Research Concierge/Research Development

The logo of the Penn State College of Medicine Research Concierge Service is a set of scientific icons, such as microscopes, gears, beakers, telescopes and other shapes, set on colored circles of orange, green, blue, pink and yellow. The entire set of circles is connected by black lines and forms the shape of a light bulb, with a black light bulb base below.The Research Concierge Service (RCS) is a service of Research Development at Penn State College of Medicine.

We help investigators strengthen grant writing skills, form collaborative teams and develop complex research proposals.

On this section of the Research website, the Research Concierge and Research Development support investigators with funding advice, proposal development strategies and best practices.

Our typical services are listed here, and you can explore resources for proposal development, investigator development and funding sources from the menu.

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Research Concierge Services Offered

Services for the Individual Investigator Expand answer

We work one-on-one with investigators seeking to strengthen their research portfolio. Investigators may request a consultation with the RCS to:

  • Identify and evaluate funding opportunities
  • Help identify potential research mentors and/or collaborators
  • Connect with institutional resources
  • Guide the development of project concept papers
  • Receive guidance on program officer communications
  • Analyze reviewer feedback from an unfunded proposal
Hanover Research Partnership Expand answer

Since May 2016, Penn State College of Medicine has maintained a partnership with Hanover Research to provide proposal support services to faculty members. PIs with a primary appointment at the College of Medicine who plan to submit a research proposal to an external sponsor can request a variety of services from Hanover Research. The RCS manages the pipeline of projects undertaken by Hanover.

Learn more about the Hanover Research partnership

Concept Development Services Expand answer

We work with individual investigators and established teams to develop a research idea.

  • Conduct brainstorming sessions to identify areas of shared research interest
  • Obtain information on previously funded projects to assess sponsor funding priorities
  • Help to develop a concept paper to communicate with potential funding sponsors, collaborators and supporters
Strategic Proposal Support for Complex Projects Expand answer

We provide strategic support for the development of complex funding proposals (e.g. center grants, training grants, program project grants) that will be submitted to an external funding organization. Priority is given to projects with potential for broad institutional impact. Services are tailored to the specific needs of each project and the lead time available prior to the sponsor deadline. The RCS’ decision to become involved with any given project is determined on a case-by-case basis.

  • Organize team meetings with the PI and key personnel to facilitate proposal development
  • Provide counsel on institutional commitment and institutional requirements
  • Develop project schedules to keep the team on track
  • Develop proposal checklists to ensure compliance with submission requirements
  • Prepare the PI for discussions with funding sponsors
  • Draft non-technical components of the proposal (e.g. support letters, org charts)
  • Review and provide feedback on draft documents (e.g. biosketches)
Research Development Events Expand answer