Grants - Frequently Asked Questions
How can I contact the Office of Scholarship and Sponsored Projects?
Contact Leslie Paige at 785-
628-4349 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A voice mail or email message may be left for her at any time.
Where is the Office of Scholarship and Sponsored Projects?
The Office of Scholarship and Sponsored Projects is located within the Graduate School, Picken Hall 306 D.
Will someone be able to
help me once I get there?
Feel free to schedule an appointment and we will be happy to assist
I am thinking of writing
a grant. How soon should I contact the Office of Scholarship and Sponsored Projects?
As soon as possible! Large proposals, or those involving significant
institutional commitments of time, equipment, matching funds and/or
personnel will require more lead time for review and approval.
Even if we are not heavily involved in the proposal development,
we may need to adjust schedules to be available WHEN you need
specific services (such as submission, editing or review). Please consider
that staff time may already be committed to other
Do you have information
on proposal writing?
Yes-we can provide support in various ways, including print or
electronic references, and 1:1 or group consultations.
Are there sample proposals
The Office of Scholarship and Sponsored Projects maintains files of grant proposals. Current
and past requests for proposals and information about funders
are maintained on file.
Can you help me locate grants?
The Office of Scholarship and Sponsored Projects actively seeks information regarding potential
funding sources. Please contact Leslie
Paige for information.
How about help in writing
or reviewing my proposal?
Please contact us! We are here to assist faculty and staff. Keep in mind - the earlier the better!
Can someone help me with
federal grant forms?
The Office of Scholarship and Sponsored Projects can assist. Federal grants will need to be submitted by us.
How do I find information
about fringe benefits or travel rates for my grant budget?
The Quick Reference Guide provides
information. You may also contact the Personnel Office with specific
What is an indirect
Indirect cost rates are an agreement between the university and
the federal government. Indirect rates are sometimes called administrative
or facilities and administrative cost rates. Indirect rates are
calculated as a set percentage of the salary and fringe. This
rate is 42% for on campus activities, and 21% if off campus. Some
funders will allow a certain percentage of direct costs (for example,
8% of direct costs may be used to calculate the indirect costs),
but this amount can NOT exceed the 42% of salary and fringe.
What is the difference
between an indirect and direct cost?
Typical direct costs include salaries, fringe benefits, equipment
and supply purchases, travel, consultant fees, etc. Direct costs
are easy to track. Indirect costs are difficult to account for,
and include the use of the facility, office space, heat, lighting,
custodial services, business office time associated with grant
bookkeeping, etc. Funders will frequently (but not always) allow
a grantee to include these in the budget as an indirect cost.
Who needs to approve
Principal Investigator/Project Director, Chair, Dean, Grants office, Grant Accountant
and Provost or Vice President for Administration and Finance.
Please allow sufficient time for the proposal approval process. Please use the Lotus Notes workflow. No grants may be submitted until internal approval has been provided.
Who needs to sign
The Authorized Organization Representative or signing official is typically the Vice President for Administration and Finance or Provost. Sometimes the President's signature is required. The grant guidelines usually indicate the appropriate official.
How much paperwork
is involved in the grant process?
In general, foundations have fewer application and reporting requirements
than the federal government. Some large foundations have increased
the amount of required paperwork, and are more interested in documentation
of outcomes and activities. More foundations are requiring electronic submissions. Small foundations have fewer staff
and may prefer a letter rather than a full proposal. Federal grants
typically involve more paperwork in applying, management, and
reporting. The grants office can assist with the preparation of
grant paperwork. Remember, all internal approvals must be secured prior to submission of a grant!
I want to write
a National Science Foundation Grant. How do I register for FastLane?
All National Science
Foundation (NSF) grants must be uploaded electronically using
Registration is easy. Contact us for the registration
How do I submit a grant
through Grants.gov, NSPIRES, NIH, e-grants, or other federal websites?
All grants must be approved prior to submission. Federal grants
using electronic submission processes require specific permissions
from the Authorized Organizational Representative.
Who funds grants?
The major sources of grant funds include:
How do I find out about
Grants.gov is a one-stop
shop for federal grant announcements, applications, and reporting.
However, because announcements may occur 4-8 weeks prior to a
deadline, it is more proactive to go to the agency websites to
learn what will be funded in the future. Other federal sites to
become familiar with include NSF,
and NEH. The
Grants Office can also assist with federal grant seeking. Be sure
to check the InfoEd
I want to submit a proposal
to a private foundation. What do I need to do?
Please read the Grant vs Gift policy document. If the proposal meets the criteria for a grant, contact us. If it is a gift, please contact the FHSU Foundation.
What is a foundation? Is
it the same thing as a charity?
A foundation is a nonprofit corporation or a charitable trust,
with the purpose of making grants to unrelated organizations or
institutions or to individuals for scientific, educational, cultural,
religious, or other charitable purposes.
What is the difference
between private and public foundations?
Most funds for private foundations come from one source, such
as a family, individual, or a corporation. Private foundations
must pay out at least five percent of their value of their investment
A public foundation receives its assets from multiple sources,
such as individuals, private foundations, government agencies,
and fees for service. In order to keep its status as a public
foundation, they must continue to receive money from multiple
Some foundations state
that they will only fund 501(c)(3) or 170(b)(1)A organizations.
Nonprofit organizations must obtain recognition as a charitable
organization from the IRS in order for contributions to it to
be tax deductible. Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code covers
organizations that are exempt from federal income tax, and for
religious, charitable, scientific, public safety, literary, or
educational purposes. An organization that meets the definition
of IRS Section 501(c)(3) is a private foundation. The FHSU Foundation is in this category.
Organizations described as a 170(b)(1)A include churches, schools,
colleges, etc.; hospitals, medical research institutes, etc.;
support organizations to public colleges or universities; certain
governmental units; and publicly supported organizations. FHSU
is in this category.
What are 990-PFs?
The Internal Revenue Code requires all private foundations to
file IRS Form 990 PF, which is made publicly available. This form
shares valuable information about finances, board members, and
grants. Form 990 PFs are posted on the Foundation
Center website. The grants office also uses this information
in a funding search.
How much time does it take
to get a grant?
That depends. Some private foundations have monthly meetings to
discuss applications; others may meet quarterly or annually. Many
private and corporate foundations have specific guidelines regarding
deadlines and grant making cycles. Decisions about federal grants
may take 4–6 months or longer, depending on the number of
applications and the federal agency.