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LIFT provides new grant writing support

The University of Utah Office of the Vice President of Research is pleased to announced the launch of the Large Infrastructure Funding Team (LIFT). LIFT is designed to assist response teams for center, program, and large-scale grant opportunities. LIFT primarily provides grant writing support.

At launch, LIFT will be led Jakob Jensen, associate vice president for research. His team will include Associate Director of Social Impact Mercedes Ward and three grant writers; Erin Meyer, Elizabeth Gerhart, and Osama Youssef. The unit will expand to include additional grant writers and graphic designers.

“Our research portfolio has grown dramatically over the last decade. With this growth, we are now positioned to pursue program and center grants in multiple areas. LIFT allows the university research community to pursue large-scale funding that will have major regional and global impact,” Jensen said.

How to request support from LIFT: 

A group of people sit around a long conference table looking at one man standing at a white board at the Vice President for Research Office.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jakob Jansen

LIFT staff providing grant support for U researchers.

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LIFT does not charge for its services, but it does require a formal request for support.

Researchers can submit LIFT requests here. Please note that LIFT will likely receive a high volume of requests over the first few months of its operation and unfortunately, will be unable to support all requests. LIFT leadership will initially utilize the guidelines below to determine whether a request is a relevant fit and will continue to develop a refined set of criteria over the next several months.

Key criteria for assessing requests include size and scope of the grant, support from corresponding colleges/branches/units, and long-term impact for the university. Requests for support can be made by the investigator, faculty, staff, or administration.

LIFT request guidelines: 

  • LIFT’s primary function is grant writing and grant construction. LIFT can also support requests for graphic design, response strategy, and social impact/community engagement plans.
  • LIFT is designed to be complimentary to existing research development infrastructure on campus – to enhance the bandwidth of existing embedded units and to support investigators that do not have access to this type of service in their college/branch/unit.
  • LIFT does not provide budget preparation or review services directly. However, if budget assistance is desired, then LIFT will work with the research team to seek budget support from the Pre-award Office.
  • Requests for LIFT support should be submitted as early as possible in the grant planning process. Ideally with grants of this scale, teams should be developing the application well in advance. For that reason, requests typically should be submitted at least 12 weeks in advance of the sponsor’s first required deadline. The amount of time LIFT will have between request date and first required deadline will be part of the request review. LIFT support requests that are submitted less than 12 weeks before the first available deadline may only be eligible for partial services.
  • LIFT provides service for large program/center grants. Large is a relative term and varies depending on the college/branch/unit. Generally, LIFT grants are $2.5 million or higher. However, applicants should make a case for why the target opportunity aligns with the mission of LIFT for their respective college/branch/unit.