Pre-Award Development and Submission

The pre-award phase represents the beginning of a grant's life cycle and includes developing a project, preparing an application, and submitting the complete application to a funder.

Grant guidelines differ among funders, from private foundations to various federal agencies. It is extremely important to review the funder’s instructions and complete the application accordingly. The Office of Sponsored Programs and Foundation Relations will assist you in completing the key components of your proposal, while ensuring that you are meeting the guidelines of both Fisher and the project funder. 

The Assistant Provost is the main point of contact for externally funded grants, and all proposals must undergo the full internal reviews process before being submitted to the sponsor.

Note: If final approval of a proposal is not obtained prior to submission, the resulting grant award may be declined by the University.

Grants 101

Read the guidelines.

Does your project fit the goals and objectives laid out by the funder? Are there special instructions about how to submit the proposal (online, hard copy, USB stick, etc.)? Do you need to submit just a Letter of Intent (LOI) or a complete proposal?

Follow all directions.

Most grant proposals have extremely specific directions and may not be reviewed if the directions are not followed. Ensure that you have answered every question, attached all necessary forms, and followed all guidelines related to proposal length and format.

Ask questions.

Reach out to the OSPFR or the grant contact person directly if you have any questions. Both the OSPFR and the funder want to support you in writing the best possible proposal.

Be consistent.

Tell the same story in the proposal narrative and the budget; make sure that everything listed in the budget is also covered in the budget narrative.

Check and re-check.

Proofread multiple times to avoid spelling, grammar, and formatting errors. Your goal is to turn in a perfect copy.

Typical Grant Components
  • Cover sheet
  • Abstract
  • Project description
  • Budget
  • Budget justification
  • References
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Supplementary documentation (ex. letters of support)