Demystifying the Grants Process
The Basic Concept of Proposal Development
- What does it take to successfully seek external support?
Common Terms and Definitions
- Grant, contract, cooperative agreement
- Proposal, request for proposal (RFP), solicited proposal, unsolicited proposal
Choosing a funding source
- Determine what is needed for successful conduct of the project
- What type of funding is required?
- Where will the project be conducted?
- What population will benefit?
- How much money is needed, and for what purposes?
- What time factors are involved?
- Determine which organizations are likely to sponsor the project
- Make contact with those most likely to sponsor the project
Determine what criteria are used for the review for merit
- Resources (budget)
- Other considerations
Before you write: Planning and Preparation
- "Why do we write proposals?"
- Questions to consider in developing a proposal: what is the need or problem to be addressed?; how have you determined that there is a need or problem? What have others done about the need or problem?; How have these efforts succeeded or failed? What will you do that is different?; What do you expect to achieve in relationship to the need (goal)?; What will you do to address the problem? Can these efforts be grouped together as common activities that are measurable (objectives)?; Specifically, what do you plan to do (methodology)? How will you know you are doing it right (evaluation)? How much will each activity cost (budget)?; What makes you the best person to do this work (capability)?
Elements of a Proposal
- Summary; introduction; problem statement; objectives; methods; evaluation
Order of events for writing and submitting proposals
- Plan well in advance to successfully welcome your deadline
- Do your homework; find out what has been supported
- Is your idea significant, meritorious, interesting
Discuss with department chair for support and interest.
- Does the project fit the mission of the department/college…university
Solicit help from Office of Sponsored Programs to locate sponsor and to identify contact persons at federal agencies, foundations, etc.
- We can make first formal contact
- Identify an advocate
- Coordinate with others
Call for application guidelines for pre-proposal or proposal submission.
- Does the project require matching funds/cost sharing?
Write proposal following the guidelines and restrictions.
- If there are particular areas that the Principle Investigator (PI) needs help (budget), OSP staff will assist
- Solicit appropriate support letters from community, etc.
Receive approval/routing form from sponsored programs office; Get appropriate signatures for department and college commitment.
- At this point, the proposal should be completed for review before sign-off
- Signatures required
Submit at least one week before application deadline. Notify the Office of Sponsored Programs of status updates.