Research Development and Pre-Award Services

Group photo of the eight members of the CARES preaward team
The College of Agriculture [and Life Sciences] Research Excellence Support (CARES) Pre-Award Team includes, left to right: Kerri Bilsten, Julia Webb, Ásrún Kristmundsdóttir, Kendra Lee, Lisa Stephany, Wenli Su, Mandy Voyek and Kelly Yohnke.


The CARES (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Research Excellence Support) Pre-Award Team is available to assist with all sponsored funding proposals. Faculty and staff are encouraged to contact the CARES Team to assist with proposal development and submission. Investigators who have identified a funding opportunity should contact their department’s CARES Team coordinator or The team is best able to provide thorough assistance when contacted as early as possible in the submission process.

The CARES Team supports all CALS, CHS ENG, and LAS faculty and staff in the following departments/units: ABE, AGEDS, ANS, CARD, ECON, ENT, FSHN, NREM, HORT, PLPM and SOC. 

Other CALS departmental pre-award support:

Plan and Manage Proposal Applications

The CARES Team offers the following pre-award resources to assist faculty and staff in planning and preparing competitive grant applications.

  • Reviewing solicitations,
  • Providing checklists and templates,
  • Developing budgets,
  • Initiating GoldSheets and Cardinal Sheets,
  • Helping with non-technical aspects of a proposal,
  • Uploading proposals to various submission portals, such as Cayuse and FastLane,
  • Seeing the proposal process through to submission

Search for Funding Opportunities

The Grants Hub within the Office of the Vice President for Research provides links to resources for finding funding opportunities.

The CARES team ­can assist with intensive searches for specific funding opportunities. These searches encompass federal agencies, foundations, industry, and other funding sources.

Research Development Support

Engage a Grant Consultant

ISU has several grant consulting companies under contract to assist faculty and staff in writing proposals. Information about each of the grant consulting firms is available on the Office of the VPR website. CALS can provide resources to assist with the cost of engaging a grant consultant. Assistance is allocated based on availability of funding and size of the potential grant and must be approved by the college prior to engaging a consultant. Use this form for request funds for a grant consultant.

Build a Research Team

CALS can help cover the cost of meetings to build a research team or plan a grant application. Assistance is allocated based on availability of funding and size of the potential grant and must be approved by the college prior to incurring any expenses

Attend a Grant Development Workshop or Visit a Funding Agency

CALS encourages faculty and staff to participate in ISU, CALS and external grant development workshops, or to visit funding agencies to discuss a research concept. The college can help cover travel costs for PIs to attend grant-related workshops or to visit national program leaders/program directors at federal funding agencies. All travel support must be approved by the college prior to incurring any expenses.

For more information or to request support to engage a grant consultant, build a research team, attend a workshop or visit a funding agency, contact Joe Colletti, CALS Senior Associate Dean,, 515-294-1823.