UCSF Funding Opportunities
Industrial Expertise, Mentoring, & Seed Funding

Depending on the field and stage of your research, often familiar funding sources do not fit the product development process. At UCSF there are many non-traditional funding sources available which are designed to specifically support this process with access to customized industrial expertise and mentoring as well as non-dilutive seed funding.

Note that the funding opportunities on this page exclusively fund research in a UCSF academic lab; Other funding sources are available after a start-up has incorporated.

1. Catalyst Program 

The Catalyst program provides customized industrial mentorship and funding for UCSF research projects at the early stages of development into a commercial product. Catalyst focuses on four areas:

  • Therapeutics - Approaches to create and develop small molecule and biological drugs
  • Diagnostics - Approaches to create and develop assays for biomarkers of disease and precision medicine therapeutic approaches
  • Devices - Development of medical devices to address patient need
  • Digital health - Using digital technology to support the needs of patients

Twice a year, Catalyst requests proposals from the UCSF community (via RAP), and selected applicants receive mentoring from industry experts to refine their ideas before pitching for Catalyst funding. Catalyst continues to support the development of projects in their portfolio, which may include additional funding, help with strategic industry partnering, and more.

Catalyst has over 200 industrial advisors who work with innovators to develop their research towards products. 

Areas of mentorship include: Medicinal chemistry, protein engineering, Drug metabolism, Lead/ Candidate optimization, Target Product Profilies, Competitor landscape analysis, CMC, reimbursement, regulatory strategies, IND development. 

Catalyst Awards Flier

Spring Cycle 2018, open Jan 29-Feb 6th, 2pm PST. 

Apply

Contact for more information:

Charles Hart, PhD
Director
[email protected] 
(415) 514-8510

2. Catalyst + Plus

Catalyst expanded its program to Catalyst + Plus, a new addition that aims to provide additional support to the past Catalyst projects with successful progress but who still require business advice and/or supplemental funding.  The first Catalyst + Plus Awards were given on in the fall 2017.

Contact for more information:

Charles Hart, PhD
Director
[email protected] 
(415) 514-8510

3. UC Drug Discovery Consortium

Catalyst is leading the establishment of the University of California Drug Discovery Consortium, (UC DDC) an effort across the UC system’s five medical campuses—UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCSF, UCLA and UC San Diego— to work together to speed the development of potentially life-saving therapies. Tralau-Stewart is principal investigator on a  $2.02 million, three-year grant from UC’s Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives focusing on early translation of academic discovery research into therapies. The UC DDC publicised is first funding call in July and the first projects will initiate in Fall 2017. Read more.

Contact for more information:

Joseph Wagner
[email protected]

4. Funded Collaborations with Industry

UCSF has unique and close relationships with many large pharmaceutical and biotech companies that are excited to fund early research at UCSF within their strategic areas of interest. On a regular or rolling basis, our partner companies ask for proposals from UCSF investigators and will fully fund a number of those projects in their key interests. (Link to UCSF-specific industry funding opportunities.) UCSF works closely with many other companies not listed on this page, so please reach out to the Office of Strategic Alliances within Innovation Ventures with inquiries about working with industry. With many companies, UCSF has existing agreements in place that allow the sponsored collaboration of a research project to be executed quickly.

Contact us for more information:

Peter Kotsonis
[email protected]
(415) 323-3108

5. Area Specific Funding Opportunities