As we adjust to new working environments with many new challenges and opportunities, we are launching a grant program to help bolster morale within our communities. This initiative is supported by a one-time gift from a generous friend of UCSF who was inspired by your collective efforts and wants to support our faculty and staff.

Recognizing that each of our communities and units have different needs, our goal is to ask pre-existing groups, newly formed groups, and/or work units to come together and propose innovative ways to build community.

Successful proposals will:

  • Impact a group of 15-50 faculty and staff from the SOM, SOD, SON, SOP and the Graduate Division
  • Result in a deliverable that increases morale and unit cohesiveness
  • Be feasible for implementation within 30-60 days
  • Have a budget of up to $5,000

Grant Outcomes


proposals submitted


In funds distributed



employees impacted across all 4 schools and graduate division

Thank you for your interest in these grants; we have allocated all of our funds.


How do I apply?

Please apply by completing this online application.

I would like to do something for my unit, but I don't know what I can do. Can you provide guidance examples of morale-boosting activities or interventions?

A: The following are just a sampling of ideas; we welcome all creative proposals and trust that faculty and staff know what will be most impactful to increase morale amongst their individual communities.

Wellness: group video screening and moderated discussion on resilience and emotional well-being (some video resources here); remote group yoga class

Fitness Challenges: connect with the UCSF Fitness Center to schedule an Zoom Zumba class; provide exercise trackers and instruction for group motivation, shared experiences and friendly competition

Collaborative Discussions over lunch: deliver lunch or afternoon coffee/snack and use time for collaborative scholarship, thematic discussions, or problem solving group issues

Community-Building: remote group cooking class; team branded coffee mugs and weekly coffee Zoom chats; unity themed jackets; fancy dinner delivered and remote group movie viewing

Skill-Building: lunch and learns on topics such as new challenges that arose during COVID pandemic (example: leading through crisis, parenting during the pandemic, overcoming and existing with challenges to academic productivity, mindfulness training) 

Self-expression: remote creative-writing workshop, sponsored poetry contest with prizes

Human Centered Problem Design: get support for a trained facilitator or design-thinking expert to lead your unit to solutions to a group challenge

If I don't have the bandwidth to submit a proposal but want to provide support for my colleagues and unit or for myself, are there other resources that I can tap?

If you have a group you'd like to support, the UCSF COPE Wellbeing Program can provide you with an easy program to support your group.  Just ask, and we will be happy to connect you. UCSF COPE Wellbeing Program provides comprehensive information on wellness and coping on their website, including several resources for wellness and mental health apps, free or reduced cost fitness classes, resilience and emotional well-being videos, and a webinar series.

Are employees from outside of the School of Medicine eligible to submit proposals?

Yes. Any UCSF faculty or staff employee in one of the four schools or graduate division is welcome to apply. For further clarification, please contact Stephanie Belger.

Can I apply for more than one cycle of funding?


If my proposal is not successful, will I be able to submit during the next cycle?

Yes. Any proposal that we are unable to fund for the first cycle will be considered for the next cycle; if modifications are necessary, feedback will be sent to the applicant.

Are there restrictions on what the funding can be used for?

Funds cannot be used to provide salary support or bonuses. All proposals must follow finance guidelines and polices such as the non-cash awards and gift policy and meal expenditure limitations.

I still have more questions; who can I contact?

Please reach out to Stephanie Belger with additional questions.