cost COVID-19 Diagnosis and Monitoring. Matter (2020). doi: 10.1016/j.matt.2020.09.027.
- Weill JA., Stigler M., Deschenes O., Springborn MR. Social distancing responses to COVID-19 emergency declarations strongly differentiated by income [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 29]. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2020; 202009412. doi:10.1073/pnas.2009412117
We invite you to use the interactive graphs below to learn about these RGPO-funded seed projects.
Hovering over the last column in the tables provides a description of the anticipated short-term deliverable from each project. Please see instructions for downloading the information in the tables at the bottom of the webpage. To return to the unfiltered view, re-click the selected item.
Awards by Institution and Research Category
The first graph shows the number of awards by institution and by research category. The research categories are a hybrid of the COVID-19 critical research areas designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and RGPO research priority areas. Note: some awards have more than one designated category. Clicking on the Institution, Research Category or bars will filter the list of awards in the table below the graph to show only the awards comprising the selection.
Vulnerable Populations Addressed in Awards
Sixty-two of the 85 funded projects addressed the needs of one or more specific California populations that are the most vulnerable to the negative health and/or economic impact of the pandemic. The Awards List can be filtered to show the awards comprising each category by clicking on the corresponding rectangle or category in the graph.
- Make sure you have clicked on the awards table/list (not the graph) for which you want to download the data, without filtering or selecting rows if you want to download the whole table.
- At the bottom of the dashboard, click the Download button.
- Select ‘Data’: Opens a new tab in the browser window and displays the table’s data in summary. You can then download the data as a comma-separated value (.csv) file.