Collaborative Research Grants

The 4-VA mission is to promote inter-university collaborations that leverage the strengths of each partner university in order to accomplish more than any individual university could achieve alone. The legislation creating 4-VA explains that the collaborative was established “to utilize emerging technologies to promote collaboration and resource sharing to increase access, reduce time to graduation and reduce unit cost while maintaining and enhancing quality.”

The Collaborative Research Grants (CRG) program is intended to improve research competitiveness at Mason and within the Commonwealth. 

4-VA@Mason encourages:

  • Collaboration with faculty from at least one of the other 4-VA partner schools
  • Engaging undergraduate and graduate student research, providing opportunities for real-world experience and growth
  • Dissemination of research findings to raise visibility of the project
  • Supporting pilot research focused on 4-VA goal areas that could be used as a springboard for subsequent, major federal grants.

Research proposals could also support course redesign.

Funding amounts typically range from $5,000 to $20,000 per grant.  The lead PI at Mason is encouraged to work with co-PIs in at least one other partner institution (in some cases co-PIs can apply for complementary funding through the 4-VA office on their campus).

Grants are available only to full-time faculty or administrative faculty.

Faculty who have received previous 4-VA@Mason grants may be eligible for additional funds, but preference will be given to researchers new to the 4-VA@Mason system.

Schedule of Calls for Proposals

  • Applications for the 24-25 Academic Year are now closed. 
  • The next round of proposals will be for the 2025-2026 AY. 
  • Applications for proposals will be available on this website and will be accepted from Mid December 2024 – February 2025
  • Awarded grants announced: April – May 2025
  • Funding available:  July 1, 2025
  • Projects must be completed by June 30, 2026

Questions about 4-VA@Mason should be directed to: 4-VA@Mason Faculty and Community Outreach Coordinator Elizabeth Gillooly.

Proposal Samples

Required Reports for Grant Recipients

Responsibilities of the Lead PI

Faculty receiving a 4-VA@Mason Collaborative Research Grant should note the following responsibilities: 

  • Acknowledgement. Faculty are expected to acknowledge 4-VA support by using the official 4-VA logo on printed materials, in their online profiles, and by using the following language: “This project was funded by 4-VA, a collaborative partnership for advancing the Commonwealth of Virginia” or “This project was funded in part by 4-VA, a collaborative partnership for advancing the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
  • Reporting. The lead PI is expected to promptly complete a mid-project report and a final report. Additionally, should there be further activity on the project (such as disseminations, presentations, outside funding to further the research, etc.) 4-VA@Mason may ask for additional brief reports for up to two years. 
  • Legal and Ethical. Federal, state and university policies, procedures and rules apply to all awarded grants. For further information regarding these rules, please consult the department or school budget and finance team. If the project results in patentable work, follow the requirements and policies from the Office of Technology Transfer. A number of ethical practice review protocols are required for some research activities.  For further questions about requirements that may apply to the project, contact the Office of Research Integrity and Assurance.

4-VA@Mason Budget Policies 

CRG funding can be used for a variety of services and supplies for the research project, including but not limited to:

It is important that applicants be as specific as possible with regard to planned allocation of funding in the proposal. The proposed budget must be reviewed by each unit or department’s budget and finance team. 4-VA research funds are governed by the Commonwealth of Virginia financial policies and procedures. All 4-VA grant expenditures must be spent and/or reimbursed in accordance with the Mason Financial Procedures Manual and university policies.

The grant recipient is the responsible financial party. 

4-VA@Mason funding is applied only to staff and students on the George Mason campuses.  It may not be transferred to partner schools, staff, or students.

Upon receiving a grant award, a new budget ORG is created, into which the grant funding is disbursed. This ORG code will reside within the recipient’s unit and will be monitored by the unit’s budget and finance team. Any questions regarding utilization of funds should be directed to that team prior to any expenditures or encumbrances. All funds within the ORG should be dispensed completely before the end of the fiscal year, ideally prior to June 30 of each year to assure that any encumbrances are cleared through the system. 

It is imperative that grant activities and expenditures match the awarded proposal.  If there are changes, a modified budget and rationale must be submitted to the 4-VA@Mason office and approved in advance.

Failure to comply with the above commitments will result in the loss of funding and ineligibility for future grants through 4-VA.

Complementary Grants

Faculty at several of the other 4-VA institutions may be eligible for complementary funding from their university to participate in research hosted at Mason. The list of funded partner schools is available from 4-VA@Mason Faculty and Community Outreach Coordinator Elizabeth Gillooly.  If 4-VA funding is available at a partner university, your collaborator should consult the 4-VA grant administrator at the specific campus with questions about cross-institutional funding.  Interested Co-PIs at each institutions may apply for $5,000 funding at their university. In certain circumstances, complementary funding amounts above $5,000 may be awarded with additional justification as required by the Co-PI’s institution. 4-VA funds cannot be transferred between institutions.

Mason faculty interested in participating as a Co-PI in research being led at another 4-VA institution may apply for a 4-VA@Mason Complementary Grant.  Complementary Grant proposals are accepted on a rolling basis, with limited funding as the fiscal year draws to a close. If funding is available at Mason, it will be awarded to Mason co-PIs after the award has been made at the host university. After completing the Complementary Funding Grant Request Form (link below), it should be submitted to mason4va@gmu.edu.

Complementary Funding Grant Request Form (Word)