and Capturing Funding
The K Award Ecosystem:
Writing a Competitive K Award
Maximizing Pivot for Finding Funding and Collaborators
Friday, October 30
10-11 am
Tuesday, November 3 (9-11 am) and
Tuesday, November 10 (9-11 am)
Tuesday, November 17
9-10 am
Do you want to improve your ability to find the right funding opportunity and then capture the award? Join us for a session focused on identifying and evaluating the potential funding opportunities including tips and tools for developing competitive proposals Join us to learn how a competitive NIH Career Development K Award fits together like a complex ecosystem. This seminar will walk you through all the parts of the proposal, emphasizing the purpose of each part and how different sections must mesh.
*Registration deadline: Friday, October 30 *
Do you want to improve your ability to find the right funding opportunity and then capture the award? Join us for a session focused on identifying and evaluating the potential funding opportunities including tips and tools for developing competitive proposals.
Register here Register here Register here

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 Research Development Defined | Research Development and Administration | Research Development Network | RDO Services | Research Education and Training | Campus and Community Outreach | Sparking New Collaborations

The Research Development Office (RDO) offers one-stop “concierge” services to connect researchers and scholars with research administrators and other resources; accelerate discovery and innovation by supporting collaboration, creation, and proposal development; and minimize the administrative burden of research on faculty and staff. 

See below to view an overview of events and activities.
2017-18 RDO Launch Year in Review
2018-19 RDO Year 2 at a Glance

What is Research Development?

The Office of the Vice President for Research launched the Research Development Office (RDO) in spring 2017. So, what is research development? As a professional field, research development is relatively new.  In 2010, the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) was founded as the first professional organization devoted to research development. NORDP’s definition of research development encompasses, “a set of strategic, proactive, catalytic, and capacity-building activities designed to facilitate individual faculty members, teams of researchers, and central research administration in attracting extramural research funding, creating relationships, and developing and implementing strategies that increase institutional competitiveness”. While the term research development may be new to some, the concept and its activities are closely related to research administration; therefore, research development may be familiar to many. 


Research Development and Research Administration

Research administration is likely a more familiar term than research development to many. While research development may be a relatively new concept, it overlaps with research administration in support of researcher success (see diagram). Research administration focuses on pre- and post-award support that enables the research to be conducted. Research development focuses on the activities that catalyze research teams and their activities. Using the spectrum of pre- and post-award activities, some have described research development as the activities before pre-award, or PRE-pre-award. In other words, research development supports setting the stage for research with the development of people, resources, and ideas. For example, research development includes providing grant writing workshops, creating a resource library for grant proposals, and ideation and networking opportunities for researchers. Together, research administration (e.g., enabling the conduct of research) and research development (e.g., enabling teams and ideas) support the culture of research and knowledge discovery at universities.


The RDO is building a network of research development professionals that will meet throughout the year and discuss research development ideas and opportunities.


Research Development Network

Do you engage in research development activities? Not sure if you do, but want to learn more and/or network with other research development professionals on campus?  

The goals of the network are to:

  • Introduce research development activities on campus and off
  • Share strategies and best practices for research development
  • Network with other campus research development professionals

Contact VPR-RDO@uiowa.edu with questions.

RDO Services

Funding Opportunities

Limited Submission Opportunities

RDO coordinates the Limited Submission Opportunities process for grant applications to funding agencies that restrict the number of submissions allowed from an institution. An internal selection process has been established to make sure that multiple applications to the limited program do not render each other ineligible by the sponsor.

Funding Focus
Funding Focus is a weekly digest email of limited submission opportunities for the UI community.  To subscribe, please visit here.

Arts and Humanities Initiative

RDO coordinates the Arts & Humanities Initiative (AHI), an internal funding program within the Office of the Vice President for Research that encourages leading edge scholarship, creative activities, and interdisciplinary research.  

Grant Bulletin and Funding Opportunities

RDO works closely with the Division of Sponsored Program (DSP) which informs campus faculty about the latest funding opportunities and requests for proposals through the Grant Bulletin.


Pivot is an online funding database that researchers, faculty and research administrators can easily explore new avenues for funding, view funding opportunities uniquely matched to their scholar profile, collaborate with colleagues and manage the results of the process to build a funding strategy that supports both immediate and long-term funding needs. For more information on how to access Pivot, please visit the DSP webpage. See below for additional information about how to utilize Pivot.

Proposal Development 

External Review Services

RDO assists UI faculty with preparing ambitious, collaborative, and successful proposals. In this regard, RDO facilitates external reviews of proposals to external funding agencies. External review of proposals prior to submission will provide critical feedback in order to strengthen the proposal and improve the overall likelihood of success.  Download the guidelines (pdf) for additional details. ***Please note that funds are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.***

Resource Library

The resource library, requiring HawkID authentication, contains examples of successful proposals for various funding agencies including federal agencies and private foundations. In addition, the resource library contains examples of various components required for proposals including budget justifications, resource sharing plans, and data management plans.

Also included in the resource library are DoD and NASA Funding Tools provided by Travis Klopfenstein, Research Programs Consultant; CCAD.  This initiative includes tools and resources to find a counterpart in DoD labs, consortiums, and OTAs as well as other useful guidelines for DoD and NASA funding opportunities.

The resource library will continue to grow as examples of successful proposals are identified. RDO is asking for campus assistance in building out this library to help UI researchers prepare successful proposals. If you are willing to share a copy of a successful proposal or sections of a successful proposal, please email the Research Development Office with your contribution.  Note: These examples and resources are meant for University of Iowa researchers and staff and should not be shared outside of the University of Iowa. Further, these are examples and should be updated and/or customized to reflect the needs of the proposal.

Open Grants

Open Grants is a free resource started in 2012 that currently contains 206 examples of both funded and unfunded proposals from various agencies to serve as examples to researchers. 

Research Education and Training

RDO promotes outreach activities such as workshops and training sessions available to the campus community. For additional opportunities available across campus, visit https://research.uiowa.edu/researchers/professional-development-and-workshops

Analyzing the Research Funding Landscape

Do you have a research idea and want to better understand the research funding landscape? Join us to analyze different types of research funding sources (i.e., corporate, federal, and private) to identify potential paths to fund your research endeavors.

Aaron Kline (Director, Research Development Office)
Kristi Fitzpatrick (Director, CLAS Grants Support Office)
Kelley Drowne (Executive Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations, The University of Iowa Center for Advancement)

Click here to access the recording.

Identifying and Capturing Funding

Do you want to improve your ability to find the right funding opportunity and then capture the award? Join us for a session focused on identifying and evaluating potential funding opportunities including tips and tools for developing competitive proposals. 

Aaron Kline, Director (Research Development Office)
Kristi Fitzpatrick, Director (CLAS Grant Support Office)
Oliva Smith, Research Support Specialist (Division of Sponsored Programs)

Register here to receive the Zoom link and join us on Friday, October  30 at 10:00 am.  Sponsored by RDO and CLAS Grant Support Office.

The K Award Ecosystem: Writing a Competitive K Award

A competitive NIH Career Development K Award fits together like a complex ecosystem. This seminar will walk you through all the parts of the proposal, emphasizing the purpose of each part and how different sections must mesh. The session topics include:

  • How and why components must mesh
  • Choosing the right K Award
  • Addressing review criteria in all components
  • What makes a good Candidate?
  • Connecting Candidate, Career Development, and Mentor
  • Support letters
  • Transition from K to R

 Registration deadline: Friday, October 30. There is no cost to register. Additional information including registration can be found here

Presented by Peg AtKisson (AtKisson Training Group)

Maximizing Pivot for Finding Funding and Collaborators

Join us for an informational session featuring best practices for maximizing Pivot features. Open to all faculty and staff, you will have the opportunity to work hands-on within the system to learn the functionality of crafting and saving funding opportunities, finding potential collaborators, creating newsletters, and much more. 

Pivot Administrative Privileges:  As of August 15 2019, access to Pivot administrative privileges can be requested for supervisor and RDO approval through Universal Workflow.  Administrative privileges will allow staff to help researchers identify funding opportunities, edit profiles, and connect with potential collaborators. To request administrative privileges, please complete the Universal Workflow request form (Note: a brief business justification for each selected option must be provided in order to be approved). 

Additional Resources

Grant Writing Seminar and Workshop

The RDO is pleased to announce that Dr. John Robertson from Grant Writer's Seminars & Workshops (GWSW) will conduct the Write Winning Grant Proposals seminar in two, half-day virtual sessions on Thursday, October 15 and Friday, October 16, 2020. The deadline to register is 11:59 PM on Sunday, September 27.

The Phase I Seminar is a pre-requisite to the Phase II Workshop scheduled for February 11-12, 2021. Faculty must contact their collegiate associate dean for research no later than Monday, September 7, 2020 (extended deadline), with their interest in attending the Phase II workshop.

Additional details and instructions to register can be found here: https://research.uiowa.edu/university-iowa-grant-writing-seminar-and-workshop

Campus and Community Outreach

Research Services Events

The RDO coordinates events to connect researchers to learn about campus resources and services available for their research and scholarship activities.

Research Services Fair is a vendor-style fair that provides an opportunity for researchers to connect with over 70 core facilities, service units, and compliance units.  A comprehensive list of past participating units as well as links to their respective webpages can be found heree:  https://research.uiowa.edu/ui-research-services-fair#participatingunits

Research Services Spotlight Series is a virtual series that was launched in the spring of 2020.  Service and core facility units provided 10-minute overviews highlighting their services followed by a Q&A session.  Recorded videos of the core units can be found here: https://research.uiowa.edu/research-services-spotlight-series-core-facilities

Science on Tap

Science is brewing at Hancher's Stanley Café! In conjunction with Hancher, Science on Tap is an informal forum for UI researchers to engage the campus and the local community in a discussion of science in a fun and inviting atmosphere that recognizes the great research and scholarship taking place at Iowa. 

Sparking New Collaborations

The examples below are aimed at bringing together faculty and staff from across the disciplines to grow campus connections, while fueling participants’ imaginations for what is possible in the area of research and discovery.

WANTED: Bold Ideas for Big Challenges

Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, we are postponing the planned activities associated with the Ideas Labs. Click here to see the results of the recent survey and to sign up stay up-to-date on activities.

Speed Networking

Speed Networking is like speed dating.  It is designed to help you meet potential collaborators in a quick, low-pressure environment through paired rotations every ~5 minutes.  By the end of a speed networking event, you will meet other researchers with varied interests in the particular topic.

View the Speed Networking Overview Document to learn more about Speed Networking and to view past Speed Networking events.

Opioid Networking Survey

To help facilitate networking, the RDO is hosting an Opioid Networking Survey. The goal of this survey is to create a directory to help identify potential collaborators for your ideas and projects. This collected information is being posted online, so that you may easily communicate with others as desired.

The survey consists of the following questions and should take about 5 to 10 minutes to complete (three to four sentences per question, generally):

  1. Demographics
  2. What is your interest in exploring solutions towards addressing opioid use?
  3. What expertise are you looking for in a collaborator(s)?
  4. What expertise can you offer a collaborator(s)?
  5. Do you have any current opioid-related activities/projects ongoing that would you would like to highlight?

To complete the survey, please click here. To identify potential collaborators, please click here. The survey results will be updated every two weeks when new responses are collected.

COVID-19 Networking

To help stimulate University of Iowa COVID-19 interdisciplinary research activities, a brief survey has been developed to connect with others. The survey will capture and share the following information:

1. What is your interest in COVID-19 research?
2.  What expertise/resources can you offer a research partner or team? 
3. What expertise/resources are you looking for in a research partner or team?
4. Do you have active COVID-19 projects that you would like others to know about? 

Complete this short survey to share your interests, expertise, and needs for advancing solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to see those who have completed the survey and are looking for collaborators.

COVID-19 Funding
Stay up-to-date with COVID-19 funding opportunities using this Pivot* search, which updates as new opportunities are announced.  
*Must be using University of IP address range (i.e., on campus or using VPN).

Previous Events

To see previous events from the Research Development Office, please visit here.

Contact us

Aaron Kline Cheryl Ridgeway Britt Ryan
Aaron Kline
(319) 335-4142
Cheryl Ridgeway
(319) 384-3332
Britt Ryan   
(319) 335-9575