Preparing Proposals & Submitting Applications for External Funding

Proposals for grants or subcontracts that will be administered by Union College (i.e., funds are paid to and disbursed by the College) must be reviewed and approved before they are submitted to the funding agency.  The fundamental steps to prepare, receive internal approvals, and submit a proposal are:

  1. If your proposed project has ANY impact on Union College resources, you MUST contact the responsibility-center director as early as possible in the proposal development process to allow sufficient time for considering the impact on resources and processing special requests or considerations. 
  2. Notify the Office of Foundation, Corporate & Government Relations (OFCGR) of your intent to submit a proposal as soon as possible (even if you eventually decide not to proceed) via email to Blair at or Nicole at Please include a link to the program announcement or request for proposal in your initial email.  Your proposal will be assigned to the appropriate OFCGR contact who will guide you through the submission process as needed.
  3. Download the Grant Proposal Approval Form (GPAF) to begin the process for securing internal approvals to submit.  Additionally, if you are requesting course release time for the proposed project, you must download the Course Coverage Plan Form (CCP).  Following the instructions at the top of the GPAF and CCP, complete the forms, and send them to the appropriate OFCGR contact. 
  4. Outline your proposed project budget using the College's standard Budget Worksheet.   
  5. Once you have sent the GPAF, CCP (if applicable), and draft budget to OFCGR, the documentation will be reviewed and forwarded to the internal approvers for review.
  6. The OFCGR office will receive notification from Office of Academic Affairs once the final approval has been secured to submit your proposal.  The OFCGR contact will notify the PI of the approval and will coordinate the actual submission through the appropriate channels as directed by the sponsor (e-mail, NSF FastLane,, hardcopy via FedEx, etc.)

Tips for the Proposal Approval Process:

In order to submit your proposal, investigators must secure written approval to submit (e.g., the signatures collected on the GPAF).  To ensure a speedy review and the authorization to submit, PIs are encouraged to do the following:

  1. If your project has institutional impact on facilities, equipment, or other resources, make appointments at least two months in advance of deadline to discuss these needs with the appropriate people (e.g., department chair, dean, responsibility-center directors, for example the Chief Information Officer of Information Technology Services). 
  2. Contact the OFCGR office early.  The OFCGR office can advise on proposal preparation, interpret sponsor guidelines, and provide support such as creating required supplemental documentation (e.g., institutional letters of support).
  3. Email and/or call the responsibility-center director to discuss any potential or actual impact on resources as far in advance of deadline as possible.  These individuals will be able to help you develop the details for your funding request, by offering advice and guidance.
  4. Follow the College's guidelines for creating a proposed budget.