Research Development Network

Research Development Network Meetings

Previous Meeting: January 10, 2020
Agenda (pdf)
Data Management and Data Sharing Plans
Evaluation Planning for Grants

Date: July 1, 2019
Introduction Slides (pdf)
ITS Business Intelligence
Pivot Administrative Features (pdf)

Date: Monday January 7, 2019
Agenda (pdf)
Introduction Slides (pdf)
Pivot (pdf)
DoD Funding (pdf)
Speed Networking (pdf)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Inaugural Meeting
Date: Monday, July 9, 2018
Agenda (pdf)
Introduction Slides (pdf)
What do you do when asked to review a proposal? (pdf)
Sparking New Collaborations (pdf)

Funding Opportunities

UI-ISU Partnership Seed Grant Program

RDO coordinates the UI-ISU Partnership Seed Grant Program, which provides seed funds to support UI and ISU researchers in developing innovative, ambitious, interdisciplinary programs that have the potential to synergistically advance both institutions’ research profiles, as well as lead to sponsored funding from government agencies, corporations, and/or foundations.  Seed funds may be used to develop new initiatives or expand existing collaborations.


In a change from 2018, UI and ISU are offering a matchmaking platform to help PIs identify collaborators for a proposal.  UI faculty interested in finding an ISU collaborator should fill out the form linked here.  The list of UI and ISU faculty interested in collaborating on the UI-ISU Partnership Seed Grant Program can be found here.  Faculty who add their names to the list can also opt in to receive a weekly email update.

Research Education and Training 

Pivot Administrative Features Information and Demonstration Session

Are you looking for ways to assist researchers with identifying grant funding opportunities? Are you wanting to learn more about the enhanced administrative features of Pivot? Join us for an information and demonstration session that will introduce Pivot Administrative Features.  Topics covered will include crafting and saving funding opportunity searches, creating calendars and newsletters, sharing and tracking opportunities, editing profiles, and enabling weekly email alerts. We will also discuss how to request access to the additional administrative privileges.

When: Tuesday, July 13 from 1-2pm

Eligibility: All Research Support Staff

Improving Scholarly Communication Series- Summer 2021

Are you looking for methods to improve your success in writing, grant applications, and speaking endeavors? If so, join us on Tuesday June 1, 15, and 29 from 1pm-2pm for a virtual three-part series designed to provide you strategies to improve the clarity of your scholarly communications, both written and oral.

Data Management and Sharing Plans for Grant Proposals

NIH, NSF, and many other research funders require data management plans as part of the funding proposal. A good plan may help you provide a more competitive proposal. Join us on Wednesday, July 14 from 10am-11am as we cover the foundational elements of these plans, campus resources and policies you can include in the plan, and look at some examples. Bring your plan if you have started working on one.  Presented by Brian Westra, UI Libraries

Support Mechanisms for Undergraduate Research and New Opportunities with ICRU

Join the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU) on Thursday, May 27 from 2-3pm for a brief overview of their services followed by a Q&A session. Topics covered will be their funding program for UI undergraduate researchers, presentation opportunities for your students to share their work, travel awards so they may attend regional and national conferences, and support we provide for training undergraduate researchers including NSF REU awards and mentor training. We will also cover new university initiatives such as the CLAS Environmental Justice and P3 funding for team-based policy research created to support you and your undergraduate researchers.

Integrating Team Science into Grant Proposals Series

Are you interested in learning about evidence-based principles that can be adopted into team effectiveness? The overall objective of the series is to provide investigators with knowledge and skills for improving the integration of team science principles into the process of obtaining and carrying out research grants. See the series webpage for details including registration options.

  • Team Science Overview: Tuesday, March 23 @ 3pm-4pm
  • Choosing Your Team: Tuesday, April 6 @ 3pm-4pm
  • Team Coordination: Tuesday, April 20 @ 3pm-4pm
  • Developing Team Leadership: Tuesday, May 4 @ 3pm-4pm

Support for Teaching and Learning Research at UI Information Session

Join the Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology Research & Analytics (OTLT R&A) on Thursday, April 22 from 2pm-3pm to learn how they can offer support to UI faculty members interested in conducting teaching and learning research. To enhance research development, R&A offers two umbrella IRBs that provide a faster, simpler process for IRB applications and broad options for research questions. In this session, participants will learn more about the umbrella IRB process, along with other initiatives that address critical components of successful teaching and learning research.

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.

A Federal Perspective: Landscape and Future Funding Opportunities

Join the Office of Federal Relations on Wednesday, March 31 @ 10am-11am for a presentation and discussion regarding current and upcoming federal funding priorities and opportunities. .

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. 

Planning and Writing Successful NSF CAREER Proposals

The Research Development Office, CLAS Grant Support Office, and College of Engineering hosted 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 was presented by Dr. Peg AtKisson (AtKisson Training Group).

Improving Scholarly Communication Series- Summer 2020

A three-part series this summer was hosted designed to provide strategies to improve the clarity of scholarly communications, both written and oral. Presented by Paul Casella (MFA; Consultant, CCOM Office of Faculty Affairs and Development).

To view more information, visit here:

Improving Scholarly Communication Series

Are you looking for methods to improve your success in writing, grant applications, and speaking endeavors? This was hosted as a three-part series designed to provide you with strategies to improve the clarity of your scholarly communications, both written and oral. Presented by Paul Casella (MFA; Consultant, CCOM Office of Faculty Affairs and Development).

Inside the NIH Study Section: A Discussion/Q&A with 5 Experienced Reviewers

Thinking about applying for your first NIH award?  Trying to improve your score? Just curious about what goes on inside the Study Section?  Then this session is for you! Visit the webpage for more details and register to join us on Thursday, December 10, 1-2pm. 

The K Award Ecosystem: Writing a Competitive K Award

Presented by Peg AtKisson (AtKisson Training Group)

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 attend. Seminar dates: Tuesday, November 3 (9-11 am) and Tuesday, November 10 (9-11 am). Additional information including registration can be found here

NSF CAREER Informational Sessions

In place of an in-person meeting, a Zoom session was held Friday, April 10 from 10:30am-12pm that included two panel sessions of successful CAREER awardees and former CAREER reviewers. ng. 

On Friday, April 17 from 10:00-10:45am, a second Zoom session lead by staff from the Research Development Office and the Division of Sponsored Programs introduced applicants to on-campus resources, provided successful proposal examples, and shared tips from the NSF.

Pivot Training Sessions

Hands-on training sessions were offered featuring best practices for utilizing 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 searching and saving funding opportunities, finding potential collaborators, creating newsletters, and much more. Staff from the Research Development Office and Division of Sponsored Programs lead the session.

Sessions were available from 2:00-3:00 PM in 2523 UCC on the following dates: Sept. 11, Oct. 9, Nov. 13, and Dec. 11.

NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates Session

Do you enjoy providing meaningful research experiences for undergraduates? Do you want to enhance your graduate recruitment efforts and diversify your applicant pool through training the next generations of scholars? The National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) program might be for you.  

Co-presented by the RDO and Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU), current REU PIs will participate in an informational session on these awards on Friday, November 15 at 10-11am in 2520-D University Capitol Centre.

Please visit the webpage for additional information.

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.

Grant Writing Seminar and Workshop 2020-2021

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 registration instructions can be found here:

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 Research Development Office and CLAS Grant Support Office.

Editing as a Research Administrator: What are the Possibilities?

RDO and the Scientific Editing and Research Communication Core offered an interactive workshop that will provided research administrators with editing strategies and tools to employ in helping researchers improve their grant proposals.  Through hands-on review and discussion of proposal sections, administrators gained a better understanding of the ways they can assist in editing grant proposals including review for typos, grammar, and formatting as well as style and clarity.  This workshop was held on Tuesday, June 4 from 1pm-2:30pm and Tuesday, December 10 from 9:30am-12pm.  For more information, see here.

National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) Informational Session

RDO and Erica Kaldenberg (UI REACH, Associate Research Scientist) held an informational session about the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) on Wednesday, May 22nd from 10-11am in C44-A General Hospital.  With an annual budget of $105 million, NIDILRR is the federal government’s primary disability research agency, sponsoring research and development, capacity building, and knowledge translation.

A Trail Guide for Department of Defense Research Funding

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 5, 2018 from 12-1pm

Do you want to blaze a trail to obtain Department of Defense (DoD) funding for your research? If so, let Travis Klopfenstein (Business Development Manager, Center for Computer-Aided Design [CCAD]) service as your trail guide with a presentation on obtaining DoD funding.  With a background in higher education, the US Air Force, and Rockwell Collins, Travis brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to campus for capturing DoD funding.


During this information session, a "Trail Guide" was provided for discovering and capturing research funding from the DoD.  This presentation described:

  • A "new: contract vehicle dedicated to non-traditional defense contracts like universities: the OTA
  • How Defense "Consortiums" work with the OTAs, and why universities are now in a great position
  • How the Navy, Air Force, and Army Research Labs are organized, and how to find your counterpart
  • The process to winning a contract with DoD

For additional details, please visit

NIH R01 Writing Boot Camp 2018

The Office of Vice President for Research (OVPR) Research Development Office conducted faculty grant writing boot camp during the Spring semester led by OVPR Faculty Fellow, Dr. Chris Cheatum (Associate Professor, Chemistry).  Dr. Cheatum is an NIH-funded investigator who has also served on the Macromolecular Structure and Function B Study Section

This boot camp focused on those writing their first NIH R01 proposal (or a resubmission) providing guided writing and peer feedback through a structured process. For session topics see the table below. 

Session Topics

  • Discuss NIH process and Specific Aims page
  • Specific Aims - Peer Discussion of Aims Documents
  • Significance, Innovation, and Aim #1 - Peer Discussion of Drafts
  • Discuss Supporting Documents
  • Mock Study Section with Peer Panel
  • Responding to Reviewer Comments
  • Mock Study Section with Guest Panel
  • Individual Meetings to discuss Final Revisions

Campus and Community Outreach

Research Services Spotlight Series- Core Facilities

Each service unit provided a five- to ten-minute recorded video highlighting their services. These recordings are provided at the link below.  

For additional information, please visit:

Research Services Spotlight Series

Each one-hour Zoom session featured ten-minute service overviews by two research services providers followed by thirty-minute Q&A breakout sessions with each unit.  One session per week was  offered starting Friday, April 10 through Friday, May 1 from 1pm-2pm.

Visit this webpage for additional details:

UI Research Services Fair

Join us for the second annual University of Iowa Research Services Fair on Thursday, October 10 from 1-6:30pm at Hancher Auditorium. The Research Services Fair (RSF) is a vendor-style fair that provides an opportunity for researchers to learn about campus resources and services available for their research and scholarship activities.  The Fall 2019 RSF will expand from the previous fair by hosting over 70 campus units to share how their services can enhance researcher activities.

Community Engagement Lecture Series

Community Engagement is becoming a key component of health research studies.  To assist researchers in learning more about this topic, the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS) and RDO will be sponsoring a Spring Lecture Series. The goal of this series is to foster greater campus awareness of how and why community engagement can improve research.  For more information, visit the ICTS webpage here.

Vaping: The New Look of Nicotine Addiction Series

There is an ongoing, dramatic increase in  usage of electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) among students in high schools and colleges, including at the University of Iowa (UI). While many on the UI campus are concerned about this growing trend of e-cig usage among current and incoming students, the impact of vaping goes beyond student wellness to include the impact on employers, health care costs, the environment, and more.This issue has prompted the formation of a coalition to reach out to those on campus and in our community to share knowledge, challenges, and determine next steps. Please visit here to learn more information on the series.

Science on Tap

Fall 2018:

September 20: Music Therapy: Helping Teens Cope after Surgery

October 25: Southwestern Archaeology at the University of Iowa

November 15: War and Peace (?) in the Horn of Africa

Spring 2019:

February 28: State Hygienic Laboratory: Diagnosis in Pathogenic and Chemical Exporusre Identification

March 28: Three Minute Thesis Showcase

April 18: Striving for Equity in Schools

Fall 2019:

October 10: Hybrid Cochlear Implants: Improving Hearing in Noise and for Music

November 14: Robot Theater

Spring 2020:

February 20: The Scientific Concert: new music distilled from geology, physics, and chemistry

March 26: Three Minute Thesis Showcase

April 23: Iowa Watershed Approach

Sparking New Collaborations

Virtual Micro Labs

Are you interested in connecting with others and exploring new ways of thinking? Three 90-minute Micro Labs are planned. These are designed to kickstart new ideas and teams. Through a deliberate process, participants can suggest ideas, refine ideas, vote on ideas, and recognize idea champions to move concepts forward. The topics were chosen from last year’s Bold Ideas for Big Challenges competition. These Micro Labs are facilitated by Knowinnovation.

  • Navigating the Impact of Extreme Weather. Science Presenter: Gabriele Villarini (Director, IIHR; Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering). Monday, March 8 @ 12pm-1:30pm. 
  • Digital Health Delivery. Science Presenter: Harleah Buck (Co-Director, Csomay Center for Gerontological Excellence; Professor, Nursing). Wednesday, March 10 @ 12pm-1:30pm. 
  • Microbiome Science. Science Presenters: Ashutosh Mangalam (Associate Professor, Pathology) & Hans-Joachim Lehmler (Director, Environmental Health Sciences Research Center; Professor, Occupational and Environmental Health).  Friday, March 12 @ 12pm-1:30pm.

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.

Coming Together: Bridging COVID-19 Interests and Perspectives

Are you interested in improving long-term resilience and response to pandemics and disruptions using Covid-19 as the foundation? Do you want to learn about the diversity of campus perspectives exploring this problem and identify ways of connecting research activities more broadly? If so, join us for a three-part series highlighting multiple angles of inquiry in response to resilience and response to pandemics and disruptions.

For additional information and to register visit:

Iowa Global Health Network Speed Networking

Are you interested in understanding and reducing the personal and societal burden of global health issues? Are you looking for collaborators to explore new dimensions of global health research? Then the Iowa Global Health Network Speed Networking event is the answer for you! Speed Networking is designed to help you quickly meet new collaborators and brainstorm novel ideas leading to potential new avenues for your research and funding portfolio. You are invited to participate in the speed networking event to meet others interested in global health on Friday, February 7, 2020, from 1:30 pm-4:00 pm in S401 PBB.

Please visit the Iowa Global Health Network Speed Networking webpage for additional information.

Research Development Speed Networking

Are you interested in connecting with other research development colleagues?  Are you looking to network with research administrators or research development professionals on campus?  Then the Research Development Speed Networking Event is the answer for you!  Speed Networking is designed to help you meet colleagues across campus, and to establish connections in research development or research administration.   You are invited to participate in the speed networking event to meet peers who work in research administration or research development on Friday, September 13, 2019 from 1:30-4:00pm in S401 PBB (Papajohn Business Building; 4th floor).

Please visit the Research Development Speed Networking webpage for additional information and to register for the event.

E-Cigarette/Vaping Speed Networking

Are you interested in reducing the public health effects associated with the explosive growth in electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) and vaping usage? Are you looking for collaborators to explore new dimensions of vaping or e-cigarette research? Then the E-Cigarette/Vaping Speed Networking event is the answer for you! Speed Networking is designed to help you meet new collaborators and brainstorm novel ideas leading to potential new avenues for your research and funding portfolio.  You are invited to participate in the speed networking event to meet others interested in pursuing solutions to this public health crisis on Friday, September 20, 2019 from 2:15-4:45pm in C217 CPHB (College of Public Health).  

Please visit the E-Cigarette/Vaping Speed Networking webpage for additional information and to register for the event.

Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Speed Networking

Are you looking for collaborators to explore applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in your research? Are you currently conducting AI/ML research and looking for applications of your research? Then join AI/ML researchers who are members of the Iowa Initiative for Artificial Intelligence (IIAI) at the AI/ML Speed Networking event to explore the possibilities! Speed Networking is designed to help you meet new collaborators and brainstorm novel ideas leading to potential new avenues for your research and funding portfolio. You are invited to participate in a speed networking event to meet others interested in utilizing AI/ML on Friday, October 18 from 2pm-4:30pm in 104 IATL.

Please visit the Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Speed Networking webpage for additional information and to register for the event.

Antimicrobial Resistance Discussion with NIAMRRE leaders: 

For this meeting, RDO hosted leaders (ISU: Drs. Paul Plummer and Kristen Obbink; UI: Dr. Christine Petersen) from the recently formed National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education (NIAMRRE; led by Iowa State University) on Wednesday, June 5 for a discussion of potential multidisciplinary collaborative opportunities with NIAMRRE. The Institute aims to “collaboratively lead local, national, and international antimicrobial resistance and stewardship efforts, utilizing a One Health approach (the health of animals, humans, and the environment)”. 

Computational and Quantitative Mental Health Jumpstart

Continuing the effort to build and enable campus networks of interdisciplinary researchers that address today’s societal challenges, the RDO and the UI Computational Psychiatry group, supported by Knowinnovation (a firm that specializes in accelerating scientific innovation), launched a jumpstart effort to bring together researchers around computational and quantitative mental health research in the Spring. This jumpstart combined a series of activities to find and connect researchers from the array of campus disciplines interested in joining data (computational and quantitative) and mental health perspectives, both broadly defined, to identify and frame novel interdisciplinary research questions. With support from the RDO, interdisciplinary teams from this effort will pursue external funding for their research questions. 

Mental Health Speed Networking: Make the Connection!

Are you interested in reducing the burden faced by many due to mental health concerns? Are you looking for collaborators to explore new dimensions of mental health research? Then the Mental Health Speed Networking event is the answer for you! Speed Networking is designed to help you meet new collaborators and brainstorm novel ideas leading to potential new avenues for your research and funding portfolio. You are invited to participate in the speed networking event to meet others interested in pursuing solutions to this public health crisis on Friday, September 28, 2018, from 2:00 pm-4:30 pm in the Kelch Conference Room (1289 CBRB).

Opioid Ideas Lab

Are you concerned about the opioid epidemic in Iowa and across our nation? Imagine a rare opportunity to meet and engage with other scholars and researchers from across our campus – economics, public health, policy, history, marketing, liberal arts, anthropology, education, law, medicine, and many more – to envision bold approaches to tackle one of society’s most pressing health crises.

This spring, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (OVPR&ED) is hosting an Ideas Lab April 9-11, where attendees will have a special opportunity to address the opioid crisis directly and to explore innovative solutions to this complex problem together. By examining the issue as it’s unfolding in Iowa, and by leveraging the university’s unique research and scholarship expertise, you have an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the national effort to combat this epidemic and reverse the deadly trend. During our time together, we’ll draw from a diverse group of minds and disciplines to examine the opioid crisis from novel, creative, blended, and collaborative angles.

UIMF Speed Networking: Make the Connection!

Does your research involve the potential use or application of the “technologies of the small, miniaturized structures, or devices or thin-films (i.e., nano- or microtechnology)"? Are you looking for collaborators to bring your idea to fruition? Then the University of Iowa Microfabrication Facility (UIMF) Speed Networking event is the answer for you! Speed networking is designed to help you meet new collaborators and brainstorm novel ideas leading to potential new avenues for your research and funding portfolio.