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Proposal Development Resources

Below are resources available to NDSU faculty and staff as they prepare grant proposals and develop research and other scholarly projects.  Check back often, as information will be updated frequently, with new resources added as programs change and new materials become available.  If you have questions or need assistance, feel free to contact any Research Development staff member or email 

Proposal Resources by Federal Agency

Other Agencies

NDSU Research and Sponsored Activity Handbook

This handbook was developed for new and established investigators to provide guidance regarding the development and administration of sponsored projects.  It is available on the
RCA Website. 

While it does not cover all topics that could potentially arise with various funding agencies, this guide provides general information in one location for areas typically addressed at NDSU.

Research Resources at NDSU

This document is a compilation of resources for faculty, staff, and students involved in research at NDSU.
It includes information on the following topics:
  • grants and compliance
  • IT resources
  • shared-use instrumentation and lab facilities
  • professional development
  • networks, centers and institutes
  • the libraries
  • writing assistance
  • licensing, patenting, and entrepreneurship

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Other Resources

Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology (CCAST)

Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology (CCAST)

CCAST provides a number of helpful proposal resources if you are planning to utilize the Center for your project plans:  

  1. Proposal collaboration
  2. Template NSF Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources text
  3. Data Management Plan Assistance
  4. Citation and Acknowledgement text for publications resulting from CCAST use
  5. Resource/Service Cost estimates
  6. Letter of Support

Collaboration Resources


Commonly Used Acronyms

Federal Agencies

 AFOSRAir Force Office of Scientific Research (a branch of the U.S. Department of Defense)
 AFRIAgriculture and Food Research Initiative (competitive grants program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture)
 AROArmy Research Office (a branch of the U.S. Department of Defense)
 ARSAgricultural Research Service (the principal in-house research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture)
 DARPADefense Advanced Research Projects Agency (a branch of the U.S. Department of Defense)
 DHSU.S. Department of Homeland Security
 DHHSU.S. Department of Health and Human Services
 DOCU.S. Department of Commerce
 DODU.S. Department of Defense
 DOEU.S. Department of Energy
 DoEDU.S. Department of Education
 DOIU.S. Department of Interior
 DOJU.S. Department of Justice
 DOLU.S. Department of Labor
 DOTU.S. Department of Transportation
 EPAEnvironmental Protection Agency
 NASANational Aeronautics and Space Administration
 NIFANational Institute of Food and Agriculture (formerly Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service [CSREES] of the U.S. Department of Agriculture)
 NIHNational Institutes of Health (composed of approximately 27 individual health-related institutes and centers, each with a specific research agenda, often focusing on particular diseases or body systems)
 NISTNational Institute of Standards and Technology (a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce)
 NSFNational Science Foundation
 ONROffice of Naval Research (a branch of the U.S. Department of Defense)
 USDAU.S. Department of Agriculture
 USGSU.S. Geological Survey (a branch of the U.S. Department of Interior)

Grant-Related Terms

 AHAAmerican Heart Association
 BAABroad Agency Announcement (used by Department of Defense agencies to invite proposals)
 ERAElectronic research administration (online grant and proposal management)
 F&AFacilities and administrative costs (same as “overhead” or “indirect costs” in a grant budget)
 GCANDSU Grant and Contract Accounting Office (handles post award grant accounting)
 IACUCInstitutional Animal Care and Use Committee (university committee that reviews and approves all animal activities at an institution)
 IBCInstitutional Biosafety Committee (university committee that assures the safe use of recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids, infectious agents, human blood, bodily fluids and tissues and maintains compliance with federal regulations and university policies.)
 IDCIndirect costs (same as F&A costs—see above)
 IPIntellectual Property (inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce - products that can be patented or copyrighted)
 IRBInstitutional Review Board (for protection of human research participants; a university committee charged with review and approval of all research protocols involving human subjects)
 PAProgram Announcement or Parent Announcement (grant announcement or solicitation)
 PI or PDPrincipal Investigator or Project Director (generic terms for the lead person on a grant project; co-PI means co-investigator)
 PTFProposal Transmittal Form (used for NDSU internal review and approval of grant proposals)
 RCRResponsible Conduct of Research (RCR training is required by some federal grant agencies)
 RFARequest for Applications (similar to RFP; used by NIH)
 RFPRequest for Proposals (grant announcement or solicitation)
 RIOResearch Integrity Officer, person responsible for ensuring researchers are properly trained and research is conducted with the highest standards
 SPANDSU Sponsored Programs Administration Office (sometimes generically referenced by grant agencies as SPO—Sponsored Programs Office, or SRO—Sponsored Research Office)
 STEMScience, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Communicating Science

The National Science Foundation provides a Science Communication Toolkit for Principal Investigators that provides resources to help communicate the excitement and value of research. Access this toolkit in Prezi online.

The National Academies published a report in 2017 titled "Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda." You can download the report or view the webcast of the public discussion of the report at the National Academies website

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) also provides resources for communicating science, including tips and guidance for public presentations, working with reporters, and communicating science online. You can find these resources on the AAAS website.


       Get Your Unique Research Identifier

ORCID® (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is an open, non-profit effort that aims to solve the name ambiguity problem in research and scholarly communication by creating a central registry of unique identifiers for individual researchers.

ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that follows you throughout your career and distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports linkages between you and your professional activities, ensuring that all your work is recognized.

To register for your free unique research identifier, go to You can enhance your ORCID record with your professional information and link to your other identifiers, such as Scopus or ResearcherID or LinkedIn.  Include your ORCID identifier on your Webpage, when you submit publications, apply for grants, and in any research workflow to ensure you get credit for your work.

Your expertise profile in Pivot now includes a field for your ORCID number and integrates with that system, improving the accuracy of profiles in Pivot.  Users can also set a permission flag with ORCID which will enable ProQuest and Pivot to receive automated profile data updates from ORCID in the future, thus saving time and effort.

Learn more at


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Last Updated: Friday, April 05, 2019 8:38:56 AM
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