The Grants Development and Administration (GDA) department seeks funding opportunities to support Texas Southmost College (TSC) programs of study, support services, and other collegerelated initiatives. All funding opportunities must be aligned with the TSC strategic plan, VISION 2023. Campus community members seeking funding for a project are encouraged to submit a Funding Research Request (see Appendix A).
GDA also welcomes the college community to search for funding opportunities. Common sources include:
- Federal: grants.gov or cfda.gov
- State: Texas Education Agency, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Texas Workforce Commission
- Private: foundationcenter.org, academic and professional associations
Once a funding source is identified for a project, the Project Director (PD) should complete and submit the TSC Notice of Intent to Apply (NOI) (Appendix B). This includes proposals for such contracts, grants and agreements of solicitation of funds, whether with government agencies, industries, foundations, or other private granting agencies. This form helps to document strategic plan goals supported by the proposed activity and ensures key college stakeholders are informed. If a PD is collaborating with another college or agency that is the lead submitter, the PD is still required to submit an NOI so any additional collaborations or potential conflicts can be addressed.
- Check the appropriate boxes on page 1
- Fill in the required information on page 2
- Secure appropriate administrative signatures, as indicated
- Submit to the GDA department
Once the NOI is received, the GDA department will prepare a work schedule to ensure all grants are complete and submitted on time (see sample in Appendix C). The time grant makers provide between the time the Request for Proposals (RFP) are posted and the submission deadline varies greatly. It could be as little as four weeks, or as long as three months. Some grants are cyclical, and PDs can begin planning their programs far in advance. Especially for short submission deadlines, however, deviation from the work schedule may result in the project’s rejection during the internal review process.
Proposals requiring cost sharing must be first formally approved by the appropriate college administrators, including the Texas Southmost College Board (see box on page 10). PDs should begin this approval process by submitting a Cost Sharing form (see Appendix D) and submitting it with the NOI to the GDA department. Approval of cost sharing on the related forms must be made by the Project Director, Dean/Director, Vice President, Board and President. Approval of cost sharing on these forms constitutes a commitment to provide these funds over the life of the award.
The grant team’s participation in proposal development is critical. Team members will often include: Project Director (for instance, the dean, faculty member, or staff member leading the effort), other faculty and staff members who are content experts, students or other participants being served by the grant, VPs and other division leaders, external agency partners, the Senior Grant Writer, and the Coordinator of Sponsored Programs, Grants and Contracts.
During pre-award phase, the GDA offers the following support:
- Host grant team workshops to review RFPs, and refine programming ideas and strategy
- Register for and host grant maker webinars for the grant team, when available
- Provide editing and writing support
- Complete ancillary paperwork
- Develop budgets in line with internal and external requirements
- Ensure compliance with state, federal, and grant guidelines
- Obtain institutional approvals and signatures
- Facilitate communication with appropriate administrative officials
- Submit proposals
Narrative and budget
While the GDA department will assist with style and fiscal considerations, the content must be driven by the content experts â€“ the PD and team. Typically, RFPs will include detailed guidelines for the format and type of information that must be included. PDs should pay close attention to all of the ancillary requirements, such as letters of support.
The Senior Grant Writer can help the team design the best rationale customized for each grant maker. As a starting point, grant teams may consider the logic model as a tool for planning, evaluation, and action, as described by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation:
Each proposal must also be accompanied by a budget narrative. If an RFP requires cost sharing, PDs must briefly explain the proposed cost sharing arrangement and identify account numbers. All cost sharing commitments must be approved by the TSC Board of Trustees prior to submittal.
Thorough and timely participation from the team will ensure a smooth application process.
Application Approvals To ensure the proposal is as competitive as possible and is in compliance with TSC policies, approval is required from key college leadership. Once a draft of the narrative and budget is ready for approval, the GDA department will secure signatures from the following leaders via the Proposal Transmittal Form (PTF) (see Appendix E):
- Project Director
- Co-Project Director(s)
- Dean/Executive Director
- Associate Vice President
- Division Vice President
- Chief Human Resources Officer
- VP of Institutional Advancement and Community Relations
- VP of Finance and Administration
PDs should allow 3-5 days for internal approvals prior to submission. There are certain circumstances when approval is required by the TSC Board of Trustees (see box). In these cases, PDs should plan for a 30-day approval process.
The Department of Grant Development and Administration is the single point of contact for all college grant submittals to ensure all proposals are accurate, complete, and submitted in accordance with all TSC and funding agency policies. The Senior Grant Writer will advise PDs of the time needed for submittal based on the grantmaker’s requirements, such as whether hard copies must be mailed or submission is conducted through a web-based portal.
Tracking Submitted Proposals
The GDA department tracks all submitted proposals through the funding agency portals.