Request for Proposals

4-VA Research Grants

4-VA research grants are intended to improve research competitiveness within the commonwealth and at your university by providing funding for faculty to engage in pilot research focused on 4-VA goal areas that could be used as a springboard for subsequent, major federal grants. Active dissemination of the research findings is a requirement.

Collaborative Research

Faculty members from 4-VA universities may apply for funding to work on a research project with another 4-VA university, a public university in Virginia, or a center/organization/institute within the commonwealth. Collaboration with a researcher at one of the 4-VA partner institutions is required. Proposals are evaluated for their added collaborative value. Research projects that would not be capable without collaborative partnerships and leveraged resources are highly valued.

Complementary Funding

Collaborators or co-principal investigators from other 4-VA universities can receive funding for their contribution to the research through complementary funding. Collaborators are eligible for complementary funding of up to $5,000 per partner institution. If the Co-PI would like to be awarded more than $5,000 then they will need to apply through the 4-VA grants program at their university.

For example, let’s say a faculty member at JMU would like to submit a research proposal to work with a collaborator at UVA. The JMU faculty member applies for $7,000 of funding for undergraduates at JMU and they add $4,000 in complementary funding for UVA to fund an undergraduate researcher. Their total grant is for $11,000 with clear designations of budgets and roles for each faculty/university.

Funding Details and Processes

Collaborative Research Application Process
Collaborative research grants must have collaborators from other public universities in Virginia in order to be eligible for funding. While other funding mechanisms exist to spark collaboration across a single university, the mission of 4-VA is to encourage collaboration across universities in Virginia.

JMU accepts grant proposals with collaborators from any other organization (universities, community colleges, community organizations, external organizations, etc.)

Collaborating with VCU, VMI and WM

VCU, VMI and WM participate in collaborative research and complementary funding as funds are available. Please contact campus coordinators at the links above with any questions.

Collaborating with Other Universities

As mentioned, 4-VA encourages collaboration with partners all across Virginia. If you are working with a Co-PI who does not work at GMU, JMU, UVA, or VT, then their costs will need to be included in your grant proposal. The grant costs of the PI and the Co-PI(s), from non-4-VA universities, should have a combined total that is not greater than the maximum grant allocation.

Specific details about how funds are transferred from each university can be discussed with your 4-VA campus coordinator.

Distribution and Management of 4-VA Funds

Funding takes the form of operating dollars and can be used for funding student researchers, equipment, materials, travel, faculty stipends and salary, etc. It should be noted that faculty salary usage should include fringes.

Complementary Funding Application Process
Faculty are encouraged to collaborate with as many 4-VA universities as you like. In an effort to honor and support these collaborative efforts, a complementary grant can be awarded to the Co-PI’s of 4-VA collaborative research grants. Each partnering 4-VA university can be awarded up to $5,000 in complementary funds.

Collaborators from non 4-VA schools cannot receive funds through the complementary granting mechanism.

Complementary funds are awarded as an additional line of funding in the 4-VA grant proposal that the PI puts together at their home institution. The PI must clearly note complementary funding in a distinct section of the budget.

Co-PIs should contact their 4-VA coordinators to notify them of their intended involvement. This helps 4-VA staff to be better informed about the collaborations taking place across the commonwealth.

Complementary Funding Approval Process

Complementary funds are awarded after the original grant has been approved from the host institution.

Upon receiving a 4-VA award at the PI’s institution, the 4-VA campus coordinator at the home institution will put in a request for complementary funding. The request goes to the 4-VA partner university or universities and then the respective campus coordinator(s) would have to approve it. This process usually takes between 3-4 weeks after receiving the “host” award at the home institution.

Upon approval, the Co-PI’s will receive an award letter from their 4-VA coordinators.

Use of Complementary Funds

4-VA complementary funding at each 4-VA university should be used locally. We want complementary funds to be spent at the collaborating institution(s). Keeping 4-VA funds “in-house” makes grant financials and progress much smoother.

For example, UVA complementary funds should be spent at UVA and the funds associated with a full 4-VA collaborative research grant at VT should be spent at VT.

Complementary funds have the same use and spending flexibility as collaborative research funds detailed above.

Co-PI involvement requiring more than $5,000

If the Co-PI requires more than $5,000 in funds to support the research collaboration, then they will need to submit the grant through the 4-VA granting and review process at the Co-PI’s institution. The 4-VA grant can be co-written with faculty at each university and the same grant can be submitted to both universities. Clearly articulating the roles of each investigator and the budgets at each university is essential.

Request for Proposals

Each university offers a 4-VA collaborative research request for proposal (RFP). You can find the RFPs below. Faculty who have received previous 4-VA grants may be eligible for additional funds, but preference will be given to new research projects.

George Mason University

Funding amounts are expected to range from $5,000 to $20,000 per grant, not including complementary funding that may be supplied by partner institutions.

James Madison University

Mini grant funding ranges from $1,000 to $5,000 and scale-up grant funding ranges from $5,000 to $20,000.

Old Dominion University

Funding amounts are expected to range from $1,000 – $5,000 per grant, not including complementary funding that may be supplied by partner institutions.

University of Virginia

It is anticipated that a total of $250,000 will be awarded with a maximum requested of $30,000 per proposal (not including complementary funding that may be supplied by 4-VA partner institutions). Funding can be requested for up to two years.

Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU participates in complementary funding as funds are available.

Please contact John Ryan, the VCU campus coordinator, with any questions at

Virginia Military Institute

VMI participates in complementary funding as funds are available.

Please contact Dean Kershaw, the VMI campus coordinator, with any questions at

Virginia Tech

Funding amounts are expected to range from $5,000 – $25,000 per grant, not including complementary funding that may be supplied by partner institutions.

William & Mary

WM participates in complementary funding as funds are available.

Please contact Margaret Saha, the WM campus coordinator, with any questions at