Proposal Development Grant Program

The Proposal Development Grant Program is currently undergoing a major review and possible significant restructuring. If you need support for developing proposals for significant external funding (> $250,000), please contact Vice Provost Bala Sundaram at


Information and Application Guidelines

General Information

These grants support individual faculty or a team of faculty who will engage in pilot research directly relevant to the preparation and writing of a competitive proposal for submission to an external funding agency.

Proposal development grants are funded through a reallocation of UMass Boston research trust funds obtained from the recovery of facilities and administration costs of sponsored programs. Recipients of an award under this competition are required to submit through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) a competitive grant proposal to an external funding agency within a year of receiving the internal Proposal Development grant. Efforts to develop and submit a proposal to secure extramural support for any form of research with a proposed budget of $50,000 or higher may be funded through this grant program. Requests for support of pilot research that does not lead to the writing and submission of a proposal to an extramural sponsor will not be considered for support under this program.  Preference will be given to proposals for multidisciplinary and multi-institutional projects.1 A committee of university faculty, drawn from various disciplines and program areas and nominated by the College Deans in consultation with their Department Chairs and faculty, will review all applications and make recommendations to the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies for the allocation of the proposal development grant funds.  Allocations for grants are based on the significance of the project, the merits of the proposal development strategy, the quality of presentation, the likelihood the proposal will be selected for funding by an extramural sponsor, and the reasonableness of the budget request.

Nature of the Proposal Development Grant Program

A total of $100,000 has been allocated from the university’s research trust funds for these awards. Applicants may request up to $7,000 in grant funds for proposal development with a single PI, $10,000 for interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary proposals with two Co-PIs from one or two departments/colleges/universities, or $15,000 for interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary proposals with three or more investigators from two or more departments/colleges/universities.

Budget items that may be supported through this funding mechanism include research assistants, technical and clerical support beyond that normally available through the applicant’s department, communications, equipment, supplies, database access, and travel. Stipends (taxable remuneration) and equipment will not be funded by the proposal development grant program.

Who May Submit a Proposal

Any UMass Boston faculty member is eligible to submit a proposal for consideration. Joint interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary proposals from a research team of two or more individuals from one or more departments/colleges/universities are strongly encouraged. An individual faculty (as PI) may receive:

Individuals who received a proposal development grant, but did not submit a proposal for external funding are no longer eligible for support under this program.

Submission Deadline

Proposals for support under this program are accepted throughout the year. Submit all materials electronically to Associate Vice Provost for Research Laura L. Hayman at with a copy to Annette Cameron. Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies, at

What to Submit

In order to expedite the review of proposals, applicants are required to submit proposals in the following format. The application materials should be assembled and submitted electronically an one (1) PDF document.

Review of Proposals

A committee composed of faculty in the basic sciences, social and behavioral sciences, humanities, and professional fields will review all proposals. The committee will make recommendations to the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies who will make all final decisions. Grant awards will be announced within two months of receiving the proposal. 

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Grant Management

All university-supported proposal development grants are administered in accordance with established university fiscal procedures and policies relating to the conduct of sponsored programs. Accounts for all awards will be established within one month of the award decisions. All funds must be expended within a year. The following conditions are attached to the award and must be accepted by the recipient at the time of the grant award:

For additional information, please contact Associate Vice Provost for Research Laura L. Hayman at 617.287.7504 or
1 We recognize that multidisciplinary teams need not be multi-departmental. Some departments are structured to encompass different disciplinary perspectives, and some members of different departments come from the same discipline.