Research Development and Proposal Services

The Research Development and Proposal Services team at the University of Michigan strives to connect researchers to resources and increase its investigators’ competitiveness in obtaining extramural research funding. Its activities include coordinating internal funding programs, matching faculty to funding opportunities, offering workshops for skill-building, developing online resources and facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations.

Contact the OVPR Research Development and Proposal Services Team

Jill Jividen, Director of Research Development



Stephen Alvey, Graphics Specialist



Tricia Ebright, OVPR Grants and Awards Manager



Kelsey Ebbs, Project Manager, Bold Challenges



Sean O’Connor, Project Manager, Bold Challenges


Text: Research Blueprint, Research Development news from OVPR

Research Blueprint

Research Blueprint, produced by the Office of the Vice President for Research, aims to drive awareness of and encourage participation in research development opportunities across campus.

Read more



Funding Opportunities
  • U-M Internal Funding: ​Explore campuswide funding programs that are currently open on Research Commons.
  • Limited Submissions: For a comprehensive list of limited funding opportunities currently open, visit the Limited Submissions website. To stay informed of these opportunities, please sign up for our bi-monthly Research Blueprint newsletter (sign up here).
  • External Funding: For assistance seeking external opportunities, including federal and private funding, explore the U-M Library’s Research Funding & Grants Guide.
  • Research Catalyst & Innovation (RCI) Program: The RD team administers OVPR’s RCI funding program and, in collaboration with our RD colleagues across U-M, provides services to support funding consultations, proposal development, project management, ideation sessions and strategic planning that is required for RCI awardees. Contact the UMOR RD team ( for more information.
Proposal Development
  • Proposal Management: The RD team offers project management for large-scale grant proposals, including development of task lists and timelines, coordination among team members, outreach to stakeholders, drafting supporting documents and letters, and tracking proposal development progress.
  • Graphics Services: Our graphics designer will work with investigators to develop clear, compelling figures, charts and illustrations to enhance research grant proposals. Requests must be made at least six weeks prior to sponsor deadline. Priority will be given to multidisciplinary proposals.
  • Our RDPS team is available for a variety of informational and skill-building workshops or webinars, which can be tailored for your unit. Topics include:
    • Writing a Competitive Research Grant Proposal
    • Navigating U-M’s Research Resources
    • Finding Funding and/or Assessing Sponsors
    • NIH’s Rigor & Reproducibility Standards
    • Writing in Plain Language
    • Communicating the Impact & Value of Science to Broad Audiences
  • Grantsmanship 101 Webinar Series:
    • Understanding Funding & Funders
    • Understanding the Review Process
    • Planning a Competitive Proposal
    • Federal Funding for Arts & Humanities
  • Other recorded workshops:
    • Finding Funding: Identifying Opportunities & Scoping the Grants Landscape
    • U-M Resources for Planning Broader Impacts
    • Working with Sponsors on Research Affected by COVID-19
  • Contact for more information, or to schedule a workshop or brown bag event for your unit.
Team Facilitation
  • The RD team can design and facilitate sessions for your research teams, at any stage of idea development. Whether for long-term strategic planning for your team/unit, early-stage planning for a large-scale initiative, or a response to a specific funding opportunity, we will tailor sessions for your needs to surface the most innovative ideas, focus research questions or create action plans.
    • Ideation: for large groups or small; we can guide brainstorming and team formation around broad themes early in the research development process
    • Proposal design: for interdisciplinary teams working toward a specific funding opportunity; let us help your team develop a shared vision, craft innovative research questions and outline a competitive grant proposal.
    • Strategic planning: for teams or units; we can help your team members identify goals, prioritize milestones and develop a plan for successful implementation
  • Email for more information, or to schedule a facilitated session for your unit.
Graphics Assistance

A full-time graphics designer is available to support research grant proposals in any field. Please submit your request at least 6 weeks in advance of the sponsor deadline.


Who do I contact from the central U-M units as it pertains to research development?
Who do I contact from the academic U-M units as it pertains to research development?