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FAQs

Do I have to work with the Grants Office in writing my grant?
In general, it is not necessary for you to work with the Grants Office on your grant (NSF grant applications are the exception). However, it can certainly benefit you to involve the Grants Office in early stages of the grant writing process; we can offer feedback on proposal ideas and help in the search for an appropriate funding agency.

When your proposal is near completion, however, the Grants Office must be given a copy to review at least forty-eight hours before the submission deadline. This allows for one final perusal before the grant is sent to the funding agency and allows the college to track all proposal submissions.

Will the Grants Office find funding sources for me?
The Grants Office can assist you in finding funding, and we are happy to notify you when we see a grant opportunity that may be of interest to you. If you would like us to watch for these opportunities, please e-mail us so that we know what information would be most beneficial to you.

Where can I get budget information?
Contact Donna Anema in the Provost's Office for information on salaries, release time, and so forth. For a copy of Calvin's IRS statement, contact the Grants Office.

How much lead time do I need to give myself for the grant writing process?
Of course, the amount of time needed to write a successful grant varies from project to project; however, you should plan on the entire process (from conceptualizing a project to researching the foundation to sending out the proposal) taking at least a few months.

Who are Calvin's authorized institutional representatives?
Many grant applications will require a signature from an authorized institutional representative. At Calvin, those individuals are Matt Walhout, Dean for Research and Scholarship; Mike Stob, Academic Dean; or Michael Le Roy, President.

What are indirect costs, and how are they calculated?
Indirect costs refer to extra costs that Calvin must cover while you are working on your project. Items such as office space, telephone usage, and electricity are covered by indirect costs. Through June 30, 2014, Calvin has set a rate of 45.2% of salaries and wages for government proposals. Some private foundations allow no indirect costs. Others may allow 5-10% of total project cost.

Once I find a funding source, what should my next step be?
Contact a program officer at the funding agency. A phone call to a program officer not only enables you to find out if your proposal is "on track"; it also gives you an opportunity to make a personal connection with someone at the funding agency and to find out about their institutional priorities and goals. Although you should never call a program officer "just to talk," a well-planned phone call in which you ask informed, specific questions can be extremely beneficial.

Whom do I need to notify about my grant proposal?
You should begin by notifying your department chair and dean. If college matching funds are required for your project, you will need the approval of your dean before you can proceed. In addition, Donna Anema (Provost's Office) will be your resource for budget information, so she should be notified early in the process. You should also contact people from whom you will be needing letters of support (or other forms of support documentation).

Remember that involving the Grants Office in the early stages of grant writing, although not necessary, can certainly benefit you by making the grant-writing process easier and more manageable.

What's this I hear about an honorarium for writing proposals?
Yes, the Provost's Office has authorized an honorarium of up to $200/year for submitting a proposal. The Grants Office needs to have a copy of your proposal in order to process this request.

The Grant Writing Process
- Getting Started
         Proposal Clearance Form
         Q&A
         Helpful Links
- Finding Funding Sources
         Alphabetical
         Arts & Humanitites
         Sciences
         Social Science
         Research/Sabbatical
- Crafting a Great Proposal
- Final Steps