Research Support

To do first:

  • If you are talking to any entity about funding for a project for which you will receive external funding, contact Ying Li, the MSE grant coordinator, first to be sure your budget will cover all expenses and that it will meet OSPA (Office of Sponsored Programs Administration) expectations (eight weeks in advance of submission is best).
  • Notify your department chair and grant coordinator as soon as you know you will be submitting a grant proposal.
  • Send the Ying the RFP so she can review the sponsor’s guidelines and calendar the due date.

GoldSheets must be submitted with ALL attachments:

  • Copy of solicitation
  • Budget
  • Budget justification
  • Draft or summary of proposal
  • If subcontracts are budgeted this must include
    • an authorized letter approved by the other institution
    • that institution’s budget and budget justification
    • statement of their work

Draft proposal (including budget, budget justification, and subcontractor’s information/budget) needs to be input into either FastLane, Cayuse (in lieu of, or NSPIRES (NASA) application as applicable with OSPA being granted full access.

OSPA requests that all these things be in their office a full 4 business days before the submission deadline.

  • Provide your department chair with a draft of your abstract, budget, and budget justification before submitting a GoldSheet. A draft of the proposal may also be helpful.
  • You always need to attach at least a budget, budget justification, abstract, and RFP to the GoldSheet.
  • if Indirect Costs (IDC) requested is not the full amount, allowable amount, or if the sponsor does not document all of the allowable amount, attach an approved Request for Indirect Cost Reduction or Waiver before circulating the GoldSheet.

  •  OSPA (Office of Sponsored Programs Administration) needs the GoldSheet, with budget and budget justification, at least four work days before the submission date.
  • Budgets less than $2,000 go to OSPA two weeks before submission date.
  • Allow at least one more day if it is a submission.
  • Plan ahead for times that offices may be closed or staff levels are low due to vacation and university breaks.
  • GoldSheets can take longer than one day to route through the PIs (primary investigators), departments, centers, and Resource Responsibility Centers (RRCs).  Allow enough time for this.

MSE’s policy for grant submission is a minimum of:

  • 10 business days prior to deadline – draft of all information to Sheila for review/help with budget justification (so this can be worked in around other departmental obligations and deadlines)
  • 5 business days prior to deadline – gold sheet begins routing
  • 4 business days prior to deadline – gold sheet reaches OSPA and information is viewable in applicable software (FastLane, Cayuse, etc.)
  • Additional lead time needs to be added to the process if you have numerous Co-PIs, departments, or colleges, and routing may take more than 1 day.
  • Additional lead time is needed if proposal includes subcontracts. OSPA recommends starting one month ahead.

If the proposal is in excess of $2M, the lead times shown above DOUBLE.

Please contact Ying Li at or 294-6118 for questions related to grant proposals.


Funding Sites


OSPA site

  • OSPA (Office of Sponsored Programs Administration) is the central point of coordination for research and sponsored programs and the university’s authorized representative for grants, contracts, and other agreements from external sponsors.
  • The OSPA homepage right column provides quick links to Cayuse information, logins, and other helpful sites.
  • OSPA news page features links to funding opportunities, due dates, and announcements.


VPR site

  • VPR (Office of the Vice President for Research) serves faculty and staff conducting research, encourages student research, and works with industry partners.
  • VPR works with faculty to establish collaborative research programs and centers, both at Iowa State and with other research institutions.

Grants administered by VPR

VPR news, announcements, and events


SP@ISU site

  • SP@ISU (Strengthening the Professoriate at ISU) helps strengthen the professoriate by enabling professional development in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), while promoting and enhancing a diverse community of scholars and learners.
  • The target audience is faculty, postdoctoral research associates, and advanced graduate students in STEM.

Community of Science (COS)

COS site VPRED sponsors Iowa State University’s membership in COS (Community of Science) and encourages all members of the research community to submit a profile to the COS Expertise Database and to tap into the COS resources regularly:

  • COS provides an easily searchable database of funding opportunities.
  • COS maintains a database of researcher expertise.

Engineering Research Institute (ERI)

ERI site

  • The ERI (Engineering Research Institute) provides grant and contract management support to PIs (Principal Investigators) within the College of Engineering
  • Services include pre-award, post-award, and other services such as coordinating seminars, workshops, travel, and conferences/events and facilitating team building activities.

Women’s and Diversity Grants

Women’s and Diversity Grants Program page

The Women’s and Diversity Grants Program supports diversity in education, research, and outreach to positively impact and advance faculty, staff, and student minorities and under-represented groups at Iowa State University. Funds also may be requested for seed money to leverage resources for scholarly projects in support of diversity.


College of Engineering research initiatives

ISU research news