A new group fostering research efforts has launched on campus to support faculty as they develop grant proposals and pursue funding opportunities. The Leveraged Proposal Organization and Development program, or L-POD, offers a suite of activities, including proposal development assistance and activities to build relationships with sponsors.
The L-POD program is a component of PIERS, the Provost’s Initiative to Enhance Research and Scholarship, which is designed to bolster the university’s competitiveness in research funding.
With the L-POD program, investigators can focus their time on developing top-quality research proposals with the L-POD office providing support and advice.
“More and more, funding agencies are requiring proposals that are more complex and need supporting documents, such as impact statements and management plans, in addition to the key technical pieces,” said Susan R. Wente, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “With the L-POD program, investigators can focus their time on developing top-quality research proposals with the L-POD office providing support and advice.”
L-POD’s Strategic Proposal Planning and Coordination service supports the development of competitive proposals that represent a strategic funding opportunity for Vanderbilt and whose coordination requires resources beyond those available at the department level. In line with the goals of the Academic Strategic Plan, particular emphasis will be given to trans-institutional projects involving team members from multiple disciplines.
“Several peer universities employ this kind of proposal development support model,” said Vice Provost for Research Padma Raghavan. “Through the program, we are creating opportunities for our faculty to interact with funding agencies and sponsors to better understand these external opportunities and also to showcase their research to these audiences. Vanderbilt must take this step to increase our competitiveness and improve the chances for success for our outstanding faculty.”
Requests for proposal support will be reviewed by the L-POD program managers in consultation with Raghavan and the Vanderbilt University Research Council. L-POD efforts will focus on federally funded opportunities as well as opportunities with industry sponsor through coordination with the Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization.
L-POD also holds workshops to assist with growing and diversifying the university’s funding portfolio. A list of past and future L-POD workshops can be found here.
Two types of workshops are offered—InReach and OutReach. InReach learning sessions will provide guidance from fellow faculty members who have had success with various funding agencies. The first session, held last month, focused on helping those who have had success with National Institutes of Health funding consider opportunities with the National Science Foundation funding process.
With its OutReach events, L-POD will host visits from external sponsors of interest to Vanderbilt. These events will provide faculty with an opportunity to build relationships with sponsors as well as learn more about their respective agency’s research interests.