College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Welcome to the Grant Writer's Guide!

Welcome

Welcome to the Grant Writer's Guide! This is a guide to the elements of grant proposal writing, and is offered to assist faculty, staff and students in the development of competitive proposals for external funding to support research, peer reviewed articles, public service projects, and contracts. This guide includes key elements of successful grant writing that involves the coordination of several activities, including planning, searching for data and resources, writing and packaging a proposal, submitting a proposal to a funding agency, and accepting an award. Also included are Clemson University resources and services available to facilitate the proposal development and submission process.

  1. How can the Office of Research Support help me?
  2. Where do I begin?
  3. Where can I get help writing the proposal?
  4. How do I put a budget together?
  5. How do I apply for funding?
  6. What happens if my grant is awarded?

1. How can the Office of Research Support help me?

The CAAH Office of Research Support exists to assist faculty in obtaining funding needed to carry out their work. Many CAAH faculty do research and scholarship that is supported through individual and non-profit research grants and others through federal and other publicly funded sponsors. Once a faculty member has a specific research topic or area of interest, the staff in the Office of Research Support can help to identify funding sources, help frame the proposal, provide the necessary forms, advise faculty of other reviews or requirements (such as compliance), refine the budget, provide IRB contact information and process the proposal through the Office of Sponsored Programs in order to submit the proposal to the sponsor.  The Grant Writer's Guide provides tips and resources for individuals who wish to pursue externally funded research.  We are available to assist you with any question you might have on any aspect of grant proposal writing. Please give us your comments and suggestions.   

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2. Where do I begin?   

The first step is often a mystery to many individuals that wish to pursue externally funded research. Finding a mentor, or a network of individuals with experience in grant writing is a good first step. The College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities employs a Faculty Research Committee that serve as mentors in our college. The Office of Research Support can assist if you are in need of a referral. Next, you will want to identify organizations that offer funding for your specific needs.  Grants are often something you find by word-of-mouth, professional journals,  or search engines. The Grant Writer's Guide has a listing of federal and state agencies as well as a foundations database  for reference. InfoED is a search engine that allows each individual to customize searches based on individual research interests. Getting registered to receive funding opportunities tailored to your specific interests takes only a few minutes.  Please contact the college grants coordinator if you need assistance.  

Effective April 1, 2009 all individuals listed as a principal investigator or a co-principal investigator on a proposal for external funding must complete the PI Certification Program on the Office of Sponsored Programs website prior to submitting a proposal.  The certification takes approximately one hour to complete. 

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3. Where can I get help with writing the proposal?

The process of developing a proposal and processing it through the department, college and university requires some time.  Furthermore, developing a proposal that will succeed through a very competitive review process cannot be done quickly. Large scale proposals may take a year to develop fully.

The Grant Writer's Guide offers suggestions for composing successful proposals, recommendations on developing a budget, for defining specific needs, and research resources that may be of assistance in the writing process. 

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4. How do I put a budget together?

 The Office of Research Support is available to assist with budget development. Our office provides a worksheet to assist in compiling data in order to layout the project prior to putting it into the funding agency's template.  The Grant Writer's Guide offers guidance on how to develop a budget and justification required on most grant proposal applications.  In addition to the points to be considered found in the Grant Writer's guide, our office is available to assist you with any questions you might have on any aspect of the grant proposal process.

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5. How do I apply for funding?

The Office of Research Support is here to assist you in every phase of pursuing external research funding both from federal sponsors and private organizations. In addition to allowing time for edits and revisions, one must be knowledgeable of internal and external channels though which a grant application must go through before being ready for the final submission to the funding agency.

Most federal agencies (and many foundations) require electronic submission of the application through standardized electronic grants management software.  This entails additional forms and templates to be downloaded and completed.  This step takes time and should not be overlooked or put off until the last minute.  The grants coordinator is available to assist with downloading, filling out, and uploading of these forms to the funder.

Each proposal must be approved internally at the college and university level prior to submission.  This internal review typically takes a minimum of one week at Clemson University.  This internal review requires that all documents be finalized in the package that is routed through all channels. The grants coordinator can advise and assist in this area.  It is recommended you contact the grants coordinator as soon as you know you plan on submitting a proposal.

Our office works closely with the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP).   After AAH approves the proposal it is submitted to OSP for formal review, authorized representative signature, and submission to the sponsor.  The Grants Administrators in OSP are the individuals authorized to submit proposals on behalf of Clemson University. It is only after this review that a proposal can be submitted to an external funding agency.  Below is additional information provided by OSP to aid in the proposal process.

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 6. What happens if my grant is awarded?

When an award is granted, the Office of Sponsored Programs negotiates the award and sends the award package to Grants and Contracts Administration (GCA), where a project account number is assigned.  Post-award administration is carried out by the AAH Business Office and the departmental staff in each department.  You will work closely with these units in managing your grant. While waiting on the award to be finalized you may request a risk account number in order to begin working on the project.  Our office can assist with the routing of this paperwork. Once the project is officially awarded you will receive notification via email from GCA with all of the account particulars.  Please do not hesitate to contact the grants coordinator,or the AAH Business Office to review your budget, obtain contact information for accounting questions, and acquire information on reporting and compliance information. 

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