Request For Proposals

4-VA at ODU Collaborative Research Grant Program

Request for Proposals
Spring 2022

Background Information

4-VA is a collaborative partnership between eight 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 eight universities:

  • George Mason University
  • James Madison University
  • Old Dominion University
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Virginia Military Institute
  • Virginia Tech
  • College of William & Mary

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 Ds, Fs, and withdrawals
  • Significantly expand access for all Virginians to programs, preparing them for rewarding careers

ODU-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
  • New partnerships
  • Events/conferences that bring together researchers on common subjects
  • Future funding and competitive research
Funding Information

4-VA at ODU awards mini-grants which range from $1,000-$5,000.  These mini-grants are available to full-time faculty, but are limited to one funded proposal per awardee each annual cycle.

Complementary Funding

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 email You can request complementary funding by designating the institution and amount on the submission form. Please make sure your proposal budget has two different tracks, one that shows the original funding request and one that shows how you would use the complementary funding.

  • 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 ODU representative will communicate with you after your original grant is awarded to explain the approval process.
  • 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.
Funding Priorities

4-VA at ODU 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 for future funding from other resources
Screening Criteria
  1. Grants are open to ODU faculty. Faculty may name staff as Co-PIs.
  2. The applicant must obtain departmental chair support.
  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 not exceed 5 pages and should be double-spaced, 12-point, Arial font, PDF file (saved, not scanned) and include the following:

  1. Project Summary
    1. Title
    2. Principal Investigator (PI)
    3. Partners/Collaborators (if known, or partner institutions if not known)
    4. Explanation of how this grant helps to improve Virginia’s research competitiveness through collaboration (how this research meets the mission of 4-VA).
  2. Narrative
    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 – please round budget to the nearest hundred per item, and include anticipated date of expense for each line item (ex. $1,000 – undergraduate student stipend, spring 2019; $600 Fisher Scientific lab supplies, February 2019)
  5. Proposals that involve ODU departmental resources or release time will require approval from the appropriate academic unit head
Submission Deadlines
  • One formal funding cycle occurs in the spring of each academic year.
  • Grants requesting funding will be accepted January through March of each academic year.
  • Submit your PDF file here: Submit here
  • Only grants submitted through the procedure listed above will be considered for funding.
  • Submit questions to

  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. Additional assessment information will be provided upon award.
  2. Faculty are expected to acknowledge 4-VA support as a part of publications by using the official 4-VA logo on printed materials and by using language provided by 4-VA.
  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 ODU campus coordinator or 4-VA representative 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 representative in advance.

If you have questions or would like more information or clarification on this RFP or 4-VA initiatives, please contact