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External Grants Programs

Finding Funding

Who might be interested in funding my research/creative project?

This is often the first question faculty pose as they begin the grant writing process. OSPR is here to help you answer this question using a variety of online tools.

SPIN Searchable Database

This database of funding opportunities (maintained by Infoed International) offers the following functionality:

  • Search by simple keywords.
  • Advanced searches limited by criteria of importance to you (sponsor type, citizenship requirements, etc.).
  • Faculty are welcome to explore the database on their own—it should be available from any Keene State College computer by clicking on the link to the left.
  • OSPR will provide individual training for new users of the database, if desired. Please contact Susan Ericson-West to schedule an appointment.
SMARTS Automated Alerts Once KSC faculty develop a set of search criteria within SPIN that works well for them, they may register to receive automated email alerts from Infoed's SMARTS system as it periodically searches for matches. SMARTS requires a user log-in to set up your alert preferences. Please contact Susan Ericson-West to establish your log-in information and to schedule an individual training session, if desired.
Request a Custom Search OSPR is happy to conduct customized funding searches for you. Please contact Susan Ericson-West with a brief description of your funding needs to request assistance.
Foundation Center Directory OSPR maintains a subscription to the Foundation Center Directory. The system restricts the number of users that can be simultaneously logged-in, so please contact Susan Ericson-West for assistance with a search of this system.
OSPR Funding Opportunity Summaries

OSPR maintains a list of the funding opportunities likely to be of most interest to our faculty, organized by the following disciplines/categories:

Although each of these tools provides basic summary information (deadlines etc), you are encouraged to follow-up on any leads by visiting the sponsor's website directly. Databases, while helpful, may not always have the latest updates from every sponsor.

Preparing Your Proposal

OSPR is here to provide consultation and technical assistance as you prepare your proposal. We strive to provide individualized assistance—which means the manner in which we assist you throughout the process will depend upon your unique needs and prior grant-writing experience. The single most important thing you can do to make this a successful collaboration is to meet with OSPR early in the process so that we may determine an appropriate plan for assisting you. Below are some common ways in which OSPR assists in the process—please discuss these or any other needs you might have with us.

  • Discussing possible funding sources and the relative fit of your project with various agencies.
  • Locating and reviewing sponsor application guidelines with you, ensuring we have an understanding of what is required by the sponsor.
  • Providing guidance and/or templates for the preparation of various aspects of the proposal.
  • Providing samples of previously funded applications, when available.
  • Developing your proposal budget with you using the KSC Internal Budget Template.
  • Completing routine, administrative portions of the application, such as cover sheets, budget pages, etc.
  • Providing boilerplate language regarding the institution (please make us aware of such needs so that we may develop appropriate materials if they do not yet exist).
  • Reviewing drafts and providing editorial assistance, if requested. Please allow enough time for review and revision prior to submission.
  • Facilitating the inclusion of required institutional letters (e.g., from OSPR, the Provost or President).
  • Reviewing the final proposal and budget to ensure it meets sponsor and KSC guidelines and policies.
  • Shepherding the final proposal through the internal approval process, using the KSC Proposal Routing Form (please allow one week to complete this process).

Proposal Writing Guides

Each sponsor typically has their own requirements for proposal content and format, and it is important to adhere to those guidelines precisely. Contact OSPR for assistance in locating the guidelines for a particular sponsor. Beyond the formal guidelines, first time applicants to a sponsor often benefit from advice from others familiar with a certain agency. The below resources have been compiled to help inform your proposal writing.


American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

National Science Foundation (NSF)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Developing Your Budget

Because the federal government is a primary sponsor of research and other scholarly activities of Keene State College, the cost policies of the federal government, contained in OMB Circular A-21, set the standard with regard to budgeting for all sponsored projects, regardless of sponsor type. Please work with OSPR to develop your official proposal budget to ensure adherence to:

  • Specific budgeting requirements of the sponsor
  • KSC policies and procedures
  • Federal cost principles

OSPR will prepare your budget information in the KSC Internal Budget Template, making any adjustments as needed to accommodate specific sponsor requirements. OSPR will also translate your internal budget into any required sponsor budget forms for you.

Can I put that in my grant budget? Under federal cost principles (OMB Circular A-21), in order for a cost to be charged to a sponsored agreement it must be:

  • Reasonable: A “prudent person” would judge this to be a reasonable expense to this sponsored project.
  • Allocable: The goods or services can be directly identified with (shown to benefit) this sponsored project.
  • Consistently Treated: Costs incurred for the same purpose in like circumstances must be treated consistently (either as a Direct Cost or as a Facilities & Administrative Cost).
  • Allowable: The costs are permitted for reimbursement under the terms of the award set forth by the sponsor.
Allowability of Costs: General Guidelines
Direct Cost Normal Treatment

Salaries, Wages, and Benefits

Personnel costs are allowable as a direct cost to a sponsored project to the extent supported by actual effort performed on the project and approved in the award budget. Periodic effort certifications will be used to document the actual effort performed. An individual’s base salary must be used to compute the cost charged to a sponsored agreement.

Please note that faculty may not receive more than their regular annual salary as a result of participation in sponsored projects during the academic year. A faculty member on a 9-month contract may be paid summer salary (supplemental pay over and above the 9-month academic year salary) for effort contributed to a sponsored project during the 3-month summer period.

You may find a full explanation of KSC policy on budgeting for faculty/staff salaries, including the KSC Supplemental Pay Under Sponsored Agreements Policy, in the OSPR Policy page.

Faculty often ask whether they can request funding from a sponsor to “buy-out” of a course, freeing-up time to focus on the work of the grant. The College deems one course to be equal to 10% of your academic year time. Therefore, you should plan to request 10% of your academic year salary (plus fringes) for a course release, commensurate with anticipated effort to be expended. Please be sure to discuss this possibility with your chair and dean.
Entertainment Costs Generally unallowable, unless specifically approved by sponsor.
Alcohol Unallowable.
Materials & Supplies

Project Supplies: Allowable so long as can be identified as “exclusively for the support of” the sponsored project.

General Office Supplies: anything that could likely be used for purposes other than the specific sponsored project are unallowable (e.g., staplers, pens, etc.). If a computer is needed specifically for a project and will be dedicated solely to the project, it is allowable.
Telephone Charges

Local Telephone (including monthly instrument charges): Unallowable Long Distance Telephone: Allowable if specifically tied to the sponsored project.

Postage Allowable if project requires large mailings.

Allowable if specifically benefitting the project.

Foreign Travel using federal funds: US Flag Carrier rules apply. May require sponsor prior approval.
Professional Services (Consultants) Generally allowable. Check sponsor guidelines for details.
Subrecipient Costs A subrecipient agreement is established when programmatic effort under a sponsored agreement is to be carried out by another institution. Although most sponsors generally allow such arrangements, they need to be specified in the approved proposal. Transferring programmatic effort to another institution after the award has been issued generally requires prior approval by the sponsor.
*Information adapted for use with permission from "Sponsored Research Administration: A Guide to Effective Strategies and Recommended Practices," co-published by the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) and Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS), 2008.

Including (or Being) a Subrecipient

If you plan to include another institution on your proposal as a subrecipient (subcontractor/subaward), please inform OSPR early in the proposal preparation process. Sponsors typically require such arrangements to be formally stated in the proposal document. The following paperwork is therefore required from the collaborating institution's office of sponsored projects or equivalent institutional authority prior to proposal submission:

  • Letter of Intent to Collaborate signed by the collaborating institution's authorized official (typically the Director of Sponsored Projects or equivalent). Click here for a template.
  • Statement of Work detailing the role the collaborator will play, with any specific responsibilities or deliverables.
  • Detailed Budget and Budget Justification (narrative).

If you or your potential collaborator has questions, please direct them to Penny Miceli, Director of OSPR.

If you have been asked to perform work on another institution's grant proposal as a subrecipient, please work with OSPR in the same way you normally would when putting together a proposal. These "subcontracts" are handled in just the same way, and OSPR will assist you in putting together the required materials, and routing them through the KSC approval process.

Institutional Codes

The following institutional codes are often required elements of external grant proposal.

The following institutional codes are often required elements of external grant proposal.
Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Rate

60.00% of Salary and Wages
Date of Agreement: July 22, 2013
Dates Covered:7/1/2013-6/30/2016
Cognizant Agency: DHHS

Federal Tax Identification # 02-6000937
DUNS # 110379158
Human Subjects FWA #

00001990 Expires:
July 23, 2019

USNH Fringe Benefit Rates FY14

Full: 46.3%
Partial (Basic): 7.9%
Post-doc: 29.90%

USNH Fringe Benefit Rates FY15

Full: 38.5%
Partial (Basic): 7.7%
Post-doc: 27.9%

Congressional District NH-002


Routing for Approval

When submitting a proposal to an external sponsor it is important to note that awards are almost always made to the institution rather than to the individual faculty member. KSC acts as the fiscal agent and is responsible for making certain the terms of the award are fulfilled. Therefore, all proposals must undergo an institutional approval process in which the proposal is routed for sign-off by the following individuals prior to submission:

  • Principal Investigator (PI)
  • Co-Investigators (Keene State College faculty who will also be devoting time/effort to the project)
  • Department Chair(s) of the PI and Co-Investigators
  • Dean(s) of the PI and Co-Investigators
  • Director of OSPR
  • Vice President (Typically the Provost for faculty-led proposal).

OSPR will assist in the routing process by preparing a proposal folder containing all necessary materials and by shepherding the folder around campus for signature. The following items should be provided to OSPR one week in advance to begin the process:

  • Proposal Routing Form (OSPR will assist you in completing this)
  • KSC Internal Budget Sheet (OSPR will assist you in completing this)
  • Documentation of any cost-share/matching fund commitments (e.g., email from units on campus committing funds)
  • Proposal documents as required by the sponsor

Note, although it is possible to begin the routing process with a near-complete draft of the proposal narrative, the budget should be in final form before routing it for signatures.

Submitting Your Proposal

Before an application for a grant to a government agency, foundation, corporation, or other entity can be submitted, it must be routed for approval and submitted to the Office of Sponsored Projects and Research (OSPR).

Applicants are encouraged to begin the approval process well in advance of the proposal deadline. The College reserves the right to withdraw applications that have not received institutional endorsements prior to submission. If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact OSPR (Penny Miceli 8-2427, Janet Albarado 8-2780, or Susie Ericson-West 8-2046).

Sponsor guidelines will usually dictate the how your proposal is to be submitted.

For paper (hardcopy) submissions, OSPR is happy to submit your application to the sponsor on your behalf, covering any associated shipping costs.

Many sponsors now have electronic submission systems. OSPR is happy to interact with these submission systems for you, uploading your required information and documents. Some submission systems allow only the Authorize Organizational Representative (AOR) to submit proposals, and require an institutional registration in advance. For most of these systems, OSPR is already registered. Contact OSPR if you have questions.

Other Helpful Links

For Additional Information Contact Susan Ericson-West, Office of Sponsored Projects & Research (603-358-2046)


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