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NSF will implement revised merit review criteria January 14, 2013. Read more 

NSF and NIH have announced a new, joint solicitation called BIGDATA to extract and use knowledge from collections of large data sets in order to accelerate progress in science and engineering research. The NSF/NIH program is part of a federal initiative whereby six federal departments and agencies: NSF, NIH, the Department of Defense, DARPA, the Department of Energy Office of Science, and the U.S. Geological Survey, will be announcing more than $200 million in new commitments.  Read more  


Get help with large, complex proposals.

RPDS provides full-scale assistance for selected, large, interdisciplinary proposals. For other proposals we offer more limited help. For all engaged in proposal development, RPDS provides proposal preparation advice and example text that can be adapted for use in proposals.

Find out if you're eligible.


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What services does RPDS provide?

For proposals selected for full-scale assistance, we work closely with PIs and staff to produce and submit the most compelling proposals possible. Specific assistance depends on the needs of the PI(s). Here’s a partial list of things we do:

  • Review calls-for-proposals and advise PI(s) on funding agency requirements, communicating with agencies as needed for clarification.
  • Create and regularly update proposal-production schedules.
  • Assist in the identification of on- and off-campus collaborators to meet proposal requirements, for example: plans for outreach, dissemination of results, research training and diversity-enhancement.
  • Critically review proposal drafts to improve readability, strengthen rationale, and ensure that all sponsor requirements are addressed thoroughly and convincingly.
  • Assist with the preparation of proposal components such as: education/outreach, evaluation, data/resource management, and postdoctoral mentoring plans; facilities and resources sections; letters of collaboration/commitment; budget justifications; schematic illustrations; and organizational charts.
  • Advise investigator teams on strategic issues such as the use of physical, programmatic and intellectual campus infrastructure
  • For resubmissions, analyze reviewer feedback and provide recommendations for addressing criticisms.

How are Requests for Assistance evaluated and prioritized?

A Selection Committee reviews Requests for Assistance, taking into consideration factors including but not limited to:

  • Current and projected workload of RPDS staff
  • Timeliness of request – 8 weeks or more before the due-date
  • Degree to which the proposed research is multi-, inter- or transdisciplinary as evidenced by involvement of investigators from multiple departments and/or ORUs
  • Extent to which the proposed research crosses campus (General Campus, Health Sciences, Scripps Institution of Oceanography) boundaries
  • Budget size
  • Likelihood of proposal success
  • Anticipated campus impact

What is the relationship between RPDS and OCGA?

RPDS works in partnership with General Campus academics and staff to provide support for development of large, complex, multidisciplinary research proposals. RPDS expands UCSD’s capacity to pursue major research funding. OCGA is responsible for contract and grant management for UCSD. OCGA reviews, endorses, and submits proposals, negotiates and accepts contract and grant agreements, interprets guidelines, and promotes compliance with sponsor and University policies. RPDS and OCGA work together to best serve faculty who are developing multi-, inter-, or trans-disciplinary research proposals.