Funding Description

The UC National Laboratory Fees Research Program (LFRP) and UCSB Vice Chancellor for Research have provided funding to rapidly support emergent UC research in areas related to COVID-19. Note that the campus remains closed to research: projects selected for funding will need to apply for an Exemption Request for Essential Research, unless they can be done completely remotely.

Priority is given to projects that will result in competitive proposals for funding from federal and private funding sources, and projects that align with one of the six designated DOE COVID-19 response thrusts:

  • Pandemic modeling and analysis
  • COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning for COVID-19
  • Materials and manufacturing to address supply chain issues (masks, shields, swabs, and ventilators)
  • Clinical and surveillance testing issues (how to improve diagnostic techniques, new instrumentation and reagents)
  • Medical therapeutics related to COVID-19 and SARS-COV-2

Priority may also be given to scientists who plan to make use of the DOE user facilities at Los Alamos, Livermore, or Berkeley National Laboratories. Faculty may reach out to the following National Laboratory contacts if they are looking for potential projects or collaborators in areas related to the COVID block grants:

John Sarrao, Deputy Director, LANL (
David Rakestraw, Senior Science Adviser, LLNL (
Kristin Balder-Froid, LBNL (

Information about COVID-19 research and response activities at the Labs can be found here: LLNL, LBNL and LANL.

Anticipated funding amount for each award: $5,000 - $25,000

Eligibility: Any member of the UCSB academic community with PI status may apply. Investigators may serve as lead PI on a single proposal.

Proposal Submission: Proposals must be submitted via UCSB’s InfoReady competition space:

Proposal Due Date: Monday, April 20, 9am

Award Decisions: Applicants will be notified of their funding status within two weeks of the proposal due date. No application critique will be provided.

Duration of funding: Funds must be fully utilized and a final report submitted by December 1, 2020. Requests for no-cost extensions will not be considered.

Proposal Submission Instructions

Completed proposals should be submitted through Competition Space and include the following: 

  • Proposal Narrative (2 pages, one inch margins, single spaced, max. 11 point font), including: 
    • Overview of research project
    • Primary research question(s)
    • Scholarly context and significance
    • Research methods, plan, and timeline
    • Plans for future extramural funding
  • Budget, with justification (1 page)
  • Plan for how the PI will ensure safety, both from operational hazards and COVID-19, for all personnel involved throughout the duration of the project (0.5 page). All projects must comply with the guidelines outlined in the "Shutdown of All On-Campus Research" memo
  • Two-page biosketch for each investigator
  • Current and pending research projects

Evaluation and Review

The competitive review of eligible proposals will be undertaken by an interdisciplinary committee. Proposals will be reviewed for their quality, significance, clarity, feasibility, and promise for future extramural funding. Special consideration will be given to the project’s relevance to the DOE COVID-19 response thrusts listed above. Funding decisions will be announced within two weeks of the submission deadline. The project start date is upon notification of award and after all safety, compliance and regulatory requirements for conducting research at UCSB have been approved.

Reporting requirements

A final progress report is due by December 1, 2020. The report (1 page) must include a short project description and a summary of the outcomes and impact of the project. If any, include information on follow-on funding, whether planned, pending, or awarded.

Allowed Expenses

The following lists are general guidelines of allowable expenses. All budget items are subject to local accounting rules and must follow the University and UC regulations. Grantees and departmental financial officers are responsible for proper documentation and reimbursements. 

  • UCSB postdocs or student research assistants (graduate or undergraduate students only)
  • Research materials, supplies, and services (e.g., computing time)

The following expenses are not allowable: 

  • Faculty salaries and teaching release
  • Equipment costing more than $500
  • General office supplies
  • Travel
  • Indirect costs

Grant Terms

Seed grants are subject to the same restrictions and regulations as federally awarded grants. You are required to obtain and comply with mandatory safety, compliance and regulatory requirements for conducting research at UCSB. These may include Biosafety, Chemical Safety, Radiation Safety, Human or Animal Subjects approvals, etc.


Research Development is available to consult on proposal narrative elements and answer other program-related questions. Please contact Andrea Stith or Maria Napoli for additional support.