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Apply for a Grant

Professor Liliya Yatsunyk and Students



Proposal writing can help you become a better scholar, teacher, and researcher. Think about whether and how grants fit into your long-range professional plans, including promotion and tenure (we strongly recommend discussing planned grant proposals with your department chair, colleagues and mentors).

External Grants Process 

  • Preparing your application may take weeks or months, and receiving a response could take six months to a year, so get started well in advance of the application deadline.
  • Think about whether and how grants fit into your long-range professional plans, including promotion and tenure (we strongly recommend discussing planned proposals with your department chair, colleagues and mentors).
  • Strategize about what steps or resources will better position you to be funded (for example, collecting preliminary data, finding collaborators with complementary expertise, leveraging experience with smaller grants to secure funding from large agencies, etc.).
  • If your research will involve human subjects and/or identifiable private information about them, consult Swarthmore's Institutional Review Board.
  • If you need letters from colleagues or collaborators, request them early. Note the difference between letters of collaboration (which briefly state the intent to collaborate, often in a prescribed format) versus letters of support (which include endorsements or the project and/or PI).
  • Consult the Institutional Effectiveness, Research & Assessment office website for assessment resources and institutional data and consider what additional Swarthmore data may strengthen your case-building.
  • Get advice on your broader impacts initiatives from the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility.
  • Consult the Research Data Management LibGuide for help with data management plans.
  • Draft a concept paper and a rough budget (if required by sponsor) to facilitate conversations with program officers. (For foundations, please notify before reaching out.) For agencies like NSF or NIH, you may provide a draft of your project summary or specific aims. 
  • Initiate a proposal record in Cayuse by completing basic proposal details (e.g. funding opportunity, deadline) on the Proposal Information tab. In addition, you may also reach out for assistance to
  • Draft your full proposal narrative (see Develop Your Proposal) and budget justification (see Institutional Data for Proposals).
  • If you need an institutional letter of support we will draft one for the Provost's signature.
  • Ask a colleague (ideally, one who has received the same sort of grant) to read your draft and give you feedback. Sponsored Programs staff are available to proofread and/or make editorial suggestions and can provide targeted information about various aspects of the College to enhance your proposal.
  • You may also inquire about receiving additional strategic grant proposal development support from an outside consultant. Please contact Sponsored Programs staff for more details. For certain resources, a minimum of 1-2 months advance notice may be needed. Please be in touch for details.
  • Complete the Cayuse Sponsored Projects (SP) Form as early as possible in order to receive institutional approvals for your project (see Submit Your Proposal page for more details).
  • Once Sponsored Programs has obtained institutional approvals, we may submit your proposal (or you may submit in the case of individual fellowships/grants).
  • Please notify Sponsored Programs regarding your proposal outcome so we can initiate the award set-up process, track your grant's reporting requirements, consult about proposal revision and re-submission, and/or make other funding suggestions.

Internal Grant Opportunities

As you begin to research external grant funding, it can also be helpful to familiarize yourself with grant opportunities the College provides. The following Pivot list is updated regularly with internal funding sources (please contact the awarding office for more information and support).