From Grant Idea to Funding…
Funding your grant takes passion and commitment.
It also requires playing by certain rules.
As a land grant university, our mission is to serve the greater public good. We want to help you realize your dreams in doing so.
Please find below the Center for Research and Outreach at NMSU’s help and advice in funding your grant.
Steps from ideas to funding
- Design your research based on your passion and vision. Know what you want to do before you look for funding.
- Share your vision for what you want to do and look for partners.
- Use available resources to find possible Requests for Proposals (RFPs). Go to the Grant Writing Resources on the CRO web-site, and search for foundations.
- Once you have found an RFP you want to write for, IMMEDIATELY send a copy of the RFP to your Research Administrator (Dawn Gonzales or Veronica Bulla).
- Learn to love your RFP or RFA. And I mean really love it. View it through the eyes of the funding agency. What are they looking for? What is the problem you want to solve? Is there a fit between this RFP and the work you truly want to do?
- Use grant writing tools on the website. Do a Gap Analysis with an end in mind, a current needs and strengths statement, and then develop a program to fill the gap from need to grant goals/outcomes.
- Work with the Grant and Outreach Program Senior Specialist to create a timeline for your grant preparation, working backwards from the due date to the current time. She will also coordinate timelines with Veronica Bulla and Dawn Gonzales to include budget preparation time. If you need grant conceptualization and writing suggestions, set up an appointment with the Research Dean
- Write your draft narrative. Begin with a word processing program to create a format for the grant that follows the needed sections of the grant as listed in the RFP. Learn the criteria that will be used to evaluate your proposal and apply that to your draft narrative.
- Ask others to read the proposal and give you feedback. The Center for Research and Outreach will provide editing help if we get your drafts at least a week before it is due. Ask for input from knowledgeable others including program officers. Talk to the agencies. Get to know what the agencies want. Don’t give up after one try. (Sometimes you just get a critical group of readers.) Many grants are awarded on the second or third try. Listen to the feedback and revise.
Important Advice: Grants that are asking for funds because they are asking for funds are usually not funded. Ask for funds to solve a problem and demonstrate how you will use the funds to do that.
Grant management (after you get the grant)
The ERB acts as a liaison between the PI’s and the central offices. We are familiar with the processes, NMSU policy, most of the federal regulations, and can be a huge asset to the PI’s in the grant cycle.
When the PI receives notification of funding, they need to send the award letter and or award packet to Dawn or Veronica who will then create the internal packet to route for index creation. Once we are notified that the index has been set up in Banner we will notify the PI and administrative assistant. During the life of the grant, the ERB will monitor the award activity at an overview level to ensure basic compliance. The PI is responsible for the legitimacy of each transaction and for complying with all agency terms and conditions of the award. The PI is also responsible for preparing all milestone reports or other deliverables other than financial reports.
- Attend PI training through the Office of Grants and Contracts if you want to become involved in grants
- If you are writing a grant, please do not circumvent the ERB (Dawn Gonzales or Veronica Bulla) in the proposal process, the grant award process, or other correspondences with Sponsored Project Accounting (SPA) or with the Office of Grants and Contracts (OGC). If we are not aware of the details of the grant, we cannot protect the interest of the PI and of the College.
- Go to the Foundation Directory Online http://fconline.foundationcenter.org/
- Enter password for NMSU
- User name: newmexstate
- Password: goaggies
- Enter Field of interest and/or type of support. Can use index (Publication)(math education) (special education)
- Enter National for geographic location
- Look at list of foundations. You might want to pick those that give a lot of $
- Check if applications are available. (you can also put that in the selection criteria).
- Read the (rfp) carefully and follow the directions, e.g. if they want an email first do it; if they want a one page letter be sure it is one page, etc.
- Sometimes Susan Brown says she just picks up the phone to see if her request is appropriate .
- Several people in the college have been very successful in getting foundation funds that you can talk with: Dr. Susan Brown, Denise Rodriquez-Strong our service learning coordinator. There may be others. You can talk to them.
Pivot at NMSU – ProQuest’s Pivot software provides access to the most comprehensive global source of funding opportunities
- Create an account – If you don’t have a Pivot account, go to http://pivot.cos.com and click the sign up link in the upper right of the screen. Fill out your Name, Email, Password, and Affiliated Institution. Note that Pivot does not validate against NMSU LDAP system, so your myNMSU login will not work here. You’ll need to create your own password.
- Follow the directions at http://ras.nmsu.edu/pivot-quick-start-guide/ .
Other grant resources
- Try grants.gov for most comprehensive Dept. of Education federal funding source
- Try NSF.gov for grants through the National Science Foundation
- After searching foundations set up a meeting with the college development officer who can work with you on additional their sources of funds including foundations and donors. Please do not contact foundations directly until consulting with the college development officer.