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FAQ - Grants Development

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions:

How do I start a proposal?

Before starting a proposal, speak with your supervisor about what you want to do, then contact the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs for assistance. Be mindful of your timeline –- proposals need to be developed well in advance of the deadline and be under final review at least ten days before submission in anticipation of any last-minute problems.

What is the process for submitting a proposal?

First, discuss your idea with the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs, who will help walk you through fundraiser guidelines and create a timeline for submission. We will also help you to prepare a proposal and a budget, including personnel and other costs.

You must have a transmittal form signed by relevant signatories completed prior to your proposal submission. A final review of the proposal and budget by all the relevant faculty and staff (including grants) should be completed at least ten days before the deadline. The Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs submits all proposals on behalf of the College.

How do I find funding?

The Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs has access to various publications, which provide grants information. Examples of these publications are: Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance, The Guide to Federal Assistance, Federal Grants and Contracts Weekly, Federal Funding of Two-Year Colleges, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Complete Grants Sourcebook for Higher Education.

In addition, we can provide information about electronic resources available for searching grants information, including the Federal Register and Foundation Directory. NOVA faculty and staff also have free access from their college computers to the online grants database called SPIN. Grants Development Staff regularly forward notices about grant opportunities, and are available to help with your research.

How do I prepare a budget?

The budget consists of line items that present real costs such as personnel, fringe benefits, supplies, travel, equipment, consultants, and others (postage, telephone, printing). Budgets may also include indirect costs if allowable, as determined by the funding agency. Grants Development Staff can work with you to obtain information from human resources, finance, and other departments on such items as additional staff salaries, workshop expenses, curriculum development, and travel.

Why do I need to include indirect costs in my project budget?

Indirect costs represent the expenses of doing business that are not readily identified with a particular grant, contract, project function or activity, but are necessary for the general operation of the organization and the conduct of activities it performs.

In theory, costs like heat, light, accounting, and personnel might be charged directly if little meters could record minutes in a cross-cutting manner. Practical difficulties preclude such an approach. Therefore, cost allocation plans or indirect cost rates are used to distribute those costs to benefiting revenue sources. (Source: U.S. Department of Education). The Indirect Cost Rate for NOVA is determined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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