Background Image

Steps for Proposal Guidelines

In this Section
  1. Submission of Foundation/Corporate Proposals
    All proposals to foundations, corporations, corporate foundations and other private funding agencies are submitted by the Office of Corporate & Foundation Relations. Before contacting a potential funder and submitting a proposal or application, please contact CFR for guidance and assistance.  If you have identified a grant opportunity independently, please contact CFR before starting your application.  CFR can assist with the application process if you allow for adequate lead-time, generally at least 90 days.
  2. Open Calls for Proposals (RFPs)
    This category includes any regularly occurring open call for proposals released by a private agency.  RFPs can be annual or more frequent, depending on the funder.  Typically there are no limitations on the number of proposals that may be submitted, barring guideline limitations per se (ie, a focus on neuroscience might exclude the Humanities).  Many are Young Investigator Awards.  CFR will typically announce all opportunities to the Provost, Vice Provost and Deans a minimum of 3 months before a submission deadline.  Announcements are then distributed to the faculty by the Deans.  Applicants are strongly urged to use the entire 3-month lead-time provided in announcements to prepare a competitive proposal.  Due to the volume of work coordinated by the Office, last minute submissions are discouraged.

    CFR will assist the PI in preparing and submitting the proposal, including advising on application guidelines, indirect costs, budgets, proposal content and internal approvals.  CFR will complete the final submission and also coordinate any reporting/stewardship activities or site visits that might be required. For your planning purposes, a list of opportunities is available at our website. 

    If responding to an open call/RFP, applicants should: 

    • Check the announcement memo for details of internal/external deadlines, proposal guidelines, restrictions on applying, award amount, etc.
    • OBTAIN APPROVAL FROM YOUR DEAN to move forward with your proposal. The Dean must notify CFR that they support your application and you have approval to proceed
    • CFR will assist you with developing a timetable for your application
    • Meet with CFR staff as needed to discuss your proposal
    • CFR will assist you with a timeline, obtaining university documents, submitting online applications, and revising your project narrative
    • Write proposal, assemble support materials, and finalize budget (coordinate timing and assistance with CFR staff)
    • Provide your final draft of proposal narrative and final budget for internal review 2 weeks before the mailing deadline
  3. Limited Opportunities
    This category covers funding opportunities where a nomination is required.  For example, if the funder stipulates that only one or a limited number of proposals/applicant institution can be submitted, the Provost and Deans will nominate an applicant.  Many Young Investigator awards require a nomination.  Any request will need to be first reviewed by them for a decision before an application can move forward.  If you are interested in a limited opportunity, it is essential to check first with your Dean. 

    This category also includes opportunities to solicit institutional support of various types (capital, endowment, student support, program) as well as funding for established investigators.  Further, personal relationships between the university and the funder often play a central role in the solicitation process.  

    Once it is determined that an application can move forward, CFR will assist the PI in preparing and submitting the proposal, including advising on application guidelines, indirect costs, budgets, proposal content and internal approvals.  CFR will complete the final submission and also coordinate any reporting/stewardship activities or site visits that might be required.

  4. Identifying Funding for a ProjectIf you have a specific project that requires funding please complete the following steps:
    • Develop a timetable for the project...and for seeking funds for the project: ideally, start looking for funding 18 to 24 months in advance of your project start date
    • If unsure of details, check with CFR well before starting work on the proposal
    • Draft a summary description of your grant idea
    • Determine an approximate grant project budget and note how much you will need in key budget categories (e.g., salary, travel funds, supplies, equipment, etc.)
    • Contact CFR by email or through the CFR web site with these details and the office will research appropriate funding opportunities for your project
  5. Foundation Proposal Organization and Structure
    CFR can assist the PI with letter of intent/proposal preparation.  Some general advice on identifying funders and structuring a proposal are included.  Note:  some funders, particularly those who make Young Investigator Awards, accept proposals written in "NIH Style."  Many do not and these guidelines should help in composing an effective proposal.  All the following sections may or may not be required in your particular proposal. 
    • Executive Summary- Summarize project, amount requested, reason for applying
    • Project Description – who, what, and why?
    • Goals/Outcomes – what you expect to achieve through the project?
    • Project Timetable – proposed start and end dates for the project
    • Project Discussion/Wrap Up-Impact, future plans, match to funder guidelines
    • Project Budget – estimated amount of grant support needed and how funds will be spent; include information on other current sources of project support, indirect costs, etc.
    • Institutional Impact & Assessment - indicate whether your project will have an impact on the curriculum or an assessment component
    • Supporting Documents-various.  CFR can provide 501 ©(3) forms, annual report, audited financial statements etc.
  6. Submission of proposals for university and campaign priorities
    CFR coordinates this process with Clarkson’s senior administration (President, Provost, Vice-Provost, Deans, Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations) and will coordinate directly with faculty involved in an application.  Where appropriate, CFR will either take the lead in writing and submitting letters of intent/proposals or work with faculty as requested.  
  7. Corporate/Foundation Stewardship
    Post-award issues will be addressed separately

    Contact Information
    Beth Colello, Associate Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations 
    Office: 315.268.3826
    Cell: 315.323.1060
    Fax: 315.268.4420
    ecolello@clarkson.edu