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Grant Writing

Faculty who are interested in obtaining grant funds for a program or project should first read and then follow the Grant Approval Process.


What, exactly, does it take to find, win, and manage grant funds?

  • Research

  • Contact and Cultivation

  • Letters of Inquiry and Proposals

  • Post-Grant Work 

Read more about these steps here.


Featured Grant Opportunities

TOMODACHI Initiative—Awards grants, typically ranging from $5,000 to $80,000, to USA and Japan nonprofit organizations to invest in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as entrepreneurship and leadership programs. 

Particular interest is given to programs with a STEM focus, as well as programs that help prepare young women for careers in STEM or business fields.

The TOMODACHI Initiative seeks to foster a “TOMODACHI generation” of young American and Japanese leaders who are committed to and engaged in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations, appreciate each other’s countries and cultures, and possess the global skills and mindsets needed to contribute to and thrive in a more cooperative, prosperous, and secure world.

Read the full program description here.

                        JULY 15, 2016


NEH, Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections (SCHC)—SCHC grants help cultural institutions meet the complex challenge of preserving large and diverse holdings of humanities materials for future generations by supporting sustainable conservation measures that mitigate deterioration and prolong the useful life of collections.  The program helps cultural repositories—libraries, archives, museums, historical organizations—plan and implement preservation strategies that pragmatically balance effectiveness, cost, and environmental impact. Sustainable approaches to preservation can contribute to an institution’s financial health, reduce its use of fossil fuels, and benefit its green initiatives, while ensuring that collections are well cared for and available for use in humanities programming, education, and research. All applicants, whether applying for planning or implementation projects, are required to focus on sustainable preventive conservation strategies.

Read the full program description here.



NSF Facilitating Research at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (RUI)—Supports research by faculty members that engages them in their professional field(s), builds capacity for research at their home institution, and supports the integration of research and undergraduate education. RUI proposals are evaluated and funded by NSF programs in the disciplinary areas* of the proposed research and are funded at their discretion. Prospective PIs should contact disciplinary program officers to identify specific NSF programs and to determine the feasibility and timing of requests.

Read the full program description here.

* Biological Sciences; Computer & Information Science and Engineering; Education & Human Resources; Geosciences; Mathematical & Physical Sciences; Social, Behavioral, & Economic Sciences


NSF Earth Sciences:  Instrumentation and Facilities—Supports meritorious proposals for infrastructure that promotes research and education in the areas currently supported by the Division of Earth Sciences.  The four major funding areas are:  

1) Acquisition or Upgrade of Research Equipment; 

2) Development of New Instrumentation, Techniques, or Software;

3) Support of National or Regional Multi-User Facilities; and

4) Support for Early Career Investigators. 

Read the full program description here.


NSF Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER)—The EAGER funding mechanism may be used to support exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. 

Read more here.


The Whitehall Foundation—The Whitehall Foundation is focused exclusively on assisting basic research in vertebrate (excluding clinical) and invertebrate neurobiology in the United States. Investigations should specifically concern neural mechanisms involved in sensory, motor, and other complex functions of the whole organism as these relate to behavior. The overall goal should be to better understand behavioral output or brain mechanisms of behavior.  

Research grants are available to established scientists of all ages working at accredited institutions in the United States. Applications will be judged on the scientific merit and the innovative aspects of the proposal as well as on the competence of the applicant. Research grants of up to three years will be provided. A renewal grant with a maximum of two years is possible, but it will be awarded on a competitive basis. Research grants will not be awarded to investigators who have already received, or expect to receive, substantial support from other sources, even if it is for an unrelated purpose. Research grants normally range from $30,000 to $75,000 per year.

The Grants-in-Aid program is designed for researchers at the assistant professor level who experience difficulty in competing for research funds because they have not yet become firmly established. Grants-in-Aid can also be made to senior scientists. All applications will be judged on the scientific merit and innovative aspects of the proposal, as well as on past performance and evidence of the applicant’s continued productivity. Grants-in-Aid are awarded for a one-year period and do not exceed $30,000.

Read the full program description here.

     LETTERS OF INQUIRY - 1/15, 4/15, 10/1
     PROPOSALS -  6/1, 9/1, 2/15


Chesapeake Bay Trust/NOAA K-12 Environmental Education Mini-Grants—Funds are provided to educate K-12 students about their local watersheds and how they can become environmental stewards and make a difference in watershed health. To accomplish this goal the program supports meaningful outdoor learning experiences around a watershed issue investigation including field trips, fieldwork, student-led action projects, and schoolyard habitat projects as well as programs for building teacher capacity to implement environmental education, which includes professional development trainings and programs to advance environmental literacy in the Chesapeake Bay region.

Read the full program description here.



Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) Cottrell Scholars—The Cottrell Scholar Award (CSA) is available to early career faculty at U. S. research universities and primarily undergraduate institutions.  Eligible applicants are tenure-track faculty members whose primary appointment is in a department of astronomy, chemistry, or physics that offers, the minimum, a bachelor’s degree.  For the 2016 proposal cycle, eligibility is limited to faculty members who started their first tenure-track appointment any time in calendar year 2013.

Read the full program description here.

DEADLINES: MAY 15 (pre-proposal)
                       AUGUST 15 (full proposal) 


NEH Common Heritage Grants—These grants support day-long events organized by community cultural institutions, which members of the public will be invited to attend. At these events experienced staff will digitize the community historical materials brought in by the public. Project staff also will record descriptive information—provided by community attendees—about the historical materials. Contributors will be given a free digital copy of their items to take home, along with the original materials. With the owner’s permission, digital copies of these materials would be included in the institutions’ collections. Historical photographs, artifacts, documents, family letters, art works, and audiovisual recordings are among the many items eligible for digitization and public commemoration. Projects must also present public programming that would expand knowledge of the community’s history. Public programs could include lectures, panels, reading and discussion, special gallery tours, screening and discussion of relevant films, presentations by a historian, special initiatives for families and children, or comments by curators about items brought in by the public. 

Read the full program description here.



NSF Faculty Early Career Development [CAREER] Program—The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research. NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from junior faculty members at all CAREER-eligible organizations and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply. 

Read the full program description here.

JULY 21, 2015

(Biological Sciences, Computer & Information Science & Engineering, Education & Human Resources)

JULY 22, 2015


JULY 232015

(Geosciences, Mathematical & Physical Sciences, Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences)


National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works Grants—supports projects that: 

  • are likely to prove transformative with the potential for meaningful change, whether in the development or enhancement of new or existing art forms, new approaches to the creation or presentation of art, or new ways of engaging the public with art;
  • are distinctive, offering fresh insights and new value for their fields and/or the public through unconventional solutions; and
  • have the potential to be shared and/or emulated, or are likely to lead to other advances in the field.

 The NEA wants to achieve the following four objectives through the Art Works category:

  1. Creation: The creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence,
  2. Engagement: Public engagement with diverse and excellent art,
  3. Learning: Lifelong learning in the arts, and
  4. Livability: The strengthening of communities through the arts.

Eligible Disciplines

Artist Communities
Arts Education
Folk & Traditional Arts
Local Arts Agencies
Media Arts
Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works
Theater & Musical Theater
Visual Arts 

Read the full program description here.  

2015 DEADLINE:  JULY 23, 2015 


Howard Hughes Medical Institute:  2016 Faculty Scholars Competition—This is  a new national program designed to support outstanding early-career scientists.

Read the full program description here.

2015 DEADLINE:  JULY 28, 2015


Fulbright U. S. Scholar Program—The core Fulbright U. S. Scholar Program provides approximately 800 teaching and/or research grants to U. S. faculty and experienced professionals in a wide variety of academic and professional fields.  Fulbright grants, which are available in over 126 countries worldwide, generally cover travel and living costs in-country for the grantee and his/her accompanying dependents.

Read the full program description here. 

2015 DEADLINE:  AUGUST 3, 2015


NEH Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations; Planning and Implementation GrantsThese National Endowment for the Humanities grants provide support for museums, libraries, historic places, and other organizations that produce public programs in the humanities. Planning grants support the early stages of project development, including consultation with scholars, refinement of humanities themes, preliminary design, and audience evaluation. Implementation grants support final scholarly research and consultation, design development, production, and installation of a project for presentation to the public.

Read the full program descriptions here.



Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; Sloan Research Fellowships—The Sloan Research Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise.  These two-year fellowships are awarded yearly to 126 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.  Candidates must hold a tenure track (or equivalent position) at a college, university, or other degree-granting institution in the U. S. or Canada.  Tenure track faculty positions at the candidate’s institution must include a yearly teaching requirement.  Candidates must hold a Ph.D. (or equivalent) in chemistry, computational or evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, ocean sciences, physics, or a related field.  Candidates’ most recent Ph.D. (or equivalent) must have been awarded on or after September 1, 2009.

Read the full program description here.

2015 DEADLINE:  SEPTEMBER 15 (nominations)



2016 Pittsburgh Conference Memorial National College Grants Program—Awards grants to small college science departments for the purchase of scientific equipment, audio-visual or other teaching aids, and/or library materials for use in the teaching of science at the undergraduate level.

Read the full program description here.



Search for Other Grant Opportunities 

www.grants.gov (searchable database of all federal grant opportunities)

 http://www.nsf.gov/funding/azindex.jsp (A-Z index of NSF grants)

http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html (U.S. Department of Education grants)

http://www.studyabroadfunding.org/ (study abroad funding)




The following links contain helpful resources on proposal writing:

United Way of Central New Mexico — Grant Writing Toolkit (Program Plan)

United Way of Central New Mexico — Grantwriting Toolkit (The Needs Statement)

United Way of Central New Mexico — Grantwriting Toolkit (Researching Grantmakers)

Your First Step — Understanding the RFP

11 Questions You Must Ask Before You Write

The Foundation Center’s Short Course On Proposal Writing

10 Common Elements of Winning Proposals

The Abstract [AKA Executive Summary]:  A First Impression that Seals Your Fate

5 Common Grant Writing Mistakes

Are You Writing for the Wrong Donors?

NSF Q&A Document

Proposal Writing Tips from the National Science Foundation

The Most Important Part of Your NSF Proposal:  The Summary Page

Grant Writing Tip Sheets from the National Institutes of Health 

Grant Writing Tutorial from the Environmental Protection Agency 

The Art of Writing Proposals from the Social Science Research Council

Writing for Community Success in 4 Easy Steps (by Dalya F. Massachi, M.A.)                                       

Logic Model and Evaluation Tools 

Logic Model Development Guide 

Sample Logic Model 1

Your Most Helpful Tool:  The Logic Model

Sample Logic Model 2

Project/Program Evaluation — Measuring Success


Specific Government Agency Links

Washington College 2015 Approved Indirect Cost Rates:  46% (On Campus)    /    22% (Off Campus)

Washington College 2015 Fringe Rates:  38%  /  7.65%


Department of Education

Department of State—Fulbright programs, USIA

Department of Labor

Department of Energy

Department of Commerce

Department of Defense

Environmental Protection Agency

Fish & Wildlife

Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Fastlane—Web-based electronic submissions


Sample Grant Applications

  This successful application submitted by Dr. Anne Marteel-Parrish and two colleagues resulted in funding for advanced scientific equipment:

The Grants Office can provide, upon request, additional samples of successful grant applications to other government agencies (i.e., NEA, EPA, USDA, IMLS, NFWF) and/or private foundations.


Valerie Stewart, Grant Writer
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