Collaborative Research Grant RFP

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

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

It is anticipated that a total of $250,000 will be awarded with a maximum request of $30,000 per proposal. Funding can be requested for up to two years. If the proposal involves another institution, only those who are part of the 4-VA program are eligible for complementary funding under this program as described below. No funding can be provided to a non-4-VA institution.

Proposals involving only one faculty member will not be considered; collaboration with researchers at another university, research institution, or campus location in Virginia is strongly encouraged, but not required.

Complementary Funding

Up to $10,000 can be requested; in some cases complementary funds above $5,000 may require additional scrutiny from the requesting institution. Complementary funds can only be used for expenses at the requesting institution. Complementary funds are requested by designating the institution and amount on the submission form. Please make sure the submitted budget worksheet has two different tracks, one that shows the original funds and one that shows the complementary funds. Proposed work should be able to be completed regardless of the amount of complementary funding that may be awarded.

Application Eligibility

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

Submit proposal

All proposals must be submitted via InfoReady which can be accessed by clicking Submit proposal.

Proposal Submission Instructions

Each proposal must contain the following:

  • A title page which includes the proposed project title, a list of project team members (e.g., PI, Co-PIs, and other team members), and a project summary that provides an overview for the project and how the work ties into the 4-VA goals outlined in the background section – 1 page max.
  • A research proposal that includes a justification for the research proposed, what research questions will be pursued, which approaches/methods will be used, the anticipated outcomes, a project management plan and timeline – 4 pages max.
  • A discussion on how the research team assembled will work together to meet the project goals and how you plan to use results of this work in subsequent, major federal grant proposals – 1 page max.
  • A plan to disseminate the results on this work, both during and after funding. Active dissemination, especially to 4-VA partners and other universities within the commonwealth, is expected. This could include ongoing project updates and dissemination of findings via publications or other means (e.g., via a broadly accessible online media platform) – 1 page max.
  • References, if applicable – 1 page max.
  • A summary budget, which outlines the major expenditures and justification, if appropriate. Note that indirect costs do not need to be included. A completed budget worksheet must be included. There is a “Budget Worksheet” template available for download on the InfoReady application site.
    • If your proposal includes a co-collaborator at another 4-VA institution, and if your proposal is funded through the 4-VA at UVA review process, your co-collaborator will automatically be awarded up to $5,000 in complementary funding.
    • If your proposal requests over $5,000 in complementary funding for a co-collaborator at another 4-VA institution, you will be required to provide detailed justification for award of these funds in your proposal submission.
  • 2-page CV or biosketch for all PIs and Co-PIs
  • Letter of support from department chair or equivalent.
  • While there is no required template for the proposals, please use a font of 11 point or larger and 1 inch margins on all sides.
  • Proposals that do not include all of the above may not be reviewed.
Proposal Evaluation and Timeline

All letters of intent will be due by December 12, 2017. Applications are due by January 12, 2018. It is expected that all funding decisions will be made by April 1, 2018, with funding available starting in summer 2018.

All proposals will be scored based upon a rubric provided at the end of this RFP. Proof of IRB certification (if appropriate) is required before funding. If the proposed research is exempted from IRB requirements, a brief written explanation will need to be provided.

Reporting Requirements

Continued funding of the 4-VA program requires the member institutions to demonstrate how the funding provided allows the collective to accomplish much more than any individual university could achieve alone. As a result, all grantees who are awarded funding are required to comply with 4-VA assessment, reporting, and accountability requirements. These include the following:

  • An interim report is to be completed halfway through the project. A brief one-page report template will be provided.
  • The final report must be completed by grant recipients at the conclusion of the project. A template will be provided to faculty a month before the report deadline.
  • After funding, awardees will be emailed for up to five (5) years to see if this funding led to other research products (e.g., publications, conference presentations, or external funding requests/awards).
  • During the academic year, you may be contacted by Alexandra Rebhorn, Communications Manager in the Provost’s Office, to learn more about your work and to help us appropriately publicize the efforts you and others are making as part of your 4-VA collaborative research.
Collaborative Research Grants Review Criteria

All collaborative research grants are evaluated on two criteria: scholarly impact and strength of collaboration. For each of the two criteria, a rating of excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor will be provided. In addition, an overall score for the proposal using the same rating scale will be provided.

What is the potential impact of the proposed activity (scholarly impact)?

When evaluating this criteria, the following will be considered:

1. What is the potential of the proposed activity to do the following:

a. Advance knowledge and/or understanding within its own field or across different fields; and/or
b. Address an important societal or technical challenge

2. How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity?

3. Is there a strong plan in place to collect evidence and document the impact of the proposed activity?

4. Is there a strong plan in place to pursue subsequent funding based on the results of the proposed activity?

5. Is the budget request appropriate for the scale of work required?

6. What amount of complimentary funding is being requested? Is the amount of requested complimentary funding appropriate for the scale of the work required?

7. Is there a strong dissemination plan in place for sharing the results of the proposed activity to the scholarly community, including other 4-VA partners and other universities within the Commonwealth?

What is the strength of the team and their collaboration?

When evaluating this criteria, the following will be considered:

1. How well qualified is the team to conduct the proposed activity?

2. Are the roles and contributions of each member of the team clearly expressed?

3. Is the case made for the need for the collaboration to successfully complete the proposed activities?

4. Does the proposal seek to include undergraduate students in any phase of the research?

Questions and Comments

Any questions about this request for proposals should be directed to the following:

Archie Holmes
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and 4-VA at UVA Campus Coordinator
University of Virginia


Matt Banfield
Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and 4-VA at UVA Deputy Campus Coordinator
University of Virginia