Be sure there is a good match between the funding agency's priorities and your project. Most federal agencies and private foundations have grant program officers/directors who are very willing to talk to you about your ideas and how they might fit into their programs.
Discuss your proposal idea and intention to submit a proposal with your Department Chair, the Provost, and the FGFC. The Chair of your department and the Provost are very interested in your work, your intentions, and in helping you to be successful. They need to be able to anticipate any leaves of absence and any departmental or college obligations that might be required if your proposal is successful. Be sure to contact the FGFC at least two weeks ahead of time to schedule a submission.
Plan Grant writing takes time, probably even more time than you expect. Decide on your target deadline and get organized.
Prepare your final proposal carefully, be meticulous with your application. Whether you are applying for a Kenyon Faculty Development Grant or outside funding, a proposal gives a reviewer insight into the nature of the author's care, attention to detail, and the rigor of his or her work. By its very character, a proposal reflects the quality of the author's work, so take the necessary time to craft it well. A strong, clear statement of your project goals and planned activities will reflect your commitment to careful, high quality work. In addition to the help of the Faculty Grants and Fellowships Coordinator (FGFC) and your colleagues, there are several on-line guides that can help you.
Useful Links Guides, Tutorials, Language, Human subjects, Assessment
Know your audience. The funding body will probably specify whether your proposal will be reviewed by scholars in your field or by a more general scholarly or lay audience. Be sure to include enough technical detail for the former or broader explanations for the latter. Be compelling. If possible, read some funded proposals. If you were reviewing a proposal, what would excite you?
Be sure that all parts of the application have been completed and are in the format required. Call on your colleagues as well as the FGFC to review your proposal for content and style. If the language in which you are submitting your proposal is not your first language, find a colleague with expertise in the submission language to review your proposal.
Review your budget. Be sure that costs in all categories are realistically estimated. Inattention to details, unrealistic cost estimates, and budget padding will probably result in your proposal not being funded. Your narrative should explain why you are requesting the items in your project budget. Some applications will include a separate budget narrative. For help with your budget consult with *Kenyon's Senior Accountant.
*All proposals for outside funding must be certified by the Senior Accountant
Timing. Do not wait until the last minute! Online systems may have problems during high traffic times, overnight delivery is a myth. Most funding agencies and foundations are very punctilious about receiving proposals and have very strict deadlines. Many Government agencies require prior registrations of the College and the PI. Do not expect any funder to make exceptions for you! All of the steps to preparing a good proposal take time. Be sure that you have all the steps accomplished in plenty of time to submit the proposal in the required format and in plenty of time to meet the deadline. Last minute submissions may say something to the funding agency about your organizational abilities and work habits.
The FGFC can help you compile, copy, and send or submit your final proposal. Many funding agencies require submissions to be made by the College.