Colby College's Grants Administration Process

The Corporate, Foundation, and Government Relations Office (CFGR) exists, in part, to assist Colby faculty and administration members in seeking external funding from government agencies or private sources (e.g., foundations, corporations, independent societies). CFGR also has responsibility for subsequent stewardship of grants received from these sources. This document provides information about Colby's grants administration process. CFGR is staffed currently by Seven Grenier, Assistant Director, and Julia Gagne, Administrative Secretary. CFGR's Web site can be found at http://www.colby.edu/administration_cs/cfgr/.

If you wish, you may contact us about your specific interests so that we can be alert to possible funding opportunities for your project(s). CFGR maintains online searching capabilities for funding sources. Anyone interested in researching sources of support is welcome to make an appointment to visit SSWAC 207 to use our online resources. The IRIS database is also available through the library. Some external agencies may consider several proposals from Colby at the same time, while others may accept only one. CFGR, therefore, serves as a clearinghouse and can help identify contacts at funding agencies, facilitate the timing of proposal submission, and assist in tracking responses to requests for support. With some of these concerns and as government and foundation guidelines become more and more specific, initial letters of inquiry or preliminary phone calls should be cleared through CFGR (see information on the “Intent to Seek External Funding” and “Grant Proposal Endorsement” forms).

CFGR's staff and other offices in the Department of College Relations engage in strengthening relationships between Colby and members of the funding sector. Faculty/principal investigators (PIs) assist in this effort and play a significant role in the stewardship of a grant. Obviously, good communications, meeting the conditions of a grant award, and submitting timely reports as required can help ensure long and rewarding associations.

The grants administration process at Colby is designed to establish an effective and efficient system to facilitate communication and cooperation among faculty and administration concerning institutional and individual proposal planning and submission and to help with programmatic, financial, and reporting stewardship for grants awarded. This process is the responsibility of CFGR in conjunction with Colby's Vice Presidents' Office and the Financial Services Office. The grant process is designed to facilitate Colby's endorsement of proposals, to assure sound proposal budget development, and to assist with appropriate record keeping and timely reporting to grantors. Seven Grenier (x4341) coordinates institutional and individual grants, though principal investigators or project directors are responsible for drafting proposals and preparing their budgets.

Getting Started (The Intent to Submit Form, Appendix XIV). The proposal preparer or PI should submit the form titled, “Statement of Intent to Seek External Funding” to CFGR, copies of which are available through the Dean of Faculty and CFGR web sites or  by calling CFGR (x4341) or Jennifer Wood (x4772) in the VPs' office. This form should be used by any faculty member or administrator considering approaching an external funding source for any need. Receipt of this form enables CFGR to anticipate deadlines, to discuss ideas with that PI that might help a proposal, and to aid in planning as needed. If you seek government money, we highly recommend you meet with Scott D. Smith, Director of Administrative Financial Services (x4123), before putting together a budget to learn about specific budget issues such as indirect costs, benefits, matching requirements, salaries, and summer students.

The Next Step (The Grant Proposal Endorsement Form, Appendix XV). As a PI nears the end of the proposal preparation, he or she will need to complete the, “Grant Proposal Endorsement Form,” (see attached form - also found at the CFGR Web page). This form is designed to accompany a copy of the final proposal as it passes through the approval process. Prior to submission of the grant, the Grant Proposal Endorsement Form must be completed by the PI and, along with a copy of the final draft of the proposal, be circulated from the PI to her/his department chair, then to the Director of Administrative Financial Services for budget review, to the CFGR Office for review and check, to the Administrative VP for budget approval, including indirect costs and matching or cost-sharing requirements, and to the Dean of Faculty for curriculum/program considerations and required clearance signatures. (No changes will be made to a proposal without a PI’s consent.) Finally, the signed Endorsement Form and a copy of the final proposal, including a copy of any transmittal letter, should be provided to the CFGR office for institutional records. The CFGR office will inform the PI of the completion of the process and clearance for the proposal to be mailed to assure arrival by deadline.

Interim: After the Waiting. Please send a copy of any letter you received regarding your proposal to the CFGR office, including denial or revision letters.  If, before they will continue the review process, grantors seek changes in the scope of work, schedule, or budget, copies of those changes should be filed with the CFGR office and budget changes must be approved by the Vice Presidents’ Office, in conjunction with the Financial Services Office.

Grant Implementation. PIs awarded a grant are asked to send a copy of the announcement and any attachments to the Financial Services Office and the CFGR office, which will, when appropriate, prepare and send an institutional acknowledgment letter and College receipt to the grantor.  Grant files will be set up by the CFGR office, which will include a copy of the proposal, tables for tracking the grant, and any special requirements.  The Financial Services Office will determine an account number for the grant.  An encumbrance (accounting) system may be established by Jennifer Wood, ext. 4772, in the VPs’ office to help expedite fiscal oversight and reporting.  The CFGR tracks status of grants, including deadlines and compliance with reporting requirements.  It is important to maintain strong ties with the grantors as they may be interested in future projects with Colby faculty or departments.

Stewardship. Grantors generally require reports on how their money is spent by the PI and the progress that is being made in achieving the project’s goals.   Reporting requirements vary among grantors. PIs must maintain the annual expenditures for their project and provide narrative highlights of the project in reporting.  College Relations staff are not expected to gather data for stewardship purposes on individual faculty grants, but are available to answer questions or offer guidance as needed.

Points to Remember:

  • PIs should check with the Director of Administrative Financial Services about overhead, benefits, etc., before writing a budget.
  • Colby's federally approved indirect cost rate is 53.0 percent, which is applied to salaries and wages. Colby's fringe rate is 31.9 percent for faculty and staff. If a PI is including a summer salary request in a proposal, the fringe rate charged should be reduced to 23.9 percent. FICA of 7.65 percent is charged on student wages, but only for the summer. These figures change regularly; please refer to the CFGR Web site http://www.colby.edu/administration_cs/cfgr/index.cfm for current information.
  • College matching funds in a proposal budget, if any, must be pre-approved by the Administrative Vice President and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  • For subcontractors, such as honoraria for speakers and/or services, an agreement for documentation purposes must be provided before checks can be written.
  • All purchases require purchase orders and go through the Financial Services Office.
  • Principal investigators have budget and narrative reporting responsibilities after a grant is approved. Frequently, government grantors require reports to be submitted online. Nearly all grantors establish report deadlines.
  • The Corporate, Foundation, and Government Relations office and the Dean of Faculty's office are here to help. Intent to Submit and Grant Proposal Endorsement forms are available in each office, at the CFGR Web site (www.colby.edu/administration_cs/cfgr/index.cfm) and at the Dean of Faculty's Web site (www.colby.edu/academics_cs/resources/offices/deanoffaculty/).

People Who Can Help with the Grants Administration Process:

Grenier, Seven  x4341 Assistant Director, CFGR(http://www.colby.edu/cfr/)

Gagne, Julia   x4370  Administrative Secretary, CFGR

Kletzer, Lori  x4770   VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, curriculum concerns, matching funds, space/renovations


Pinney-Michaud, Kelly  x4125  Assistant Director, Financial Services Office; purchase orders/purchasing information

Smith, Scott  x4123  Director of Administrative Financial Services; budget issues including indirect costs, summer salaries, budgets

Terp, Douglas  x4770  VP for Administration and Treasurer, budget issues including matching funds, renovations

Wood, Jennifer  x4772   Administrative Secretary, VPs' offices; can help with signature process; maintains encumbrance (accounting) system on grants