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Foundation Relations Proposal Support

The Foundation Relations team supports strategic development of proposals submitted to private foundations that publish Requests for Proposals (RFPs). Support is based on current capacity of FR resources. Priority is given to projects that align with Vanderbilt’s strategic research vision, trans-institutional themes involving team members from multiple disciplines, and opportunities whose coordination requires resources beyond those available at the department level. Proposal services are meant to complement the array of already available resources available at Vanderbilt University.

Request Proposal Support


Proposal Coordination

  • Develop checklist of required proposal documents
  • Create timeline for proposal development with due dates for necessary milestones
  • Organize planning meetings with key collaborators
  • Communicate with team members and monitor progress towards milestones

Grant Writing Assistance

  • Assist in the conceptual development and writing of the proposal elements such as lay and scientific abstracts, vision statement, resources description, and plans for management, education, outreach, and data sharing
  • Evaluate proposal drafts for clarity of vision, representation of stakeholders, integration across thrusts, and alignment with funding program goals and sponsor guidelines

Critical Review

  • Coordinate a “Red-team” review in which a panel of independent experts from Vanderbilt review the final draft of the proposal and provide critical feedback on the proposal’s strengths and weaknesses based on the merit review criterion for the opportunity
  • Organize a “mock site visit,” if applicable, in which all members of proposal present an overview of each component to a panel of reviewers in preparation for a site visit by a funding agency

Content Development

  • Provide assistance with design and conceptual visualizations of proposal figures and diagrams
  • Assist in development of tasks/milestones and a deliverable-based budget, if applicable
  • Data analysis of institutional metrics (e.g. degree information needed for training programs)
  • Connect with examples of previously funded proposals