UNDERSTANDING GRANT COMPONENTS --BEFORE YOU WRITE Gerry Cherry Certified Research Administrator email@example.com 1. PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT A one-page description of the entire project. Pay attention to what information is required in the summary. The summary, budget, and budget justification (or narrative) may be the only parts of the package that are carefully reviewed. 2. INTRODUCE THE ORGANIZATION a. Short description of an applicant's organization which establishes a context for your problem statement. (Forty percent of the students at Anywhere University are eligible to receive financial aid.) Some features to consider are: The organization's goals, philosophy, and record with other grantors, any success stories. Make the data relevant to the goals of the funder, and establish your credibility. 3. NEED STATEMENT, RESEARCH The needs statement or research question is a key element of a proposal. It should be a clear, concise, wellsupported statement of the problem to be overcome, the experiment to be tried, the program to be created, or the curriculum to be improved, using the grant funding. The information provided should be both factual and directly related to the question addressed by the proposal. 3. NEED STATEMENT, RESEARCH Use facts to support the existence of your problem or question, Make a connection between the issue and your organization, Make a case for your project locally, and nationally, Demonstrate your knowledge of the issue or problem, Set-up the milestones of your goals and objectives, and Address the outcomes you wish to achieve. 4. PROJECT OBJECTIVES Clearly describe the activities to be used to achieve the goals of the project. Be tied to baseline data Explain the expected results and benefits of each objective, and list the specific criteria of the grant program. Describe how the proposed plan meets each criterion. 4. PROJECT OBJECTIVES, CONT’D Goals are general and offer an understanding of the thrust of your program. Objectives are specific, measurable outcomes. They should be realistic and attainable. Objectives show how to solve the problem or address the issue. Be realistic. 5. PROJECT PLAN OR DESIGN The project plan outlines the tasks to be accomplished. Add a timeline. List the tasks that will meet the goals of the project. Break tasks into smaller units and lay them out in a schedule over the grant period. This will help you consider what personnel, materials, and other resources will be needed to carry out the tasks. 5. PROJECT PLAN OR DESIGN Describe in detail the activities that will achieve desired results. Write a “Day in the Life” scenario to make sure you don’t leave anything out. Describe WHY you have chosen these activities. Justify them over all other approaches you could have taken. List when milestones will be reached. 6. EVALUATION—DID IT WORK? Look at objectives to develop evaluation. Begin evaluation as you begin your project. Answer the question: What did we learn? Did the project work as we anticipated? Why or why not? What will be different when the project is complete? SUMMATIVE AND FORMATIVE EVALUATION Summative Evaluation is a plan to evaluate the project that measures how you will have met your objectives when the project is complete. Evaluation criteria assess progress towards project goals. Formative Evaluation assess the project during its execution. It is a tool to make appropriate changes during the project. 7. THE PROPOSAL BUDGET Be prepared with all the details about how YOU are spending THEIR money. The budget items listed below are designed to match what most funders request. BUDGETS 1. Personnel—staff for project 2. Fringe benefits—university rate 3. Consultants—outside help on project and/or external evaluators 4. Space/Resources needed—rent space? Commitment by university to contribute space? 5. Equipment—lab or cyber equip? Anything of a value of $5,000 or more, and a life span of more than one year is the federal request rule. BUDGETS 6. Supplies—everything under the state threshold of $2,500, or university threshold. Food can only be charged to a grant if it is used for educational purposes. A day-long seminar can include lunch if a speaker or workshop occurs at the same time as the food. 6. SUPPLIES CONT’D Sample: 50 participants x 1 book each per year at $10.00 = $500/year x 5 years of the grant = $2,500 for books. If you underestimate costs, it looks like you don’t know what you are doing; If you overestimate, you are padding the proposal, or you do not know how to budget your project. BUDGETS 7. Travel—where are you going on the funder’s dime? Why do you have to attend 3 conferences a year with the grant funding? Explain every cost of travel: Airfare--$500, local transporation--$100, lodging--$200/night (including extra charges) x 3 nights = $600 x registration--$750 = $1,950 + parking at the airport $6/night. BUDGET 8. Other Costs Publications (maybe annual reports, articles), Presentation (cost of posters, presentation materials, copies for participants), Local conferences to disseminate project progress, best practices BUDGETS 9. Indirect Costs F&A rate (Finance and administration rate, often called the indirect cost rate) The rate can be negotiated with the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of the Navy for a period of years. INDIRECT COSTS (F&A) F&A costs are most simply described as the cost of doing business, costs you would incur daily, even if you didn't have a grant. A portion of these costs, which will be used specifically for the project, are indirect costs. OSU and OU negotiate on a basis of every building's use in grants, requiring architect verification of square footage and use. Most regionals in Oklahoma negotiate the rate based on simpler factors to calculate, i.e. a portion of salaries and wages, etc. INDIRECT COSTS (F&A) For example, if you apply for $100,000 in direct costs (project costs), and $30,000 is requested for project administrator salaries, your indirect costs request (F&A) is a percentage of $30,000. This amount is paid to the university, but is subtracted from the total amount to be received for the project. SAMPLE BUDGET Sample budget Item Project director Benefits at 30% subtotal salaries supplies equipment participant stipends subtotal direct costs IDC at 52% of salaries & wages Total grant request Cost $30,000 $9,000 $39,000 $11,000 $10,000 $19,720 $79,720 $15,600 $95,320 10. BUDGET JUSTIFICATION List every item on which you intend to spend THEIR dollars. Travel? How far? What for? How much? Equipment? How used? If it is needed, why don’t you already have it? Salaries? Remember, federal limits on salaries through grants—no more than 100% of your annual salary can be earned on a grant. Supplies? Why are you buying binders? Who will use? Cost per each and total. 11. SUSTAINABILITY OR INSTITUTIONALIZATION List expected sources of continuing funding after the conclusion of the grant. It was a great project, but it’s gone now, won’t work. University will fund support of project after grant (Be careful with this. If they are going to do it later, why not now?) Admission/use of equipment/workshops fund continuation after project. 12. DISSEMINATION Not just a throwaway statement. Who will you tell? How? Why? When? A widespread dissemination plan is necessary to receive funding. Benefits to recipients of the information will be listed in the proposal.