Planning and Writing Successful NSF CAREER Proposals Maximizing Pivot to Find Funding and Collaborators NSF CAREER Club
Friday, January 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th
Tuesday, January 19
Thinking about applying for an NSF CAREER award? 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 four-part seminar series, we talk about why and how to create a plan that results in a competitive proposal. Presented by Dr. Peg AtKisson (AtKisson Training Group). Do you want to maximize your time spent searching for funding opportunities or potential project collaborators? Join us 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. 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, peer accountability groups, and services including editing, graphic design, and review services.
Register here Register here Register here


Analyzing the Research Funding Landscape Identifying and Capturing Research Funding NIH Study Section

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 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

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.  

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

Maximizing Pivot for Finding 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

Planning and Writing Successful NSF CAREER Proposals

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 on Friday, January 8, 15, 22, and 29 from 10am-12pm each day (8 total hours). The seminar is presented by Dr. Peg AtKisson (AtKisson Training Group).

Register here by Wednesday, January 6, 2021. A Zoom link will be sent to all registrants prior to January 8, 2021. Registration includes one electronic copy of the Handbook for Planning and Writing Successful Grant Proposals (link to excerpt).  See more information on the seminar here.

Broader Impacts Workshops

The National Science Foundation considers two criteria in their review of proposals: intellectual merit and broader impacts (BI). Broader impacts relate to how the proposed research will “benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes” and is increasingly used as the differentiator between which excellent proposals to fund or not.  

The Training Team from the NSF-supported Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS) organization will conduct two interactive virtual workshops in February. Session 1 will take place on Friday, February 19 from 10am-12pm and Session 2 will take place on Friday, February 26 from 10am-12pm. Visit the webpage for more information on the sessions.

Register here for one or both sessions. 

NSF CAREER: Enhancing Your Education and Evaluation Sections

Join us via Zoom on Friday, March 12 from 10-11am to hear from the Center for Teaching (CFT) and the Center for Evaluation and Assessment (CEA) on ways that they could help you strengthen your NSF CAREER proposals.

Register here by Thursday, March 11, 2021.

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.

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 here: 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

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.

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