Need a Grant or Contract


Applying for a Grant

When you are interested in obtaining grant funding, ORSP is available to assist you at each step along the way.

Route to Successful Submission

Route to Successful Submission
  1. 3-5 Months before Agency Deadline - Recommended: Submit a GMS PI Checklist, Begin proposal preparation, Review funding announcement, Request statistical and design support. 
  2. 4 Weeks before Agency Deadline - Submit a GMS PI Checklist if you haven't already done so (Recommended), External pre-review of Federal proposals possible.
  3. 2-3 Weeks before Agency Deadline - Work with GA on budget, budget justification, and other proposal documents.
  4. 7 Business Days before Agency Deadline - Submit to your GA the final copy of your budget, budget justification, and draft narrative for internal review and approval by AVP, Finance and your Dean. 
  5. 2 Days before Agency Deadline - Mandatory: ORSP will submit your proposal to ensure error-free electronic submission.


If you are looking for funding sources, please see our Search Tab in the accordion below. Please note that if you plan to pursue funding from corporations or foundations we highly encourage you to contact the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations to discuss your project.

Once you have identified where you plan to apply, please inform us by filling out a GMS PI Checklist, so that we can begin helping you with your proposal submission. Effective October 1, 2020, GMS PI Checklists submitted within 4 weeks or fewer of a funding agency deadline will need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to assess staff capacity, and we will no longer be able to guarantee that the proposal will be submitted with short notice. You should submit your GMS PI Checklist at least 5 weeks before your deadline, so that we can ensure we will have the staffing resources available to work with you.

As soon as we receive your GMS PI Checklist, a member of our staff will contact you to schedule a meeting about your proposal. An HR specialist also will attend, to help with staffing classifications, salary and benefits information.

Publishing your research prior to submitting a grant proposal may increase your chances of being funded. Grant editing and research development assistance is also available.

Funding Opportunity Database

The SPIN database is available to faculty and administrators. Search for research grants, fellowships and other funding opportunities from government, foundation and corporate sponsors. Save search preferences and receive email notifications of results matching search criteria. Once logged in to the Grants Management System, access SPIN from the home page. Training videos are available from the Help tab on the SPIN web page.

Log in to the mailing list manager with SF State credentials to subscribe to one or more mailing lists to receive weekly funding alerts by subject area:

  • orsp_arts-humanities
  • orsp_education
  • orsp_health-medicine
  • orsp_social-sciences
  • orsp_stem

Grant Development

What is Grant Development?

Grant development fits under the larger umbrella of research development and research administration. Grant development involves an assortment of activities including:

  • finding funding opportunities that match faculty expertise
  • creating a research plan (how to plot and create a timeline, pilot studies, research goals, assessment)
  • proposal development
  • strategic initiatives for research
  • technical writing and editing
  • building a research team
  • interaction with funding agencies and governmental offices
  • limited submissions review process
  • coordination with institutional research administration and leadership 
  • outreach activities (such as workshops on funding agencies or tips and tricks on proposal writing)
  • acting as a resource for institutional knowledge and information

What can a Grant Development Specialist do for me and my research?

Grant Development Specialist can provide technical writing and editing of proposals. She is also available to plan/discuss short and long term goals of your research, how to communicate the importance of your work to a variety of scientific and general audiences, help seek and apply for funding, assess reviewer comments and prepare for resubmission of proposals, and liaison between administration and faculty.

For newer faculty, assistance for developing plans for professional development and moving toward applying to external funding; for mid-career faculty, assistance if deciding to change research focus or experiencing difficulty securing external funding.

How can I use this Resource?

To begin, start early. Contact Associate Vice President of Research Michael J. Scott (

Writing and Editing Help 

Proposal Editing

Please contact Michael J. Scott, Associate Vice President of Research ( to assess your editing needs.

External Pre-review of Federal Proposals

With a highly competitive and limited federal funding environment, proposals need to be impeccable prior to submission. Faculty in many universities have found that pre-review of their proposals, through external consultants, reveals problems that may be fixed before final submission. ORSP will consider and pay for a pre-review of your proposal to a federal agency, if the narrative section is submitted two months before the proposal is due.

If you feel you meet this criterion, Request for External Pre-Review.

When writing an NIH grant proposal, as the applicant you will need to write a project summary/abstract and a project narrative. Check out this helpful table to describe the purpose and differences between the two:

Summary of differences between Project Summary/Abstract and Project Narrative for an NIH Grant
Project Summary/Abstract Project Narrative
  • A succinct and accurate description of the proposed work
  • Communicates the public health relevance of the project to the public
  • 30 lines of text or less
  • No more than 2-3 sentences
  • Use plain language understandable by a general audience
  • Use plain language understandable by a general audience
  • Include: the project’s broad, long-term objectives and specific aims, and a description of the research design and methods.
  • Do not include: proprietary or confidential information, or descriptions of past accomplishments.
  • Describe how, in the short or long term, the research would contribute to: the fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems, and/or the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.
  • If the application is funded, the summary/abstract will be available on RePORTER
  • If the application is funded, the narrative will be available on RePORTER

Data Sharing Plans

Since 1999, federal granting agencies are required to ensure that all data produced under federally-funded awards must be made available to the public.

Data Management Plan

In general, all research proposals expected to generate significant data should include a data management plan.  While particular data management and sharing requirements may be agency-specific, the major topics typically covered in a DMP include:

  • Types of data to be produced
  • Description of methodology of how data will be collected
  • Standards to be applied to the data format (i.e., metadata)
  • Provisions for archiving and preservation
  • Backup and storage procedures
  • Access policy and provisions for secondary users
  • Plans for eventual transition of the data collection after the project is complete
  • Any protection or security measures taken to protect participant confidentiality or intellectual property

Major Funding Agency Data Guidelines

National Science Foundation

Beginning January 18, 2011, a Data Management Plan (DMP) will be required for all new NSF proposals. The contents of this DMP will be reviewed and scored as part of the merit review process.

National Institutes of Health

For most grants over $500K, a data sharing plan must be included in the application and incorporated as a term and condition of the award. Final Research Data ?should be made as widely and freely available as possible while safeguarding the privacy of participants and protecting confidential and proprietary data. Currently, the NIH does not review this section as part of the proposal scoring process.

Electronic Grant Proposal Submissions

If you need to register for, NIH Assist, NIH eRA Commons, or another electronic grant proposal submission portal please contact a Grant Administrator.

Proposal Submission Policy

Once you have identified where you plan to apply, please inform us by filling out a GMS PI Checklist, so that we can begin helping you with your proposal submission. We continue to recommend that GMS PI Checklist be submitted 5 weeks prior to agency deadline. Effective October 1, 2020, GMS PI Checklists submitted within 4 weeks or fewer of a funding agency deadline will need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to assess staff capacity, and we will no longer be able to guarantee that the proposal will be submitted with short notice.

SF State University submissions to external sponsors cannot be made without appropriate review and approval, as required under the Chancellor’s Executive Order 890. Therefore all approvals must occur prior to the submission deadline.

For this reason, ORSP has implemented a seven business day proposal submission policy, which was effective January 1, 2010:

All proposals must be received by ORSP no later than seven business days prior to the sponsor deadline. In order for a proposal to be considered "on time", the following documents are required:

  1. A finalized budget
  2. A final budget justification
  3. A draft of the proposal narrative

PIs will still be able to refine and work on the proposal narrative, but changes to the budget and budget justification will not be permitted, as these sections will be in the process of being routed and approved.

Proposals that are not submitted to ORSP by seven business days before the proposal deadline will not be submitted to the sponsor.

This policy applies to all GMS PI Checklists submitted on or after January 1, 2010. For questions please consult your grant administrator.

Please disseminate this notice to staff. General questions about this policy can be directed to Michael Scott, AVP for Research,, 415-405-3943.

Applicant/Mailing Address

San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue, ADM 471
San Francisco, CA 94132-1722

Type of Organization

State College

Entity Identification Number (EIN) Or Taxpayer Identification Number


DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System)


Unique Entity Identifier




NAICS code (North American Industry Classification System)


Human Subjects Assurance No.


Animal Welfare Assurance No.


Congressional District


California's Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for submissions, per Executive Order 12372

Grants Coordination
State Clearinghouse
Office of Planning and Research
P.O. Box 3044, Room 222
Sacramento, California 95812-3044
Telephone: (916) 445-0613
Fax: (916) 323-3018


Facilities and Administrative Indirect Cost Rate Agreement

Current Rates (effective 7/1/2020 until 6/30/2025):

     On-campus research: 55.0%
     On-campus instruction: 50.0%
     Other on-campus sponsored activities: 42.5%
     Off-campus research, instruction, or other sponsored activities: 26.0%


Authorized Official Administrative Representative to be notified

Michael Scott
Associate Vice President for Research
Tel: 415.405.3943
Fax: 415.338.2493



Important information about SF State's multi-year Facilities and Administrative (indirect cost) rate agreement:

San Francisco State University has a multi-year Facilities and Administrative (indirect cost) rate agreement with the federal government. This agreement specifies the F&A cost rates to be applied to awards from federal and non-federal sponsors.

The rates specified in the agreement are as follows:

Current Rates (effective 7/1/2020 until 6/30/2025):
On-campus research: 55.0%
On-campus instruction: 50.0%
Other on-campus sponsored activities: 42.5%
Off-campus research, instruction, or other sponsored activities: 26.0%

Exceptions to these rates occur when a funding agency places a cap on the F&A rate. In this case, ORSP must have written guidelines from the funding agency stating that there is a limit on F&A costs.

If you would like to discuss any variance from the above rates, you must speak directly with Susan Pelton, Director for Research ( or 415-338-7090).

Analyze Data

Consultations are available at no cost to faculty

  • Stat CORR at SF State is an ORSP-funded group whose aim is to support faculty in their statistical analysis needs.

    • Contact Rick Harvey ( or x8-3478) or Ed Connor ( or x8-6997) of the Stat CORR group for further information.
  • SF State is registered as a UCSF-Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) affiliate. ORSP can support initial consultations with this group.
    • We are registered as a UCSF-Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) affiliate. Contact Michael Scott, AVP for Research (415-405-3943 or for arranging consultation services with them for a wide range of design and statistical needs. ORSP can support initial consultations with this group.

Software is available online at no cost to faculty

  • Packages are available online at no cost to faculty, accessible from their campus computers. 
  • Software is available at no cost to faculty via campus computers. If you'd like to learn more or access, visit Labspace.

    • Currently Available:
    • 1D NMR Processor, 2D NMR Processor, 3D Viewer, Access 2016, Amos Graphics, Anaconda Navigator, ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, ChemBasic, CHNMR Viewer, Excel 2016, GamePlan32, IDLE Python GUI, Mathematica 11, MATLAB 2016a, Minitab 19, Nvivo (faculty only: research use license/not for instruction), PowerPoint 2016, Publisher 2016, PyMOL, R, SAP2000 (engineering students only), SAS 9.4, SPSS 24, SPSS 25, Stata 13 (specific departments only), Stata 15 (specific departments only), WinBUGS, Word 2016
  • Links to Research Methods and Statistics Resources

    StatSoft Statistics: Methods and Applications

    UCLA Statistics online textbook

    UCLA Statistical Computing

    UCLA online classes

    Meta analysis Spreadsheets

Campus-wide license for Qualtrics

  • SF State now has a campus-wide license for use of the rich survey instrument Qualtrics (you'll be asked to login using your SF State email credentials).
  • If you lose this shortcut, find Qualtrics through the SF Gateway portal -> IT Services -> Qualtrics.

Training Opportunities

  • Opportunities for faculty to receive statistics training and hands-on experience in a variety of areas.
  • American Psychological Association's Advanced Training Institute (APA-ATI). ATIs provide training and hands-on experience in a variety of areas, including statistical and computational techniques and research with culturally diverse populations.
  • University of Michigan's Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research offers summer program courses. SF State is a member institution. Contact Francis Neely, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, (415) 338-1522,

Who is Eligible to Submit a Grant Proposal?

Principal Investigator Status Policy and Procedures

Eligibility Policy

  1. The right to serve as Principal Investigator (PI) on University sponsored grants or contracts at San Francisco State is automatically granted to:

    • Probationary (tenure track) and tenured faculty.
    • Individuals who have: been offered a probationary (tenure track) or tenured faculty position, signed an acceptance letter, and have a volunteer appointment in an academic college or department. PI status in these cases shall be granted for the purposes of proposal preparation and submission, or the preparation and submission of requests to transfer existing funded programs to SF State.
    • Faculty with emeritus status who have a volunteer appointment in an academic college or department. This requires that Human Resources (HR) approve both a Request to Appoint a Volunteer form and an E-TRAC.
      (To get to the form go to the HR Forms page, and click on the 'Employment' tab, then download  'Request to Appoint a Volunteer' PDF)
    • Individuals with a Management Personnel Plan (MPP) appointment.
  2. Other individuals wishing to serve as a PI on a grant or contract administered by SF State may apply for provisional PI status. The application procedures for such status, and the procedures for continuation, are outlined below. The individual must have the support and recommendation of the relevant department Chair and college Dean. Deans should bear in mind that sponsored programs should be sufficiently important to the achievement of educational, research, or public service goals to justify the allocation of college, ORSP and other University resources.

    ​The Associate Vice President (AVP) for Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) shall review all applications and make recommendations to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (Provost). The Provost shall either accept, request further consultation with the Dean and AVP for ORSP, or reject the application, as outlined below.

Provisional PI status (PI status) shall be for a maximum of two years, and continuation is subject to review procedures, also outlined below.

Procedures for individuals applying for provisional PI status


  1. The individual requesting PI status must have a current honorific faculty appointment. The application for such appointment shall be in accordance with the appropriate academic department’s policies and procedures. Examples include, but are not limited to: adjunct, in-residence, clinical or distinguished.
  2. Prepare a letter of application (maximum 2 pages) that shall include the following:
    • Summary of current research or scholarly work. The description should address both specific aims and broader impacts.
    • Description of how the work relates to the strategic mission of SF State and how it serves faculty and students.
    • Previous experience with funding applications, and previous funding received, if applicable.
    • List readiness to apply for external funding, e.g. funding opportunities that have been identified and submission deadlines.
    • Readiness to administer a sponsored program. This should include professional training and qualifications, experience in managing compliance and financial issues related to sponsored programs, and experience supervising staff and postdoctoral researchers.  Please be aware that nationally, PIs report that 40% of their time is spent on administrative duties.
    • Any required resources, including space (office, lab), computing resources, etc.
  3. Review, print and sign the PI Acceptance of Responsibility.
  4. Prepare a current curriculum vitae (CV).
  5. The applicant shall provide the letter of application, PI Acceptance of Responsibility and current CV to the department Chair.

Department Chair

  1. Review application materials.
  2. If the Chair supports the application, and the candidate has a current honorific in the department, the Chair shall forward all materials to the college Dean.

College Dean

  1. Review application materials.
  2. If the Dean supports the application, Dean shall prepare a letter of support. The letter of support shall include:
    • A description of how PI status for the applicant would assist the college in meeting its goals and objectives, as related to the strategic mission of the University.
    • A description of the resources that the college and other units on campus will provide in support of the applicant.
    • An acknowledgment that the college will employ the PI, if approved. Dean shall specify the job classification, salary rate and supervisor of the applicant.
  3. The Dean shall forward all applicant materials and letter of support to the AVP for ORSP.


  1. The AVP shall review all materials provided by the applicant and Dean.
  2. The AVP shall make a recommendation to the Provost and should consider the following options:
    • Approve for a specific sponsored program or for a specific time period (up to 2 years)
    • Approve subject to specific conditions (e.g. involvement of tenured faculty member with experience in grant and contract administration)
    • Defer decision with a request for additional information (e.g. if file is incomplete)
    • Disapprove (with explanation)


  1. Review and consider the Dean's and the AVP's recommendations and either accept, request consultation with the AVP, or reject the application. Prior to formally rejecting a recommendation, the Provost will consult with the Dean to discuss the reasons for considering the rejection and give the Dean the opportunity to provide additional information on behalf of the applicant.
  2. After all discussions have occurred, the Provost will issue a final written response to the AVP.

Procedures for Continuation as a Provisional PI Status

Annual Report

1. Applicant

Continuation as a PI will be based on an annual report from the PI summarizing her/his activities. The report should consist of a short narrative of results and accomplishments and a list of publications, presentations, grant applications submitted and funded. This report should be sent to the Dean.

2. Dean and AVP for ORSP

The AVP and Dean shall review the report and discuss the PIs ability to responsibly manage the programmatic and administrative responsibilities of their sponsored programs. If there are concerns then a formal review (see below) should take place.

Otherwise, a formal review of the PI status should take place every two years, at the same time as the review of honorific faculty status. These reviews are not a substitution for the reviews required for lecturers performed by the department for teaching or other assigned responsibilities.

Formal Review - Biennial

The formal review for continuation of PI status will take place, at a minimum, every two years. Continuation will also depend on the continued appointment in their honorific faculty position.


  1. Applicant will provide a report to the appropriate Dean summarizing his or her activities as a principal investigator at SF State. This should include a statement of how those activities have supported the University's mission. The report should illustrate competence in managing external funding.
  2. The report should be forwarded to the AVP along with supporting letters from the Dean of the appropriate college.


AVP will make a recommendation to the Provost for continuation or termination of the Provisional PI status


The Provost will issue a final written response to the AVP for ORSP and the Dean.

GENERAL SF State BOILERPLATE (updated 10/20/2015)

General Description. Founded in 1899 as a teacher’s college, San Francisco State University (SF State) has grown over the past four decades into a comprehensive public university with six colleges (Business; Education; Ethnic Studies; Health & Social Sciences; Liberal & Creative Arts; Science & Engineering) awarding baccalaureate degrees in 78 disciplines and master’s degrees in 63. Three joint doctoral programs are offered in conjunction with the University of California: a Ph.D. in special education with UC Berkeley; and both a D.P.T. and a D.P.T.Sc. in physical therapy with UCSF. In 2007, SF State instituted its first fully independent doctoral program, an Ed.D. in educational leadership.

With a total enrollment of 29,465 in Fall 2014, SF State is the sixth largest of the 23 campuses in the California State University (CSU) system and the seventh largest of all public master’s granting colleges and universities in the nation (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2013). SF State typically awards more than 7,000 degrees each year, 83% at the baccalaureate and 17% at the master’s level. SF State and the other CSU campuses continue to provide the most affordable university education in California and frequently represent the only affordable option for economically disadvantaged students. A total of 47% of SF State undergraduates receive Federal Pell Grants, and 78% of all SF tateU students worked part- or full-time to help meet the cost of their education.

SF State attracts an exceptionally diverse student population. SF State is one of the nation’s most ethnically and culturally diverse campuses (Diverse Issues in Higher Education, 2013). Of those declaring their ethnicity in Fall 2014, students of color comprised 68.2% of the undergraduates and 42.7% of the graduate students. The combined undergraduate and graduate student population is: 5.4% African American; 0.3% Native American; 27.3% Hispanic; 32.3% Asian/Pacific Islander; 28.3% White; and 6.5% “two or more races.” In total, 16,014 of the enrolled students are ethnic minorities, and 10,235 of these are from the four federally-designated underrepresented ethnic minority (URM) groups. About 57% of SF State students are female. The average age is 23 years among undergraduates and 32 years among master’s students.9% of the undergraduates are first generation college students from families in which neither parent has attended college. Approximately 2.8% of the students receive services from the Disability Programs and Resource Center for communicative, learning, mobility, or visual disabilities, deafness, or other functional limitations.

Large numbers of students from underrepresented groups earn their degrees at SF State. The campus recently ranked 13th out of 3,600 institutions surveyed nationally in the number of baccalaureate degrees and 80th in the number of masters’ degrees awarded to students of color (Diverse Issues in Higher Education, 2014). Over the last five academic years (2007-Spring 2014), a total of 8,968 baccalaureate and 1,492 master’s degrees were awarded to URM students. Approximately 2.8% of the total degrees granted over the last five academic years were degrees granted to individuals with communicative, learning, mobility, or visual disability, deafness, or other functional limitations, consistent with the representation of these individuals in the general student population.

The diversity of students extends across the disciplines. In 2014, Diverse Issues in Higher Education rated SF State as a top producer of minority baccalaureates nationally in 22 disciplinary areas. These areas, by national ranking, include: Communication/Journalism (#4); Business Administration/Management (#6); Visual and Performing Arts (#6); Parks, Recreation, Leisure and Fitness Studies (#7); History (#8); Area, Ethnic, Cultural and Gender Studies (#10); Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services (#10); Hospitality Administration/Management (#10); Philosophy and Religious Studies (#13); English Language and Literature/Letters (#14); Homeland Security, Law, Enforcement, Firefighting, and Related Protective Services (#17); Education (#20); Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics (#21); Social Sciences (#22); Communication Disorders Sciences and Services (#23); Mathematics and Statistics (#23); Health Professions and Related Programs (#28); Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences (#29); Biological and Biomedical Sciences (#31); Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities (#33); Psychology (#34); Natural Resources and Conservation (#39). Similarly, SF State received top national rankings for master’s degrees awarded to ethnic minority students in: Foreign Languages, Literature, and Linguistics (#1); Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender and Group Studies (#5); English (#6); History (#9); Biological and Biomedical Sciences (#23); Physical Sciences (#23); Communication Disorders Sciences and Services (#25); Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies (#29); Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities (#46); Social Sciences (#47); Mathematics and Statistics (#49).

The SF State faculty is also exceptionally diverse. Of the 766 tenured/tenure-track faculty in Fall 2014, 49% were women and 34%, ethnic minorities (21% Asian/Pacific Islander; 7% Mexican American; 5% African American; and 1% Native American). The representation of women on the SF State faculty increased from 38% to 48%, and the representation of faculty of color from 24% to 34%, during the period 1995 to 2011.

SF State has an increasingly active research climate. Over the three years, total R&D expenditures have averaged $31.2 million per year. The three largest sources of research funding on campus are the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the US Department of Education (USED). State and local agencies including the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and private foundations including the Spencer, Dreyfuss, Beckman and Genentech Foundations and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) are also prominent in the funding mix.

The momentum behind this emergent research culture can be attributed in part to a succession of major institutional awards from NIH to support faculty research training and infrastructure development on campus. These awards began with the University’s first Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Support for Continuous Research Excellence (SCORE) program in 1995, followed by multiple Research Infrastructure for Minority Institutions (RIMI) and Minority Research Infrastructure Support Program (M-RISP) awards from the National Institute for General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). These investments, in turn, led to several large grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for SF State to develop research collaborations with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), to investigate cancer disparities in underrepresented communities. Recently, National Institutes of Health awarded a BUILD (Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity) to overcome the limitations of ongoing underrepresentation of some groups in the sciences which limits the effectiveness of our nation’s biomedical research workforce and constrains innovation and productivity in the scientific workforce. The mission of SF BUILD is to enhance diversity of the biomedical research workforce by transforming the teaching and research environments in science and math at SF State.

A recent Department of Education grant was awarded to faculty in the department of Special Education and Communicative Disorders to explore whether an emerging curriculum designed to prepare students with intellectual disabilities and autism for beginning reading programs in special education classrooms may also be effective in general education classrooms. In addition, SF State was awarded a major grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to transform undergraduate instruction in the life sciences by developing and piloting an evidence-based approach to curricular innovation supporting the processes through which students learn to become scientists.

NSF has made an unprecedented investment in the campus research infrastructure, awarding SF State investigators a total of 15 major research instrumentation (MRI) and 11 CAREER grants. In 2007 and again in 2010, three SF State investigators received new CAREER awards in a single funding cycle, an extraordinary show of support from NSF’s most prestigious program of awards for junior faculty. One of these investigators went on in 2012 to become the first SF State faculty member ever to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the US government on early career researchers.

While the vast majority of NSF support has been awarded to investigators in the College of Science and Engineering, two large campus-wide institutes and centers have attracted major federal funding for behavioral and social science research. The campus-wide Health Equity Institute (HEI) opened its doors in 2005 as a center for community-engaged research and education aimed at reducing and ultimately eliminating health disparities. The Center for Education on Gender and Sexuality (CREGS) resulted from the merger in 2010 of several smaller interdisciplinary programs of the College of Health and Social Sciences. Faculty affiliated with HEI and CREGS have attracted an impressive array of research grants from the National Institutes of Health (including R01, R03, R15, R21, and K awards) as well as other major awards from the Ford Foundation, AIDS United, and other national and regional foundations.

Research and teaching are integrally related at SF State. The continuing emphasis on research and scholarly activity at SF State can be understood, in part, as a natural extension of the university’s historic dedication to excellence in teaching. Research activities inform and enrich classroom and laboratory instruction as well as feed the university’s capacity for service through projects that move out into the community to address issues of pressing concern including health, education, and the environment. SF State students—undergraduate and graduate alike—are regularly afforded opportunities for hands-on experiences in the laboratory and in the field that inspire discovery and ignite a passion for learning. On our campus, research is not considered a separate enterprise but rather an integral part of the education offered.

Students benefit from SF State’s exemplary research training programs. Faculty investigators make it a priority to engage students fully in the research process and have been highly successful in obtaining funding to ensure that all students—including those from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences—receive high quality research training. Programs for this purpose include the NIH-funded Bridges to the Baccalaureate; Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE); Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC); Bridges to the Future; and Career Opportunities in Research (COR) programs. All of these include intensive mentored research experiences and professional development activities to help students develop the skills they need to succeed in competitive doctoral programs. Other externally-funded opportunities for student research training on campus include the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Bridges to Stem Cell Research, and the Beckman and Genentech Scholars programs.

Increasing numbers of underrepresented students from SF State graduates go on to earn doctoral degrees in the biological sciences. A total of at least 210 URM students from SF State have been admitted into highly competitive Ph.D. programs in biomedical research since 1993. While only 8 URM students received Ph.D.s prior to 2005, 121 earned Ph.D.s from 2005-2014, and another 88 are on track to complete their Ph.D. programs by 2020.While these numbers may seem small in absolute terms, they take on considerable significance in light of the national underrepresentation of minorities in the sciences.  For example, the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics reports that only 33, 267, and 329 Ph.D. degrees in the biological sciences were awarded to Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanic Americans, respectively, in the entire United States in 2012 (National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. 2015. Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2015. Special Report NSF 15-311. Arlington, VA).

Civic engagement and community service are deeply held institutional values at SF State. A national leader in socially responsible education, SF State was one of the first U.S. universities to include community service learning credit on student transcripts. Through its Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (ICCE), SF State offers more than 500 courses that combine academic study with community service. 47% of all students take part in these courses each year and collectively contribute more than 875,000 hours annually to the surrounding community. This contribution would amount to more than $15 million annually if paid at the current San Francisco minimum wage. In recognition of this commitment to “teaching, learning and scholarship which engage faculty, students and community in mutually beneficial and respectful collaboration,” The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching designated SF State as a community engagement institution, one of the first universities in the nation to earn this classification. As a result of its dedication to civic involvement and long-standing partnerships with community-based organizations, cultural institutions, public schools, and emerging local industries, SF State has earned a reputation as “the City’s University.”

For more info:

CSU data: CSU Institutional Research and Analysis

For demographic data on specific colleges, departments, and programs, please check with your Chair or Dean, or contact SF State’s office of Academic Institutional Research, which maintains a wealth of demographic data about the campus.

What are Facilities & Administrative or Indirect Costs?

As a recipient of federal funds, San Francisco State University (SF State) is required to adopt costing policies that conform to Federal rules and regulations. Per Uniform Guidance (2 CFR §200), the total cost of a sponsored agreement is the sum of the allowable direct costs incident to its performance, plus the allocable portion of the allowable Facilities & Administrative (F&A) costs to the institution.

Costs that support sponsored research indirectly (F&A / indirect costs) are defined as those incurred for common or joint objectives which cannot be identified readily and specifically with a particular sponsored project, instructional activity, or any other institutional activity. Some examples of indirect costs include:

  • Utilities
  • Salaries, wages, and fringe benefits for clerical and administrative staff
  • Laptop computers and other highly desirable personal electronic devices (e.g. iPads)
  • Office supplies (basic supplies)
  • Subscriptions
  • Library books
  • Periodicals
  • Memberships
  • Office and general equipment (e.g. office furniture)
  • Photocopying
  • Postage
  • Repair and maintenance (e.g. equipment)
  • Telephone and internet (e.g. monthly bills)
  • Proposal development costs

SF State's cost accounting practices are defined in the required filing of its Disclosure Statement (DS-2) to the audit agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The DS-2 defines costs that can be directly charged to sponsored programs as being allowable, allocable, reasonable, and consistently applied. Some examples of direct costs include:

  • Salaries and benefits of faculty, research associates, graduate students and technical personnel
  • Approved Independent Contractors / Special Consultants / Subcontracts
  • Participant Support (e.g. stipends) and Tuition
  • Laboratory supplies (e.g. chemicals)
  • Animals and animal care costs
  • Travel required for the project

Refer to SF State’s Charging Direct and Indirect Costs Policy for additional details.

Do I need to contact the Dean or Chair of my department?

We strongly advise that you contact both. If there is any costsharing or costmatching required in your grant, you will need approval from the Dean. In addition, release time must also be approved by your Dean.

When does my budget have to be completed?

Budgets should be completed seven business days before the submission deadline. At this time, we should also have all supporting documents, such as biosketches, C.V.s, resources, etc.

When does the narrative of my proposal have to be completed?

The narrative should be submitted in final form to the Proposal Preparation Specialist no later than two days before the submission deadline.

What types of activities can I charge to my project?

These types of activities can be charged to a sponsored project:

  • Directing or participating in any aspect of the research related to the specific project
  • Writing a progress report for the project, sometimes called a continuation proposal
  • Holding a meeting with lab staff to discuss the specific research project
  • Activities contributing and intimately related to work under the agreement, including:
    - Participating in appropriate seminars
    - Consulting with colleagues about specific aspects of the project
    - Delivering special lectures about specific aspects of the ongoing activity
    - Attending a conference held by an outside professional society to present  results
    - Reading scientific journals to keep up to date with the latest developments in one's field
    - Mentoring graduate students on the specific research project
  • Making an invention disclosure, and some other activities related to pursuing intellectual property


What activities cannot be allocated to my project?

The following cannot be charged to a sponsored project:

  • Proposal-writing, except for non-competing continuations (progress reports); this includes:

    • Developing necessary data to support a proposal
    • Writing, editing, and submitting a proposal
  • Administration, including service as a department chair or dean
  • Instruction, office hours, counseling for students, and mentoring graduate students on something other than the specific funded research project
  • Service on an IRB, IACUC, selection committee, or other similar group
  • Course or curriculum development
  • Writing textbook chapters
  • Fundraising
  • Lobbying
  • Work that falls outside of regular University business activities, such as:
    • Service as the primary editor of a journal
    • Peer review of manuscripts, regardless of whether compensation is received
    • Advisory activities for sponsors, including service on an NIH study section or NSF review panel, regardless of whether compensation is received