Requests For Proposals

Due October 16, 2017

4-VA at JMU Collaborative Research Grant Program

Request for Proposals Fall 2017

Background Information

4-VA is a collaborative partnership between six Virginia universities that is powered by 4 initiatives. Our mission is to promote collaborations that leverage the strengths of each partner university and improve efficiencies in higher education across the Commonwealth of Virginia.  We carry out this mission by advocating unprecedented partnerships between faculty and departments to generate significant, innovative solutions to educational and real-world problems.

4-VA is made up of the following six universities:

  • George Mason University
  • James Madison University
  • Old Dominion University
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Virginia Tech

The function of 4-VA is to put ideas into action—inviting innovative collaboration across disciplinary boundaries, among the Virginia system of universities, and between educational and business sectors while achieving the following 4 initiatives:

  1. Collaborative Research
  2. Course Redesign
  3. Course Sharing
  4. Degree Completion

As a part of 4-VA, each university has developed unique programs to fulfill these initiatives based on their respective strengths and resources to achieve the following:

  • Increase the research competitiveness of partner universities for external funding
  • Increase opportunities and enhance the success rate of students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses and programs
  • Redesign courses to improve student outcomes and reduce instances of D, F, and withdrawals (W)
  • Significantly expand access for all Virginians to programs, preparing them for rewarding careers

JMU-awarded collaborative research grants are aimed at fulfilling the 4-VA collaborative research initiative.

Collaborative Research Initiative – Grant Proposal Information

Aims of 4-VA Collaborative Research Grants

To strengthen Virginia’s competitive edge, 4-VA provides small-scale grants to pilot research teams collaborating across 4-VA universities.  With access to this funding teams can build evidence to show that their projects will make valuable, impactful contributions to their fields, thereby increasing their chances of winning larger external grants.  The collaborative nature of these grants maximizes university resources at the 4-VA institutions and leverages faculty expertise all while increasing competitiveness and capacity.

Potential outcomes include the following:

  • Original research
  • Creating new partnerships
  • Events/conferences that bring together researchers on common subjects
  • Future funding and competitive research

Funding Information

4-VA at JMU plans to award funds totaling $150,000 each fiscal year. These funds will be awarded in the form of mini-grants which range from $1,000-$5,000, or scale-up grants which may go up to $20,000. In order to be considered for a scale-up grant, faculty must have either previously received a mini-grant from 4-VA or shown evidence of their capacity to take existing research to the next level with intentions of pursuing significant external funding at the completion of the scale-up grant.

Complementary Funds

Complementary funds (up to $5,000) can be requested from other 4-VA institutions participating on a grant. If you have questions about complementary funds, please contact the 4-VA assistant director Kelsey Tate at tatekm@jmu.edu or (540) 568-7170.

  • Complementary funds can only be used for expenses at the requesting institution. For example, if you request complementary funds from Virginia Tech, those funds must pay for activities at Virginia Tech.
  • Complementary funds are requested by designating the institution and amount on the submission form. Please make sure the submitted budget has two different tracks, one that shows the original funds and one that shows the complementary funds.
  • Complementary funds are not guaranteed, so grants must not be dependent on them to be approved.
  • Complementary funds are awarded after the original grant has been approved. The 4-VA assistant director will communicate with you after your original grant is awarded to explain the approval process.

Funding Priorities

4-VA at JMU encourages projects to focus on the following funding priorities of the program:

  • Creating and/or strengthening partnerships across the commonwealth
  • Incorporating undergraduate and graduate student researchers into the project
  • Projects that show a strong plan of future funding from other resources

Screening Criteria

  1. Grants are open to JMU faculty. Faculty may name staff as Co-PIs.
  2. The applicant must obtain departmental chair support especially when departmental resources are utilized. 4-VA staff will reach out to department chairs and deans and elicit approval before grants are awarded.
  3. Projects must contain an aspect of collaboration.

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Alignment of proposal to 4-VA funding priorities and compliance with screening criteria
  2. Strength and evidence of collaboration with 4-VA institutions or other partners in the commonwealth
  3. Potential for strategic impact
  4. Innovation in research
  5. Sustainability
  6. Alignment with institutional goals

Proposal Format

Proposals should be double-spaced, 12-point, Arial font, PDF file (saved, not scanned) and include the following:

  1. Project Summary (1-2 pages)
    1. Title
    2. Director (PI)
    3. Partners/Collaborators (if known, or partner institutions if not known)
    4. Type of Grant. What initiative(s) are being addressed
  2. Narrative (1-3 pages)
    1. Project activity summary
    2. Research questions
    3. Research plan (framework/methods/phases/specific approach)
    4. Assessment plan
    5. Outcomes and deliverables
  3. Timeline
  4. Budget
  5. Proposals that involve JMU departmental resources or release time will require approval from the appropriate academic unit head

Submission Deadlines

Two formal funding cycles occur each academic year, in the fall and spring.  Each funding cycle will conclude with a formal awards ceremony where the awarded grants are presented to recipients.

Grants requesting funding in the Fall 2017 cycle will be accepted August 16, 2017 – October 16, 2017.  The fall grant award ceremony is scheduled for November 8, 2017.

Submit questions to the 4-VA executive director Nick Swayne at swaynedd@jmu.edu. Only grants submitted through the procedure listed above will be considered for funding.

Expectations

  1. Grantees are required to complete a 4-VA follow-up survey at least once every year, for up to five years after the grant is awarded.
  2. Faculty are expected to acknowledge 4-VA support as a part of publications using the following language:
    1. This research was funded by 4-VA, a collaborative partnership for advancing the Commonwealth of Virginia.
      OR
    2. This research was funded in part by 4-VA, a collaborative partnership for advancing the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  3. Additional expectations regarding expenditure processes and policies will be provided upon award.
  4. Funds will be used according to the budget provided in the original proposal. The 4-VA executive director or 4-VA assistant director must approve any changes or additions to the budget.  Should there be unused funds, those funds will return to 4-VA unless an updated or adapted proposal is submitted and approved by the 4-VA executive director.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Federal, state, and university policies, procedures and rules apply to all awarded grants. For further information regarding these rules, please contact Procurement, the Financial Procedures Manual, and Accounts Payable. If you believe your project will result in patentable work, you should discuss requirements and policies with Director of the Office of Technology Transfer, Mary Lou Bourne (bourneml@jmu.edu), MSC 4904.

A number of ethical practice review protocols are required for some research activities. If you have questions about the requirements that may apply to your project, contact JMU’s IRB Compliance Officer, Carolyn Strong at strongcd@jmu.edu or 8-6872.

If you have questions or would like more information or clarification on this RFP or 4-VA initiatives, please contact the 4-VA executive director at swaynedd@jmu.edu or (540) 568-6093.