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The Grant Submission Process

All requests for sponsored funds must be reviewed and submitted in conjunction with the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP).

It is recommended that faculty/staff interested in submitting a proposal provide the OSP ample time (~1-2 months) to develop a timeline for submission, review and edit the narrative and budget, and ensure that all proposal requirements are being met.

Summary of the grant submission process

2 months prior to grant deadline:

  • Identify a project that requires external grant funding
  • Complete and submit the Intent to Submit a Grant Proposal form
  • Meet with OSP staff and dean
  • Develop timeline for submission

1 month prior to grant deadline

14 days prior to grant deadline

  • Submit the draft narrative and budget to the OSP

7 days prior to grant deadline

  • Submit the final version of the proposal, budget, and budget narrative to the OSP
  • Sign the Fisher Internal Approvals form and COI disclosure form
  • Circulate the Internal Approvals form to obtain hard copy signatures from administrators

1 day prior to grant deadline*

  • Submit the internally approved grant application to the external funder

*NIH and SAMHSA applications should be submitted 2 days in advance of the grant deadline to avoid technical issues with the online proposal process.

Preliminary Steps to Developing a Formal Grant Proposal

Identify a grant-ready project

Before identifying a funding source, it is best to identify a project that requires external grant funding. At this preliminary stage, it is beneficial for faculty and/or staff to discuss their project idea with their colleagues, department chair, and dean. The following questions should be considered:

  • Is the project feasible?
  • Have you conducted a gap analysis or assessed the project need?
  • Who will implement the project?
  • How will the project be evaluated?
  • What is the cost to implement the project?
  • Does the project align with the strategic priorities of the college and/or school?

Identify a funding source

Once a project idea is deemed feasible by both the department chair and dean, it is worth meeting with the OSP to identify funding sources. OSP will meet with faculty/staff on a one-on-one basis to discuss their project ideas, search for potential funders, and to identify the appropriate office for assistance in the proposal development process.

Faculty/staff can proactively search for funding announcements using the SPIN InfoEd International database, a comprehensive, up-to-date database of funding opportunities from national and international government and private funding sources. SPIN may be accessed through the database listings of Lavery Library. The OSP encourages faculty/administrators to register for SPIN and establish a user profile in order to receive funding opportunities directly in their email inbox. For instructions on how to register for SPIN, please contact the OSP.

Other funder databases can be found on the Tools and Resources page.

When reviewing specific grant opportunities from the federal government, it can be useful to research previously funded grants by consulting USAspending.gov.

Complete a Notice of Intent to Submit a Grant Proposal

After a funding opportunity has been identified, the faculty/staff member is required to submit an Intent to Submit a Grant Proposal form two months prior to the proposal deadline. Upon completion, the form will be electronically submitted to the OSP and the Office of Foundation Relations, who will then determine the appropriate grant preparation support and share the form with the relevant department chair(s), dean(s), and/or vice president(s) informing them that a proposal is being prepared and that internal approvals will eventually be required.

Formulate a concept that meets the guidelines and requirements of the funder

After a funding opportunity has been identified, the faculty/staff member should develop a conceptual framework for the grant project. The process for identifying the framework may include meetings with collaborators, both internal and external. The following is a list of questions that one may want to consider when developing the project concept and evaluating its alignment with a specific grant program:

  • Who are the project team members? Who will serve as the principal investigator (PI)/Project Director (PD) or the co-principal investigators (Co-PI)? Who will be evaluating the project?
  • If you are working with external partners, did they have the opportunity to help develop your project concept? Will the external partner serve as a lead institution or a sub-recipient for the proposal?
  • Can only one proposal be submitted to the funder from St. John Fisher College? In other words, is there a limited submission requirement? Are there other submission limitations that need to be considered?
  • Does the funder require an institutional cost-share or matching funds?
  • Will you be able to implement the project given your other faculty/staff responsibilities? If not, will you be requesting a course-release or some kind of additional support?

Arrange a meeting with the OSP

After the Notice of Intent to Submit a Grant Proposal has been submitted, faculty/staff are encouraged to meet with staff from the OSP to review the grant guidelines and develop a timeline for the submission of the proposal to the funder. The appropriate staff will have been determined through submission of the intent to submit a grant proposal form process. During the meeting the following will be discussed:

  • Grant guidelines: Review the main categories of the funding application, including project description, budget, supplementary documents, etc.
  • Data: Develop a list of questions that must be answered or data to be collected.
  • Timeline for submission: Identify internal deadlines for completing milestones in preparing sections of the proposal and obtaining internal approvals from administrators.

The timeline may identify dates for achieving the following milestones:

  • Contacting the funder (usually via the program officer);
  • Completing initial draft budget, identifying any matching funds (if required);
  • Completing first draft of project narrative, budget narrative, and references;
  • Obtaining letters of commitment from partners (if applicable);
  • Obtaining letters of support from the College (if required);
  • Obtaining IRB or IACUC approval (if applicable);
  • Completing final project narrative, budget, and budget narrative, etc.;
  • Completing Conflict of Interest training and a Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form;
  • Completing the Internal Approvals Form (to obtain approvals as necessary from the department chair(s), dean(s), provost and/or vice president(s), finance manager, controller, and CFO); and
  • Submitting the proposal to the funder.