Grant Development FAQs

What’s a PI?

The Principal Investigator, or PI, is the lead project manager for a grant proposal. This is the main contact for the project with the grant development office. The PI leads the effort on identifying and writing the proposal, coming up with the project budget, carrying out the project in the expected timeline, and submitting appropriate reports.

How do I apply for a grant?

See the “Where to Start” tab on the Grant Development Office homepage. If you need further assistance, contact the Director of Grant Development.

Do I have enough time to respond to the grant deadline?

It depends. One year: no problem. Six months: good to go. Six weeks: still possible. Four weeks: it will be tight. Six days: probably not. At the very least, there must be adequate time to write, compile, get authorization for, and have a near-final proposal approximately two weeks before the submission deadline.

What are the college priorities for grant-making?

The college aligns its grant-making priorities with other college priorities, as identified, for example, in the strategic plan. If you have an idea for a grant, check with your department or division chair first.

How do I know if my project idea will be supported?

You will not know until you ask. Before talking to your department chair, make sure your proposal supports at least one of the college priorities OR aligns with the college's core values. If it is still unclear to you whether your grant meets one or both criteria, contact the Director of Grant Development for assistance.

What if I have a great idea for a project but no idea who might be interested in funding it?

First, check out the resources available on the Funding Opportunities page. There are several sources to choose from. If you are still coming up empty, contact the Director of Grant Development for assistance. The Foundation office can help you research appropriate funding sources for a specific project idea.

How do I write a grant?

Developing a grant is no different from writing most research papers. Know the guidelines, know your audience, collect information, think about the topic, write, and go through the editorial process of proofreading, editing, and revising. The Where to Start page offers a step-by-step guide to better understand the process. There are also many good websites listed under the Proposal Writing Resources page.

What can the grant director do for you?

The director of grants provides research on appropriate funding sources for a specific project idea; helps you develop project ideas to submit to potential funders; guides budget development; advises on grant writing and helps write specific parts of or entire grant proposals; assists with grant review approvals and the preparation of required agency forms and certifications; and ensures proposals are submitted in accordance with agency guidelines and UCC policies.

For all grants, the grant development office can assist you with developing a plan to complete your proposal. In general, however, the office devotes most of its time to project development and writing significant institutional grants aligned with college priorities. On smaller grants, the grants coordinator typically provides editing, budget assistance, and proposal submission preparation.

Regardless of which category your idea or proposal falls under, you should contact the grant development office early (i.e., three to four months in advance) for assistance with your proposal development plan.

Are there grants for students?

Yes. Contact the Financial Aid Office or the Scholarship Office for more information. You can also apply for the Dream$avers Program through NeighborWorks Umpqua if you need financial assistance to pay for college.

Are there grants for starting businesses?

The government gives very little money for starting a business, but they do offer loan programs. Here is a quote from the SBA, Small Business Administration, on government grants for business:

"The U.S. Small Business Administration does not offer grants to start or expand small businesses, although it does offer a wide variety of loan programs. While SBA does offer some grant programs, these are generally designed to expand and enhance organizations that provide small business management, technical, or financial assistance. These grants generally support nonprofit organizations, intermediary lending institutions, and state and local governments."

You can also apply for the Dream$avers program through NeighborWorks Umpqua if you need financial assistance in starting up or expanding your small business.