Hamilton College recognizes the importance of securing external support for faculty research and scholarship, and the college supports efforts by the faculty to seek grant funding. The purpose of this policy is to establish the administrative actions necessary for an efficient and compliant process for grant proposal development and submission at Hamilton College.

This policy shall apply to externally funded programs conducted at Hamilton College or by its employees or students, and shall include both primary awards from external sponsors and subawards from other institutions.  Letters of support or collaboration, to the extent that they commit College resources, shall also be subject to this policy.

This policy does not apply to applications for general support or to awards where college resources are not involved, the college is not a party to the agreement, and no release time is required.


Principal Investigators (PI) seeking to receive funding from an external sponsor must consult with the PI’s Department Chair prior to starting proposal development, particularly if release time or a reduction in teaching or administrative duties will be necessary. The PI should also confirm that laboratory space or other building-related issues are resolved.

If the proposal will require financial support from the Grant Activity Fund, the PI should submit a request to the appropriate Associate Dean at least three weeks prior to the deadline.

PIs must consult with the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) during proposal development for assistance with addressing sponsor guidelines, establishing the project budget, and ensuring compliance with relevant federal, state, and/or college requirements.

All proposals must be approved by the Department Chair and the Associate Dean and reviewed by OSP for accuracy prior to being submitted to the sponsor.

The Director of Sponsored Programs is the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) for Hamilton and is authorized to submit grant applications.

The Director of Sponsored Programs is the principal point of contact for external sponsors. Both hard copy and electronic proposals must be forwarded to the sponsor by Director or designee.  

Note:  For multi-disciplinary proposals, the Department Chair from each academic unit involved in the project must approve the proposal.  

Note: Failure to obtain final approval of a proposal prior to submittal may cause the resulting grant award to be declined by the college.

Note: Some sponsors limit the number of applications for a funding program to one per institution.  PIs who intend to apply to a “limited submission” program must contact OSP immediately. In the event of multiple proposals to a limited submission program, an internal competition to be conducted by the Dean of Faculty’s office will determine which will be submitted.

Development, Routing & Approval Procedure

  • Identification of Funding Opportunity.  Hamilton College faculty or staff identify an external sponsor for a project or are approached to be a subawardee by another institution. The PI should discuss the opportunity with his/her Department Chair and the OSP no less than four weeks prior to the deadline for submission.
  • Proposal Development.  The PI is responsible for creating the proposal.  OSP will provide the PI with assistance in creating the proposal narrative, establishing the project budget, and addressing other administrative issues necessary to complete the application.
  • Internal Review and Approval.  The PI must consult with the Department Chair and the Associate Dean and obtain their approval on the Application Endorsement Form.  This approval may take the form of signatures on the Endorsement Form or an attached email that indicates approval of the project. Please contact OSP for any questions regarding the Application Endorsement Form
  • Application Review. At least three days prior to the sponsor’s deadline, the PI submits a complete application package to OSP for internal review.  OSP will review the package for completeness and accuracy, working with the PI to resolve any administrative issues.

Note: Failure to submit a proposal at least three days in advance of the sponsor deadline may result in a proposal that is not submitted, submitted incomplete, or submitted late.

  • Application Submittal.  OSP submits application package to sponsor (or to the prime applicant, if a subaward), forwarding a final complete copy of the application package to the PI.


Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) is the individual who provides the institutional signature (either hard copy or electronic) for grant applications submitted to an external sponsor. The Director of Sponsored Programs is the AOR for Hamilton College.

External Sponsors include any federal, state, or local government agency that provides funding for a project.  In addition, any public, private or corporate foundation support that includes paid faculty effort or significant post-award administrative requirements will be considered an external sponsor for the purposes of this policy. The office of Corporate & Foundation Relations can assist with corporate or private foundation funding opportunities.

Fellowships are external support where the funding is provided for a residential or non-residential experience over a period of time. Fellowship applications in support of sabbatical leave should be submitted in anticipation of an eligible leave period as confirmed by the Associate Dean or Department Chair.

Gifts are support to the college from a benefactor whose donation is either generalized in nature or that does not include paid faculty time or significant post-award administrative requirements. Gifts are not subject to this policy.

Limited Submission is a funding program to which the sponsor limits proposal submissions from an institution. In the event of multiple proposals from the same institution, sponsors typically reject all the institution’s proposals as non-compliant.

Principal Investigator (PI) is any person, regardless of specific title or position, who has responsibility for the management and oversight of any externally-sponsored project, including Hamilton College personnel who are serving as collaborators or consultants on projects managed by other institutions.

Proposal Development refers to the process of conceiving, developing, and submitting a proposal for funding to an external sponsor.

Sponsored Programs refers to research, scholarship, creative activity or service programs at Hamilton College that are funded by external sponsors (as defined above).


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