The Iowa State University Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) is launching four new Strategic Plan Jump Start funding opportunities. All are intended to bolster the infrastructure and professionalism of Iowa State research and support the enterprise’s advancements in realizing these key aspirational goals of the 2022-2031 University Strategic Plan:

  • To be the most student-centric leading research university; and
  • To be the trusted partner for proactive and innovative solutions.

In June 2022, President Wendy Wintersteen announced the university would jump start the new strategic plan with a $10.5 million investment in projects that address one or more of the plan’s five aspirational statements. The president outlined nine overarching project areas for initial investment including $1 million to support the university’s research mission with research instrumentation and enhancements and laboratory infrastructure improvements.

Senior advisor to the president, Sophia Magill, is leading Iowa State’s efforts to advance the goals of the strategic plan, including the jump start initiatives.

“The jump start initiatives will propel the institution forward as we set out to achieve our aspirational goals,” Magill said. “As a core part of our mission, research plays an important role in demonstrating our positive impact – for our students, faculty, staff and society as a whole.

Vice President for Research Peter Dorhout said, “From new knowledge creation to economic growth and development to societal impact, our Iowa State research community has a proven track record of maximizing return on investment. We’re delighted the president has allocated funds to support advancement in achieving our aspirational goals for research and ensuring Iowa State remains one of the nation’s leading Land-grant research institutions.”

The four new funding opportunities are the:

  • Jump Start Research Tool Revitalization Program;
  • Jump Start Research Resource Mini Grants;
  • Jump Start Research Consultant Resource Grants; and
  • Jump Start Research Professional Development Resource Grants.

Here are brief overviews of each opportunity along with links to each RFP.

Jump Start Research Tool Revitalization

OVPR recognizes that there are many research tools that serve as mainstays in daily activities of researchers and students. However, many times these tools fall into categories in which external funds are not available. This program provides matching funds to replace, revitalize or enhance tools that keep Iowa State on solid footing for continued research growth and helps maintain competitiveness in the research funding environment. Equipment, instruments, data sets and subscriptions are fundable items; personnel, construction, travel and journal subscriptions are not.

OVPR will provide a maximum of one-third of the cost, up to $17,000. While total revitalization costs may exceed $50,000 – and will be considered – the VPR contribution will not exceed $17,000. Applications will be accepted on a continuing basis until all available funds are expended.

View RFP.

Jump Start Research Resource Mini Grants

This program supports access to resources to enable research or the pursuit of new scholarly activities for which the researcher does not have current funding. Jump start mini grant funds may be used to access existing core research resources or resources not currently available on campus including data sets, fees for archives, and other durable or tangible materials that help advance discovery. Requests that augment existing grants and contracts will receive lower priority and need to provide a strong justification for these additional funds. Funding requests for personnel and tuition are out of scope for this program.

OVPR will consider mini-grant requests of up to $5,000. Requests exceeding this amount will not be considered. The office will accept applications on a continuing basis until all available funds are expended.

View RFP.

Jump Start Research Consultant Resource Grants

This program is designed to provide access to consultant or professional services that enable pursuit of significant extramural funding. Jump Start Consultant Resource funds may be used to access services from vendors summarized on the ISU Procurement Grant Writing Services webpage or other providers approved under the University’s professional service agreement policy (PSCA). Professional service engagements may include grant writing consulting, team building support, marketing analysis. All request plans must observe and adhere to university policy for securing professional service agreements.

OVPR will provide a maximum of 50% of the cost, up to $5,000. Requests exceeding this limit will not be considered. The office will accept applications on a continuing basis until all available funds are expended.

View RFP.

Jump Start Research Professional Development Resource Grants

This program is targeted at supporting access to consultant or professional services that enhance the professional development of researchers or research teams in pursuit of research or new scholarly activities for which the researcher does not have current funding. Jump Start Professional Development Resource funds may be used to access services approved under the University’s professional service agreement policy (PSCA). Professional services may include training for communicating research, public speaking and events, and presentation skills. All request plans must observe and adhere to university policy for securing professional service agreements.

The Office of the Vice President for Research will contribute a maximum of 50% of the cost, up to $2,500. Requests exceeding $2,500 OVPR contribution will not be considered through this program. Requests exceeding the $2,500 OVPR contribution will not be considered. Applications will be accepted on a continuing basis until all available funds are expended.

View RFP.

An additional program supported by jump start funds, that provides internship experience in research administration, will launch during the 2023 fall semester.

The $1 million in Strategic Plan jump start funding is in addition to $500,000 that the president’s office allocated to build and provide seed funding for new interdisciplinary research initiatives. Those funds supported the Research Faculty Fellow program and the Research & Innovation Roundtable. Three projects were selected for seed funding following the fall 2022 Climate Smart RIR. Project proposals from the spring 2023 Healthy Iowa RIR are currently being considered.