Do you have an idea in mind for a research project or creative endeavor that could merit financial support and additional resources? Review the steps for proposing and securing funding.

Phase 1: Formulate an Idea

Discuss your idea with your Department Chair and Proposal Manager to amplify the idea and determine key concepts.

Contact your unit's Proposal Manager

Your project may be eligible for funding either from federal agencies or our own programs at Ball State University. Visit our Funding Opportunities Page for resources that can assist you in your external funding search. Use key concepts and keywords to identify similar priorities and like interests with funding agencies. Visit sponsor websites to acquire guidelines and application requirements.

Review the proposed project with your academic leadership to inform them of time and funding needs. Also make sure to discuss your project with other services or departments you might need. Obtain their verbal support prior to contacting Sponsored Projects.

Phase 2: Lay the Groundwork

Draft a proposal according to sponsor or agency guidelines. Make notations of project budgetary needs along with written notes.

Contact your proposal manager early in this process for assistance and a proposal development timeline in accordance with the Proposal Submission Policy.

Call, email, or visit your sponsor to ask questions and discuss the project. Conversations with a funder’s program officers can be critical to the success of a proposal. Your Proposal Manager can facilitate this conversation as needed.

For projects involving partnerships among Ball State departments and/or with external partners, ensure that all parties agree to their commitments.

Sponsors may require letters of support and/or commitment.

Phase 3: Write and Submit a Proposal

Identify proposal elements and craft contents according to specifications in guidelines. Work with your Proposal Manager for proposal review and budget development. Get feedback from colleagues to ensure clarity and completeness. 

Your Proposal Manager will start a proposal record in Cayuse and use your final draft application and final budget, as well as other application materials to route for University approvals. The project team will be required to complete assurances, route the proposal, and certify the proposal. Once routed, your proposal will be reviewed and approved by your chair, finance director, and dean, before being reviewed by SPA.

Work with your Proposal Manager to finalize last details prior to submission. All final materials are required to SPA three business days in advance of the sponsor deadline for final review. For electronic submission, work with your Proposal Manager to determine who will submit. For paper submissions, SPA typically handles copies, media needs, and mailing in advance of a deadline.

If you are funded, celebrate and let us know! Our office manages all awards made to Ball State faculty. We will assist with all reporting and post-award grant activity.

If you are not funded, inform SPA and seek comments for next submission.