Award Description

To assist with recruitment and retention of faculty who share our commitment to diversity and/or focus on health equity, anti-racism, and health and healthcare disparities, each year the Dean’s Office will award up to eight grants to support activities related to our educational and scholarly missions. Those receiving the grants will be named the John A. Watson Faculty Scholars

2019 Watson Scholars
The 2019 class of John A. Watson Faculty Scholars

The grants will provide critical support that will allow faculty to develop their academic interests. These grants are not to be used as Z supplements or as salary increases.  For more information and guidelines about the fund, please see Dean's Diversity Fund Guidelines.

There are three categories of awards:

1. Faculty Recruitment  – Up to four three-year grants for newly recruited faculty.

2. Mid-Career Support - Up to one three-year grant for faculty who have been at UCSF for over two years.

3. Opportunity Transition – Up to four three-year grants awarded to residents, fellows and post docs who are in their final year of training at UCSF and whose departments would like to hire them but lack sufficient resources for a start-up package.


Faculty Recruitment Awards: Faculty members who demonstrate a commitment to our mission of diversity and who were recruited through a formal search process within the past two academic years. Faculty from all academic series are eligible, provided they meet the eligibility criteria.

Mid-Career Support Awards: One award granted for a UCSF faculty member who has been a member of the faculty for more than two academic years and who shares our commitments to diversity and/or focus on health equity, anti-racism, and health and healthcare disparities..

Opportunity Transition Funds: Residents, fellows and post docs who are in their final year of training at UCSF and who share our commitments to diversity and/or focus on health equity, anti-racism, and health and healthcare disparities.

Selection Criteria

A Diversity Fund Review Committee will review all applications. The subcommittee will consider the following factors in the review process:

1. The department/ORU’s commitment to the nominee (including the start-up package, space commitment, percentage research time, etc.).

2. The Chair/Director’s description of the nominee’s anticipated scholarly contributions, ability to make a unique contribution to the department and/or the school, and the nominee's potential to have a positive impact on the department’s and/or school's culture of diversity.

3. The nominee’s ability to contribute to diversity priorities within the department/ORU, as assessed by the UCSF Climate Survey and CD2 Demographic Data metrics, and as described in the Chair/Director’s nomination letter.

4. The department/ORU’s history of receiving Dean’s Diversity Fund Grants.

After the Diversity Fund Review Committee has ranked candidates, the Dean’s Office will review the ranked list and conduct a needs assessment for each department. The final decision will be based on the rank of the candidate and the assessment of the department’s needs.

Award Amount and Award Period

The amount of the award is up to $75,000 per year.

The award period is no longer than three years (i.e., the total award cannot exceed $225,000 over three years).

Each year, up to nine new grants will be awarded – four in the Faculty Recruitment category, one in Mid-Career, and four in the Opportunity Transition category.

Grant Reassessments

Each year of the three-year grant, the recruitment and retention award will be reassessed by the Diversity Fund Review Committee to ensure that the faculty member has contributed to the school’s mission and has demonstrated an impact, as described in the nomination letter.

In each of the three years, the chair/director will be responsible for submitting a brief letter that provides an update on the candidate’s contributions and the awardee's current CV to the Diversity Fund Review Committee. The Diversity Fund Review Committee will review the chair/director’s letter and determine whether the funding will continue for the following year, up to a maximum of three years. At the end of the final year, each faculty member will submit a final report that summarizes the impact of the funding support on their career and future plans.


Nominations should be submitted by the department chair or ORU director. The nomination packet has three components:

1. The Chair/Director’s nomination letter (two-page maximum).  Please address each of the following:

  • The nominee’s qualifications and specifically how the particular qualifications and strengths of the nominee will enhance the academic excellence, breadth, and diversity of the faculty within the department.
  • How this funding will make a difference in the candidate’s career trajectory and how it contributes to their future development.
  • Existing diversity metrics in the department and why the candidate could contribute to the diversity initiatives and accomplishments within the department.
  • The recruitment/start-up package and detailed information regarding the department/ORU’s commitment to the nominee. Specifically:
    1. Salary
    2. Start-up Package
    3. Space
    4. Additional Funding Sources
    5. Leadership Role (if any)
    6. Mentorship
  • For Mt Zion nominees: Is the nominee an active part of the Mount Zion community (lab, research/scholarship program or clinic located at Mt Zion)?  If yes, do the nominee's activities at Mt Zion include research as described as "the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate and evaluate new concepts, methodologies and understandings (this could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes)"?*

2. The nominee’s current CV.

3. The nominee’s offer letter.

Applications should be addressed to the Dean’s Diversity Fund Committee and submitted in a single PDF to Stephanie Belger.

*Awardees who are active members of the Mount Zion community will be funded by the generosity of the Mount Zion Health Fund.


Request for Applications (RFA) distributed

February 2024

Information Session via Zoom - RSVP here

February 27, 1:10-2pm

Applications Due

March 29, 2024

Award Notification June 2024