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Collaborative Research Grant RFP

An important component of 4-VA’s mission is improving research competitiveness within the commonwealth by providing funding for faculty to engage in pilot research that could be used as a springboard for subsequent, major grants (e.g., NSF, NIH). This aim is consistent with the aims for research and innovation articulated in Beyond Boundaries: A 2047 Vision. 4-VA at Virginia Tech has further articulated a preference for grants that promote or relate to as many of the other three 4-VA aims as possible (instructional models, access, STEM success). Proposals are required to involve at least one cross-institution collaboration with a 4-VA partner institution. 4-VA partner institution faculty involved in proposals will be eligible for complementary funding of up to $5,000 per partner institution involved. Grantees who are awarded funding will complete an MOU and be required to comply with 4-VA assessment, reporting, and accountability requirements. Please note, funding priority will be given to faculty who have not received 4-VA funding previously.

Submit a proposal for the 2021-2022 RFP cycle.

2019-2020 RFP Cycle

Who may apply for a 4-VA grant

4-VA grants are open to all Virginia Tech faculty. Faculty may name staff or graduate students as Co-PIs and are encouraged to include undergraduate and graduate students on their research teams.

PIs and Co-PIs must be officially affiliated with a 4-VA institution at the time of proposal submission. Change of affiliation of any team member must be reported in a timely manner.

Funding information

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

Contacts for questions or assistance

  • 4-VA Grants Manager – Will Fox, (540) 231-9587,

Application Instructions

New for this cycle

  1. Proposals in the liberal arts and human sciences will be given priority in funding.
  2. PIs are encouraged to recommend reviewers for their proposals.

2019-2020 Grant Cycle Key Dates (Eastern Time Zone)

  • August 2019: Proposal submissions begin
  • October 15, 2019 October 29: Last day to submit a Collaborative Research proposal.
    Submission automatically closes at 12:00am, October 16, 2019 October 30, 2019
  • Late November, 2019: Award outcome notification
  • December, 2019: Signing of MOU for awarded grants

The required proposal template is available for download. Submission length is limited to 8 pages (US letter size, single-spaced), not including references and appended graphics.

A complete proposal will contain the following information

  1. Project Summary
    1. Proposed Project Title
    2. Research team (PI, Co-PIs, other team members)
    3. Project summary
      1. Include key points of alignment with 4-VA mission
      2. Include key points of alignment with VT strategic initiatives (if applicable)
  2. Project Activities
    1. Background (merit)
    2. Methodology
    3. Anticipated outcomes
    4. Benefits of the 4-VA partnership
    5. Dissemination plan
    6. Project management and projected timeline
  3. Budget
    1. Please provide an as-detailed-as-possible budget breakdown based on the budget provided in the proposal template.
    2. Please note that 4-VA funds cannot be used to pay student tuition. However, they can be used to pay stipends of graduate students who are already on an assistantship, or wages for graduate/undergraduate students involved in the proposed project.
    3. Table format preferred
    4. Any additional sources of funding
  4. Proof of certification, as appropriate
    1. Certificate number of safety protocols such as IRB (human subjects), IBC (biohazard), or IACUC (animal subjects)
    2. References (if applicable)


  1. All proposals must use the required template and must not exceed 8 pages in length (US letter size, single-spaced). Download template.
  2. Graphics may be used and do not count in the page limit.
  3. Projects may be eligible for additional funding requests with appropriate agreed upon progress and reporting.
  4. Unused funds will be returned to 4-VA.
  5. Active dissemination is expected to be a major project component. To be competitive for funding, projects should have a defined dissemination plan for the 4-VA community that includes ongoing project updates and dissemination of findings (e.g., via a broadly accessible online media platform) and broader higher education community.
  6. Grantees must participate in assessment activities, such as a progress report, the annual report and one showcase event.

Submit a proposal for the 2019-2020 RFP cycle.