Research Fellowships through PARC

PARC is pleased to announce a call for applications for research proposals at the intersection of pain and addiction, made possible by an anonymous donor.

PARC is accepting applications through Friday, March 22, 2024 for a single $100,000 PARC Research Fellowship Award. 

Proposals are requested to focus on one of the following areas of interests.

Fellowship A. 

Advance integrative, behavioral, and non-pharmacological approaches to improve treatment or recovery from pain and addiction.

This fellowship funds research studies that advance knowledge regarding the mechanisms and/or efficacy of integrative, behavioral, and/or non-pharmacological approaches to treat pain and addiction. Projects may be at any stage of development. Examples of potential project areas include, but are not limited to: advances in psychosocial therapy to treat patients with pain and SUD; use of integrative approaches to prevent withdrawal or relapse; physical therapy or structure exercise therapy; spinal manipulation therapy; group support; use of guided imagery for the management of pain and addiction; and/or the development of interdisciplinary rehabilitation programs.

Fellowship B.

Advance preclinical, translational or clinical research to improve the diagnosis and/or treatment of pain and addiction; improve clinician and/or patient education and/or modify health services to improve pain and addiction care. Projects may be at any stage of development including expanding on existing pre-clinical or clinical research projects presently planned or in process. Projects focused on advancing foundational preclinical knowledge must have a strong clinical-translational rationale. Examples of potential project areas include, but are not limited to:  Discovery of alternatives to current opioid analgesics with fewer side effects and lower risk of addiction for the treatment of acute / chronic pain; the development of preclinical models to prevent buprenorphine induced opioid withdrawal and improve retention in persons with opioid use disorder (OUD); development and evaluation of new evidence-based harm reduction programs for patients with substance use disorders requiring acute / chronic pain management; development of innovative tools to counter clinician stigma of persons with OUD in need of medication assisted treatment; development of best practices for buprenorphine starts in daily fentanyl users; quality improvement in services organization and management; decision analysis; cost-effectiveness analysis; outcomes research; analysis of pain and addiction care availability, demand, access, or financing; or implementation science, such as implementation research of effective approaches to analgesic management in health systems.

Note:  Applicants at the Assistant Professor level may submit their completed applications early, by March 1, 2024, to request a pre-review of their Methods sections by PARC faculty.  PARC will respond in writing with recommendations for improvement of planned methods.  


UCSF Faculty members in all series, including Adjunct, and at all levels are eligible.

A lead faculty must be identified as the PI and serve as the application contact. There is no limit to the number of team members* for a fellowship application.

* Every team member must include a bio-sketch and a paragraph in the budget justification that defines their role and responsibilities on the project.

Applicant faculty must be members of PARC. If faculty are not certain of their membership status, please contact the PARC Director of Administration to confirm.     

To Apply, applicants should send a PDF to PARC with the following:

1.       Please indicate that you are a PARC Member. (Associate Members are not eligible) Non-members of PARC should apply to PARC for membership prior to application for either fellowship.    

2.       NIH-style Bio-sketch that includes a personal statement reflecting how the faculty member’s background and experience are most suitable to this specific proposal. 

3.       Proposal that includes: which fellowship is being applied for (A or B), background, specific aims, and methods (3 page limit)

4.       References (1 page limit)

5.       Budget and justification: How funds will be used (1 page limit).  University Development assessments will have been removed so the direct budget funds available to investigators totals $100,000.

6.       Applications will be accepted until Friday, March 22, 2024 at 11:59pm.


Evaluation of Applications

Once it is determined that eligibility criteria are met, the fellowship committee will evaluate applications based on the five criteria listed below. Applications will receive a potential total score of 35 points.                                             

1. Scientific merit of proposed project (10 points) - Is the project scientifically rigorous? Are the proposed methods valid and reliable and is the analysis plan sound?

2. Impact of proposed project (10 points) - Is the project likely to make a valuable contribution to the management of pain and/or addiction? Is the project likely to have strong overall impact? 

3. Feasibility of the proposed project (5 points) - How likely is it that the project will be completed on schedule?  

4. Diversity, equity, and inclusion component (5 points) – Does this proposed project acknowledge and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion? For example, has applicant commited to ensure a broad range of study participants, i.e. no less than 25% of a study cohort will represent people of color, people of differing physical/mental abilities, people speaking languages other than English, older age groups, multiple gender expressions, etc.       

5. Alignment with PARC organizational mission (5 points) - PARC’s vision is to be a world leader in transdisciplinary research, patient care, and education for pain and addiction. PARC is looking to educate both pre-clinical and clinical researchers to work collaboratively. Does the proposed project encourage collaboration among researchers from different disciples and backgrounds to derive new concepts and approaches to inform the effective management of pain and addiction? Does the project have potential for extramural funding? 


A sub-group of PARC’s leadership and advisers will review applications in late March with decisions announced in mid-April. Funds will be disbursed to the fellows by May 2024 and need to be spent in full by April 30, 2025. A brief report describing progress is required by October 31, 2024.  

The PARC Fellows’ projects are also described at the PARC website

Reporting Requirements 

Project progress reports are due on a semi-annual basis. Fellows must submit via email a mid-year and a final report including a summary of accomplishments and activities (due April 15, 2024) to PARC via email. Reports are not to exceed two pages in length. PARC fellows will be invited to present their progress at an annual PARC retreat and/or special Fellows Seminar. 


Over the last decade, our nation has experienced the staggering societal impacts of our intertwined chronic pain and opioid epidemics, including the increase in overdose deaths with the rise of fentanyl and stimulants. Despite the inextricably linked nature of pain and addiction, the research, treatment, and recovery communities often remain disconnected and siloed. These long-standing silos have hampered both fields’ development of synergistic cohorts of researchers and clinical providers who can address the chronic pain and opioid crisis in a comprehensive way. 

The UCSF Pain and Addiction Research Center’s (PARC) vision is to enhance transdisciplinary education, research, and patient care, focused at the intersection pain and addiction, to advance solutions to these challenges. Pain and addiction are biopsychosocial conditions that require an integrative response to improve the lives and functioning of patients and society. Since its establishment in 2019, PARC has succeeded in developing a community within UCSF dedicated to these issues and has the backing of senior leadership.


If you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact Anna Landau via [email protected].