Higher Education Practice

Higher Education

McAllister & Quinn represents numerous private and public colleges and universities located across the United States. We provide higher education consulting in areas such as federal grants, congressional research funding, foundations, public-private and international partnerships and institution-wide strategic projects. Our team is comprised of professionals with extensive backgrounds in the federal government and higher education.

Our consulting services focus on increasing the external funding opportunities of a college or university with the goal of providing a high return on investment. The return on investment can include a combination of budget relief, budget enhancement, new programs/partnerships, and/or greater institutional efficiencies. Our approach is proven, as annually we garner millions of dollars or create new initiatives for our clients that have a profound effect on the lives of individuals in their communities or across the nation.

As a firm, McAllister & Quinn has developed a reputation for being large enough to provide a full range of consulting services and small enough to give our clients the personalized service that they want and need. Unlike most consultants, we are less focused on memos and meetings, and more focused on tangible results for our clients.

Faculty Development

The McAllister & Quinn team possesses extensive relationships and personal contacts at all of the federal agencies that fund institutions of higher education. Our clients go from simply reading agency websites and hoping to understand the specifics of the grant application, to meeting face-to-face with decision-makers and hearing first-hand how to best shape a winning grant application. As part of our service, we also organize quarterly grant writing workshops in Washington. These day-long sessions allow faculty members to work one-on-one with Program Officers to improve approaches to grant applications.

Professional Grant Writing

The McAllister & Quinn grant writing team is comprised of more than 200 experienced professionals who each have specific areas of expertise. Our writers’ backgrounds range from accomplished academics to seasoned professionals – and all have written successful grants throughout their careers.

Government Relations with Congress and Agencies

McAllister & Quinn has an experienced group of government relations experts who have worked at the senior levels of Congress and the Executive Branch. We are a bi-partisan firm that values our strong relationships with Congress. In today’s post-earmark world, we focus on our extensive relationships with agency program officers and our deep, hands-on experience submitting competitive federal grants to help our clients obtain funding for research, programs, equipment, and scholarships.


Research-Focused Institutions

For larger research universities and other organizations with substantial investments in sponsored research activities, McAllister & Quinn’s Research Universities & Institutions Practice works with public and private research universities, integrated medical research practices, academic medical centers, and other research-intensive organizations to support, expand, and diversify sponsored research activities. Visit the Research Universities & Institutions Practice page here.


Case Studies

University Client Wins $1.2 Million Noyce NSF Grant

McAllister & Quinn worked with a University client to successfully compete for the NSF’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, a prestigious award that will encourage physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics students and professionals to pursue teaching careers in secondary schools…READ MORE


University Receives $700,000 in HRSA Nurse Training Funds

The HRSA Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship (AENT) grant will help this McAllister & Quinn client support its Doctor of Nursing Practice program…READ MORE


Good Faculty Research Begins with Mentoring

Dr. Sally White, Senior Vice President and Leader of the Higher Education Practice at McAllister & Quinn, gave the keynote address at the DU Day of Research, an event that honors Davenport University students and faculty in their pursuit of outstanding research and scholarship.

With 21 years as a university researcher and administrator, Dr. White shared about the path that led her to a successful career in academia and shared some of the lessons she learned along the way.

She said one of the first and most important building blocks was having good mentors at every stage of her education and career.

“A good mentor needs to be an expert in your field of study, they have to be personally and professionally involved in your growth, and they need to be candid,” said Dr. White. “It’s critically important that there is mutual respect between the two so that constructive feedback can be shared and taken in the spirit it was intended,” said Dr. White.

In this video excerpt, Dr. White touches on a number of other issues relevant to both researchers and administrators, including the importance of developing good research questions and statistics, as well as the importance of continuous innovation in order to stay relevant.

Watch the video here.