The Grant Lifecycle
Obtaining extramural support for your research, scholarship, and creative activity (RSCA) is critical to creating a vibrant RSCA trajectory that benefits you, your students, SJSU, and the wider community. Below we walk you through all the components of funding a single RSCA project and the support available to you at SJSU.
- 1. Generate Idea
Submitting a fundable proposal to an external granting agency requires that you present a well-thought-out idea. Most proposals need several months to adequately flesh out the project ideas. Allow yourself and others involved in your research process adequate time to assist you in developing the project scope and submitting a quality proposal. The Office of Research Development is here to support your RSCA starting with idea generation through offering formal brainstorming sessions, individual consultations, helping establish collaborative connections, etc.
1. Talk to colleagues, your associate dean of research (ADR), dean, and/or chair about your RSCA idea and how it can translate into a fully-fledged RSCA project.
2. Familiarize yourself with the current literature in your field and projects funded by agencies in your area of research.
3. Think strategically. How does this project fit into your long-term strategic RSCA planning? Does it set you up for additional future funding opportunities? Does it primarily benefit your RSCA or teaching goals, or is it integrative of both? Do you need to plan to get preliminary data through internal SJSU funding before you can be competitive for external sources of funding?
- 2. Find Funding
Successfully funding a RSCA project involves finding an appropriate funding mechanism. Funding agencies have their own agendas and philosophies, therefore it is vital to make sure your work matches the funding agency’s priorities before investing time in writing a proposal. With a broad set of agencies from federal to private, your RSCA should have a funder whose priorities match your goals. SJSU offers several resources to locate funding suited to your RSCA proposal.
1. Stay on top of funding relevant to your field! Pivot is a new tool you can use to set up tailored searches and monitor funding from federal, state, and local agencies as well as foundations and international funding sources. Create your account today to constantly monitor for funding that fits your RSCA needs.
2. Read the mid-monthly AVPR electronic Research Newsletter and the Top-of-the-Month Newsletter (archives here) which have information on the New Limited Submissions and Strategic Grants List from Research Development. These lists can also be accessed anytime on our general funding web page.
3. Contact your Research Development Specialist (RDS) to discuss funding strategies for research projects at any stage in the idea or proposal development process. Your RDS can support you in determining funding fit with your research and RSCA goals. Contact the Office of Innovation if you want to investigate collaboration with industry.
4. Contact Corporate and Foundation Relations for private philanthropic foundation funding–except Competitive Faculty Fellowships, which route through Research Development and the Office of Sponsored Programs.
- 3. Prepare Proposal
Once you’ve committed to a funding opportunity that fits your research needs, you will need to interact with several RSCA support units on campus.
Research Development (RD) can help you strategically plan your proposal to a federal, state, or local agency, non-philanthropic foundation support, or a competitive faculty fellowship prior to working with the Office of Sponsored Programs on submission. RD can assist in finding collaborators or forming teams, coordinating and managing large proposals, concept development, and strategic editing, including enhancing the structure and presentation of all proposal components. These services are optional. However, research shows they increase the likelihood of funding by a factor of twoa,b. Please contact an RD Specialist as soon as possible for help with your proposal–several months in advance is ideal!
The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) provides services to assist with proposal submission (pre-award services) and award management (post-award services) to a federal, state, or local agency or a competitive faculty fellowship. Interacting with OSP is required to submit proposals and manage any awards from federal, state, or local agencies or a competitive faculty fellowship–it is not optional. Pre-award services include reviewing sponsor requirements, creating an OSP submission timeline, project budgets, proposal routing for authorized signers’ approvals, contract negotiation, and award acceptance on behalf of the principal investigator (PI). Post-Award services include oversight of day-to-day fiscal management, compliance regulations, and project closeout. As soon as you decide to apply to a specific opportunity and within a minimum of 25 days ahead of the due date, please contact your Pre-Award specialist.
Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) provides services to assist with proposal submission (pre-award services) and award management (post-award services) to corporate and foundation funders for philanthropic grants except competitive faculty fellowships. Interacting with CFR is required to submit proposals and manage any awards from corporate and foundations funders–it is not optional. Pre-award activities include reviewing funder requirements, creating a CFR submission timeline, project budgets, proposal routing for authorized signers' approvals, contract negotiation (when applicable), contract acceptance on behalf of the PI, and management through the Tower Foundation of San José State University. Post-award includes oversight of fiscal management and compliance and project closeout. As soon as you decide to apply to a specific opportunity and a minimum of 25 days ahead of the due date, please contact Sela Gaglia, Executive Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations.
Applying to a foundation and unsure if you should go to OSP or CFR? Do not worry–just email Sela Gaglia, Executive Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, or Deborah Maloney, Director of OSP, and they will get you to the right place.
Visit the Research Compliance webpage to identify whether your research has special compliance requirements, like biohazardous materials, human or animal subjects, international collaborations, or others.
The Office of Innovation provides support for all corporate research opportunities. They work with principal investigators and companies to identify objectives, scope projects, and develop sponsored research agreements, which meet the needs of both parties. They act as the liaison between SJSU and the company while also helping to coordinate the submission and award management activities required by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). If you have an industry-related research opportunity, please contact Industry Research Alliances Specialist, Daniel Hollander. If you anticipate the research will have practical or commercial applications and need a strategy for protecting background or future intellectual property (IP), please consult the Office of Innovation.
a) Thomas, H. S., Brodsky, M. B., Ewen, J. B., Bergey, G. K., Lloyd, T. E., Haughey, N. J. and Marvel, C. L. (2017). Internal grant review to increase grant funding for junior investigators. Ann Neurol., 82: 497-502. doi:10.1002/ana.25040
b) Kulage, K. M., & Larson, E. L. (2018). Intramural pilot funding and internal grant reviews increase research capacity at a school of nursing.
Nursing Outlook, 66(1), 11–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2017.06.003.
- 4. Route and Submit
All sponsored project proposals, including competitive faculty fellowships, sub-contracts, contractual agreements linked to sponsored projects, as well as all philanthropic-corporate and foundations grants, must be reviewed by SJSU’s authorized signers to ensure that any commitments included are consistent with federal, state, and university policies. This process takes several days to complete. Therefore, final proposal documents must be submitted to the Research Foundation’s OSP or Tower Foundation’s CFR seven working days prior to the sponsor's submission deadline.
The CFR process will be explained on their coming web pages–please contact Executive Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Sela Gaglia, with questions in the meantime.
- 5. Manage Award
Funded proposals routed through OSP: OSP Post-Award staff gets to work ensuring the awarded project is compliant and will be eligible for additional funding. Post-award analysts provide critical administrative services and support until the project is closed, including award and contract negotiation, project setup, project management, and project closeout (including final reports and deliverables).
Funded proposals routed through CFR: The CFR team will assist in the management of philanthropic award by facilitating funder communications (including budget revision, no-cost extension, and reporting requirements) and communication with the Tower Foundation. Partnering with CFR supports the possibility of securing future funding from these relationship-based donors.
For all funded proposals: Research Compliance will help with managing research activities after you receive your award. For example, purchasing technical equipment, international travel, international shipments, or sending data to collaborators at non-US universities all have additional compliance requirements.
- 6. Disseminate Results
SJSU supports publication in high-quality journals, conferences, and other venues appropriate to your field. Most funders allow publication and dissemination costs as part of the budget, so please include them in your proposal whenever possible and ask RD/OSP/CFR for help in planning for and incorporating these fees into your initial proposal.
If at the end of a RSCA project you find you are in need of funds to disseminate your work and maximize its impact, consider a RSCA Seed grant, or check with Research Development or your associate dean of research for funding options. If you plan to publish a book, contact the Office of Innovation to discuss book-related IP and royalty rights.
If inventions are discovered during your research, most research agreements (including those from federal agencies) require that an invention disclosure be made. Forms for disclosing your intellectual property discoveries can be found on the Office of Innovation website. You may also contact the Office of Innovation, to discuss your IP and how to protect and promote it.