- There are many funding opportunities available through federal programs across the disciplines. The C&F Office can assist you with both identifying potential funding sources and with preparing and submitting your application.
- Once a potential program is identified, you should carefully read and follow all proposal guidelines and application instructions.
- Federal applications usually require strict adherence to document formatting such as font, type size, margins, and page length, so pay careful attention to these instructions as you prepare your files.
- Federal applications are subject to a number of federal and agency regulations and restrictions, particularly regarding budgetary matters. Be sure to check the list of Unallowable Costs to make sure your proposed expenses fall within compliance guidelines.
- One important federal regulation to be aware of is the "Fly America" Act, which requires federal grantees to use domestic carriers for grant-related travel.
- In accordance with federal and University policies, all federal proposal applicants are required to complete the "Financial Disclosure Statement for Principal Investigators of Sponsored Activities" form.
Grants.gov is the U.S. government's main portal to search for federal funding opportunities and to submit an application. Since most federal funding agencies require that the institutional Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) sign and submit applications via Grants.gov, it is not necessary for PIs to register individually--the C&F Office will submit your application. Exceptions include the NEH Fellowship and Summer Stipend applications.
IMPORTANT! Your application should be ready to submit at least five business days before the deadline, since your proposal will need to be validated by both Grants.gov and the federal agency. This will also enable us to correct promptly any errors identified by the validation process.
The steps below explain how to find and download a grant application:
- On the Grants.gov website, click on "Apply for Grants" in the left-hand column.
- There are a variety of search options you can use (e.g, search by keyword, category, or agency). Use one of the search options to identify the Funding Opportunity Number (FON) and/or CFDA number you are seeking.
- Finally, download the application package for your opportunity and enter the FON or CFDA number in the indicated field.
National Science Foundation (NSF)
NSF proposals are usually submitted through Fastlane, the agency's online portal, although applicants may have the option to submit via Grants.gov. Carefully review your program announcement to determine whether your application can be submitted via Fastlane.
- The C&F Office is SLU's Sponsored Research Office (SRO) and submits all NSF proposals.
- First Time Users: Carol Smith (email@example.com; x5574) can set you up as a new user to Fastlane. You will be assigned a user ID and password, which you can use to access the site. You can then reset your password to access your account, either as Principal Investigator (PI) or as Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI).
- Starting Your Proposal: Log into Fastlane and select "Proposals, Awards, & Status." Then select "Proposal Preparation" and follow the prompts. All your work will be saved until the next time you log in to update your files.
- Since only the C&F Office can submit your proposal, you must give us "SRO access" to the proposal. In the Fastlane "Proposal Forms Preparation" page, click on "Allow SRO Access" and select "Allow SRO to view, edit and submit proposal" access level. Our office will then be notified that the proposal is ready to submit. Please note that you can continue to edit and update your proposal files after giving access to C&F.
- After the C&F Office submits your proposal, it will be listed under "Submitted Proposals." A Proposal ID will be assigned, and e-mail notifications will be sent to all SRO representatitves, as well as the PI of the proposal.
Helpful NSF Links:
NSF Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide
NSF Fastlane System