Proposal Submission Procedures

These are the essential steps to a successful application.

  1. Start earlier than you think is necessary. A hastily planned project and proposal is unlikely to be funded. Depending on the length and complexity of the project, it can take months to plan the project, additional months to prepare a proposal, and six months or more to receive notification from a funder after the proposal is submitted.
  2. Involve colleagues. Enlist the support of your divisional head, department chair, faculty and/or staff in your department, and design your project so as to support departmental and divisional priorities.
  3. Ask for assistance from your corporate foundation relations office. We are here to help you! We can provide assistance with navigating necessary internal protocols, providing institutional data, developing your proposal budget, critiquing your draft narrative, and packaging your proposal for hard copy or electronic submission.
  4. Define the project. We recommend completing a Who, What, Where, When, Why, How, and How Much? summary of your project. It is necessary to have good answers to these questions in order to effectively present your idea to your dean or vice president and to potential funders.
  5. Do the research. Ask colleagues where they received funding for their projects. Corporate/foundation relations staff can assist with preparing prospect lists. The Finding Funding page of this site contains links to several funder databases, some of which are available to faculty and staff free of charge.
  6. When you identify an funding opportunity that you wish to pursue, read and follow the proposal preparation guidelines carefully.
  7. Send a detailed description to your divisional head or vice president, and for academic proposals, to Dave Lyndgaard. In order to help the academic leadership or vice president make reasonable decisions about approving a grant prospect, they need to know what it is for, whether it requires institutional matching funds and/or release time, and whether it has the support of your department.
  8. Take advantage of opportunities to gain additional advice on your proposal from the funding agency. Sometimes it is possible to submit a draft for critique, or to ask for advice from a program officer. These are the best ways to get good, reliable information beyond what is contained in the written guidelines.
  9. Avoid the all-too-common, last-minute scramble before the funder's submission deadline. Allow ample time for others to review your proposal and for you to incorporate suggested edits. Allow time for preparing a budget and assembling required attachments. Allow time for snags of one sort or the other to be resolved. Allow time to assemble the pieces of the proposal into a neat, orderly package.
  10. Submit your proposal on time, (before the deadline if possible) and congratulate yourself for a job well done.