Congratulations! Here's what you need to know to get your grant project off to a good start:
First things first – if the funder notified you directly, please make sure to let the grants office know that your proposal was funded! The grantwriter who worked with you on the proposal will help get things ready on the administrative end. Please share the award letter, and any other documentation you received from the funder, with your partner from the CFSR office.
Read your award materials carefully to see what the requirements are for publicizing your grant. Our colleagues in the Communications office can help you leverage your grant to showcase the great work that you and your students are doing.
Many funders have publicity requirements, such as that Lawrence issue a press release, or that the award is promoted on your project or department webpage. Most funders require their name and logo be included in press releases, brochures, websites, event invitations, or other public messaging related to your grant. Some funders have very specific wording that they want used, and a few of them request or require that you allow them to review and approve press releases before Lawrence issues them.
Grant publicity doesn't end with the initial press release. Keep the PR angle in mind as you carry out grant-funded activities and disseminate your results. Remember to recognize and thank the funder in scholarly publications, posters, presentations, event invitations, or other materials that may result from the grant-funded work.
Even if the funder doesn't require publicity for the grant, it is generally good form to make a habit of thanking them publicly (and sharing copies with them). But do make sure to read and follow the publicity guidelines in the award documents—while many funders require publicity, and others encourage it, a few actually forbid it and want to remain anonymous! The key is to know what your funder's rules are ... and follow them.
Once we have received the award documents, the CFSR staff will prepare a Grant Award Memo. This document summarizes on one page the key information needed by various offices and individuals to successfully carry out the grant. The Grant Award Memo helps ensure that you, your building secretary, your on-campus co-PIs or collaborators, the grants office, the financial services office, the Provost, and any other campus stakeholders are all on the same page about what is required to implement and manage the award.
Along with the Grant Award Memo itself will be distributed key documents to help all these campus stakeholders support your grant project effectively. Typically the supporting documents include a copy of the award letter from the funder, the proposal narrative or summary, any LU letters of support that spell out cost share or institutional commitments, and (on a need-to-know basis) the project budget and justification.
Please save the Grant Award Memo and supporting documents – ideally in an electronic folder devoted specifically to your records related to carrying out the grant project. Almost assuredly, there will be at least one occasion when you will wonder about some detail of the terms of the grant, the budget, when reports are due, etc. Your Grant Award Memo and attachments will be an invaluable resource to help you make sure you are meeting all your responsibilities under the grant.
There are several simple things you can do now, at the very outset of your grant project, that will make life much easier later on:
Re-read your proposal and budget. By now it has probably been several months since you wrote the proposal, and no wonder if your recollection of the details is a little fuzzy. So do yourself a favor and take the time to carefully re-read your proposal and review the budget (both grant funds and any cost share). If you have co-PIs or collaborators, schedule a meeting together to review what exactly you proposed to do and how you proposed to spend the grant money.
Set up a timeline and workplan. After reviewing your proposal and budget, make specific plans for carrying out the grant activities. If you have collaborators, this is especially important. What did you promise to do? Who is responsible for each item? When and how will it get done? What outcomes are you going to measure, and how will you collect and analyze data to evaluate your success? What needs to happen now to get the project up and running?
Put reminders on your calendar for reports due. Remember how many times you've scolded students about not waiting until the night before the due date to start an assignment? Take your own advice. Ensure you aren't frantically scrambling to gather information for a due (or overdue!) report, by setting up reminders on your calendar well in advance of each reporting deadline.
Plan now for what you will report. Find out if you can get a copy of the funder's report format, so you know exactly what information you will be expected to provide in interim and final reports. As you set up your workplan, be intentional about building in documentation and evaluation along the way—so that, when it comes time, filling out the reports will be as easy and stress-free as possible.