Frequently Asked Questions

Why does COCC have a Grants Office?

The Grants Office serves as a resource for all faculty, administrators, or staff at COCC who are seeking grant opportunities for the betterment of the College. The primary role of the Grants Office is to coordinate the process of researching, identifying, drafting, submitting, and reporting on grants. Ultimately, the purpose of the Grants Office is to advance the Mission, Vision, and Core Themes of the College, to prevent duplication of grant writing efforts, and to maximize grant revenue for the College.

Is working with the Grants Office a requirement?

Yes, with multiple programs and departments spread out across campus it is possible to have two or more different departments interested in pursuing the same grant. Having the Grants Office as the point of contact for all College grant-seeking efforts reduces the risk of approaching a funding source more than once with competing grant proposals. Additionally, the Grants Office is able to evaluate grant ideas and funding opportunities, to assess the likelihood of success, to coordinate the application process, and to ensure appropriate approvals are obtained for grant initiation and submittal.

Is it necessary to follow all the steps for the grant application process set by the Grants Office?

Yes, but the Grants Office will help! The grant application process is designed to ensure that key faculty, administrators, and staff are aware of and approve all proposals to be developed and submitted by the College. A number of issues are considered during the approval process, including the likelihood of funding, ability to charge indirect costs, alignment with the College's Mission, availability of matching funds, and requirements to continue the project after the funding ends.

Do I need to contact the Grants Office to collaborate on a grant with another entity, such as a nonprofit in the community or another community college?

Yes. The Grants Office can assist in understanding the requirements and responsibilities of the collaboration. The Grants Office can also ensure that another department within the College is not applying for the same grant.

Who can sign grant and award documents? 

As per the grant application process designed for COCC grant activity, the Grants Office is responsible for obtaining the appropriate signatures. Each grant application will vary slightly on whose signature is required based on the nature of the grant and the departments that will be effected by the grant award. The Grants Office will determine this as the application is drafted and the project becomes clearly defined. 

What is indirect and why do I have to budget for it?

Indirect costs are the costs to run a grant program that are not directly attributable to project activities. For example, consider the following costs incurred by the college; Campus Services (to provide services related to using campus buildings and grounds), Human Resources (to hire staff and address employee-relations issues), Fiscal Services (to pay invoices and ensure fiscal accountability), Institutional Effectiveness (to collect data), and the Grants Office itself. The College's federally approved indirect rate is 38.7%. In general, it is the policy of the College to budget for the maximum indirect allowed by a grant (up to our negotiated rate).

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