Pre-Award Guide

Introductory Webinar Video

Pre-Award Guide

  • Find a focus for the project: Develop an outline that demonstrates your excitement for the work at hand and consider what will change if you are funded. Ask yourself: How is the project innovative or potentially transformative; how will it advance knowledge and move your field forward? Show off the current impact you already make in your field. This type of outline will help develop your proposal narrative later as it covers major points that funders want to see addressed.

Enlist administrative support

  • This starts with three simple steps.
    • Identify the project expenses for which you will need funding;
    • Notify College Grants of your interest in seeking external funding. You can do this by contacting Dawn Helsing Wolters ( or submit this form to the College Grants office.
    • Draft a 1-page project summary. Use the outline suggested above as your guide. Some funders will allow you to submit this summary prior to the proposal and offer insights as to how it can align with their priorities.

    Connect with a funding source

    • The College Grants office can help you find prospective funders whose priorities align with your project. It is critical to study their guidelines and follow them closely while developing the proposal! Many funders allow or encourage you to contact them ahead of time to discuss the project, provide a summary and even ask questions about the opportunity. Take advantage of this! It can only help your chances of success.

    Dive In

    • Write the proposal starting with that original outline and one-page summary. If you have advice and comments from the funder, apply them as you write. Using your original list of project expenses, create a budget. Follow the budget guide and use the template provided to help you get started. Strictly follow the funder’s guidelines. Some organizations will refuse to even read a proposal if they notice the guidelines are not followed. Remember, College Grants is here to help! Send us your questions or drafts for review along the way.

    Submit the Proposal Processing Form

    • This is a requirement of any faculty research proposal at Gettysburg College. Please submit this form, signed by you and your immediate supervisor, with your budget to College Grants. We will facilitate circulating it to the Provost’s Office and Finance for review. Please submit this form 10 days prior to the proposal deadline.

    Polish and assemble

    • College Grants will help with detailed proofreading and budget review, as well as ensuring you have all of the necessary forms and attachments required for the proposal. It can also be very beneficial to ask a colleague in your area of interest to read your proposal. Don’t hesitate to get one more extra set of eyes involved!

    Submit and celebrate

    • Depending on the funder requirements either the principal investigator (PI) or the Authorized Organizational Representative (Director of College Grants) will submit the proposal. Please note: You cannot submit the proposal without the Proposal Processing Form being fully approved. This is required whether the PI or AOR submits. Then it’s time to celebrate because even just submitting a proposal is quite and undertaking!