Frequently Asked Questions


General FAQs

What does BRDO do and how does this relate to other proposal submission support on campus?

BRDO staff focuses on helping PIs with the content/text/presentation of their proposals (see BRDO Proposal Services). Pre-award Research Administrators (RAs), working at the departmental or Regional Service level, focus on the administrative side of the process, assisting with budgets, collecting and uploading documents, and routing proposals to SPO/IAO. The Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) or the Industry Alliances Office (IAO) reviews proposals for compliance and submits them to the prospective funder on behalf of the university. BRDO may advise on budgetary issues and help to create complete, responsive proposals, but we do not replace or duplicate the work of RA or SPO/IAO staff.  We will work with you, your RA, SPO, IAO, and other members of your team to put together the best proposal possible.  While most proposals receive or require RA and SPO/IAO involvement, BRDO support is entirely optional and at the PI's request.

You can also review how the offices work together overall at the Grant Life Cycle(link is external) page.

Who can request support from BRDO?

We are available to UC Berkeley PIs across campus, regardless of department or discipline. We generally work with faculty (or equivalent) on large, complex, and strategic proposals. Since we are a small office we do not have the capacity to provide one-on-one support for postdocs or students; however, we encourage postdocs and students to take full advantage of the written materials available on our website.

What types of proposals does BRDO work on?

BRDO helps on a variety of proposal types, but our main focus is on large, complex and strategic proposals. "Large and complex" includes, for example, proposals where the PI must bring together multiple projects or cores and multiple collaborators -- often including other institutions, and multiple disciplines -- as well as proposals with mandatory technical but non-scientific sections such as management, commercialization, and evaluation plans. Center grants are a good example. Proposals of "strategic importance" include training grants, instrumentation grants, early career grants, and grants that expand or transform a unit’s capabilities. BRDO's experience is primarily with proposals for federal funding but we also support proposals to funders of other types, working with the Corporate and Foundation Relations or Industry Alliances Offices as appropriate.

How much does it cost to get BRDO help?

BRDO services are free to PIs at UC Berkeley.  Our office is sponsored by the Vice Chancellor for Research.

When in the proposal process should I contact BRDO?

If you are interested in working with us, please contact us as soon as possible. The earlier in the process you consult us, the more likely we will be able to work your proposal into our schedule and the wider the range of support we may be able to offer.

Who at BRDO will I be working with?

Staff assignments are determined on a case-by-case basis depending on best fit and availability. Our staff members are not assigned to specific portfolios limited by departments, disciplines, or faculty.

What level of BRDO support can I expect?

When you contact BRDO, we will discuss the services we can offer you on a case-by-case basis. These will vary depending on what you want, what the proposal requires, BRDO staff availability, and timing. For more information on how we may assist you, see our BRDO Proposal Services page.

Why are some of your pages protected under CalNet ID? What should I do if I don't have access?

As part of our mission to serve UC Berkeley faculty, we have created and curate a set of written resources for proposal development.  Much of this material is uniquely based on the insights of BRDO staff, and we therefore want to limit uncontrolled dissemination beyond the UC Berkeley community.  Anyone with a CalNet ID, including staff and students, can access these materials freely through the links on our web pages. If you do not have a CalNet ID and would like to view specific documents or protected website sections, please contact us to discuss.

I received an email entitled “Grant Development Workshop at the University of California Berkeley.” Is this you?

No!  The email you received is from the Grant Training Center, a commercial entity that presents fee-based workshops around the country. They do not consult with us, and we are not in a position to recommend or discourage attendance. BRDO offers our own proposal workshops which are free of charge. For more information, please visit our Proposal-related Training page.