Collaborative Federal Proposals

Within the Office of the Dean for Research, we offer specialized services for proposals in support of collaborative projects for centers and institutes, training grants, equipment grants, as well as initiatives that advance strategic priorities, such as diversity, equity, and inclusion, and other projects that cross disciplinary and institutional categories. These proposals are often highly competitive and complex. Support is available to lower the barrier to tackling them. Our team can provide project management support, professional writing of key proposal elements, and expert guidance throughout the entire proposal development process.

Researchers and teams seeking support are encouraged to reach out to Research Development Strategist Mary Sym.



Strategy & Planning

  • Brainstorm projects, initiatives
  • Build interdisciplinary teams
  • Identify funding mechanisms
  • Research competitive intelligence
  • Connect with campus partners
  • Engage program officers


Proposal Development

  • Develop timeline, action plans
  • Facilitate team communications
  • Develop/edit research narrative for responsiveness to the call
  • Write/edit non-technical components (project management, training, education, outreach, facilities, diversity & inclusion)
  • Create figures and tables
  • Review entire submission for clarity, consistency and persuasiveness


  • Analyze review feedback
  • Assist with site visit preparation
  • Brainstorm approaches for resubmission
  • Identify alternative funding mechanisms

Examples of collaborative funding programs and mechanisms:

NSF logo

National Science Foundation

•Engineering Research Centers

•Science and Technology Centers

•Materials Research Science & Engineering Centers

•Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) Institutes


•Innovation Corps (I-Corps)

•Mid-scale Research Infrastructure

•National Artifiical Intelligence Research Institutes

•Research Coordination Networks

•NSF Research Traineeships

•Major Research Instrumentation

•Research Experiences for Undergraduates

NIH logo

National Institutes of Health

•P01 Research Program Project Grants

•P20 Exploratory Grants

•P30 Center Core Grants

•P50 Specialized Centers

•U01, U19, U54 Research-focused Cooperative Agreements

•S10 Shared Instrumentation Grants

•T32 Institutional Training Grants

DOE logo

US Department of Energy

•Energy Frontier Research Centers

•National Quantum Information Science Research Centers

•Connected Communities


DOD logo

US Department of Defense

•Multidisciplinary University Research Initiatives

•Minerva Research Initiative

NEH logo

National Endowment for the Humanities

•Collaborative Research Grants

•Scholarly Editions and Scholarly Translations

•NEH/AHRC New Directions for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions

•Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

•Public Humanities Projects

•Dynamic Language Infrastructure – Documenting Endangered Languages Senior Research Grants


Examples of successfully funded collaborative proposals at Princeton:



icorps northeast logo wide

The NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Northeast Hub is one of five hubs in a nationwide NSF-funded network of universities formed to accelerate the economic impact of federally funded research — delivering benefits in health care, energy and the environment, computing, artificial intelligence, robotics, advanced materials and other areas — while building skills and opportunities among researchers from all backgrounds, including those historically underrepresented in entrepreneurship. Click here for a case study.



BioLEC logo

BioLEC is an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy. The Center focuses on developing and improving light-powered catalysts and the reactions they facilitate to use in generating specific and valuable chemical products from more stable and abundant starting materials. Click here for a case study.




PCCM logo

The Princeton Center for Complex Materials is an NSF-funded Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC) focused on innovative research and educational outreach that serves the campus, local community, and the greater mid-Atlantic region. The research is focused on two key fundamental areas of science that underlies creating new quantum technologies and biology-inspired materials. Click here for a case study.


C2QA logo
This center is one of five National Quantum Information Science Research Centers funded by the US Department of Energy to accelerate transformational advances in basic science and quantum-based technologies. Led by Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Co-design Center for Quantum Advantage is building the fundamental tools necessary to create scalable, distributed, and fault-tolerant quantum computer systems.


CPBF logo
The Center for the Physics of Biological Function is one of 11 Physics Frontiers Centers across the country supported by the National Science Foundation. The Center brings together scientists working at the interface of physics and biology to develop a physicist’s understanding of living systems that connects the myriad details of life, across all scales, to fundamental and universal physical principles.