Pre-award Resources

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) offers a variety of pre-award resources to assist faculty and staff in planning and preparing competitive grant applications. 

Search for Funding Opportunities
The Office of the Vice President for Research provides links to internal funding opportunities, public access databases, ISU subscription databases, and other external sources where PIs can search for funding opportunities (http://www.vpresearch.iastate.edu/en/funding/). CALS provides the following additional resources to assist in the search for funding opportunties.

  • CALS publishes a weekly listing of funding opportunities and related notices in Agriculture and Life Sciences ONLINE (http://www.cals.iastate.edu/news/agonline) and on this website.
  • Upon request, CALS staff conduct intensive searches for funding opportunities for specific research topics and programs. These searches encompass federal agencies, foundations, industry, and other funding sources.
  • Upon request, CALS staff provide one-on-one and small group training sessions in setting up searches in the COS PIVOT (Community of Science) database (http://www.vpresearch.iastate.edu/en/funding/cos_pivot_community_of_science_database/).

Engage a Grant Consultant
ISU has five grant consulting firms under contract to assist faculty and staff in preparing grant applications. A link to Grant Writing Consultants on the ISU Purchasing website (http://www.purchasing.iastate.edu/contracts/) provides information about services provided and areas of expertise for each of the firms. CALS staff assist PIs with engaging these grant consultants. In addition, the college can provide some resources to assist with the cost of engaging a grant consultant. Assistance is allocated based on availability of funding and size of the potential grant, and must be approved by the college prior to engaging a consultant.

Build a Research Team
CALS can provide limited resources to assist with the cost of face-to-face or electronic meetings to build a research team and plan a grant application. Assistance is allocated based on availability of funding and size of the potential grant, and must be approved by the college prior to incurring any meeting expenses.

Plan and Manage the Grant Application
CALS staff have developed a suite of templates to help PIs plan the application timeline and manage documents for timely submission. Upon request, CALS staff can assist PIs with planning and preparing grant applications.

Attend a Grant Development Workshop or Visit a Funding Agency
CALS encourages faculty and staff to participate in ISU, CALS, and external grant development workshops, or to visit funding agencies to discuss a research concept. The college can help cover travel costs for PIs to attend selected grant-related workshops(e.g., NIH, NSF, USDA) or agency visits. The selected workshops are announced via email, Agriculture and Life Sciences ONLINE (http://www.cals.iastate.edu/news/agonline), and on this website. Funding for other workshops may be provided on a case-by-case basis. All travel support must be approved by the college prior to incurring the travel expenses.

For more information or to request pre-award support, contact Roxanne Clemens, CALS Research Coordinator (rclemens@iastate.edu, 294-8842)