Large-Scale Center and Initiative Planning Grants

The OVPR Large-Scale Center and Initiative Planning Grants aim to promote impactful interdisciplinary research and to provide research teams with support for preparing and submitting competitive, external large-scale proposals. Being competitive for these large-scale “center-type” grants requires significant advanced planning, a well-defined and central research theme, strong preliminary data and a history of partnership among collaborating investigators that often span multiple schools/colleges and/or disciplines.

This award is designed to support multi-unit PI teams in pursuing external, multi-component, large-scale grants in the range of $5M or more. Examples include large funding opportunities from federal agencies (e.g., NSF Science and Technology Centers, DOE Energy Frontier Research Centers) or foundations (e.g., Mellon Just Futures Initiative, MacArthur 100&Change). Applicants intending to pursue NIH large scale P and U series grants in clinical and translational research should refer to the MICHR Accelerating Synergy program that supports planning for these awards.

Applicants will choose an appropriate planning stage – Positioning or Grant Development – that aligns with project needs and anticipated time for external large-scale grant submission. Each award will provide $50K-$100K in funding for one year, as well as a tailored plan for OVPR research development team support in collaboration with other units across campus.

It is expected that research teams will propose tackling significant and complex research questions that would not be feasible to pursue through individual efforts. Partnerships across schools/colleges is required, and teams should be poised to submit a compelling, external proposal not later than 1-2 years of receiving an OVPR Large-Scale Center and Initiative Planning Grant Award. The description of this funding opportunity is adapted from the MICHR Accelerating Synergy program, launched in 2018.

Learn More and Apply

InfoReady Review

Award Information
  • Up to 6 grants awarded per year at $50K-100K each
  • Funds are to be spent within one year of receipt, with the possibility of one no-cost time extension.
Review Criteria

Meritorious proposals should address the following criteria:

  1. Likelihood of successful completion of a competitive, large-scale proposal, including:
    • Relevant experience/expertise and capacity of project personnel related to the targeted grant opportunity, and
    • Clear and feasible plan toward submitting a competitive large scale ($5M+) proposal in 1-2 years after funding
    • Appropriateness of budget for proposed planning activities, and justification that the funds will be transformational for pursuing the large-scale funding opportunity
  2. Interdisciplinary focus of projects (through theory, methods, and/or approaches that cross-cut disciplines/fields)
  3. Scholarly innovation and potential for advancing novel theoretical and/or methodological contributions
  4. Alignment of proposal topic with other university priorities/activities
  5. Articulated potential impacts and benefits of the large-scale project and knowledge produced to actions for addressing critical scientific and/or societal problems or challenges (e.g., through policy and decision-making, practice, programs, etc., not necessarily taken up by the project itself)
  • All PI-eligible faculty from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses are eligible to apply.
  • Teams must include one lead PI and at least one co-PI from another school/college or unit.
  • Applications must target a new, upcoming large-scale funding opportunity of at least $5M. Renewals of existing center grants are not eligible.
Proposal Requirements
  1. Proposal narrative (5-page maximum) to include:
    • Funding opportunity being targeted; please attach the RFA or the last RFA announced that was similar
    • Need for and expected use of funds justified with need to plan for large proposal
    • Expected outcomes and future plans for successful proposal
    • Significance of large-scale science/scholarship and benefit to U-M
    • Key personnel (including co-PIs, associated faculty, and support staff)
    • Brief statement of how the team’s activities or approaches further OVPR’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (e.g., through the proposed science/scholarship, populations or settings examined or impacted, and/or efforts to create a diverse, inclusive research team, among other possibilities)
  2. Budget: Detailed budget/breakdown of expenses and budget justification (1-page maximum)
Proposal Submissions
  • Internal submission deadline:
    • July 1, 2022
  • For more information and to submit proposals, please visit InfoReady Review

If you have any further questions, please contact