UMass Boston

Proposal Development Grant Program

The Proposal Development Grant Program supports pilot research directly relevant to the preparation and writing of a competitive proposal for submission to an external funding opportunity. 

Deadline  Applications must be submitted via Kuali
Proposal Development by Monday, April 1, 2024,
at 5:00 PM EST. Contact your Departmental Research
Administrator for further guidance.
Awards Announced  ~June 1, 2024
Maximum Award $20,000

For additional information, please contact

Eligibility to Submit a Proposal

Current UMass Boston faculty or research staff members are eligible to submit a proposal for consideration. Single or multi-PI applications are eligible, including non-UMass Boston senior personnel (unfunded collaborators).

Proposal Development PIs or co-PIs cannot have received more than: 

  • One UMass Boston internal grant in the current fiscal year. UMass Boston's internal grant mechanisms include Healey Research, Public Service, and Proposal Development)
  • Two UMass Boston internal grant-funded grants within the same mechanism within a period of six years. (e.g., two Proposal Development grants in six years)
  • Three total UMass Boston internal grants from any combination of internal grant competitions within 6 years

Previous Proposal Development Grant awardees who have not fulfilled the requirement to submit a competitive proposal to an external funding opportunity are ineligible for future Proposal Development support. 

Previous UMass Boston Internal Grant Program awardees who have not submitted all required reports or have not published books or articles in peer-reviewed journals as a result of prior support are ineligible for future grant support.

Application and Submission Information

Applicants are required to submit Proposals through Kuali Proposal Development (PD). Applicants must contact their Department’s Research Administrator for assistance in submitting their application. 

Download the Kuali Internal Funding Programs Guide (also called: Aggregator Internal Submission Guide).    

By using UMass Boston’s online portal, all department-related signatories, such as Dept. Chairs and Deans will be sent notifications to approve proposals electronically. PI’s, and CO-PI’s, will also be sent notifications to confirm Financial Conflict of Interest.

Excluding the ORSP Budget Workbook, the following attachments must be completed and saved as PDFs for your Internal Submission. 

Checklist of Submission Items

1. ORSP Budget Tool

2. Budget Justification

3. Abstract

4. Project Narrative

5. Biosketch(es)

6. Current and Pending Support

7.  Letters of Collaboration (if applicable)

Proposal Development Grant Program - Requirements

The Proposal Development Grant Program supports pilot research directly relevant to the preparation and writing of a competitive proposal for submission to an external funding opportunity. 

Budget Workbook

Max Award amount: $20,000

No indirect costs or F&A on any application

Use ORSP Budget Tool found here. Keep this attachment in excel format.

Request only those items indispensable to the project and not available through one’s department or from other funding sources. 

Budget Justification

The accompanying budget justification must explain each item requested in this budget – a maximum of 2 pages, with a font size no smaller than 12.

Allowable budget items:

  • Graduate & Undergraduate research assistants
  • Required supplies and materials
  • Database Access
  • Technical and/or administrative support above and beyond standard departmental resource
  • Travel costs that are necessary to conduct the research
  • Funds to conduct research using the UMass Boston Core Facilities – Genomics Core, Environmental Analytical Core Facility, and the Animal Facility.

Unallowable budget items: 

  • Course buyouts, salaries, or additional compensations for PI or Co-PIs
  • Travel to present results of research
  • Only in unusual circumstances will the equipment be considered
  • Personnel costs at other universities or institutions


Abstracts are a maximum of 1 page, with a font size no smaller than 12. Please include the following;

  • A succinct project description and summary of the proposed work which should be informative to other persons working in the same or related fields
  • If applicable, briefly describe the interdisciplinary or multi-disciplinary nature of the proposed project

Project Narrative

Narratives are a maximum of 8 pages, double-spaced, with a font size no smaller than 12. 

This is the core of the proposal describing the project for which funding is being requested. The applicant must be as clear as possible, remembering that the review committee will represent various disciplines and program areas and will not necessarily have strong expertise in the subject matter of the proposal. The project narrative must include the following elements:

  • Significance of the proposed project that will be the subject of a proposal to be developed and submitted to an Extramural funding source
  • A brief review of relevant literature related to the proposed project, citing where appropriate one’s own past and/or present research
  • Strategy for the development and submission of a proposal to an extramural funding source, including aims and a set of activities, with a timeline for accomplishment
  • The distinction between the aims of the present proposal with related research activities to be conducted within the timeline of the grant award and the aims of the grant proposal to be developed and submitted to an external funding agency
  • Identification of a specific extramural funding agency to which the proposal will be submitted with substantiation of the agency’s likelihood of funding the topic


A Biosketch is needed for each PI and Key Personnel – maximum 3 pages. Further instructions are on the Biosketch Template found here.

Current and Pending Support

PI’s and all Key Personnel must each complete the Current and Pending Support form found here.

Other Attachments

Letters of Collaboration – Letters of collaboration should be limited to stating the intent to collaborate and should not contain endorsements or evaluations of the proposed project.

Letter of Collaboration Template found here.

Review Process and Committees

Awards will be announced on June 1, 2024

Each Internal Funding Opportunity has its own Review Committee. Each committee is comprised of university faculty, and research staff members, and, if feasible, community partners drawn from various disciplines, program areas, and community perspectives will review all proposals.  

The Proposal Development Grant final funding and award decisions will be made by the Vice Provost for Research. The committee will evaluate, score, and rank each eligible proposal according to the following merit criteria:

  • Significance: The extent to which the proposal to be developed and submitted to an extramural funding source will make an original and important contribution to the field of inquiry it addresses.
  • Project Development Strategy: The extent to which the pilot research and the information (data) generated will provide the foundation for a sound and competitive proposal.
  • Likelihood of Funding: The extent to which the proposal identifies an appropriate funding source and the likelihood that the proposal to be developed and submitted will be selected for funding by the extramural agency.
  • Quality of Presentation: The extent to which the proposal demonstrates a level of “grantsmanship” that reflects the quality of the proposal to be submitted to a federal or private funding agency.

Award Management

The 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 being recommended for funding decisions. The anticipated project period will be from July 1, 2024 to December 31, 2025. All budgets expenditures and project activities must occur within the project period. 

The following conditions are attached to the award and must be accepted by the recipient at the time of the grant award:

  • A final project report must be filed with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs within two months of the expiration date of the internal award, summarizing grant project activities, outcomes, and expenditures.
  • All documents, papers, and publications associated with the activities supported by the grant award must acknowledge the assistance of the Proposal Development Grant program of the University of Massachusetts Boston.