Development of Large Collaborative Proposals

Research Development team members work directly with faculty pursuing external funding for large, collaborative projects, Center-scale efforts, and training proposals of strategic institutional importance. The team coordinates with staff and services offered within Schools and The College, as well as the Office of Sponsored Programs, Corporate and Foundation Relations, the Libraries, and Federal Relations, among others. Our support is available upon request and at the discretion of the Associate VP for Research Development. Support must be requested at least 3 months prior to the sponsor’s deadline. 



The Research Development team provides support for the development of proposals to Federal funding sponsors for projects that are: UVA-led, multi-disciplinary, multi-component, multi-investigator, multi-School/unit, multi-organization, and with multi-million-dollar budgets. Other projects of strategic importance to university goals will be considered for support.


The Research Development team can provide a wide range of support, depending upon the needs of the faculty group and the time remaining until the sponsor’s deadline. We maintain a continuous connection with UVA faculty leading large and complex proposals to ensure they receive the support they need when they need it, right up until the submission deadline. Our goal is to help our faculty submit the most competitive proposals possible.

The AVPRD and Research Development Specialists have PhDs and the ability to communicate and work across broad and diverse subject areas. Research Development Specialists often become integrated into the project group and participate in the proposal from the brainstorming stage through proposal submission.

Types of Support Available

  • Advising faculty on the interpretation of the solicitation, as well as best practices and approaches.
  • Identifying faculty peers who have submitted to similar programs and who may be able to share advice or proposal examples.
  • Synthesizing the sponsor-provided outline, instructions and review criteria into a single “proposal builder” that can be directly used for proposal writing.
  • Developing checklists, timelines, and templates for various proposal components.
  • Facilitating and coordinating group meetings, connecting with relevant contacts and resources, sending out task assignments and reminders, collecting and synthesizing drafts of proposal sections.
  • Serving as a liaison or point-of-contact with investigators across Grounds or from other universities or organizations.
  • Collecting information on university core facilities and programs relevant to the proposal, including those relevant to broader impacts.
  • Coordinating and providing internal reviews and constructive feedback on proposal drafts.
  • Maintaining momentum after the proposal is submitted; we will work with faculty to identify additional funding opportunities appropriate for the proposed activities.
  • Working with faculty to respond to reviewers’ comments and develop proposals for “resubmission.”
  • This list should be considered illustrative, rather than exhaustive.

How to Request Support

At least 3 months prior to the sponsor’s deadline, email the Associate Vice President for Research Development (Kim Mayer) to request a consultation to discuss your proposal and support needs. Provide a link to the NOFO/RFA/FOA in the email and a brief description of your project. Your Associate Dean for Research should be aware of your project before you contact the RD office. This team is a limited resource. Projects will be considered and scoped according to bandwidth at the time of request.

Additional Proposal Support Available On Grounds

  • Budgets and sponsor-specific forms
    • Please work directly with your research administrator (in your School or in the Office of Sponsored Programs, as assigned).
  • Uploading of proposal to Huron and routing for approval
    • Please work directly with your research administrator (in your School or in the Office of Sponsored Programs, as assigned).
  • Biosketches and external letters of support
    • Please work directly with your research administrator (in your School or in the Office of Sponsored Programs, as assigned).
  • Letters of support from the VPR’s office
    • Faculty are expected to draft such letters and provide them to the VPR’s office for review and revision – well in advance of the sponsor’s deadline. Please contact the VPR’s Chief of Staff, Cheryl Wagner, with these requests.
    • Your request should include a timeframe (sponsor's deadline), the name and a brief description of the program (including a link if there is one), and any instructions or info the sponsor provided about what the letter is supposed to contain.
  • Training grant data tables
    • Most information needed for these tables is either collected and managed at the department level, or directly by the investigators (e.g. mentors). Contact administrators in the relevant departments early in the process to begin data collection for tables.
  • Graphic design support for proposals
  • Compiling references/citations/bibliographies
    • UVA’s libraries provide guidance on citation management tools. If you have multiple contributors to a proposal, we encourage you to select a tool early to make citation management simpler. Students or administrative staff can be enlisted to compile references into a single library or document.
  • Cost Share Requests
    • If cost share is required by the sponsor, then faculty should work with their department chair(s) and School ADR(s) to identify sources of cost share or bridge funding. If the Dean’s office feels it is appropriate, they may reach out to the VPR’s office with a request for support on behalf of the project. The contact person for such requests is the VPR’s Chief of Staff, Cheryl Wagner.
    • Please note, per UVA policy, the University generally discourages but does not prohibit voluntary committed cost sharing.