Vice Chancellor for Research Discretionary Fund


Our highest priority is to ensure that our researchers can continue their path-breaking work. As communities around the world face the COVID-19 pandemic, UC Berkeley researchers have turned to making contributions to mitigate the challenges at hand. Our researchers are employing their science facilities and research labs, their advanced data analysis tools, their 3D printers and their vast international networks, to help ease the burdens societies around the world now confront. Until large-scale federal and state funding opportunities come online, we need to support our researchers with flexible funding, so that important discoveries and creative new ideas are not delayed. We also need to ensure that the restarting of research endeavors can proceed smoothly, once the majority of our researchers can return to the campus.

If you would like to support this effort, given the pressure it is placing on UC Berkeley’s constrained resources, please consider a gift to

  • enable researchers and their labs to pivot to COVID-19 research (upgrade capabilities, establish new collaborations etc.);
  • continue critical research disrupted by COVID-19;
  • support student researchers and postdocs, so that they can complete their studies and embark on the next step in their careers.

Funds will be deployed in a rapid and flexible fashion by senior academic leaders under the leadership of the Vice Chancellor for Research to provide relief in times of need. Your support will help us to ensure that exceptional researchers can continue their work at UC Berkeley and have the resources they need to be successful.

Some early examples of the kinds of projects that will be supported, include

  • Expanded campus facilities where researchers can work with the virus that causes COVID-19. Because it is both infectious and airborne, this work requires what is known as biosafety level 3, or BSL3, containment. Once underway, the expansion could be completed in 8-12 weeks and would greatly speed research toward treatment and prevention.
  • Funding for researchers applying the latest data science techniques to help optimize the distribution of ventilators and other critical resources.
  • Students who are repurposing the chemicals in their research labs to manufacture and distribute hand sanitizers to the local community.

Learn more about UC Berkeley’s response to COVID-19:
Highlights covering the latest COVID-19 related research and advocacy
COVID-19 Campus Conversations
COVID-19 Campus Response and Resources

The Vice Chancellor for Research Discretionary Fund provides unrestricted support at the discretion of the Vice Chancellor for Research.