about Grant Writing

What is a Letter of Intent (LOI)?
On occasion a foundation or government agency may request that a letter of intent be submitted prior to the submission of the full proposal, which asks for the focus of the project and/or a statement of purpose for the project.  The LOI is not binding, and usually does not enter into the review of a subsequent application. This will allow the funder to determine the appropriateness of the project and will allow the agency staff to estimate the potential workload and plan the review of the proposal.

What is a pre-application?
The pre-application is very similar to the letter of intent and has the same purpose.

What should I include in 3.d. -- description of the project?
Answer the questions who, what, when, where, and how.  These questions will help you give a brief but complete answer.

What are indirect costs?
Indirect costs are costs that are not directly accountable to a cost object (such as a particular project, facility, function, or product). Indirect costs may be either fixed or variable. Indirect costs include administration, personnel, and security costs. These are those costs which are not directly related to production. Some indirect costs may be overhead.

What are cost sharing/matching funds?
Cost sharing or matching means that portion of project or program costs not borne by the funding agency. It includes all contributions, including cash and in-kind, that a recipient makes to an award. If the award is federal, only acceptable non-federal costs qualify as cost sharing and must conform to other necessary and reasonable provisions to accomplish the program objectives.

What are in-kind contributions?
In kind contributions refer to goods, services, and transactions not involving money or not measured in monetary terms. For BRCC, in-kind contributions might be staff services, facilities, use of equipment, etc.

If designated space for this project will be needed, will prior approval be required?
Yes, it will.  The principal investigator along with the dean, department chairperson, and the appropriate vice chancellor must have discussions about the needed space.  The vice chancellor will discuss the request with the Chancellor, which may result in approval. This approval must be received before the Proposal Development Checklist is submitted to the Director of the Grants Resource Center.

How detailed a discussion should one have with the Chief Information Officer regarding hardware, software, and other technology related needs?
The principal investigator must meet with the CIO to understand equipment specifications, software requirements, the extent of technical services that will be required, and potential network challenges. Compatibility must be determined by the CIO.  In addition, certain web tools may provide challenges for BRCC’s IT staff.  The CIO must determine whether BRCC’s staff can support certain software or hardware.  This must be done during the Proposal Development process.  The CIO will be required to sign if there is any IT support required with this grant project. 

What does it mean to be a lead or primary institution?
Where an institution acts as a contractor that subcontracts work to another institution or organization, that institution is the primary or lead institution.  Normally they will also have major fiscal and programmatic reporting responsibilities. 

If BRCC is not the lead, how are resources from the grant project to be distributed?
Equipment will be the main resource in grant projects.  It must be clear before the proposal is submitted to a funder which institution owns any equipment acquired from grant funds.  The Director of the GRC will be helpful in providing documents which will outline various commitments when multiple institutions are involved in a project proposal.  The Vice Chancellor for Finance must be aware of who owns the equipment after the conclusion of a grant.