The Grants Connection

Kristian Hargadon with students

Welcome to Spring Semester and 2017. I hope that everyone enjoyed a restful break and an adventure or two!

As we hurtle toward the end of another academic year, I think of the imposition on your time that grants work represents. Our "free" time is in such short supply and so valuable that it becomes important to invest in optimal positioning when creating grant requests. This does not mean simply "best foot forward" - we do that as best we can for each submission. Rather, it means the added value of identifying and including in your proposal key elements of importance to that grantor, linking the grantor's priorities to our own and investing in building the grantor relationship.

"Positioning for Award" will be the focus of our mini in-service at the 2nd annual Grants Celebration on February 23rd. After we enjoy brief presentations from current grants-seekers about the challenges and successes over the past year, I will spend about 15 minutes highlighting the most important tips that will both help you find the optimal position and may make your next proposal process that much smoother.

Please plan to be there - food, fellowship, and a moment to reflect together on your good grants work will make for a beneficial break to the day, that week, and this winter. Look for details in your inbox in early February.

PJ. Townsend
Director of College Grants
Estcourt Annex
Box 637

Current Funding Announcements


Natural Sciences

Social Sciences

Other Opportunities:

Share with your students:

Of General Interest:

Year to Date Awards (as of January 17, 2017) = $728, 277

Find here a running list of submitted and awarded grants. The current awards ticker will be updated on this page in each edition of the Grants Connection.

KUDOS Awards Ticker for last year (January 2016 - June 30, 2016) = $184,551

Proposal Tips of the Month

  1. Did you know that when you have volunteers working on your project, you must include the value of their time in your proposal budget? Independent Sector provides the current valuation for your use - just click on the national map for rates applicable to Virginia.
  2. Coordinating grants work across campus is an important consideration when approaching grantors, especially so that we may avoid multiple people approaching the same grantor at the same time. There may also be other grantor approach considerations such as limitations on submission cycles (i.e., a funded proposal limits a new approach for 5 years). Coordinate within your department; talk with colleagues and your Grants Office to avoid these surprises.
  3. Every grantor wants to know what outcomes resulted from your project. You will be asked as you create the proposal to describe how you will evaluate. Here are points to consider in your response:
    • Will you undertake the evaluation with internal staff or an external consultant? Be prepared to describe the qualifications of whomever you identify as the evaluator (internal or external)
    • What specific goals do you intend for the evaluation? It is not always about achieving the intended outcomes. Sometimes, there is value in assessing whether a methodology was the right one, the target group was reached, or even if an unintended outcome provided insight.
    • What is your evaluative methodology - quantitative or qualitative? Note that this decision will impact your narrative when you are describing project implementation strategies.
    • Who will learn from your evaluation? Project findings are of no value if not shared. Think of dissemination avenues that are both internal and external, and that may include collaborators, regional networks, professional societies and publication.


Use this link to access the Toolbox page, where you will find a library of resources to help you build your proposal.

Featured reports will remain in the Grants Connection, like this month's most interesting reading:  

A Report from the Miller Center at the University of Virginia: Investing in the Future - Sharing Responsibility for Higher Education Attainment

SCHEV 2017 Outstanding Faculty Award Recipients

The John Templeton Foundation: From Learning to Progress