Research Sprints

Research Sprints, hosted by the University of Virginia Library, offer faculty the opportunity to partner with a team of expert librarians on a specific project or component of a broader project. Sprints differ from one-time consultations in their timing and depth of interaction. Individuals or teams of faculty will work intensively with librarians for four and a half working days. The intention is for the entire team — faculty and library staff — to work without distractions for that period of time to produce a tangible product or outcome.

The program supports projects at any phase of the scholarly lifecycle, providing an excellent opportunity for faculty who want to get started on a new project or overcome an obstacle on an existing project.  For example, startup projects might benefit from literature reviews or facilitated brainstorming, or from the design of a roadmap toward the application of technology to a research or a teaching problem; in-progress projects might require help on information or data organization or curation.  Projects nearing completion might benefit from assistance in managing scholarly communications or designing programs, or identifying and evaluating intellectual property or copyright issues.  We welcome proposals for projects that are exploratory and experimental, as well as those that are well advanced. 

Potential project areas include, but are not limited to, the following areas in which we have in-house expertise: 

  • Archival research
  • Data and metadata creation, management, analysis, and preservation
  • Literature reviews
  • Intellectual property/copyright
  • Application of technology to a research or teaching problem
  • Grant proposals
  • Program planning
  • Collaborative or interdisciplinary team start-up
  • Open educational resource adoption or creation (open textbooks, teaching videos, etc.)
  • Pedagogy and instructional design (course assignment redesign, creation of learning objects, etc.)
  • Preservation of scholarly work
  • Publication proposal or journal creation


  • Sprint timeframe: May 15-19, 2023 
    • Teams will work intensively for three to four days within that period, depending on the needs of the project.
    • Friday 9:30-12:30 is reserved for a cohort meeting and report-out, attendance required.
      • Other sprint sessions for select projects might be available for summer 2023 based on faculty and staff availability.
      • The exact daily schedule is flexible based on project needs.
  • We anticipate an in-person event (although teams will make the final determination).
  • Each team will hold a pre-sprint orientation meeting, date determined by project team.

Who is eligible? How do I apply?

  • This program is open to anyone holding a faculty appointment as well as senior professional research staff at the University of Virginia who expect to be employed by the University during the school year of 2023-24.   Awardees who become aware in the spring that they will not be returning to the University for the fall 2023 semester should notify Judith Thomas and decline their award.
  • Individuals or teams may apply.  For team proposals, one faculty or senior professional research staff member should serve as the project director and should submit the application.  Graduate students may participate as team members.
  • Application deadline: February 17, 2023
  • Notifications:  the week of April 2, 2023

What are the selection criteria?

  • The proposed work can be completed in four days.
  • The project will have an impact on the faculty member’s research or teaching, or on their work with the community.
  • The project has a convincing rationale for partnering with the library to accomplish the project goals, with a vision for how library staff will contribute to this work.
  • Staff with the necessary skills are available to support the project.  

What are the expectations of the recipients?

  • Attend a pre-sprint orientation meeting to clarify goals for the sprint and familiarize library staff with research.
  • Attend all sprint sessions within the targeted week.
  • Submit a written reflection on your experience in the program.
  • Report on your project during the final cohort meeting.

Other considerations

  • This program cannot promise additional resources (e.g., software, systems, project maintenance) after the sprint has ended.  However, we will advise on strategies for achieving long-term project goals.
  • We recommend that all project proposers, especially those whose projects involve the application of technology to research or teaching, consult with a staff member before submitting an application.  Please contact Judith Thomas ( for a referral.
  • You may be contacted by the selection committee with additional questions.

Learn more