Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get funding for my idea?
How can the Office of Foundation & Corporate Relations help me?
Who needs to approve my grant proposal?
How much lead time does the Foundation & Corporate Relations office need?
Where can I find the College’s tax exempt number and other similar required information?
How do I prepare a budget?
What if the grant I want to apply for requires matching funds?
Start by thinking generally about the purpose of your project, considering prospective funding sources, developing a tentative budget based on your requirements, developing timelines for implementing your project and considering the degree of commitment required from the College. Review the resource identification section and proposal preparation section of this site. Discuss your idea with your department chair and with Linda DeMeritt, dean of the College. Contact Ann Areson, associate vice president, foundation & corporate relations, at (814) 332-2348.
Our office can help you in a number of ways. For example, we can work with you to:
- Discuss strategies for funding your project
- Refine your ideas to improve chances for receiving funding
- Identify funding sources
- Read and edit your proposal
- Prepare a budget
- Provide institutional data
- Assemble, copy and mail your final proposal
- Prepare routine and final reports once a grant has been secured
If you plan to seek a grant, you should first receive preliminary approval from your department chair and from Linda DeMeritt, dean of the College. All formal applications for outside funding must be approved before submission. This includes applications to the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and any other state or federal source, any local source, or any foundation or corporate source. You must receive approval to apply for funding for any research activity that will occur on or off campus, or that involves students or faculty.
The Office of Foundation & Corporate Relations will coordinate the approval process for you. This includes review and approval by President James Mullen; Linda DeMeritt, dean of the College; and Dave McInally, executive vice president and treasurer.
The more assistance you need, the further in advance we need to know about your project. If you would like us to read and edit a proposal you’ve drafted and to prepare it for submission, please give us your draft at least two weeks before the deadline.
If you are submitting a proposal to a public agency, please allow extra time before the deadline for our help with steps such as checking your proposal against the guidelines, proofreading it, completing the forms, making the necessary copies and gathering signatures. (Many agencies will not consider a proposal that does not conform exactly to their requirements.) In addition, federal agencies require you to follow special electronic submission procedures. Because so many institutions submit proposals to federal agencies, however, these electronic submission programs can be overwhelmed at deadline times, so you need to submit your proposal well ahead of the deadline.
If the information you need does not appear below, contact Ann Areson, director of foundation & corporate relations, at (814) 332-2348. The following information is frequently required on a cover sheet:
Tax exempt numbers:
Federal indirect cost rate: 50 percent of salaries and wages
Fringe benefit rate for academic year: .3344 x salary
Fringe benefit rate for summer salaries and/or stipends: .0765 x summer stipend/salary
Congressional District: 3rd
State Senatorial District: 50th
State Representative District: 6th
Authorized Institutional Representative:
James H. Mullen, Jr., President
520 North Main Street
Meadville, PA 16335
(814) 724-6032 (fax)
In your proposal narrative, you should have a section detailing the resources needed for your project. This should provide the basis for your budget. For example, if your proposal includes a request for equipment or technology, you may need to include a section in your budget for faculty training. If your proposal includes evaluation methods, your budget should reflect any resources needed to help with the evaluation. If your proposal includes an outreach component, your budget may include costs for the development and maintenance of a Web site for disseminating information.
In general, ask for what you need, and explain why you need it. Avoid vague or ambiguous budget requests. Be sure to include a budget narrative that explains how you came up with your numbers.
The Office of Foundation & Corporate Relations has sample budgets that may be helpful, and we can help you develop your budget. A sample budget is also available on-line here (pdf).
The following chart provides the guidelines for summer stipends. Please note additional guidelines below the chart.
|Summer Stipend||Summer Fringe Benefits|
|Salary||1/9 (1 mo.)||2/9 (2 mo.)||1/9 x .0765||2/9 x .0765|
Some grants require that the recipient obtain matching funds from the institution or another donor. The need for matching funds does not necessarily represent an impediment to your grant search. Matching funds may come from the College, from alumni or other donors, or from other grants. However, if the grant you want to apply for does require matching funds, you need to discuss this requirement with Ann Areson, associate vice president, foundation & corporate relations, and with the other officers of the College who must approve your grant application.