Get Started

Start by asking some questions:

  • How long will your project take?
  • Will you need a team?
  • What materials or resources will you need to make it happen?
  • Do you have a time frame in mind?

You are responsible for meeting compliance prerequisites and training requirements that apply to the area of your research. Compliance prerequisites ensure that your study meets the highest ethical standards and best practices in research. Training ensures that you and your team understand the necessary procedures for your specific research project.

For example, if your study involves animals, you must complete animal care and use prerequisites and training. If you will be handling biological materials, such as blood-borne pathogens, you must complete biosafety prerequisites and training.

There are seven compliance areas:

Anyone who will be listed on your research protocol must complete all required training before the study begins. Review the training requirements for each compliance area to find out what is required of your team.

Remember: research is not a one-way conversation, but a sharing of ideas. When you keep up with the discoveries, inventions, and creative endeavors of your colleagues, you will be more inspired and informed in your own work.

Subscribe to any of these research newsletters for the latest research and creative activities happening at IU.

Also remember: you can't lead the way without knowing where you’re going. Research announcements will keep you up to date with the latest changes in research policies, procedures, and opportunities.

Your research at IU must comply with federal, state, and institutional guidelines. Before you begin developing a proposal or conducting research, you should review and be familiar with important university policies. You can view some of the most frequently referenced university policies related to research here.

IU research offices, particularly the Office of Research Compliance, also maintain specific research-related policies. You can find those research-related policies here.

If you are participating in a clinical trial, be sure to also review the university's clinical trial policy.

To pursue your research or creative idea, you will need money, and possibly collaborators. Below are a few ways you can find funding and start building your team.

Browse this site

On this site, you can find opportunities for internal funding and external funding, find support for approaching corporations or foundations, or apply for limited submissions funding opportunities. Note that limited submissions opportunities are restricted and require proper authorization from the university before preparing your proposal.

Search the Pivot database

IU invests in Pivot, a comprehensive database that combines funding opportunities with researcher profiles from around the world. Learn more about using Pivot to find external funding.

Search the IU experts database

Find faculty and staff members at Indiana University whose expertise matches what you're looking for with the IU experts database. This database includes phone numbers and email addresses for faculty and staff who have identified themselves as experts in a particular field. You can also add yourself to the database.

Sign up for funding announcements

IU sends out several funding-related announcements that are useful when looking for funding. Subscribe to these updates and never miss a funding opportunity.

Attend training

You can attend training in person or online to better understand the process, deadlines, and types of funding. Funding seminars and workshops are available for IU faculty throughout the year. Or, you can find online training for using the Pivot database and other web-based systems.

Once you have identified a funding opportunity for your project, it’s time to prepare your proposal and necessary documents.

Depending on the funding source and application requirements, you may need to provide institutional information, such as lists of authorizing officials and organizational codes, or financial data, such as IU rates for facilities and administrative costs. You will likely need to prepare a budget that outlines how researchers will use the funding, including any costs and cost sharing, and detail how the project will be managed.

Get proposal development help

You don't have to do this all on your own. We have proposal development staff, downloads, and training that can help clarify the process. For example, our collection of proposal development tools and resources includes example proposals, boilerplate language, and writing tips. Work with IU evaluation research scientists and survey research experts to strengthen your project's overall research design, evaluation plan, and implementation strategy.

Find a number of additional resources on the IUB Proposal Development Services Resource Portal, an extensive, curated collection of guiding documents, links, and templates designed to support researchers as they prepare external grant proposals. We also have a team that specializes in supporting approaches to corporations or foundations.

The more you write and submit proposals, the faster and more efficient you will become. You also can develop your proposal writing skills and knowledge through seminars and workshops.

Explore the Research Facilities Database

At IU Bloomington, you can find the tools you need to accomplish your work through a searchable campus database intended to leverage and share the strengths of campus research facilities and equipment with the research community.

The proposal routing and submission process depends on whether you are applying for internal funding or external funding.

If the funding is internal...

For the majority of IU’s internal funding programs, you will do everything online through InfoReady, a web-based portal that streamlines the process of applying for internal funding opportunities at IU. Through InfoReady, you can:

  1. Upload and submit your proposal
  2. Allow department chairs and school or college deans to upload letters of support for your proposal
  3. Complete a budgeting worksheet
  4. Open your proposal to peer review

Create your InfoReady account to get started.

If the funding is external...

All proposals for external funding must be reviewed at appropriate administrative levels prior to submission. You can route your proposal electronically through Kuali Coeus Grants. If you or someone within your unit does not have experience routing a proposal electronically, please fill out the ORA Proposal Assistance Form and a Grant Services Administrator will be assigned to assist you.

An electronic routing form is required for any of the following:

  • New proposals, including projects transferring to IU and resubmissions
  • Competing renewal/continuation proposals
  • Supplemental funds requests, including task orders or increases in proposed funding prior to the award being received
  • Budget revisions involving an increase in cost share (only if submitting to the agency)
  • Change of project director or co-project director
  • Cost Share Only proposals for Federal/Federal Pass Through projects

Administrative forms, including project budget, must be submitted to the Office of Research Administration Grants Services by 9 a.m. four (4) business days before the external funding agency deadline.

Grant Services will review your proposal, verify that the project is in compliance with all regulations, policies, and assurances, and obtain any required signatures.

Then–and only then–your proposal is ready for submission. Grant Services staff will submit (or advise the project director to submit) the proposal to the funding agency, according to the agency's submission guidelines.

If your research includes compliance review requirements such as human subjects research, research with animals, biological materials, radiation, or export control, please visit the Compliance home page for further information.

After you've been awarded a funding opportunity, and all agreements have been accepted, a staff member from the Office of Research Administration will establish an account in the Kuali Coeus grants system and the Kuali Financial System.

Award management

You and your departmental administrators are responsible for managing costs associated with the project in a timely manner. You can access your award and account on Grants Management Toolkit (GMT), a reporting tool that allows you to view the status of your awards and contracts, including your budget, how much you've spent of it, and how much is left.

It can take a while to negotiate and finalize the details of your award. If you need the funds sooner than your award start date, you can request an advanced account. An advanced account allows you to charge expenses to your pending award, so that you don’t have to move the expenses later. An advanced account works just like a normal grant account.

Familiarize yourself with IU's award management policies and guidelines:

Account closeouts

The Office of Research Administration will guide you through the account closeout process. About 90 days before your account expires, you will receive a notice that the final reporting process should begin. After you do a final review, detailing how you spent the funds in your account and any residual balances, the Office of Research Administration will prepare a final report and submit it to the funding agency. When all account activity has been resolved, the account will be closed.

Summarize your study

When you close out your account, the Office of Research Administration may ask you to provide information related to patents or inventions created during the course of your award, along with other necessary information about your study.

Find award-related training

Your research relies on careful managing of your budget and expenditures. IU offers seminars and workshops for managing your awards. You can also get online training for award management systems.

Share your news

If you have a significant publication coming out, or a notable performance or exhibition to announce, notify the IU media relations team and IU's executive director of research communications. They can help you share the news of your achievement.

Prepare yourself to talk to non-experts about your work by reviewing tips and resources in this IU research communication guide

Understand intellectual property rights

Before publishing, licensing, or commercializing your idea, read the university’s intellectual property policy to understand how your work will be credited, patented, and copyrighted.

Commercialize your research

Commercialization brings your research to the attention of companies and investors with the resources to bring it to market. If you are interested in licensing or commercializing your research, start by contacting a technology manager.

Start a company

You may choose to work with IU commercialization experts to start a company based on your new idea or invention. IU has helped launch a number of successful startups, and our innovation and technology managers will work with you to make the best decision for your discovery.