College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Office of Large Grant Development


The Office of Large Grant Development assists Agricultural Research Center and CAHNRS faculty members who are pursuing external funding, in particular integrated, multi-investigator grants. The objective of the Office is to provide clerical, organizational and editorial support to individuals interested in taking a lead in preparing complex proposals. By doing this, the Office will both aid current efforts to pursue grants and also accumulate institutional experience that will be used to improve the quality of large proposals in the future. As time permits, personnel will also gladly assist with other competitive grant proposals seeking funds from external sources and with faculty interacting with foundations and other private sources of money.

Flexibility and versatility are part of our approach, and the goal is to accomplish whatever Principal Investigators need at every point of the search for funding. The Office often assists with:

  • Scheduling and other support for organizing meetings between faculty located elsewhere, either in-person or using video-conferences, etc.
  • Scrutinizing the specific requirements of a Request For Applications (RFA) and discussing the agency requirements with the lead PD as the process of proposal preparation proceeds.
  • Editing written proposals, generating clean figures and tables, creating logos and graphic design, organizing appendices, managing citations, writing sections such as Facilities & Equipment, creating logic models, and preparing the final layout of pages so they meet agency guidelines.
  • Obtaining, organizing and inputting information for Conflict of Interest, Current & Pending, Biographical Sketches and other forms needed as part of and NSF FastLane submission systems.
  • Establishing and monitoring timelines to help keep all parts of the proposal moving forward at all times, including obtaining documentation needed from Co-PIs and subcontractors.
  • Where appropriate, assisting in the preparation of budget spreadsheets and forms for review by Carrie Johnston of the Agricultural Research Center.
  • Meeting one-on-one with faculty considering their next proposal efforts or contacts with private money sources.
  • Offering grant-writing workshops, editorial assistance, and strategic advice, especially for junior faculty members.


Coordinator: Susan Cao
Mrs. Cao earned her Bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Gonzaga University and her Master’s in chemistry at the University of Idaho. She has worked at Hanford and for an environmental chemistry company in the Midwest. She has more than 19 years experience at WSU assisting at every level with major grant proposals for NIH, USDA, NSF and other agencies.

Getting Started

To make use of the resources of the Office, please contact Dr. Mark Hubbard at 509-335-0477 or Points relevant to the initial discussion of needs and resources may include:

  • interests of the key researchers
  • time-frame of proposal preparation and submission
  • number of Co-Principal Investigators and collaborators
  • number of institutions other than WSU that will be involved in the work
  • approximate budget total and WSU fraction of the budget
  • budget matching requirements or any other special circumstances of the RFA

Faculty References

Questions about the past performance of the Office can be directed to faculty with whom we have worked, including: