Research & Training Development Grant Program

2018 – 2019

The purpose of the Research and Training Development Grant (RTDG) program is to enable faculty to successfully compete for externally funded research and training grants. Priority for RTDG funding is given to applications that will lead to the submission of proposals seeking Federal funding. However, RTDG applications that will lead to the submission of proposals to other governmental agencies, foundations, non-profit or for-profit organizations will also be considered. Each RTDG application is reviewed by the Research and Training (R&T) Committee. There are two types of RTDG applications:

  • Type A. Costs associated with the preparation of a proposal to be submitted for external funding. It is expected that an external proposal will be submitted within 12 months of the RTDG start date.
  • Type B. Support of necessary pilot studies leading to the subsequent submission of an externally funded grant proposal. It is expected that an external proposal will be submitted within 18 months of the RTDG start date.


The Associate Dean for Research and Training, with guidance from the Research and Training (R&T) Committee, will review proposals. The distribution and administration of funds will be handled by the Mandel School Office of Research Administration. Potential applicants should notify the Associate Dean for Research & Training that a proposal for RTDG funding is being prepared and request advice as necessary. Upon submission, the proposal will be reviewed at the next regularly scheduled R&T committee meeting (see schedule below). The R&T committee will either approve the proposal in its current form, request revisions or further information, or reject the proposal. If revisions are requested, the Chair of the R&T Committee will identify a Committee member who can provide assistance to the applicant. If awarded, a unique speedtype will be established.


The Principal Investigator (PI) must be a faculty member (tenured/tenure track, non-tenure track or special faculty (limited to research faculty or specific named professors) at MSASS.

Reporting Requirements

  1. Within 60 days of the RTDG end date, the PI must submit a final report to the Associate Dean for Research and Training. This report should include:
    1. Summary of expenditures
    2. List of sponsors to which an external proposal was submitted, containing: title, sponsor, date submitted, total project budget, and total project period, AND/OR
    3. List of sponsors to which an external proposal will be submitted containing the same items immediately above, plus the anticipated submission date(s).
  2. On a continuous basis, it is expected that the applicant will update the Associate Dean for Research and Training of any related proposal submission(s) and their outcome(s).

Proposal Content and Format

The application should generally follow the outline used for presentation of the Specific Aims and Research Strategy sections in NIH research grant proposals (see below). If the application is leading to submission of grant proposals to another type of sponsor, you may follow the format typically used for that application. The RTDG application also needs to include additional sections that explain how the RTDG funding will lead to an external funding award and that discuss previous MSASS research development awards, if any, received by the applicant. The total RTDG application should not exceed 5 single-spaced pages (five 8.5” X 11” sides with 1” margins all-around, no smaller than 11-point font) plus the Principal Investigator’s Biosketch, and be electronically converted to a single PDF file.

The application must include:

  1. Project Title
  2. Principal Investigator Name
  3. Research Plan (These sections below are similar to the PHS 298 Research Plan)
    1. Specific Aims
    2. Research Strategy - Significance, Innovation, and Approach
    3. Preliminary Studies
      1. Type A: This section should include reference to publication (published, in press or under review) stemming from the applicant's previous pilot work).
      2. Type B: This section should explain why the proposed pilot studies are necessary.
    4. Human Subjects
  4. Budget and Budget Justification - Allowable costs include: supplies, student or research assistant help, planning, consultants, travel directly associated with carrying out the research or preparing the proposal, editorial assistance or other expenses normally associated with a pilot project or proposal preparation. Funds can also be used for pilot data collection and analysis, or the purchase of a secondary dataset. The budget review will consider the RTDG Type (A or B).
    Unallowable costs include: salary support for the PI or other faculty. RTDG funding cannot be used as “bridge funding” between grants or for studies that are not directly tied to the submission of a proposal for external funding. The maximum budget request is $10,000. No F&A (overhead) will be included.
    A detailed budget, with line-item justification, is required.
    If other Non-RTDG funds (e.g., start-up funds) are available to the PI for the proposal preparation/pilot study activities covered by the RTDG application, a clear statement must be provided as to how the RTDG funds will be used and why they are needed.
  5. Plan for Obtaining External Funding
    1. Anticipating funding agency(ies). Provide RFA or other proposal announcement link.
    2. Anticipated submission date(s).
    3. Explain why this RTDG funding is necessary to ensure a competitive proposal.
  6. Previous RTDG Awards - The applicant should indicate whether or not they have ever received a prior RTDG award. If yes, indicate whether a subsequent proposal based on that RTDG was submitted to an external sponsor and explain its outcome.
  7. PI Biosketch (follow NIH Biosketch guidelines)

Submission & Deadlines

The proposal should be submitted as a single PDF e-mail attachment to the Associate Dean for Research and Training (Gerald Mahoney; with a copy to the R&T Committee Chair. In addition, please advise the Associate Dean for Research and Training in advance with any submission plans.

Applications for RTDG funds may be submitted at any time during the academic year, but will be reviewed following the schedule below:

RTDG Application Received By        Earliest Review Date
September 15. 2018   September 24, 2018
October 15, 2017    October 29, 2018
January 15, 2018    January 28, 2019
February 15, 2018    February 25, 2019*
April 15, 2018    April 29, 2019*

* Funding may not be available until next fiscal year.

Other Costs Associated with Proposal Preparation and Submission

The 2018-2019 funds will also be available to be used to smooth the proposal submission process-- e.g. small requests to cover the costs associated with travel to meet with program officers; the costs associated with expert review of proposals; editing and proof reading services, will be considered. Requests for this type of assistance should be submitted directly to the Associate Dean for Research and Training in a memo format indicating how much is requested and the proposed outcome. A separate Speedtype will not be established for these requests.

Review the application submission requirements.