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Grant Preparation

Getting Started with Grants and Contracts

The best administrative approach in grant and contract application procedures is to involve the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs (ORSP) as early as possible in the planning of the application. Nothing is more frustrating, to us and you, than to see a grant/contract proposal (just before a deadline) that has major errors in its budget and administrative sections. The earlier we see an application, even in rough form, the better chance the final application will go through the approval process with minimal difficulty.

External Funding Approval Form

Getting a grant or contract application through the Cal Poly Pomona bureaucracy may seem intimidating, but it is actually quite simple. Step #1 is to use an External Funding Approval Form (EFF), available on our Forms page. The form has several components that the PI must fill out, most of which are self-explanatory. However, it is important that the "Project Costs" section and the "Checklist" be addressed. The "Comments" section should be used to explain all the specifics of the "Cost Sharing Budget" and release time issues.  Please note that for all the official proposal documents, the fiscal agent and legal applicant organization for most proposals is Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, Inc., not the University. 

While there are several signatures required to completing approve the EFF, the PI is only responsible for obtaining the first three (PI, Chair/Director, and College/Division. Dean).  At that point, the application with the final copy of all proposal documents should be delivered to ORSP in Building 1, room 224. Please do not sign any certification sections, as only the Institutional Official is legally authorized to do so. ORSP will circulate the form and application, and contact you should any problems develop. It takes about 7-10 business days to get a form through all the required signatures. While this may seem lengthy, it results in an application that has the full support of the University.

Find the External Funding Approval Form on our Forms page

Cost sharing and Matching

Many of the grants require some type of "match" or cost sharing by the recipient institution. It is best to speak to the ORSP to better understand what constitutes a valid match, including which components of University support are allowed to be budgeted as cost sharing/match. Federal agencies are taking a much more stringent view of matches, demanding that some aspects of matching be verifiable on a quarterly or monthly basis! Thus, justifying a dollar amount of matching is no longer something that can be done at the end of a grant period or award. A suggestion would be to obtain a memo/letter detailing out what is being supported, by whom and how much, i.e., hours, dollars, items.  All cost sharing/matching must be detailed in the budget and included on the EFF prior to routing for signatures.  As the College/Division Dean is required to approve any match, excluding this information from the EFF prior to obtaining the first three signatures will potentially cause a delay in processing while the forms are re-routed to the Dean for approval.

Proposal Writing Resources

NIH Peer Review Revealed - July 2010

NIH Tips for Applicants - July 2010

Podcast: Writing Your Vertebrate Animal Section

A Podcast produced by the NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER) features Dr. Pat Brown, Director, OLAW, who explains what must be included in your grant application if you use vertebrate animals in your research. Listen to Writing Your Vertebrate Animal Section (MP3) or read the transcript (HTML).

Additional Proposal Writing Resources