A. Grant Forward – Grant Forward is a searchable funding database. Read the HELP file or contact the Grants Office for instructions on its use.
B. Foundation Center– The Grants Office and the Office of Institutional Advancement have subscriptions to the on-line FC Search engine. Contact either office for help.
C. Chronicle of Higher Education– See Gazette section in the paper copy for deadlines.
D. Chronicle of Philanthrophy– See Deadlines.
E. Grants.Gov – A government clearing house of all federal grants. You may apply and search for grants here.
F. Council on Undergraduate Research – Information and support on undergraduate research
Frequently Asked Questions:
What types of projects can be funded by grants?
If you have articulated an idea for a project, then the Grants Office can help you find funding sources for it. We can consult with you and help you through all aspects of the application and award process. There are many types of grants, for many academic disciplines and types of project; grants can be obtained for research, publication, travel, programs, collaborative projects, institutional programs, etc.
Do I just need an idea? Do I have to have a funding source in mind?
If you do have any ideas about possible funding sources for your work or project, please share them with the Grants Office. We may be able to find out more information that could be helpful to you. But if you don’t know of possible sources, that’s okay. We are more than happy to show you how to research the funding databases available to the Eastern community or, if time allows, to do research for you.
Is there a general range of funds or size of grants?
No. Grants come in all amounts. The nature of your project and the amount of the budget will determine what we would be looking for in terms of the size of a grant. In addition, if we find a few sources that may give smaller grants, they can potentially be combined to support your project if the cost is more.
Who actually applies for the grant? And who gets the money when the grant is awarded?
It depends on the agency funding the grant, so it is best to check with the Grants Office. The Grants Office keeps records of all contacts with funders, and should be the central clearing house for all proposals, so we appreciate hearing from you whenever you are considering submitting a proposal. Most faculty members who are preparing research proposals will be working with the Grants Accountant in Fiscal Affairs to develop their budget and to arrange for accounts to be set up once awards are made. All proposals need to be vetted by an institutional approval process, with top administrators signing off on the Grants Referral Sheet, so you should allow for several days to complete this process.
If the proposal is more institutional in nature (with a broad institutional impact, or in support of the strategic plan, such as a program administered by a center or a program instituted by an administrator), the Grants Office will help the Principle Investigator to craft the proposal, steward it through the institutional approval process, and ultimately submit the proposal. In many cases, these types of proposals may be submitted by the ECSU Foundation. In such cases, the fiscal contact is the ECSU Foundation’s accountant, who will set up the account and arrange for money to be withdrawn from it.
In many cases, the funds for a successful grant application will be sent with the check made out to the University or the ECSU Foundation. In other cases, such as federal awards, the money may be electronically transferred to the appropriate account or deposited by direct deposit. Depending on whether the University or the Foundation applied on behalf of your proposal, check with the respective accountant to review expenditures and determine balances.
What is the incentive for applying for grants? Do I get compensation for doing all of this work?
There are a variety of incentives for applying for grants and getting them. One incentive is the opportunity to work on a project that you haven’t had the funds to do. Many times, funding from a grant is the only way a highly desired project is possible. In many cases, the budget may include support for a new position, for a summer stipend or a sabbatical or for an approved replacement to release you to do research.
Doing research, working on institutional projects, and winning grants, awards and fellowships are all commendable parts of your annual report to the President and the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Grants that faculty members and staff receive enhance their professional standing and increase the University’s chances of being invited to compete for other grants. Funders like to know that their money has been well spent, and tend to give to institutions with which they have a successful relationship. Your professional reputation enhances the University’s reputation among pubic and private funders.
The experience of working on an institutional project or proposal can introduce new perspectives and ideas to your work in the classroom or to your administrative responsibilities. It’s a great way to learn something new and to expand your professional career.
Do I have to attend a lot of meetings? How difficult is the whole process of grant seeking and working on grant-funded programs?
It really isn’t very difficult. The Grants Office has a set of standard procedures and forms to help you. Large institutional proposals may involve meeting with a committee of faulty and administrators to exchange ideas and formulate goals for the proposal. Some grants are written by a committee, some by the Grants Office and some by individual staff or faculty members. Given enough time, all should be proofed by the Grants Office.
For individual research grants and fellowships, you are doing your own work on your own area of expertise, so ideally this is something that you have wanted to spend time on. Most funders will want you to report to them on the use of the grant funds and your work on the project. We can help you with this as well.
What about fellowships? Do you help people locate and apply for them?
Absolutely. We will not write your proposals for you, but we can certainly help you find possible sources for funding, and can help you in obtaining additional information on some of these sources, including information on the kinds of fellowships funded by the corporation, foundation, agency or organization. The Grants Office maintains a set of files on fellowships and a fellowship calendar.
Where does the money for these grants come from?
There are many different kinds of funding agencies. At Eastern, we work primarily with the following:
- FOUNDATIONS, whose primary function is to provide funding/donations/grants for organizations which meet the criteria of their mission. These organizations are in the business of making grants. They raise money themselves or have been established through the bequest of an individual for the purpose of making charitable contributions
- CORPORATIONS that have charitable contribution programs, again with the mission of making grants and donations to people and organizations. Their funds come from the assets and/or profits of the corporation.
- GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, which have been established by the federal or state government specifically to fund programs in their areas of interest/focus. Funding is legislated by the federal government for the national agencies, and the national agencies often fund the state programs. The state programs are also funded by tax dollars and their budgets are determined by the state.
- OTHER ORGANIZATIONS that are established with the specific goal of raising money and making grants in certain disciplines/areas of interest, i.e. the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU), the American Philosophical Society, the American Chemical Society, and many more. Their funds often come from membership dues and other monies that they have raised.
Do I have to go through the Grants Office if I am applying for an individual grant or fellowship?
Yes, we would prefer that you notify us, and the Grants Accountant in Fiscal Affairs, of any approaches to a funder. In many cases, the Grants Office may be able to help ensure that you have the best chance in getting your grant. We may know of other recipients of the kind of fellowship for which you are applying and may be able to share success stories, presentation techniques, or other information on things to include with your proposal. Also, we may know of another faculty member applying for the same fellowship, and we can work with you to coordinate the appropriate timing for your proposal.
In addition, if we know that you have received a fellowship, it is helpful for us and for others at Eastern to know that you have received it. Your experience could help another faculty member in getting a grant. If you have received a fellowship from a foundation that also makes institutional grants, it is important for us to have that information in our historical file on the foundation. And, we want to be able to announce your award in Grantscape and/or Eastern Magazine.
Often, when we are applying for an institutional grant, it helps to build our case when we can talk about the history that the university and its faculty members already have with the funder. It is also helpful for us to be aware of your fellowships when we are applying to or working with a funder on a program that is close to your academic discipline. If we can share with them that another faculty member received grants or awards for their work in the same field, it may potentially help us to establish that we have a strong department and are deserving of a grant.
Do I have to go through your office for other grants or contracts?
Yes. If it is for a grant in which the funds will be made out directly to Eastern or the ECSU Foundation, we need to be involved in the process. In many cases, for institutional grants, the grantor often wants institutional documentation that you may not have on hand. We maintain institutional tax statements, board lists, financial statements, etc. in our files, so it is easy for us to make sure that all of this is included in the proposal. If there is a contract involved, an Authorized Institutional Official must sign off on it.
Also, institutional proposals must be approved by a number of different offices on campus, including your department chair, your dean, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Fiscal Affairs and Administrative Affairs. The Grants Office is here to help make this process go as smoothly as possible. In addition, our office maintains files on a number of corporations, foundations, government agencies and organizations. It is important for us to have up-to-date information on our relationship with the funder, as this can make a big difference in whether your new project or program gets funded. We also need to be certain that there are no other proposals that might be submitted to that same funder.