Grant Seeking Support

The College of Arts and Sciences has established a number of support programs for Western Michigan University faculty or graduate students seeking external funding.

Proposal submission and signoff procedure

A proposal approval form that summarizes the project, personnel, budget and other characteristics of the proposal is required for all external funding proposals and contracts. The PAF is also used to document the principal investigator's acknowledgement of University regulations and approval for submission of the proposal by University officials.

The PAF is Web-based and can be accessed by logging on to the Office of the Vice President for Research’s Proposal Management Center. Work with your University research officer to ensure accurate completion of the PAF. Should cost-share be part of the proposal, a fund and cost center will be needed to verify from where the funds will be coming. Once the principle investigators have signed off electronically on the proposal, it is routed to chairs or directors, deans and the research office for electronic signatures eliminating the need to "walk around your PAF for signatures." A new feature in the proposal management center allows users to sort and filter the proposals they want to view by such categories as user group, date range and grant state. This enables users to easily identify the status of those proposals they've submitted or approved for submission.

If you access the Web-based PAF from off campus, you must use the University's Virtual Private Network portal to maintain security of the data. The VPN software must be installed on the off-campus computer you will use to log on. Once installed, which takes only a few minutes, the VPN portal can be used to access your current and previous proposal approval forms from off-campus locations.

For more information about the new Web-based PAF or questions about the VPN, call OVPR at (269) 387-8270 or contact your research officer.

Getting help

Two associate deans in the college have responsibilities for supporting and encouraging the funding efforts. The associate deans:

  • Are knowledgeable in research areas within the college
  • Have extensive experience in grant preparation and grant writing
  • Can provide support in developing budgets, seeking funding sources and in finding collaborators for interdisciplinary research projects
  • Assist faculty in getting university cost share for projects
  • Are helpful after obtaining the grant in getting the project started on time and providing advice on hiring and other areas needed to service the grant
  • Take periodic trips with faculty to Washington to visit granting agencies

The college budget staff:

  • Helps design budgets for grants
  • Checks budgets before signoff
  • Reviews the proposal approval form prior to signing by deans
  • Has information about current and projected salaries, fringe rates and equipment matches
  • Helps with hiring on grants once awarded