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Library, Museums and Press Grant Training

Once you have identified a funding opportunity, you must follow the steps below before beginning the writing of your grant and formally applying. Use these steps and your grant proposal’s published deadlines to create a proposal timeline. Click on Sample Proposal Timeline tile on UD Proposal Development Guide for an example of a proposal timeline. Keep in mind the 3 Business Day Internal Proposal Deadline Policy when preparing your proposal timeline.


This grant-writing checklist was adapted, in part, from the University of Maine:

Step 1: Communicate with your reporting chain

Before moving forward with any grant applications, you must contact your supervisor, LEC representative and the Vice Provost. Once approved, you must include the Financial Administrator in the process.

Step 2: Submit a Grant Interest Form

Complete an online Grant Interest Form so your grant application can be added to the Library, Museums and Press Comprehensive Grants Document.

Step 3: Make review appointments early

Read the grant solicitation carefully. Determine whether letters of support are needed. If yes, then consult with your LEC representative, Vice Provost and Grant Manager in the Research Office on the necessary procedures as early as possible. Letters of support have to have several signatures of people outside the LMP for completion.

Contact the Library, Museums, and Press Research Administrator (Doris Miklitz) and request an introduction to Karen Steuernagle, Research Office Grant Manager, who processes the application (pre-award work). Since the Research Office is entirely remote, interactions are either via email or zoom, as needed. Share with Karen the grant announcement or solicitation and deadline dates for planning. The Research Office requires proposals to be submitted for review and submission to sponsors a minimum of 72 hours (3 business days) before the deadline. This ensures fullest review and time for updates/corrections before submission and improves chances of winning the grant.

The Department Research Administrator (Doris) should be copied on communications during the process and doesn't work on a grant until after it's awarded. Deadlines can be variable, so the PI should consider how much time is needed to prepare for submission.


Step 4: Develop your proposal outline based on the Request for Proposals (RFP)

Make sure you follow all of the rules of the grant as outlined in the solicitation. Sometimes there are length or other requirements that you should be aware of before beginning your proposal.

Step 5: Write your proposal and budget draft

You know more about your proposed project than anyone else. You will be responsible for writing the proposal. You should have an idea of how many people will be assigned to the project and at what percentage of project participation. You will need to work with the FA to complete a budget draft. You will be responsible for securing and sharing quotes from vendors, and they will be able to help determine employee compensation (if applicable). The FA will help develop the budget but you may also need to write a budget justification template.

Step 6: Solicit and incorporate feedback into the proposal

Share the proposal with the grant team members, partners, Financial Administrator, and other interested parties and set a deadline for when to submit feedback.

Step 7: Check that your proposal meets all of the requirements and compile the proposal application

  • Grant proposals can be rejected if they don’t meet specific formatting guidelines or are missing important information. See the funding agency’s requirements for exact details. Some things you should check carefully are:

  • Name of the grantor

  • Address/ where to send the proposal

  • Your contact information

  • Appropriate headings numbered/labeled corresponding to the guidelines

  • Page/word number limits for each of the sections

  • Budget format, accuracy, and completeness of the narrative

  • Appropriate and all needed appendices, including required letters of commitment

  • Page/style requirements (spacing, font type, and size, type of paper, stapling, binding, colors, etc.)

  • Documentation of necessary matching funds

  • Required approval signatures

Step 8: At least three business days before the due date, submit the final proposal and budget

  • The Research Office is responsible for reviewing the proposal and submitting it to the funding agency by the deadline. 

  • The Grants Manager (Karen Steuernagle) from the Research Office will work with you to fine-tune or make corrections to the proposal. Copy the Library, Museums and Press Research Administrator (Doris) on all communication. 

  • Per the Research Office website, the proposal package you submit should include the following:

    1. Program Solicitation
    2. Fully-Approved Proposal Webform
    3. Statement of Work (SOW) and/or Abstract.
      1. Final Science/Technical content must be provided to the Research Office no less than 9 business hours prior to the agency deadline.
    4. Detailed Budget
    5. Budget Justification
    6. Subaward Documents (SOW, Budget, Budget Justification, etc.)
    7. Up-to-Date Conflict of Interest Disclosure (per the COI Policy)
    8. Other Components (per Sponsor and UD requirements)

Step 9: Keep track of the funding agency’s decision process to determine if the grant is awarded.

  • For small, non-federal awards the applicant is usually notified. Private foundation grants involve the Development Office (Foundation Relations). Federal and state awards communicate with the RO and the applicant. When the RO is notified of the award, they set up the account that we use to track finances. 

  • Plan for publicizing the grant award. Publicizing is great exposure for the University and the Library, Museums and Press. Include the Communications team when a grant is awarded to properly publicize/communicate the award to the University and public.

Step 10: Manage your grant once it is funded

  • Roles and Responsibilities This matrix breaks down who does what for the project.

  • Keep track of all project deadlines.

  • Submit any required project reports on time via the RO. The RO will submit to the sponsor on your behalf.

  • Submit mandatory effort certification reports for federal grants as they are provided by your FA. These are issued in March and September each year.

  • Communicate activities to your project team, supervisor, LEC representative, and the Library’s FA (as needed and as appropriate)

  • University of Delaware Resources:

    • UDataGlance: Access the award budget and expenditure information for direct sponsor funding and cost share (PI and FA access).

    • Grant Management Guide: Access UD resources to complete administrative tasks throughout the award lifecycle.

    • Sponsor Terms & Conditions: Review general sponsor guidelines, terms, and conditions applicable to the award.

    • Responsible Conduct of Research: Review UD policies to ensure ethical and compliant research conduct.

    • Automated Closeout Reports (ACR): Manage interim financial reports and closeout for the award. The Research Administrator completes this with occasional input from the PI.