Q: For what types of projects are grants available?

There are many types of grants, for many academic disciplines, and grants can be obtained for research, publication, travel, programs, collaborative projects, institutional programs, etc.

Q: Do I have to have a funding source in mind, or do I just need an idea?

You just need an idea. If you do have any ideas about possible funding sources for your work, please share them with us, because we may be able to give you more information on the sources. But if you don't know of possible sources, we will do research for you. Fill our the Funding Research Assistance Form and we will research possible sources of funding.

Q: Is there a general range of funds that are available? Is there a limit on grant amounts?

No. Grants come in all amounts. The nature of your project and the amount of the budget will determine what we would be looking for in terms of the size of a grant. In addition, if we find a few sources that may give smaller grants, they can potentially be combined to support your project if the cost is more. Connecticut College has received grants from a thousand dollars up to multi-million dollar grants. Our staff has helped with projects ranging from faculty research publication grants to grants for curricular changes, programs, or conferences, to larger institutional grants.

Q: Who actually applies for the grant? And who gets the money when the grant is awarded?

It depends on the agency funding the grant, so it is best to check with us. If you are applying for an individual fellowship or award, most often you would apply for the grant yourself and the funds would be awarded directly to you as well. However, some funding organizations, even for fellowships, insist that the institution be named as the applicant. Others might require additional documents such as an institutional letter of endorsement, which we can help you obtain. Since our office is required to keep records of all contacts with funders, we appreciate hearing from you even if you apply independently. Our office staff is more than happy to guide you in the process, help you with budget preparation, and/or proofread your proposal.

If the proposal is more institutional in nature (with a broad institutional impact, or in support of the strategic plan, such as a program administered by one of the centers or a program instituted by an administrator), our office will help you craft the proposal, steward it through a brief institutional approval process, and ultimately submit the proposal. In this case, the funds for a successful grant application will be sent with the check made out to the college. This money is recorded as a grant to the college through the Gift Accounting system (Advancement), deposited into the appropriate account (Accounting) and is then available for your use. We work closely with the Project Director throughout the post-award process, helping with final reporting, budget revision or other requirements of the grant being awarded.

Q: What is the incentive for applying for grants?

Receiving a grant is an opportunity to advance your own research. It will give you the opportunity to work on a project that you haven't had the funds to do. Doing research, working on institutional projects, and winning grants, awards and fellowships are all commendable parts of your annual report to the president and the dean of the faculty. Grants that we receive also enhance Connecticut College's chances of being invited to compete for other grants.

The experience of working on an institutional project or proposal can also lend new perspectives and ideas to your work in the classroom.

And in some cases, you can work into the budget a stipend support or a portion of the grant to cover your work on the project.

Q: How difficult is the whole process of grant seeking and working on grant-funded programs?

It really isn't very difficult. The grants office (Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations) has a set of standard procedures and forms to help us do the best research for you, and then to submit the proposal. Once you get the grant, it depends on the project with regard to the amount of work involved. For individual research grants and fellowships, you are doing your own work on your own area of expertise. For institutional grants, there tends to be more time involved, but that is usually determined at the time of the proposal submission, so you will have a good ideas of what will be involved at the outset. One thing you should note is that most funders will want you to report on the results of your project and how you spent the grant funds. We can help you with this as well, and guide you on how to get organized. Most important, grantors will want to know that you have spent the entire grant award and in the way you originally proposed.

Q: Do you help people locate and apply for fellowships?

Absolutely. We will not write your proposals for you, but we can certainly help you find possible sources for funding, and can help you in obtaining additional information on some of these sources, including information on the kinds of fellowships funded by the corporation, foundation, agency or organization. We can also proofread your proposals, help you prepare budgets, and help you in obtaining the necessary forms.

Q: Who provides the money for these grants?

There are many different kinds of funding agencies. At Connecticut College we work primarily with the following:

  • Foundations, whose primary function is to provide funding/donations/grants for organizations that meet the criteria of their mission. These organizations are in the business of making grants giving money away. They raise money themselves or have been established through the bequest of an individual for the purpose of making charitable contributions.
  • Corporations that have charitable contribution programs - again with the mission of making grants and donations to people and organizations. Their funds come from the assets and/or profits of the corporation.
  • Government Agencies, which have been established by the federal or state government specifically to fund programs in their areas of interest/focus. Funding is legislated by the federal government for the national agencies, and the national agencies often fund the state programs. The state programs are also funded by tax dollars and their budgets are determined by the state.
  • Other Organizations that are established with the specific goal of raising money and making grants in certain disciplines/areas of interest, i.e. the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU), the American Philosophical Society, the American Chemical Society, and many more. Their funds often come from membership dues and other monies that they have raised.

Q: If I am applying for a research grant, individual grant or fellowship, do I have to go through your office?

It depends on the funding agency. If a grant would be paid to the College, we do a brief internal approvals process before the application is submitted. Even with awards paid directly to you, the Office of Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations in many cases can increase your chances of getting your grant. We may know of other recipients of the award for which you are applying and may be able to share success stories, presentation techniques, or other information on things to include with or in your proposal. Also, we may know of another faculty member applying for the same fellowship, and we can work with you to coordinate the appropriate timing for your proposal.

In addition, if we know that you have received a fellowship grant, it is helpful for us and for others at Connecticut College to know that you have received it. Your experience could help another faculty member in getting a grant. If you have received a fellowship from a foundation that also makes institutional grants, it is important for us to have that information in our historical file on the foundation.

Often when we are applying for an institutional grant, it helps in building our case when we can talk about the history that the college and its faculty already have with the funder. It is also helpful for us to be aware of your fellowships when we are applying to or working with a funder on a program that is close to your discipline. If we can share with them that our faculty have received grants for their work, it may potentially help us to get a larger institutional grant for a collaborative program.

If you are applying for a grant in which the funds will be made out directly to Connecticut College, we need to be involved in the process. In many cases, the grantor often wants institutional documentation that you may not have on hand. We maintain institutional tax statements, board lists, financial statements, etc. in our files, so it is easy for us to make sure that all of this is included in the proposal.

Also, institutional proposals must be approved by a number of different offices on campus, including our office, accounting, finance, the dean of the faculty's office and the president's office, and we are here to help make this process go as smoothly as possible. In addition, our office maintains files on a number of corporations, foundations, government agencies and organizations. It is important for us to have up-to-date information on our relationship with the funder as this can make a big difference in whether your new project or program gets funded. We also need to be certain that there are no other proposals that might be submitted to that same funder.

Q: My research/project is very specific within my discipline. Can I get funding for this?

Yes, it's possible, and we will do our best to research all potential sources for your work. First fill out the Funding Research Assistance Form (Forms), describing the specifics of your work and include a potential budget of what you think your project would cost.

Once we receive this form (email it to CFGRcoordinator@conncoll.edu or send to CFGR in Becker House) we can help you research potential funding sources.