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Proposal Support

Securing external funding and prestigious awards can be a daunting task, but Research Development (RD) staff are available to help faculty identify opportunities, develop ideas, and generate winning proposals. RD support is available for proposals of all sizes, from single-investigator projects and prestigious faculty awards to transdisciplinary, center-scale efforts.

Contact avcrd@utk.edu to engage RD proposal development support at one of the following levels:

All faculty are encouraged to work with Research Development staff for early exploration of external funding and recognition possibilities for their research, scholarship, or creative activities. Typically, strategy consultation includes one to two meetings and centers on advance preparation or positioning for a future funding opportunity. Discussion topics might include finding relevant funding or award opportunities, assessing fit and readiness, conceptual brainstorming, identifying relevant collaborators and resources, and connecting with program officers.

Editing and advising support is available for proposals of any size and from any discipline. Research Development staff are available to edit the proposal narrative and advise on other proposal needs. Faculty are encouraged to request support one to two months before the deadline to receive two high-impact reviews of the proposal narrative that result in substantive improvement and alignment with the funding opportunity announcement. Alternately, faculty may engage two weeks before the deadline to receive one review for copy editing only. For additional details about editing and advising support, please review RD’s guidance for timely proposal submission.

In particular, faculty working in areas of strategic interest to the university are encouraged to access editing and advising support. Such areas might include (but are not limited to): arts and humanities opportunities; NSF CAREER; NIH R01; diversity, equity, and inclusion opportunities; prestigious fellowships and awards that influence university rankings; and opportunities that leverage ORIED investments and seed awards.

Comprehensive proposal management support is available for large, complex projects, which includes multi-million-dollar, center-scale funding opportunities and other institutional priorities identified by ORIED. In addition to editing, this advanced level of support includes project and document management, as well as concept and content development to align with the funding opportunity. Depending on the time to deadline, support may also include graphics development, external proposal reviews, and team building activities. Comprehensive proposal management includes support team members from the Division of Research Administration and college- or department-level research administrators to provide budget development, compliance review, and administrative oversight. Faculty are encouraged to request comprehensive proposal management support for large, complex projects as far in advance as possible, including before the funding opportunity announcement is released, if an application is planned.