Frequently Asked Questions

How is the term "Pacific Rim" defined?
For the purposes of the Program, the term "Pacific Rim" encompasses all states and nations that border the Pacific Ocean, including all of Southeast Asia, Pacific Latin America and the Pacific Islands. For a more complete list of the nations and territories included, please refer to our About Us page.

My study only involves one country. Do I have a chance to be considered?
Single country project will be considered if the issues investigated and the research findings have broad regional significance and can lead to better understanding of, and/or be applied to, other areas in the Pacific Rim.

My study only involves Mexico. Is this okay?
The Pacific Rim Research Program does not normally support proposals focused solely on Mexico and the United States. Please explore funding offered by the UC MEXUS program

My study involves a disease/a treatment/a scientific phenomenon/an environmental problem in China and Korea. Does it meet PRRP criteria?
Studies of science and other natural phenomena that occur in the Pacific Rim will be considered only if they significantly enhance understanding of the region and its people. They will receive more favorable consideration if they address policy as well as scientific issues and include collaborators from both social science and natural science disciplines.

Studying heart disease or cancer in China and Japan does not necessarily make a project a Pacific Rim study since these diseases exist throughout the world, not just in China and Japan. However, if the study involves cultural influences, diets, treatment seeking behaviors, societal attitudes, and possible policy implications that are specific to these countries and peoples, then the study is considered as having Pacific Rim significance.

Who is eligible to apply for a PRRP grant?
UC faculty and staff (including research staff, librarians, curators, Agriculture and Natural Resources researchers) who are eligible to be Principal Investigators on their campus may apply. UC graduate students may also apply, but must have faculty sponsorship. Visiting faculty and graduate students who will have received their Ph.D by the start of the grant may not apply as PI's, but may serve as collaborators.

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to apply?
No. You must be a current UC graduate student, faculty, or eligible staff.

Who has PI status?
PI status is conferred by each campus according to its regulations. Academic Senate members and many researchers and extension specialists have PI status. Some adjunct positions are afforded conditional PI status or PI exemptions that make them eligible to apply for PRRP grant.

Can a post-doc be a Principal Investigator?
A post-doc who does not have campus PI status cannot apply either as a principal investigator nor as an applicant for Pacific Rim grant.They can be co-PIs but will need to have a faculty member or someone with PI status serve as the PI for the proposal.

I am a graduate student and am planning to be on withdrawn status to save tuition and fees while conducting my field work. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes, you are eligible to apply as long as you can provide a letter of support from your faculty sponsor stating that the reason for the withdrawn status is to conduct PRRP project-related field work and if your campus is willing to endorse your application. The 'withdrawn' status is allowed if it is to conduct dissertation research activities and not due to other employment opportunities or activities unrelated to dissertation research.

Who are Co-PI's and Collaborators?
Researchers other than the Principal Investigator on a project can be listed either as co-PIs or collaborators. If the participation level is substantial, they should be listed as co-PIs. If the participation is indirect or modest, e.g., providing facilities, data, and other minor collaboration, they can be listed either as co-PIs or as collaborators.

Do I have to have documentation from my collaborators indicating they are my collaborators?
Letters of support or commitment from major international collaborators must be included in the application. Use the Appendices section if needed.

Do Co-PIs and Collaborators have to have faculty or other academic status?
Co-PIs and collaborators need not be associated with academic institutions or be professional researchers. They can be non-researchers who are involved in the project.

Can PRRP grants be used to pay salary or stipends?
Neither faculty nor graduate students may include stipends or salaries in their budgets. PRRP grants can be used to pay graduate or undergraduate research assistants involved in a faculty project. Graduate students may budget for living expenses in the field.

Can faculty use grant money towards course buy-out?
No. Funds used towards course-buy-out are in essence a form of faculty salary, therefore not allowed under this Program.

What can mini-grants be used for?
SUSPENDED except for 2014-15. Mini-grants are small amounts normally not exceeding $3000 awarded twice a year to faculty and graduate students to conduct field trips, disseminate findings, arrange meetings (but not for conference travel), and to conduct almost any endeavor related to research. Graduate students may also use mini-grants for all aspects of pre- and post-dissertation enhancement.

The Call lists quite a few different application due dates. What are they?
SUSPENDED except for 2014-15. Mini-grant proposals are due in October and February. Please see the last page of the Call for Proposals for campus deadlines for major grants.

Each campus sets its campus review deadline based on the turn-around time needed to process the applications for that campus. After the campus committees make their selection, those applicants that are chosen to move forward will receive an email from the Pac Rim Program office with web appication instructions. These applicants must submit by the final systemwide deadline in mid-February.

Oftentimes there is a second deadline is for the submission of the complete package to the campus administrative offices such as the Sponsred Projets Office or its equivalent. Please check with your campus for further information about those campus specific deadlines and procedures.

Who is my Departmental Budget Officer?
Your Departmental Budget Officer is the accounting person in your department who is responsible for administering the funds and the payment of your grant. Check with your department to identify that person.

Who is my Campus Contracts and Grants Officer?
Contact your Campus Sponsored Projects Office (usually found under Office of Research or Vice Chancellor for Research) and ask who is responsible for UC grants.

How do I save my application and come back later to revise?
In order to save your information, ALL fields with an asterisk (*) must be filled in. If you are not ready to fill in that information yet you should enter a dash, X, or some other indicator that will remind you to fill in the missing info. A successfully saved and submitted application will bring you to a green confirmation screen. If it returns you to your application, look at the top for the error message to see what areas need to be filled out.

Please also note that application sessions expire after one hour (with no activity). Please make sure you have your information saved/submitted before leaving your computer.

How does my recommender/endorser submit a confidential letter?
Your recommender/endorser should send his/er letter direclty to your campus liaison officer. Those letters will be forwarded to the Pac Rim Porgram office and uploaded to your application after the deadline. The name and contact information is asked for on the web applcation under Letters of Recommendation section and is only used for reference.

Is the recommendation letter due on the application deadline?
Yes, but we will accept it a few days later if necessary. To avoid tardiness, we suggest you complete the Letters of Recommendation section so that the letters received from your liaison officer can be matched with your expectations. Applications that are missing all endorsement letters will not be considered. If you have concern regarding this matter, please check with the liaison oficer at your campus. All letters of recommendation are forwarded from them to the Pac Rim Program office then uploaded after the deadline.

How do I delete documents from my application?
New document uploaded will replace the one aleady in place.

Is the word-count limit strictly enforced?
Yes, please consider your audience and observe the word-count limits.

Do footnotes count in the word count?

How do I update my application?
You can update your application until the deadline.

What do I do if I experience technical difficulties?
Contact the Program Coordinator at

How do I submit my transcript?
You must submit an electronic version of your unofficial transcript. If your campus does not provide electronic transcript copies that you can upload, you may copy the information onto a document, which can be uploaded to the space. Or you can scan a paper copy into a document and upload that.

When will I be notified of the outcome of my application?
Results of the systemwide competition are released in early May.

SUSPENDED except for CFP 2014-15. Mini-grant notifications are usually sent within one month of the deadline.

My project was not funded. Can I get feedback on why it was not selected?
The Program Office will send, upon written request, review comments on the specific project. These are preliminary written comments made by the Committee members assigned to review the proposal. All proposals then go through full Committee review in more depth during the Executive Committee meeting. Applicants may reapply in the following years after making revisions. However a revised proposal is reviewed as a new proposal and judged with all other proposals.

When can I start using my money? I have received my award letter, but the money has not been transferred to my campus account yet.
Receipt of the award letter is confirmation that funds for your project are forthcoming; this is sufficient documentation to begin incurring expenditures on your research project as of July 1 of the award year for regular yearly awards. Ledger transfer usually happens in September after state money is allocated. The grantee's department budget officer must email the Transfer of Funds form back to the Program Office to initiate the fund transfer process. For mini-grant, a grantee can start incurring expenditures as soon as the award letter has been received. It is important, however, to have the fund transfer form properly filled out, signed, and sent back to the Program Office as soon as possible. Without a fund transfer form, the funds can not be transferred to your campus account.

Will my award be transferred to my personal bank account? Do I receive a check?
Awards are transferred to the grantee's campus account set up by the grantee's department or division. Each department or campus has its unique process, you will need to talk to your budget person about setting up an account for your project. Fund transfer is done through inter-campus ledger transfer, no actual checks will be mailed nor will any personal bank accounts be involved.

I was asked to revise my budget. Do I do that online?
No. Please prepare a new budget in an ordinary word processing document and email it to

Will I receive the money in a lump sum before I begin my project, or do I have to pay my expenses out of pocket and get reimbursed?
sually the latter. However, the funds are distributed by your departmental budget officer, so check with her/him.

I was awarded a 2-year grant. Do I receive the entire grant in the first year? If not, do I have to do anything to receive the second-year funds?
Only first year funding is transferred to the campus initially. In order to receive the second-year funding, the PI needs to submit a first-year progress report by mid-April of the first fiscal year. The progress report should include a simple one- to two-page state-of-the-project narrative report and a financial report which can be a copy of the ledger or a simple one page account of funds expended during the first year. The report will be presented for the Executive Committee's review to determine appropriateness for the release of the second-year funding.

My 2-year project was only funded for a year, can I re-apply for the second year?
Receiving the one-year award does not preclude a PI from re-applying for a second-year grant. The process and deadlines for re-application are the same as a new application and will compete with all other applications.

I am expanding the scope of a PRRP funded proposal. Can I apply for a new grant?
If the new proposal significantly extends the scope of the first project and a good argument can be made to justify the additional funding of the new expanded project, then the proposal may be considered on the merit of the new scope. If, however, the new proposal is similar to the current project with more or less similar objectives, the proposal may not receive a favorable review. If additional funding is needed to carry out extra work to complete or improve the original project, a mini-grant may be considered in cases where a full-fledged research grant is not warranted. Under current budget constraint, a very strong case will need to be made to justify a new grant.

I received a mini-grant to do some field work and to conduct a survey. Can I apply for a regular grant to continue this project?
Yes. Mini-grants are often awarded to help PIs with initial investigations and surveys. If the results prove to be promising, PIs can apply for a Research or a Workshop/Planning Grant. Receipt of a mini-grant does not guarantee the award of research or planning/workshop grants.

What is the end date of a mini-grant?
A mini-grant is expected to be completed within one calendar year from the award date.

By when do I have to expend my funds?
Most regular awards are granted on a fiscal year basis, from July 1 to June 30 of the following year. If the project is not completed by June 30th, a no-cost extension request should be made to the Program Office.

Do I need to file a final report for my mini-grant?
Yes, at the completion of the mini-grant project/activity, a short 1-2 page narrative report and a simple financial statement should be sent to the Program Office. This is similar to the requirements of regular research/workshop/planning grants.

How do I apply for a no-cost extension?
No-cost extensions can usually be approved for a period of up to one year, if the additional time is required to complete the original scope of work. An extension will not be granted solely for the purpose of using unexpended funds outside of the scope of the original proposal and/or budget.

Requests for no-cost grant extensions should be made to the Program Office before the project original due date and should include the following:

1. A written request (letter or e-mail) from the PI stating the reason for, and the length of, the extension.

2. An interim financial report (a simple ledger will do), indicating funds expended during the first year. The report should also indicate what the amount of the balance and it will be used for.

3. A simple narrative interim report about what has been accomplished so far and what aspects of the project remain to be done, along with a general time line of expected completion date. This can be a short (1-2 page) summary.

In the middle of my project I realized that I have underestimated my travel expenses. Can I request an increase?
Once a grant has been made, the funding level is set and is rarely changed unless the PI has received additional awards from other funding sources after the PRRP award was made (please see below). In cases where a PI needs to switch funds from one category to another to achieve better usage of the available money and the amount of change is over $1000, a written budget change request, with explanations, should be submitted to the Program Office for approval.

I have received additional funding from another source for the same project that PRRP is sponsoring. What should I do?
You need to report the additional awards to the Program Office which will work with you and your department budget officer to coordinate a revised budget so that there will be no duplications. Usually the award will be adjusted to allow the PI to have a larger combined amount, although the individual award may be slightly reduced. It is the PI's responsibility to report all grants received from all sources for the same PRRP project. Failure to disclose such information either prior to or after the PRRP award announcement will result in recall of the entire PRRP grant and jeopardize the PI's eligibility to receive future PRRP funding.

How do I request a budget change?
A budget change request is required when the amount of the change in any budget category exceeds $1000. The PI/applicant sends a written request to the Program Office, either by e-mail or hard copy, explaining the reason for the budget change and the items and amounts to be changed. It is helpful to list the original and the revised budget side by side for easy comparison. The Program Office may ask for further information to justify the change(s).

I have accepted an offer to work at another university. Can I transfer my unused PRRP money from my current project account to my new account at another institution?
If the new institution is not another UC campus, the unused funding will need to be returned to the Program Office. The fund balance cannot be transferred to a non-UC institution. If another UC PI is taking over the project, a "change of PI" written request needs to be submitted to the Program Office. Both the departing and the new PI have to acknowledge and agree to the change. The new PI will be responsible for the completion of the project and the submission of its final reports.

What is the format for the final reports?
The financial report can be a copy of the ledger indicating account number, original appropriation, and how the funds were expended, or it can also be in any other format that gives a clear picture of the account/fund numbers, expenses, and balance, if any. Unused funds need to be returned to the Program Office to be used to sponsor future projects.

The final narrative report can be a summary of your findings, ranging from 3 to 4pages to formal papers, such as conference proceedings, publications, books, newsletters, CDs or video tapes, etc. PRRP sponsorship should be acknowledged in those publications. Anything published as a result of the research or workshop funded by this Program is welcome. Many of the final reports are featured in the Program's newsletter and web archive. PRRP participates in the UC eScholarship repository program and will be pleased to receive those publications to put on our repository site.