Research Grants & Contracts | Iowa State University VPRED Office

Grants and Contracts Process

Grants and contracts from external sponsors fund the majority of Iowa State University's research activities.  Increasing the success of faculty and staff in attracting extramural funding for research is a foremost goal of the Office of the Vice President for Research.

The VPR office offers a wide array of services to help researchers identify potential funding sources and successfully compete for awards to support your research.

PI Eligibility

Before you can conduct independent research, you must be approved to serve as a principal investigator (PI). Please familiarize yourself with our policy regarding PI eligibility.

Funding Opportunities

Your best way to learn about external and internal funding opportunities is to check our Funding pages for important information and resources and announcements for internal and external sources and use the COS-Pivot database.

Several types of funding opportunities have special conditions:

  • Limited Submissions

You should note that some funders limit the number of proposals that an institution can submit for a particular program. When a funder stipulates a limit and several Iowa State researchers wish to apply, the VPR office will coordinate a preliminary internal competition. Check our Limited Submission page for details.

  • Internal Grants

The VPR office and some other Iowa State University units offer funding for specific purposes. The selection processes and procedures may vary. The VPR office also administers the Proof of Concept Initiative to award funds for projects intended to stimulate economic development. Check our Internal Funding Opportunities page to stay abreast of current information and details.

Applying for Funding

Once you identify an external funding opportunity, the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration (OSPA) will be your key resource in applying for funding. The OSPA staff can guide you through every step of the process — from proposal and budget development, through internal review and approvals, to submittal to the potential funder.

Award Management

When your proposal is successful and funding is forthcoming, OSPA will assist you with receiving and managing the award and with meeting the reporting requirements of the sponsor.

The Sponsored Programs Accounting Office (SPA) also provides post-award services: establishing account numbers for spending, collecting funds from sponsors, issuing payments to subcontractors, advising on sponsor regulations and fiscal allowability, preparing financial reports as requested by sponsors, distributing monthly Sponsored Programs Financial Reports, administering indirect costs and incentive programs, providing training on post-award administration, 4xx account balances, verifying cost-sharing and effort reporting, and serving as the ISU Foundation liaison to the campus community

Workshops and Support for Proposal Writing

The VPR office offers workshops and other resources to help you sharpen your proposal writing skills. Depending on its budget resources, the VPR may also provide limited funds to assist with proposal development and writing. Check our Proposal-Writing Resources section for more information.

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