Advice, Support, & Review Processes

Once you have identified one or more funders to whom you would like to apply, please notify the Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Support.

The Associate Provost may need to approve your application addressing any program requirements or limitations concerning additional applications from other members of the faculty of Haverford College. Approval is required for grants that are awarded to the institution, or that require the institution to administer the funds.

In addition, please notify the Director of Sponsored Research if your proposal must be submitted to a government agency or if you will otherwise need assistance with the mechanics of the process. Unfortunately, the submission process can be difficult and ample time (anywhere from 2 months to 2 weeks of advance notice) may be needed to identify and to fix submission errors.

Before your application can be submitted, the Office of the Provost will need you to show that the Grant and Financial Accountant has approved your budget.

For government grant applications, you will also be asked to provide signed forms involving significant financial interests, lobbying, and other regulatory matters.


Please be aware that application deadlines are usually a year or more in advance of the funding period. Especially for research funding, many of them are in the fall for money disbursed the following fall. It is best to spend six months or more researching, writing, and reviewing your proposal. For example, if you seek funding for a sabbatical that starts in September 2016 or January 2017, then you will probably need to apply by October 2015 and should start working on your proposal in March 2015.

Starting to write six months before the deadline may be a challenge, but doing so allows you to refine and to reformulate your proposal in light of your developing agenda and the interests of your potential funders. The Director of Sponsored Research and the Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Support encourage you to contact them at the very beginning of your grant-seeking process, so that they can help you to strategize and to find a full range of possible funders.

Proposal Development

The best sources for assistance on the academic content of your proposal are the program announcement, a program officer or even a reviewer if available, and your professional colleagues.

Sometimes a funder will make available a list of previous recipients of funding; it may useful for you to contact one or more of them.

Although the Director of Sponsored Research is not a specialist in your field, he will be happy to review your proposal. He can offer an opinion on how specifically you address the elements of the program announcement, and help to spot any clerical errors or missing information. He can also help you to compose your budget, which the Grant and Financial Accountant will check for errors before approving it.


Many funders explain their decision-making process, so that you know when to expect notification of whether or not you have won an award. It often takes at least six months.

If you gain funding, congratulations! Please notify the Assistant Provost and/or the Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Support and work with the Grant and Financial Accountant to make the arrangements needed to accept and to administer your award. Your funder will require reports of how you spend the grant in accordance with your proposal, and the results. Although you administer your own award, the Director of Sponsored Research is happy to help.

If you do not gain funding, some funders will make the comments of reviewers available to you. These can be very useful in reformulating your proposal, whether for the same or a different program; even if you choose to try again with a different project, you have still gained important grant writing experience and familiarity with the funding universe.