09.16.2014

Research Office to Offer Centralized Grant Resources

The Office of Vice President for Research

Beginning in January, the Office of the Vice President for Research will launch the Grants Hub—a service that will provide faculty and staff across all colleges and disciplines with a broad range of assistance and training related to research development and grant administration. This is the first time that ISU will have a centralized resource to help researchers access information about funding opportunities and to assist with grant proposal development and post-award set-up.

The Grant Hub’s creation stems from feedback heard during open forums held last spring discussing pre- and post-award processes. These forums, which included research faculty and staff and grant coordinators, helped identify needs for grant support services across campus.

“What we heard during our forums was that there’s room for improvement in the grant support process at Iowa State,” said Sarah Nusser, vice president for research. “The Grants Hub is designed around filling gaps that exist in critical support services in some areas around campus and, ultimately, helping our researchers achieve success.”

Goals and Services

One of the Grants Hub’s main goals is to reduce the administrative burden on faculty in submitting grants and managing awards. The Grants Hub is expected to improve the overall efficiencies in the grant submission process by working closely with sponsored programs and responsible research and compliance units.

The Grants Hub will create and maintain databases with institutional information for specialized grants, provide research development and administration training through workshops and programs, and triage the flow of proposal-related questions from campus through a help desk. The Grants Hub will also provide project management support for some medium- and large-scale grant proposals.

Services will be implemented in phases beginning in January. The timing and structure of this phased implementation will be determined and released later this year.

Cost Structure and Implementation

Many of the Grants Hub’s services are free of charge. These include assistance with coordination and review of medium- to large-sized grant proposals, help with finding funding sources, access to institutional information for specialized grants, training in research development and administration, and assistance and referrals through the help desk.

Additionally, new faculty will receive full support and mentoring, especially for their first proposal submission and first award set-up, free of charge. The costs of all other pre-and post-award services offered by the Grants Hub will be shared. A fee structure will be worked out this fall after consulting with stakeholders.

Because the goal of the Grants Hub is to fill gaps in research services, it will not in any way compete with services offered at other places on campus. Partnerships with existing support units will be discussed with key stakeholders.

The Office of the Vice President for Research has a full time staff member who provides pre- and post-award services for faculty in the arts and humanities, and this support will be brought under the Grants Hub. Arts and humanities faculty will continue to have access to all the services that they have had in the past as well as the additional services and resources that the Grants Hub offers.

More Information

More details about the Grants Hub, including how it will work in relation to current practices, are available on the research office website. Questions may be directed to Chitra Rajan, associate vice president for research, at rajanc@iastate.edu.