Frequently Asked Questions
Is it necessary to work with the Grant Development team in order to submit a grant proposal?
Yes. The Grant Development team serves as the point-of-contact for TCC grant-seeking efforts. The team assists you in evaluating grant opportunities, assessing the likelihood of success, coordinating proposal development, and helping ensure that institutional approval for grants is obtained. In addition, the Grant Development staff has specific expertise that will increase the competitiveness of grant proposals. The staff has successful experience in helping develop federal, state, foundation and corporate grant proposal.
I have a concept for a grant. What do I do next?
Please start by discussing the concept with your supervisor/Dean. If you receive an encouraging response, please contact Director of Grants at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (850) 201-8760. The Director will provide the information that you need to electronically submit a Proposal Preliminary Approval Form (the so-called “Green Sheet”) that is required by TCC vice presidents to help ensure institutional approval.
Why does a grant proposal require institutional approval?
Since a grant award is a legal obligation and commitment by TCC, due diligence is needed to ensure that appropriate individuals are aware of and approve of a grant proposal before it is developed and submitted to the funder. The TCC District Board of Trustees is legally responsible for all grant expenditures. A number of issues may be considered during the approval process, including the likelihood of funding, ability to charge indirect costs, alignment with the College’s strategic goals, availability of matching funds, and requirements to sustain the project after the funding ends. Submitting the Proposal Preliminary Approval Form helps to ensure that you don’t spend a lot of time developing a grant proposal that is not internally approved or submitted.
I just found out about a grant that is due in a few weeks. Can TCC submit a proposal?
Yes. Please contact your supervisor/Dean and the Director of Grants as soon as possible at email@example.com or (850) 201-8760 to review the grant opportunity. TCC recognizes that some of the most promising grant opportunities often have the shortest time constraints. Although some grant proposals are simple to develop, major federal grant proposals often require weeks of planning and development in order to produce a competitive proposal.
Can I write my own grant?
Yes. As a content area expert, your assistance is vital to developing a competitive proposal. TCC recognizes that all TCC grant proposals are led by faculty and staff. At the same time, most grant awards are so highly competitive that support from the Grant Development staff is needed to help prepare competitive applications on behalf of the college. For example, the last time that TCC won a federal grant award without Grant Development staff support was 1989. After meeting with the Grant Development staff, the actual writing may be a blend of content developed by both parties. For example, the Project Director would develop the Plan of Operation while the Grant Development staff would draft the Evaluation Plan.
My department has been asked to partner on a grant proposal submitted by another organization and/or to provide a letter of commitment for another applicant’s grant proposal. Do I need to contact the Grant Development staff?
Yes. All grant-related items are processed through the Grant Development staff. If you’ve been asked to partner on a grant or provide a letter of support/commitment, please contact your supervisor/Dean and the Director of Grants at firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 201-8760 as soon as possible for assistance. Please be prepared to answer questions regarding the role that TCC would play in the project. Please do not commit the college to any activity without checking with your supervisor/Dean. Working with you and your supervisor/dean, the C&G staff will prepare the partnership letter or proposal and submit the document to the President’s office for signature.
How long does it take to learn about whether a grant has been accepted for funding?
It depends on the funding source and can range from 2 weeks to 12 months. It often takes around 6 months to learn about federal awards.
Still have questions about Grant Development?
Contracts and Grant Management
I’ve been named as Project Director for a new grant. What should I do next?
The C&G Management staff is committed to supporting each Project Director/Principal Investigator in their efforts to achieve their grant goals. Please contact Vanessa Lawrence, TCC Contracts and Grants Manager, at email@example.com or (850) 201-8519 at any time if you have a question regarding the implementation of your project. After Vanessa receives formal notification of a new grant award, she or her staff will contact you to schedule an initial grants management meeting. Members of the project staff and C&G staff will be in attendance. During this meeting the highlights of the grant- including the objectives, reporting and budget requirements, activity implementation, and College grant management protocols will be reviewed. The goal of this first meeting is to clearly define the responsibilities and expectations (of both the funder and the College) associated with the management of the grant. The Project Director’s Checklist and the Authorized Signature Form will need to be completed by the Project Director before a new college account can be created to begin expenditures.
What is the single most important thing I should do as a new project director?
Please be familiar with your approved grant proposal. Your proposal is your blueprint of what you should do, when it needs to be done, who is responsible for it, and what you should accomplish.
How do I know what is allowable under a grant?
Every grant award has a unique set of requirements and regulations. The best place to get started is to look at your approved proposal. If your proposal does not clearly state that you can do or purchase something, please don’t assume it is allowable. Please contact Vanessa Lawrence, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 201-8519 for guidance. The C&G staff is knowledgeable about the public and private rules, regulations, policies and procedures that govern contact and grant awards. Please remember that because it’s a grant, it doesn’t mean that it is exempt from TCC policies and procedures.
How should I respond to a funding sponsor asking for information about my grant?
Before you respond to any inquiry, please contact the C&G staff. We can often help “decode” what the funding sponsor is seeking and help draft a response with the most current information.
Is a grant budget different from a College budget?
Yes. Most contract and grant budgets come with very specific regulations that may restrict the transfers between budget categories, prohibit the purchase of certain goods, or services, and limit the specific timeframe when the funds are available. In many cases, modifications to the originally approved budget require prior approval from the funding sponsor. This approval process (coordinated by the C&G staff) can be very detailed and may require extended time to attain. Please always consult with C&G Management staff when you have restrictions that require prior approval.
What are the reporting requirements related to my grant?
Because every contract and grant award is different, funding sponsors will have different reporting requirements. However, the reporting process for all grants is coordinated and submitted by the college. The TCC Contracts and Grants Office will process and submit all financial reports. The Project Director is responsible for technical/program reporting.
Still have questions about Contracts & Grants Management?