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The Grants Development Office (GDO) is responsible for coordinating all campus activity related to externally funded grants and contracts. Its mission is to assist the faculty and staff of California Polytechnic State University in every way possible to successfully pursue external grant and contract support for research, creative activity, professional development, instructional programs, and other special initiatives sanctioned by the University. GDO assistance is available for all phases of grant development including sponsor search; project design; writing; campus approval; production, mailing and follow-up; contract negotiation; and post-award liaison.

A resource library, containing source books on funding and handbooks on proposal writing is available for faculty and staff reference. The Office periodically presents general interest grant development workshops and will provide special seminars for departments and colleges by arrangement. A series of informational materials on various aspects of external grant development has been prepared by GDO specifically for Cal Poly faculty and is available in the Office.

The Grants Development Office maintains up-to-date files on funding opportunities for research, curriculum development, and other sponsored activities. Information is maintained on federal and state agencies and on private and corporate foundations. Current application forms for most major sponsors and fellowship programs are also available or will be obtained by GDO as necessary. The Office provides interpretation of guidelines and/or obtains clarification from funding agencies as necessary. GDO also provides guidance and advice to faculty on planning approaches to professional development and appropriate grant programs for initiating and continuing their research efforts.

Notices are posted on the Grants Development Office website. Posted notices include:

  • News about federal and state appropriations for research and grant programs,
  • News about other grant related activities or events,
  • Deadlines of current grant programs or requests for proposals,
  • Tips on proposal writing and grant development strategy,
  • A forum to discuss matters affecting research and sponsored project development at Cal Poly.

A Faculty Interest Database is maintained in which research and creative activity interests submitted by individual faculty are sorted by area, subject, and academic discipline. The Grants Development Office receives and reviews a number of newsletters and other publications, including the Federal Register, for information on grant deadlines. Faculty participating in the database are alerted to opportunities in their fields through e-mail, personal memos or telephone calls.

The GDO provides assistance to individual faculty and interdisciplinary teams in the identification of potential sponsors for specific projects, in developing appropriate concept statements and proposals for presentation to such sponsors, and in facilitating communication linkages with funding agency program officers.

Once a sponsor has been selected and a proposal has been drafted, the Office reviews the proposal and makes suggestions, as needed, regarding style, structure, format, presentation and adherence to guidelines. GDO may, as appropriate, coordinate the writing of interdisciplinary proposals on behalf of faculty and administrators. The GDO assists in the development of project budgets; provides capability and background statements on University resources, faculty, history of activities in a given field, and other standard University background materials often required by sponsors; and prepares all institutional forms and certifications to meet federal and state requirements.

The Grants Development Office works with the principal investigator and the Office of Research and Graduate Studies to secure human subjects or animal care and use committee approval when necessary.

The Grants Development Office is the campus clearinghouse for all sponsored projects, whether generated through proposals or direct grants. The Office provides full logistical support in the final preparation, review and submission of proposals to meet sponsor deadlines. When a proposal is ready to be sent off campus, the GDO approves the proposal for format, budget, and sponsor requirements and coordinates the required presubmission institutional review and approval of the proposal by University and Foundation administrators. Institutional review of direct contracts and awards is also coordinated by the GDO prior to establishment of an account by the Foundation or the University business office.

The Grants Development Office develops and maintains model research agreements for various types of projects as well as contract "boilerplate" for use in negotiation of sponsor agreements. When an award is made, the Cal Poly Foundation Sponsored Programs Department usually provides post-award administration, although some projects are administered by University Accounting.The GDO coordinates pre-award contract negotiation in consultation with the Sponsored Programs Department or Business Affairs. The Grants Development Office maintains continuing liaison with the post-award offices on sponsored projects to provide assistance as needed in resolving post-award problems. The stages and relationships in the sponsored project development process are illustrated in Attachment B.

The Grants Development Office is located in building 38, room 152; telephone 805-756-2982.