Planning and Writing Successful NSF CAREER Proposals The K Award Ecosystem: Writing a Competitive K Award Seeding Excellence Initiative
Thursday, December 2 and Friday January 7, 14, 21, 2022
9am-11am (8 hours total)
Monday, December 6
See webpage for deadlines

The Research Development Office, CLAS Grant Support Office, and College of Engineering are hosting a 4-part virtual NSF CAREER Award grant writing seminar, Planning and Writing Successful NSF CAREER Proposals that will be held on Thursday, December 2, 2021 and Friday January 7, 14, 21, 2022 from 9am-11am (8 total hours). The seminar is presented by Dr. Peg AtKisson (AtKisson Training Group).
Seminar topics include: 1) Understanding the Basics of CAREERs, 2) Planning Your Proposal, 3) Crafting a Compelling Overview, 4) Designing Your Education and Research Plans, 5) Discussing the Literature, Preliminary Work, and Significance, and 6) Letters and the Rest.

The Research Development Office and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science are hosting a virtual NIH K Award grant writing seminar The K Award Ecosystem on Monday, December 6 from 9am-1pm. The seminar is presented by Dr. Peg AtKisson (AtKisson Training Group). Topics include 1) How and why components must mesh, 2) Choosing the right K Award, 3)Addressing review criteria in all components, 4) What makes a good Candidate, 5) Connecting Candidate, Career Development, and Mentor, 6) Support letters, 7) Transition from K to R

The RDO's Seeding Excellence Initiative (SEI) aims to sustain the continued growth of the campus research enterprise by providing competitive seed funding in four strategic areas: 1) community engaged research and scholarship, 2) diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), 3) early career scholars, and 4) interdisciplinary research.  SEI is made possible through funding to RDO from the public-private partnership (P3) Year 1 funding cycle.
Register here Register here See details and RFPs


NIH Study Section Improving Scholarly
Analyzing the Research Funding Landscape Support for Teaching and Learning Research at UI Identifying and Capturing Research Funding Data Management and Sharing Plans for Grant Proposals


To help facilitate networking and collaboration, the RDO has created Networking Surveys. The goal of the Networking Surveys is to create a directory to help identify potential collaborators for your ideas and projects.
Complete the surveys and see the results here.

Sign up to be added to the RDO mailing list to receive the RDO Monthly Newsletter and other timely information.

 Research Development Defined | 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. 


RDO Services

Funding Opportunities

Seeding Excellence Initiative

The RDO's Seeding Excellence Initiative (SEI) aims to sustain the continued growth of the campus research enterprise by providing competitive seed funding in four strategic areas: 1) community engaged research and scholarship, 2) diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), 3) early career scholars, and 4) interdisciplinary research.  SEI is made possible through funding to RDO from the public-private partnership (P3) Year 1 funding cycle.

See details and RFPs here.

Jumpstarting Tomorrow Seed Grant Program

The RDO seeks applications to seed interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research communities that advance research, creative activities, and scholarship. Jumpstarting Tomorrow is a hybrid pilot grant/community-building program that will support innovative and collaborative teams that could become the vanguard for future strategic research investments by the university. 

See more information on the seed grant program and download the RFP hereRound 2 LOI due October 1.

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.  Click here to subscribe.

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.  Next application deadline: Tuesday, October 5, 2021.

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 237 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

Planning and Writing Successful NSF CAREER Grant Proposals Virtual Seminar

An NSF CAREER award application is more than an NSF Standard Grant with an education plan added in. Highly competitive awards integrate the research and education plan. In this virtual seminar, we talk about why and how to create a plan that results in a competitive proposal. Presented by Dr. Peg AtKisson (AtKisson Training Group) on Thursday, December 2 and Friday, January 7, 14, 21 from 9am-11am (8 total hours). The session topics include:

  • Understanding the Basics of CAREERs
  • Planning Your Proposal
  • Crafting a Compelling Overview
  • Designing Your Education and Research Plans
  • Discussing the Literature, Preliminary Work, and Significance
  • Letters and the Rest

To learn more information and to register view the seminar webpage.


The NSF CAREER Club is designed to give you the knowledge and resources to craft competitive CAREER applications. Club participants will take part in events and services including editing, graphic design, and review services.

Events and Services

  • Planning and Writing Successful NSF CAREER Grant Proposals: 4 two-hour CAREER-focused grant writing sessions presented by Dr. Peg AtKisson (AtKisson Training Group).
  • Broader Impacts (B1) Seminars : Five two-hour BI-focused seminars cover basic to advanced concepts. Sessions include: BI 101; Broadening Participation; NSF CAREER; BI Partners; BI Identity; and Evaluating BI. Presented by ARIS.
  • Graphic Design: Have one key figure designed for your proposal.
  • External Grant Review: Receive expert feedback from one external reviewer.
  • Internal Panel Review: Receive critical feedback from up to 3 internal (UI) reviewers.
  • Editing: Receive up to ten hours of editing assistance to improve your writing's clarity.

View the webpage to learn more about the NSF CAREER Club and to sign up to participate.

NIH K Award Ecosystem: Writing a Competitive K Award Virtual Seminar

A competitive NIH Career Development K Award fits together like a complex ecosystem. This virtual seminar will walk you through all the parts of the proposal, emphasizing the purpose of each part and how different sections must mesh. Presented by Dr. Peg AtKisson (AtKisson Training Group) on Monday, December 6 from 9am-1pm. 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

To register, see the seminar webpage.

Maximizing Pivot to Find Funding and Collaborators

Do you want to maximize your time spent searching for funding opportunities or potential project collaborators? Join us on the dates below to learn how Pivot can save you time and effort in identifying the right funding opportunities for your research lines as well as identifying collaborators with the relevant expertise.

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

Campus and Community Outreach

Research Services 

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

Virtual Research Services Fair

Are you interested in learning about campus’s cutting-edge instruments and technology as well as services available to enhance your funding applications and research programs?  Join us virtually on Thursday, April 8, 2021 from 2pm-4pm for the third annual Research Services Fair. Interact with over 45 centers, institutes, core facilities, and other service units in a vendor-style fair. This year’s event will be hosted virtually via Gather; an online platform used to congregate as you would at an in-person event. 

Registration is required.  Register here by Wednesday, April 7.

Research Services Spotlight Series

The Research Servies 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

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.

Neuroscience, Development, and Mental Well-Being Virtual Ideas Lab

This fall, the Research Development Office is hosting a virtual eight-week Neuroscience, Development, and Mental Well-Being Ideas Lab (two hours per week through September 20-November 8) where attendees will have a unique opportunity to explore this topic, develop innovative approaches to this complex problem together, and compete for feasibility funding. By leveraging the university’s unique research and scholarship expertise, you have an opportunity to make a significant contribution to this challenging topic. During our time together, we will draw from a diverse group of minds and disciplines to examine how we assess mental health in infancy through adolescence and connect it to physiological changes in the brain and body.

Visit the Ideas Lab webpage for details on how to apply to become an Ideas Lab Fellow and additional information.

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.

Networking Surveys

To help facilitate networking and collaboration, the RDO has created Networking Surveys. The goal of the Networking Surveys 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:

  1. Demographics
  2. What is your interest in this research topic?
  3. What expertise are you looking for in a collaborator(s)?
  4. What expertise can you offer a collaborator(s)?
  5. Provide a Biosketch

Complete the following surveys, or view the responses below.

COVID-19 Networking Survey

Complete this short survey to share your interests, expertise, and needs for advancing solutions to the ongoing 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