The Research Concierge Service (RCS) is a service of Research Development. We help investigators strengthen grant writing skills, form collaborative  teams, and develop complex research proposals. Our website is dedicated to supporting investigators with funding advice, proposal development strategies, and best practices. To request any of the following services, complete and submit a Consultation Request Form.

Services for the Individual Investigator

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

Since May 2016, the 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. 

Concept Development Services 

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

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)