Skip to content

2020 Call for Applications

We fund research that contributes to the elimination of smoking and tobacco use and mitigates the human and economic costs of tobacco use in California.

The 2020 call for applications refers to applications that will be awarded in calendar year 2020, although some applications and other processes will occur in calendar year 2019.


The Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program of California (TRDRP) administers the portion of state retail taxes on tobacco products that are designated for research within California. This unique source of funding supports investigators at eligible California institutions whose research contributes directly to the elimination of smoking and tobacco use and mitigates its human and economic costs in California.

In November 2016, California voters passed Proposition 56 — the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016 — which increased the retail tax on tobacco products by $2. Under the 2018 call for applications, TRDRP awarded over $80 million dollars to over 120 scientifically meritorious projects with an overall funding rate of 19 percent. For the 2019 call for applications, TRDRP will have closer to $57 million in allocated funds available to award. This call for applications narrows the scope of research requested in order to better align our funded awards with our mission and the funds available.

To get started:

  1. Determine your eligibility for funding
  2. Explore our eight research priorities (All applications must address one or more)
  3. The 2020 call for applications will be available in the fall of 2019
  4. Familiarize yourself with our letter of intent and application processes
  5. Contact a program officer with any questions
  6. Use SmartSimple to submit your LOI and application 

All applicants should review the RFP, LOI Instructions, and Application Instructions in their entirety, and must complete all necessary materials using the appropriate templates and forms. Failure to comply with provided instructions may result in administrative rejection of the application.


Resubmission Policy

A resubmission is an unfunded application submitted as a new application during the previous year to any TRDRP peer review panel that has been revised and resubmitted to respond to the critiques under the currently reviewed grant cycle. Please note that TRDRP will accept only a single resubmission of the same or very similar project, regardless of change in application title. Resubmissions are only allowed once during the next two subsequent grant cycles.

An application in grant cycle 2020 can be submitted as a resubmission if a similar application was submitted and reviewed in either of the two grant cycles in 2019 Call for Applications.

Applicants are still required to inform TRDRP of their intent to resubmit through an LOI submission, and must note it as a resubmission (please refer to the LOI/Application instructions for the specific award type). All other applications are considered new applications.

Multiple Submissions Policy

TRDRP will accept up to one application per award type per applicant per grant cycle, provided that the proposed research topics and aims are significantly different for each LOI/application.  Applicants may not submit more than one application under a specific award type, and may not submit multiple applications across different award types with a similar research subject. TRDRP reserves the right to reject any LOI or application due to multiple submissions by the same applicant. Unless otherwise stated, Supplement awards are not subject to the multiple submission policy. If more than one submission is deemed meritorious and selected for funding, TRDRP reserves the right to decide which proposal to fund and will not fund an applicant as PI for more than one award across all types in the same grant cycle.

TRDRP Eligibility Criteria

Investigators from California not-for-profit organizations are eligible for TRDRP funding, including but not limited to colleges, universities, hospitals, laboratories, research institutions, local health departments, community-based organizations, voluntary health agencies, health maintenance organizations and other tobacco control groups. The sponsoring institution, in accordance with its own policies and procedures, should designate the principal investigator (PI). The PI must supervise the research project and any trainees directly and in person. U.S. citizenship is not a requirement for eligibility.

In accordance with UC policy, PIs who are UC employees and who receive any part of their salary through UC must submit grant proposals through their UC campus contracts and grants office. Exceptions must be approved by the UC campus where the PI is employed.

Applicants at California-based Nonprofit Institutions: TRDRP will accept applicants from PIs at non-profit organizations or institutions, provided that the organization can manage the grant and demonstrate financial health. The organization must also meet our liability insurance requirements.  If the application is recommended for funding, the University will collect additional information, such as tax ID numbers and financial reports, to review the organization during the pre-funding process to ensure all financial management and project management eligibility criteria can be met.

Submission Process

Submission of a Letter of Intent (LOI) is required to apply for all research awards. The LOI must be submitted electronically. Applicants will have access to the application materials if the LOI is approved, at which time applicants will receive an email notification. LOI submission instructions should be strictly followed as stated.

All applicants should review the RFP, LOI instructions, and Application Instructions in their entirety, and must complete all necessary materials using the appropriate templates and forms.  Failure to comply with provided instructions or to submit complete forms may result in administrative rejection of the application.

Review Process and Funding Decisions

Applications will be grouped by priority area and reviewed in a study section by experts from outside of California. The criteria for evaluating applications are described under each specific award type section. TRDRP and its Scientific Advisory Committee will prioritize funding scientifically meritorious applications that are well-aligned with the priority areas described in this call for applications, that provide a balance across these priorities, and that are within the extent of funding that is available.

For more information about the funding process visit the TRDRP website.