Grant Resources

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Academic Affairs and Bemidji State University are committed to providing resources for faculty and staff research and programmatic ideas. Funding support for these ideas can be found through the competitive grants process. This page is designed to highlight the stages to grant proposal submission and award administration. Grant requirements established by the university and answers to common questions can be found in the FAQ.

If you should need any assistance throughout the grants process OR need help with identifying funding sources, proposal formulation, budget development, or submission, please contact grant specialist Jenna Trisko.


 Timeline for Proposal Submission

One to Three Months Prior to Submission

  • Contact grant specialist within academic affairs.
  • Begin the proposal development process.

Two Weeks to One Month Prior to Submission

  • Finalize proposal and all supplemental documents required for submission.

Ten Days Prior to Proposal Submission

  • Complete External Funding Request Form and acquire necessary institution signatures.
  • Once the External Funding Request Form is complete, the authorized organization representative (AOR), grant accounting officer Monte Hegg will submit the proposal to the funding agency.

Terms/Roles

  • Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) oversees an institution’s federal grant submission portal. The AOR can grant permissions to individuals to either start a new application or collaborate on an existing application that has not yet been submitted for review.
  • Other Authorized User (OAU) has access to modify and upload documents into a federal grant submission portal but is not able to start an all-new application.
  • Principal Investigator (PI) serves as the subject matter expert and oversees the activities and outcomes laid out within a grant proposal. In some cases, projects and programs may also have a CO-PI who assists in leading the project to completion.
  • Request for Proposals or RFP is a common term that indicates an announcement with instructions has been made by a funding agency for how to apply for a specified grant.
    • RFP may also be referred to as Request for Applications (RFA), Solicitation for Grant Applications (SGA) or Program Solicitation

Stages to Grant Submission

Develop and review project or program

  • Share idea with collaborators, department, college, grant specialist, and any key stakeholders outside of the institution who may be directly involved in the project

Evaluate potential funding agencies

  • External funding sources may include:
    • Local, State, or Federal Government Agencies
    • Local or National, Private/Public Foundations
    • Corporations
    • MinnState System
    • Donor Advised Funds (DAF)
  • The Academic Affairs, Grant Specialist may have funding opportunities that meet the scope and needs of the project. Additional prospect assistance will also be provided at the request of collaborators.

Assess funding opportunity

  • Ensure your project/program aligns with funding agency priorities
    • Carefully read through the funding agency website, RFP, application instructions, and any other documentation provided by the agency.
      • Highlight all proposal requirements that are clearly listed and those that may be embedded in the content of the RFP or application instructions.
      • Read the fine print of any funding agency documents and make note of items that may be pertinent to the development of the proposal.
    • Pay special attention to requirements of the grant proposal such as cost-sharing, submission deadlines, eligibility requirements, unallowable budgetary expenses
    • Note- the turnaround time for a response on the status of a submitted grant application can take anywhere from a few weeks to upwards of a year. The average time for a response is 4-8 months. Make sure that this timeframe aligns with your project activities.
    • Contact the Program Officer associated with the RFP to discuss the project and fit with agency or program priorities
    • Begin to build your project development team (e.g., faculty, staff, external collaborators).
      • Secure any necessary approvals and/or create Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) between external partners

Formulate Proposal Based on Agency or Application Specifications

  • The proposal development process can be lengthy. Seek the support of the grant specialist to:
      • Help review the RFP
      • Develop a checklist of document requirements
      • Discuss the submission process
      • Write sections of the narrative, budget or supplemental documents
      • Conduct prospecting to find data that supports the ideas and needs highlighted with the narrative or supplemental documents of the proposal
      • Seek out price comparisons for budgetary items
      • Assist with tracking progress to meet submission deadlines.
    • During this process, expect occasional delays as RFP requirements may involve a re-evaluation of project activities, further discussions with collaborators, etc.
    • Set firm deadlines for materials to be received and reviewed by collaborators well in advance of the official RFP deadline.
    • Connect with the grant accounting officer to discuss budgetary items particularly if these pertain to salary and fringe benefits, equipment, or capital expenditures.
    • Work in tandem with the Bemidji State University Institutional Review Board to receive approval of any research that may be conducted through the proposed project.

Review for External Funding Requests

  • Complete the Review for External Funding Requests form
    • Include an abstract and budget for the project
    • If applicable, generate a supplemental document that provides more detailed answers to any of the questions addressed within the Review for External Funding Requests document
  • Complete the Financial Conflict of Interest Form
    • Each Co-PI must complete a separate Financial Conflict of Interest Form
  • Submit these forms to the appropriate faculty/staff for review and signatures. Make sure to allow a minimum of 10 days prior to the submission date to circulate the document to the following:
    • Chair of Department
    • Dean/Supervisor
    • Grant Accounting Officer
    • Vice President for Finance and Administration
    • Provost OR Vice President for Student Development and Enrollment
    • University President

Proposal Submission

  • After all documentation has been completed, reviewed, and edited by collaborators and support staff all documents should be uploaded into the grant submission portal (if applicable) and the Authorized Organization Representative will submit the application.

Funding Agency Award Status
The Grant was Awarded
  • If a grant is awarded, the PIs will work closely with the funding agency and the Bemidji State University Finance Department to negotiate the funding award.
  • Upon agreed upon terms, the Finance Department will process the award and assist with the management of the project budget throughout the completion of the funding period.
  • PIs should stay in close contact with the Finance Department to monitor grant expenditures and ensure compliance with the project budget.
  • PIs will often be required to create interim impact reports that will be submitted to the funding agency for review by agreed-upon deadlines.
The Grant was Denied
  • If the grant was not secured, the Program Officer for the Funding Agency may supply feedback on the proposal.
  • Work with the Grant Specialist to consider resubmission -OR- seek out another funding agency or RFP that may fit the project.