Discuss your idea with your instructional dean or program lead--This is an important first step, as all grants require the support of the department head that will oversee the grant. Individuals cannot submit institutional grants; they must be submitted by the department that is responsible for their success.
As you discuss your grant idea with your dean or lead, please remember that thoughtful pre-planning is necessary for successful implementation. Grant planning is very similar to new program planning and many factors must be considered as you move forward with your idea. You may consider using the Criteria for Prioritizing Resource Development Initiatives form to guide your conversation. It is available in the Documents section.
Contact the Grants Office and/or complete the *Request to Develop Project with Grant Support.
(*Note: the Request to Develop Project document can be found in the Documents link in the side bar)
Identify one or more potential sources of funding. If you have not already done so, there is a list of Prospect Research tools on this site that may be useful. Unfortunately, the Grants Office ability to research potential funding sources is limited due to time and staffing, so your assistance is appreciated and will facilitate the submission process.
Compile the information necessary to submit the grant: By this time, you should be working with the Grants Office and have delineated who will do what. In preparation of writing the grant, you will need:
- Information that documents the need.
- A budget outline - what you will spend the grant funds on.
- Partnerships and collaborations, including letters of commitment if necessary.
- An overview of grant goals, objectives and outcomes - what do you hope to accomplish, thinking in terms of impact on participants (i.e. participant centered outcomes).
Write the grant - There are several options for writing the grant that should be discussed with the Grants Office, including:
- You may write the grant if you want. For National Science Foundation proposals, it is very important that you are an active participant in the process, as NSF readers prefer to read proposals written by STEM faculty, not grant writers. However, even for other proposals, you most likely are better able to convey the passion than a grant writer can. The Grants Office is available to edit.
- The Grants Office can write the grant. Although staffing limits the number of proposals that the Grants Office can write each month, the Grants office frequently writes SMC's grants. What this requires is one substantial meeting with you to discuss details of the project, as well as follow-up communications as questions arise.
- You may work with the Grants Office to write the grant, dividing our responsibilities as discussed. This will facilitate the writing process and allow more to get done in a shorter period of time.
- The college may hire an external consultant to write the grant. If you are considering this option, you should meet with your VP and the Grants Office as early in the process as possible. Grant funds cannot be used to write the grant; as such, institutional funds must be identified, and The Board of Trustees must approve the hiring of a consultant.
Ultimately, the process by which the grant is written depends on the time available, your interests and aptitudes, and the complexity of the grant application process.
Obtain administrative approval to submit the grant - Once the grant is written and the budget is complete, SMC's executive administration must approve the grant. At the least, this means that the VP of your division and Randal Lawson, Executive VP, will review and approve the grant. However, if your grant includes significant impacts on Facilities, Information Services, and/or any other department on campus, the program leads of the departments must also approve the grant. Generally, the Grants Office will facilitate this process; however, you may assist by maintaining open lines of communication with all potentially impacted areas.
Submit the grant: The Grants Office is responsible for submitting the grant and obtaining authorization and signature from the President's office.
At this time, there is no defined timeline for when each of these steps should be completed prior to the due date. It is recognized that each grant competition is unique and thus, the grant development team must be flexible. At any point in the process, the Grants Office is available to assist.