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Call For Proposals


This program supports collaborative research projects between researchers at University Libraries and Virginia Tech academic departments, institutes, and centers. These projects will leverage the library’s resources and expertise to explore research questions of significant interest to Virginia Tech researchers. Similar to the Mcubed model, the selection of this program will be through a lottery instead of the formal merit review.


University Libraries will provide $5,000 for each funded project to be completed by the end of the 2023 Summer semester. Examples of appropriate use of funds include library collections, student wage, GRA, materials and travel expenses critical to research activities. Salary and indirect cost to VT employees cannot be charged on this fund. This funding is not intended to supplement VT employees' income. For assistance on computing infrastructure, please reach out to program co-directors or directly contact library IT. We will no longer accommodate project extensions. By the end of the performance period, all unspent funds will need to be returned.


  • Each proposal will be submitted by at least two co-PIs, one is a full-time employee at University Libraries, and the other a full-time employee at a Virginia Tech academic department, institute, or center. Postdocs are also eligible. A co-PI on a fixed term contract must be able to complete the project within the corresponding VT employment contract period.

  • Proposals should clearly state what the team is proposing and how it leads to the intended next steps.

  • Proposals should describe how library resources and/or expertise will be leveraged to explore research questions of significant interest to your research area.

  • Project deliverables should be specific, measurable, and achievable within the project period. We encourage deliverables and subsequent research outputs be made available through open access methods (e.g., VTechWorks, Virginia Tech Data Repository, etc). When applicable, we also encourage proposals to take into consideration 1) issues of equity and inclusion and 2) how including a community partner may benefit the project.

  • By the end of the project, co-PIs will submit 1) a final spending report and 2) a recorded presentation video and associated slides to showcase project deliverables.

  • Each eligible co-PI may submit at most 2 proposals in each funding cycle. In addition, any co-PI should not expect to work on more than two funded projects in this program in parallel (except for the summer period due to the funding cycle overlaps). 

  • All eligible proposals will be entered into a random draw. Proposals not selected for the current funding cycle are encouraged to participate in the next round.

  • Proposals submitted by the same co-PI teams of previously funded projects or related to previously funded research projects will be put in a low priority pool for drawing. These projects will have opportunities to receive funding after all new research collaborations are funded.

  • Program co-directors reserve the right to request additional clarifications on the proposals and decline proposals deemed out of the stated scope of this program.

  • Failure to fulfill the proposed deliverables within the project performance period may result in co-PIs being temporarily excluded from applying for funding in the next two funding cycles.

  • Researchers interested in collaborating in this program are encouraged to submit a collaborator profile and reach out to potential collaborators (log in with your VT Google credential is required), or reach out to program co-directors, .


  • January 20, 2023: Proposals due. Submit your proposal here.

  • January 27, 2023: Awards announced (expected)

  • Early February, 2023: Project starts, library fund code generated for each funded project.

  • August 11, 2023: End of project, funding must be fully spent.

  • August 11, 2023: Deadline to submit the spending report, presentation video, and associated slides.

Proposal Requirements (3 pages)

  • Title Page (1 page): Title of project, names, and affiliations of co-PIs as well as all other participants.

  • Proposal Narrative (2 pages): 

    • Problem Statement: What research question does your project address? Describe your overall vision for your project and incorporate a summary of your goals. Why does your proposed project address a research question of significant interest to your research area? How does your project leverage the library’s resources and expertise?

    • Description of the Proposed Project: Describe 1) needs in the area you’ve chosen, 2) deliverables and timeline of the project, and 3) future publication and funding opportunities and next steps resulting from the project.

    • A brief Budget Breakdown

    • Bio sketches or CVs of co-PIs (these do not count towards the proposal page limit)

Additional Information

  • The CFP will be disseminated through University Library Committee, library liaisons, and relevant DA/SGA Program Managers.

  • Proposals will be screened by program co-directors, Zhiwu Xie and Charlene Eska to make sure the proposals are within the scope of this program.

  • For the 2023 Spring round, the program is expected to fund 5 projects at $5,000 each. In future rounds the number of projects and level of funding may vary.

  • For questions, please contact program co-directors:,