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Grantswinship: How to apply for funding outside the University

External funding from fellowships, grants, contracts, or donations can be very helpful to faculty. Liberal Arts is very supportive of efforts to obtain external funding. Where to begin? Here is a checklist. Please print this checklist as a guide. Items in bold are required; others are optional.

  1. Develop an idea which might be fundable.
  2. Discuss your idea with your colleagues.
  3. Discuss your idea with your Department Chair.
  4. Develop your ideas into a one or two page concept paper.
  5. Contact the University Research Office for a funding search and help with proposal submission.
  6. Select one or more potential funding agencies.
  7. If the funding source is private (a private foundation, an individual or a corporate philanthropy), go the Private Foundation Route, below OR If the funding source is public (federal, state, county, city funded agency), a learned society, (e.g., American Historical Association), or a corporate reseach and development office, go to the Public Funding Source Route, below.

The Private Foundation Route:

  1. Discuss your project with Kevin Crowe, the CLA development officer or one of the deans. You must get clearance from the CLA development officer before contacting foundations.
  2. Call the foundation and discuss your idea with a program officer.
  3. Send a letter of inquiry.
  4. Draft a proposal and review with a colleague.
  5. Complete the proposal fact sheet (blue sheet).
  6. Submit a full proposal adhering to the published guidelines.
  7. Supply three (3) complete copies of the proposal package to the CLA development officer.
  8. Call the foundation to ensure that they received the proposal.
  9. Share responses with the CLA development officer.

The Public Funding Source Route:

  1. Notify CLA Associate Dean for research of the project and especially any needs for cost matching, space, or reductions in the full indirect cost rate.
  2. Call the funding source and discuss your idea with a program officer. Request program guidelines, application, and a sample proposal.
  3. Draft a proposal and review with a colleague.
  4. Draft a project budget.
  5. Review your budget with the CLA Associate Dean for Research or CLA Administrative Services Manager. The College has fiscal responsibilities for grants. The budget review is important and can take a day or two. If you are on a short timeline, call ahead to discuss your needs.
  6. Review your budget with the University Foundation Office budget staff. The Foundation must approve the budget.
  7. Make an appointment with the University Research Office to electronically prepare Internal Routing and Cost Matching Forms. Once completed forms will be routed, reviewed and approved from the University Research Office to the department Chair to the Dean's office and back to the University Research Office. At that point the applicant will be approved to mail the proposal.
  8. Submit a complete proposal to the funding agency adhering to the published guidelines.
  9. Supply three (3) complete copies of the proposal package to the college office.
  10. Share responses with David.

Hot tips:

  • Keep your chair and the college office informed of your intentions.
  • Make sure the college sees your budget well in advance of the due date.
  • Applicants who call before submitting a proposal are much more likely to get funded.
  • University Research Office will assemble and mail if requested.
  • University Internal Routing Form and Cost Matching Forms are online at http://www.ur.csulb.edu/aserv/forms/forms1.html.
  • Many applicants who are not successful on the first try ARE successful on a second try.