Grant Application Life Cycle
The flowchart below provides an overview of the grant application process from idea stage to approval to opening the cost centre. Click on the boxes below or scroll down the page to read more about each step.
Idea/ Planning Stage: Researcher Meets with Grant Facilitator to:
- Make sure you are eligible to hold a grant with VIU. If you are not a regular/on-going faculty member you may need to apply to be eligible to hold a grant.
- Choose the best granting agency and determine eligibility.
- Choose the best granting program/ opportunity.
- Determine if this is to be a team or individual application.
- Discuss the type/stage of this opportunity (e.g. letter of intent, development grant, full proposal).
- Review the specific grant criteria and instructions.
- Discuss application format guidelines (e.g. proposal and CV).
Draft Proposal Reviewed by Grants Facilitator:
If you would like feedback on the content (structure, reviewer criteria, proofreading and editing) then the Grants Facilitator will need your application/proposal three weeks in advance to:
- Review according to the grant agency assessment criteria;
- Review for adherence to proposal format prescribed;
- Review for clarity and understanding;
- Review budget and matching funds commitments; and
- Provide overall comments as an informed reviewer.
Completion of the Institutional Signature Sheet:
All research applications require an accompanying Institutional Signature Sheet. This document records institutional commitments (cash and in-kind), ethics certifications required, etc. made at the time of the application submission.The Grants Facilitator can assist in preparing this document, and it is strongly recommended that it be reviewed by the Facilitator for accuracy prior to you circulating it for signature.
Proposal attached to Institutional Signature Sheet and Department and Faculty Signatures Obtained:
The proposal and the Institutional
Signature Sheet must be circulated together in order to obtain the authorizing
signatures from your Department Chair, the Dean of the Faculty, and any Directors
you may report to (e.g. Director of a Research Centre).
Every grant application, letter of intent, or letter of support (that includes a cash and/or in-kind contribution) needs to have authorizing signatures from various people at the intuition. This ensures that those that need to know about your plans for the research are in-the-know.
For example, your Department Chair needs to know out of courtesy and in case workloads or department resources need to be adjusted. Likewise, if you are working under the auspices of a research centre or institute, that Director needs to know of any proposed use of centre/institute equipment, facilities, personnel, and/or funds.
Your Dean provides the final department-level review and signs to confirm the eligibility and appointment of the applicant and to signify awareness of faculty research activities and acceptance of resource commitments, including institutional cash and/or the in-kind commitment(s) listed. Any budget requests listed will need the Dean to assign a cost centre so that Finance knows where those commitments are coming from.
You need to start this process at least three weeks before the application needs to be sent off. We realize that time can be tight, and as long as the attached proposal is in a good draft form (ie. the substance is not changing, nor is any VIU resource commitments or the overall budget changing), then there is not a problem with attaching a draft copy when asking the Department Chair or Dean to sign.
NOTE: VIU has an indirect cost guideline of 25% of cash contributions (i.e. over and above the full expenses of the grant). For more information please check the guideline here.
The budget section on the Institutional Signature Sheet only needs budget figures IF the project requires some financial or in-kind funds from VIU to help support the project. Don’t forget to list any other types of in-kind resources needed such as additional office space, space for student assistants, etc. The intent here is to make sure discussions for these resources take place and everyone agrees before the grant proposal is submitted rather than trying to reconstruct the commitments after the grant is approved.
Proposal & Institutional Signature Sheet submitted to the Research Scholarly Activity Office for Review and to Arrange for Signature by the Vice-President of Academic and Provost:
One working week prior to the agency deadline, the application and Institutional Signature Sheet containing signatures of the applicant, Department Chair, Centre/Institute Director (if applicable) and Dean must be submitted to the Research & Scholarly Activity Office for review and approval by the Director of Research Services and the Vice-President of Academic and Provost. The Research & Scholarly Activity Office will organize the review and signature by the Vice-President of Academic and Provost. Applications will not be submitted until the appropriate authorizations at each level are obtained.
The Research & Scholarly Activity Office will ensure your application gets submitted whether online or paper copy and the Grants Facilitator will e-mail you an exact copy of what was submitted.
Upon receipt of the official Notice of Award by the Research & Scholarly Activity Office, the Grants Facilitator will contact the applicant, their Dean/Director and Department Chair to advise them of the outcome of the application.
If the applicant receives the notice of award directly, we request a copy be sent to the Grants Facilitator as soon as possible.
All successful research grants will be assigned a cost centre within the Research range. Cost centre paperwork will be prepared by the Research & Scholarly Activity Office and forwarded via e-mail to the researcher with instructions for completion. The respective Dean and Secretary will be copied on the e-mail.
Within one week of receipt, the cost centre forms should be completed by the researcher. A completed cost centre package should consist of the 1) cost centre request form; 2) Funding Agency Notice of Award; 3) ethics certifications (if applicable); 4) budget cashflow form(s) for each year of the grant; 5) cost centre signing authority forms. The researcher is required to fill out the forms and obtain all the required signatures. Signing authority forms for anyone other than the researcher must be authorized by the researcher and not the Dean.
The authorizing signature of the Dean is required on the cost centre paperwork. The researcher should return the whole package to the Research & Scholarly Activity Office.
Upon receipt, the Research Office reviews the cost centre package for completeness and ensures that any ethical (human/animal/biohazard) certifications required are in place. The cost centre paperwork is then forwarded to Finance. Cost centre paperwork is only forwarded to Finance for activation once all certifications are in place.
Finance will activate the cost centre and funds will be available (if received) for the researcher’s use.
Governance (e.g. Notice of Award, Eligible Expenses) Documents Uploaded to the Financial Records System (FRS):
Once the cost centre is active, governance documents, including the Notice of Award, Institutional Signature Sheet, certification documentation, web links to the granting Agency's guidelines for financial management, etc. will be uploaded to the cost centre and available to anyone with signing or viewing access. If a reporting template is provided by the agency, this will also be uploaded for easy access. Note that access to the funds in the cost centre will be suspended if appropriate certification, including renewals if required, are not obtained.
Once the cost centre is open and governance documents uploaded, the Research Services Manager meets with the researcher(s) and applicable budget personnel to review the cost centre, signing authorities, guidelines for eligible expenditures, ethics renewals, etc. An in-depth Financial Records System (FRS) orientation can be arranged if required.