Major Project Planning Grant

The Major Project Planning Grant (MPPG) award program is open to all Lawrence campus faculty and professional staff in every field of study. MPPG provides assistance to investigators to develop proposals for prestigious interdisciplinary research centers or projects.

The goals of the program are to generate multi-investigator proposals that will enhance KU's competitiveness and prestige, as well as to target new research leadership. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research funds the program.

The objective of a proposal developed under the MPPG program is to bring a major center or program to KU. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Centers or Science and Technology Centers
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) centers and program projects
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) regional centers
  • Initiatives from other federal sponsors, foundations, etc.

Ready to apply?

Assemble all proposal materials into a single PDF and submit via email to the Vice Chancellor for Research.


MPPG grant awardees must ultimately submit a completed proposal for a major center or project to an external research sponsor.

This program has a rolling deadline so there is flexibility to respond to various agency proposal due dates. An ad hoc evaluation committee will be assembled to review submissions and make determinations regarding eligibility and approval of awards. The proposal and/or any questions about the program should be submitted electronically to the Vice Chancellor for Research.

MPPG funds may be used for travel expenses, course release, summer salary, temporary staff, and/or expenses for a proposal advisory committee or outside mock review. These funds are not meant to support on-going research or regular personnel, nor for the purchase of most equipment or supplies.

The total annual budget for the MPPG initiative is $300,000. There is no minimum or maximum amount for individual awards. We anticipate a number of awards being made each year.

An proposal must include: 

  • Cover sheet information: Names of the lead and collaborating investigators, descriptive prospectus title, requested funding level, and the external agency's due date.

  • Summary: A 150-word summary stating the proposal's MPPG goals, a specific research plan, and plans for seeking extramural funds.

  • Action plan: The action plan should convey the overall goal of the project and explain how the MPPG funds will help meet that goal. It should detail exactly what type of activity is to be supported, who will be involved and the time frame for the activity. The action plan section of the prospectus should be no more than three pages and should be a stand-alone document.

  • Plans for extramural funding: Include a copy of an announcement or other information that outlines the external program being sought.

  • Requested funds: Funds requested to plan and write the external proposal may be expended only for the purposes detailed in the program funds section above. Each individual item in the budget must be justified. Investigators will have 12 months from the award date to expend MPPG funding.

  • Compliance form: The evaluation committee must have written assurance that either (a) all appropriate compliance requirements to carry out the proposed activity have already received approval, or (b) a request for approval has been made.

The lead investigator has overall responsibility for completing and submitting the research proposal. Any major deviation regarding the sponsor or focus of the proposal must be approved by the responsible Associate Vice Chancellor for Research prior to submission of the external proposal. Within one month of the submission of the external proposal, a report must be made to the responsible Associate Vice Chancellor for Research. This report should detail how the MPPG funds enabled the lead investigator to develop the external proposal.

Each complete prospectus will be reviewed by the MPPG evaluation committee. Established researchers and administrators from the Lawrence campus will make up the committee. The committee will evaluate the prospectus on the basis of the following criteria:

  • The demonstration that the activity has a strong possibility of bringing a new prestigious project to KU
  • The intrinsic merit of the proposal