Faculty members are encouraged to seek grants for projects that help advance the University's mission, strategic plan, and research and scholarship.
Guide to External Funding
The Office of Corporate, Foundation and Government Grants (CFGG) is committed to helping faculty members meet their academic, capital and research goals by maximizing grant funding from external sources.
- Identifying potential funders
- Advising on strategy
- Assisting with project development
- Editing draft proposals
- Drafting institutional letters of support
- Providing required NDMU documents
- Facilitating internal approval process
How to Apply for Grants
Contact Our Office
- Notre Dame faculty and staff seeking funds from a corporation, foundation or government agency must contact the Director of CFGG prior to applying to an external funder.
- Please complete the Grant Proposal Development Form at least 30 days before the proposal deadline.
- The form must be approved by the dean of the sponsoring school, as well as the chair of the department in which the proposed project will be carried out.
Obtain Senior Staff Approval to Apply for External Funding
The grant proposal development form will be reviewed by the Director of the Office of Corporate, Foundation and Government Grants (Director of CFGG) in consultation with the Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs and Institutional Advancement.
The review ensures that the project is consistent with NDMU policies and with the availability of University resources, and that competing proposals are not submitted to the same funder.
Faculty will be notified within three business days of the form’s submission of whether they have approval to move forward with a proposal.
Our staff is available to meet with faculty to consult on funding prospects, proposal development and related matters during business hours, as well as in the evenings, to accommodate teaching schedules.
Develop the Project Proposal
The Principal Investigator/Project Director (PI/PD) is the lead faculty member responsible for the project and for writing a proposal.
Before Beginning to Write
- Read and thoroughly understand the request for proposals (RFP) and proposal guidelines.
- Be concise, avoid jargon, and back up assertions with facts/data/literature review.
- State measurable outcomes for the project, and be prepared to report on them.
- Be realistic with a project timeline and milestones.
Consult with the Grants Team
The Director of CFGG assists with answering questions and editing the proposal draft to ensure the strongest possible submission.
The Senior Accountant or the Controller/Director of Financial Services assists with creating a project budget; ensuring all costs are allowable, accurate and add up; clarifying any project costs the institution will bear; and verifying salaries and fringe benefits rates.
Draft proposal narratives must be received by the Office of Corporate, Foundation and Government Grants at least 10 days prior to the proposal deadline to ensure adequate time for edits and revisions.
Vet the Project Proposal with NDMU Leaders
- The PI/PD provides a completed Grant Proposal Routing Form to the Director of CFGG. Attached to the form should be: a draft proposal and proposal budget.
- The Director of CFGG circulates the final draft of the grant proposal to the designated University leaders including the vice presidents for Academic Affairs, Finance & Administration and Institutional Advancement.
- The PI makes any necessary modifications in response to questions about the draft proposal.
- The PI forwards a complete copy of the final proposal at least 24 hours prior to the submission deadline. The PI bears the ultimate responsibility for meeting a funding agency's deadline.
Budgets Over $10,000
For proposed projects with budgets that are more than $10,000, the Director of CFGG will forward the routing form and final draft to the president's office for final approval.
Budgets Under $10,000
Project budgets that are $10,000 or less and do not require institutional resources (i.e. matching funds) are forwarded to Deans for approval.
- Deans must notify the Director of CFGG of the grant proposal prior to its submission and send an electronic copy on the date of its submission.
- Their signature on the routing sheet and/or approval indicated in an email to the Director of CFGG certifies that the University is able to carry out the proposed project and is in compliance with, and will adhere to, applicable regulations.
Note: NDMU reserves the right to decline a grant award received for any proposal that did not go through the internal review process outlined above prior to its submission.
Accept the Grant Award
- Upon receipt of a grant award, the PI sends a scanned copy of the award notice and all attachments to the Director of CFGG.
- The Director of CFGG distributes copies of the award letter to the vice presidents for Academic Affairs, Finance & Administration and Institutional Advancement with CCs to the relevant dean, the Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement, and to the directors of Financial Services and Advancement Services.
- The Director of CFGG reviews the terms and conditions of the award, discussing concerns with funders, before recommending that the grant be accepted or declined.
Note: Only the President, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Finance and Administration, or the Vice President for Institutional Advacnement can officially accept an award on behalf of the university.
Fulfill Post-Award Responsibilities
The PI has the primary responsibility for managing a grant award on behalf of NDMU. S/he directs the research or other academic and programmatic goals of the project, fulfilling all proposed activities, and reporting to the funder.
The PI also must ensure that the project is conducted according to:
- University administrative and academic policy
- The terms and conditions of the grant award and funding agency
- Applicable state and federal law
Grant Team Orientation Meeting
With the PI, the Director of CFGGconvenes and facilitates a Grant Team Orientation Meeting within 10 days of the award’s receipt that includes PI, other relevant faculty, and Director of CFGG, Senior Accountant, and Controller (as necessary).
The purpose of the meeting is to review and discuss award management including:
- Terms and conditions of the grant;
- Reporting requirements and deadlines;
- Project Timeline and milestones;
- Allowable and non-allowable expenditures;
- Evaluation and sustainability plan;
- Timing of hiring and purchases; and
- Facilities/IT requirements.
The Senior Accountant or Controller establishes a grant account for the project within the Datatel accounting system and notifies the PI, Director of CFGG, and the Director of Advancement Services of the account number. (At that time, PI will be offered training from Business Office staff on how to access the account via Datatel WebAdvisor.)
The Controller also coordinates and completes the drawdown and reimbursement of state and federal funds in a timely manner and ensures that all grant expenditures are properly recorded in Datatel in conjunction with the PI. S/he is responsible for completing the funder’s interim and final financial reports by the required deadline.
In addition, the Senior Accountant or Controller consults with the PI on updating project budgets, comparing project budgets with up-to-date expenditures and balance, in order to monthly assess and report on financial health of the project. S/he is responsible for alerting grant team members to significant variances in grant expenditures and the project budget.
The PI/PD should maintain accurate records of the reporting requirements for each grant award under their direction and ensure the timely submission of interim, financial, progress, and final reports as per the specific funder's guidelines. Copies of such reports should be furnished to the Director of CFGG, the Senior Accountant, and Academic Dean.
Grant Team Roles
Principal Investigator or Project Director (PI/PD)
The Principal Investigator/Project Director is the lead faculty member responsible for directing the research or other academic and programmatic goals of the project, fulfilling all proposed activities, and reporting to the funder.
- Drafts the initial proposal/grant application with approval of department chair/dean of school and with support from the Director of CFGG;
- Notifies Director of CFGG of whether proposal is funded or declined, forwarding initial award notification package;
- With Director of CFGG, convenes and facilitates a team orientation meeting that includes PI, grant team, and Director of CFGG and Senior Accountant;
- Ensures that the project is conducted according to University administrative and academic policy, the terms and conditions of the grant award and funding agency and applicable state and federal law;
- Manages and coordinates all correspondence with the funding agency;
- Ensures the successful performance of the project management team;
- Tracks progress of project or program, ensuring teams fulfill all activities in the grant proposal;
- Completes and submits agency reports by the deadline, with copies of all reports submitted to the Director of CFGG; and
- Tracks expenditures through Datatel WebAdvisor to ensure that all funds are spent and expenditures are limited to the total dollar amount awarded.
- The PI’s signature must appear on all financial transactions and documents related to the project’s completion.
- The dean of the sponsoring School must sign all financial transactions and documents.
Director of Corporate, Foundation and Government Grants (Director of CFGG)
The Director of CFGG is responsible for supporting faculty and University leaders to meet their academic, capital and research goals by maximizing funding from external sources.
- Promotes Request for Proposals (RFPs) and other funding opportunities from corporate, foundation and governmental funders to relevant faculty and University leaders;
- Actively engages with faculty and University leaders to identify external funders that are best fit for proposed project;
- Works closely with deans to draft proposals for projects that are deemed University priorities, and provides editorial assistance to faculty to develop strongest possible proposals for faculty submissions;
- Drafts letters of support from president and/or VP for academic affairs to accompany grant proposal, as needed;
- Reviews terms and conditions of grant award to ensure they comply with the University’s policies;
- Distributes the initial award notification package to University leaders;
- Drafts acknowledgment for grant on behalf of the president and/or VP of academic affairs;
- With PI, convenes and facilitates a grant team orientation meeting that includes PI, other relevant faculty, and Director of CFGG and Senior Accountant or Controller;
- Supports PI on drafting narrative for interim and final reports to grantor, as needed;
- Meets with academic deans to review the status of each school’s active grants and pending proposals, and promote current funding opportunities; and
- Provides periodic overview of university grant activity to VP for academic affairs and VP/AVP for institutional advancement, and works closely with both to develop institutional strategies for corporate, foundation and government funders.
Senior Accountant and the Controller/Director of Financial Services
The Senior Accountant and the Controller/Director of Financial Services are responsible for the financial administration of the grant on behalf of the University, and completing financial reports to funding agencies.
- Establishes a grant account within the Datatel accounting system, and provides the account number to the PI/PD and Director of CFGG. (Note: PI should be offered training from Business Office staff on how to access the account via Datatel WebAdvisor.);
- Coordinates and completes the drawdown and reimbursement of state and federal funds;
- Ensures that all grant expenditures are properly recorded in Datatel in conjunction with the PI/PD;
- Assists in the completion the funder’s required interim and final financial reports for the PI/PD by the required deadline;
- Completes the quarterly federal financial report for the funding agency, as required by federal grants; and
- Consults with PI and Director of CFGG on creating and updating project budgets, and comparing project budgets with up-to-date expenditures and balance, in order to regularly assess and report on financial health of the project.
Go Grants! Newsletter
Explore these resources for potential grant opportunities for your next research project:
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