The UCLA: Digestive Diseases Research Center Core (UCLA: DDRCC) invites applications for the current academic year. Funding will be available for high quality and innovative research in the biology, function and diseases of the digestive system, which is of relevance to the overall UCLA:DDRC Research Program, with emphasis on receptor and signal transduction mechanisms, brain-gut interactions, gastrointestinal and pancreatic physiology, pathophysiology and inflammation, and mechanisms underlying diseases of the digestive system. Proposed projects should lead to peer-reviewed extramural funding such as NIH, VA or related agency research grants in which PFS awardees serve as Principal Investigators. Awards are up to $35,000/year.

Category 1. New investigators without current or past independent NIH or related agency research support as principal investigators, who are seeking to establish their own independent research program. Young investigators supported by Career Development or Mentor awards (e.g. K01, K08 or similar) are considered eligible for category 1 and encouraged to apply for PFS funding

Category 2. Established investigators with currently active research support, who have not been involved in research of the digestive system and who want to enter this field of research.

Category 3. Established investigators with currently active extramural support for research in the digestive system, who want to pursue a new research direction in the field of gastroenterology, which represents a significant departurefrom their funded research.

Highly innovative proposals are highly encouraged. Category 1 is given preference.


1. Applicants must hold a Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent degree with 3 years of postgraduate research experience.

2. Trainees who are recipient of an NRSA individual award (F32) or are supported by an institutional training grant (T32) or fellowship are eligible in their last year of training.

3. Applicants must have a UCLA appointment in an academic track (research fellows or postdoctoral scholars are included) by the time of the award.

4. New investigators without independent support need to provide documentation of support (i.e. space available and financial support beyond the PFS fund) of a UCLA or VA faculty sponsor.

5. An investigator is eligible only once for PFS support with the exception of category 1 investigators whose previous PFS has resulted in independent funding and are now eligible to apply as category 3.

6. Applicants are required to use at least one Center core in addition to the Administrative Core (see website for Cores and services at perform research at VA and/or UCLA.

7. Applications establishing collaborative interactions within the Center are encouraged.
APPLICATION PROCESS: LETTER of INTENT (deadline March 1, 2021): A one-page letter of intent should include 1) applicant name, rank and affiliation, 2) category (see eligibility for categories) for which the applicant wishes to apply, 3) proposal title, 4) hypothesis and a paragraph describing the salient features of the project, 5) which core(s) of the UCLA: DDRCC will be used, 6) the mentor’s funded research project(s), if applicant is a junior investigator without independent funding, or of other funded project(s), if applicant is a senior investigator, and 7) how the proposed project will differ from the funded projects. Applicants will be notified of their eligibility to submit a full application by March 10, 2021. 
The letter of intent and the NIH biosketch should be submitted as a single pdf document to the program coordinator, Jacqueline Ismen( will be notified of their eligibility to submit a full application. The template for the letter of intent and instructionsforfull applications can be found on the UCLA:DDRCC website