Overview of the Funding Process

Basic Overview

Want the two-minute version? Download the grant submission process chart (pdf).

Applying for a grant can be a daunting process.  Below is an overview of what to expect during the grant prcess at Appalachian State Univeristy.

Step 1a - Become grant ready

  • Timeline: Schedule a consultation with Grants Resources & Services staff for assistance at any stage, from developing your idea into a project plan to researching potential funding sources, finding collaborators, revising proposal drafts, or learning about the grant process at the university.
  • Tips: Consider becoming a peer reviewer in order to become familiar with an agency or how a successful grant proposal might read. Some recommend that once you decide to apply for grants you should review grants your first year and write a grant proposal your second year.
  • Tips: If you are new to grants, consider finding a collaborator who is grant active.  Or, if you are looking for someone with specific expertise on your team in order to make your project and proposal stronger, consider a collaboration.  Talk to your department, members in your field, or contact GRS to find a collaborator.
  • Resources:

Step 1b– Find a funding opportunity

Step 2 – Talk to your department chair

  • Timeline: Talk to your chair when you have identified a funding opportunity you would like to pursue, and keep him/her informed about any major changes in your project plans while you are writing the proposal. Your chair and dean must officially approve your proposal in AGrants before Sponsored Programs can submit it to the sponsor, and the approval process will move more quickly if your chair knows your plans.
  • Tips: It's especially important to talk to your chair early in the proposal writing process if your proposed project involves time away from the classroom or a commitment of university resources (e.g., exhibit space), or if your sponsor requires matching funds or cost sharing.

Step 3a – Develop a proposal narrative

  • Timeline: Try to complete a rough draft of your proposal narrative and budget one month before the sponsor's deadline to allow ample time to seek feedback from colleagues and mentors, gather supporting documentation such as letters of support, and prepare your final submission in AGrants.
  • Tips: Many sponsors encourage prospective applicants to contact a program officer before applying. Program officers can usually advise about whether a project idea is a potential fit for their program, and some will even offer feedback on draft narratives or project abstracts.
  • Resources:
  • Contacts: Contact Grants Resources and Services at grs@appstate.edu to request editorial assistance with proposal narratives, sample proposals for specific sponsors/programs, or other proposal-writing resources.

Step 3b – Develop a budget

  • Timeline: Your budget should be developed concurrently with your proposal narrative, since you will have to explain your project expenses in your narrative. Ideally, try to have a draft budget completed one month before the sponsor's deadline.
  • Tips:
  • Resources:
  • Contacts: Contact the Sponsored Programs staff member assigned to your department/unit for assistance with budget development.

Step 4 – Submit your proposal for internal approvals using AGrants

  • Timeline: Check in with your Sponsored Programs staff member about submission procedures at least three weeks before your sponsor's deadline, even if your proposal is not ready to submit yet. Most sponsors use electronic submission systems, some of which require advance registration, so it helps to plan ahead. Your complete, ready-to-submit proposal, including all required internal approvals (from your chair, dean, etc.) must be submitted to Sponsored Programs via AGrants at least five business days before the sponsor's deadline.
  • Tips:
    • AGrants is an electronic system used for internal review and tracking of all sponsored projects at ASU. You upload your materials (proposal, budget, etc.) into AGrants, fill out forms with questions about your project (e.g., who is participating in the project, whether it requires IRB approval, etc.), and submit it for internal review. AGrants electronically routes the proposal to the people who need to approve it before submission.
    • All grant proposals and contracts for sponsored projects are submitted on behalf of the university, not in the name of individual faculty members, and they must be reviewed and approved by Sponsored Programs before submission.
    • For fellowship applications, contact Sponsored Programs and your department chair for guidance about whether you can submit the application yourself. Some fellowships must be submitted through AGrants and reviewed by Sponsored Programs; requirements vary by sponsor, project, and department.
  • Resources:
  • Contacts: For AGrants questions or training, contact Yingqi Wang. For other questions about proposal submission, contact the Sponsored Programs staff member assigned to your department/unit.

Step 5 – Receive notice from sponsor

  • Timeline: Sponsors vary widely in the amount of time they take to review proposals and notify applicants. It is common to receive notification 4-6 months after the application deadline, but your sponsor's application guidelines may provide more information.
  • Tips:
    • When you receive your first award, Sponsored Programs and Special Funds Accounting will schedule a brief New Award Meeting with you to explain project setup and management procedures. 
    • Most award notifications are sent to Sponsored Programs; they will forward them to you. If award materials come directly to you from the sponsor, please forward them to your contact person in Sponsored Programs.
    • If your proposal is not funded on the first try, note your sponsor's instructions about whether and how you can obtain feedback from the reviewers, and contact Grants Resources and Services at grs@appstate.edu to discuss revision and resubmission. Many proposals that are not funded on the first try are funded as resubmissions.
  • Resources: See Start and Manage Projects for information on how accounts for sponsored projects are set up and managed.
  • Contacts: The Sponsored Programs and Special Funds Accounting staff members assigned to your department/unit will help you officially accept the award and handle any award negotiations. The Special Funds Accounting staff will create an account for your award and assist with managing your awarded funds. If your proposal was declined and you are interested in revising and resubmitting it, contact Grants Resources and Services at grs@appstate.edu.



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