Office of Sponsored Programs and Research
Where to Start
Here are the basic steps to follow if you are seeking external funding support:
ONE: Matching your research with a funding source
- Establish your research agenda as a long-term engagement and work toward attracting external support. Identify your specific program focus, set your criteria for funding, carefully select a funding source that matches your need, and then write a proposal developing the narrative of your idea. If you have difficulty in identifying suitable program guidelines, our staff will be happy to assist you.
- If this is your first time submitting to an external agency, feel free to ask our staff to listen to your program ideas and offer suggestions.
- The process of finding appropriate funding mechanisms is neither quick nor easy. It sometimes requires a period of familiarization with agency funding trends and timing cycles. Be realistic and expect that your agenda will be funded in phases over a period of years.
TWO: Writing the proposal
- Review the guidelines
Review the application guidelines for your proposal (found in the Request for Proposal RFP). Our office will help you interpret those guidelines, answer questions on the application forms, determine the budget and explain agency procedures or compliance requirements. You and any co-investigator(s) are ultimately responsible for meeting any compliance requirements.
- Writing the narrative
The Principal Investigator and any Co-Investigators are responsible for developing the original idea into a narrative format. Proposal formats are generally laid out in the RFP or program announcement. READ these carefully. The surest way to be unsuccessful is to give a funding agency a proposal that does not target what they fund
- Including Standard Data and Information
Most proposals require similar standard data and history of the institution. You will find this information at Background Information for Proposals.
THREE: Preparing the budget
Think about what it takes financially to conduct your project. You must identify the budget items for which you will request support. BGSU’s Grant and Contract Specialists are ready to build the budget for your proposal. They will help you develop a budget and a budget narrative that will be supported by both the University and the agency. Contact our office early in your proposal development time frame.
FOUR: Routing, approval and submission
Allow time to seek review and approval at several levels - department, college and administrative. You must complete and attach the proper forms before your project can be endorsed and subsequently submitted to an external source. Completion of the Sponsored Programs and Research Proposal Endorsement Form is always required. Federal agencies may require additional assurances and forms that must be officially signed by the University. A five-day policy for routing and approval is enforced. Please plan for your personal deadlines and allow five-days for this endorsement. Your project must comply with all applicable regulations before your project proceeds through the endorsement process. The federal website for transmitting proposals - grants.gov - often presents challenges to the submission process when many people wait until the deadline date and time to submit. Plan to submit early.