Applying for Grants

Routing Process

The pre-award approval process and administration for private foundation and government funded grants is under the direction of Larkin Tom, Senior Director of Foundation Relations at 512.863.1578 or, with the assistance of Niki Bertrand, Associate Director of Grants, at 512.819.7908 or Both are available to answer questions about the process.

Faculty or staff who plan to serve as the Principal Investigator or Project Director for a grant-funded project will prepare a proposal following the requirements of the sponsoring agency. All proposals are subject to an internal review before submission. The review is a multi-step process involving several departments.

 Three weeks before the proposal due date, the following should be submitted to Larkin/Niki:

  1. Appendix I: Cover Sheet - available online at here. Required signatures of university personnel may vary depending on areas of operation impacted by the grant, but the department chair or supervisor should also sign the Cover Sheet after being briefed on the project. Further signatures will be attained by Foundation Relations and will follow the protocol detailed below.
  2. A complete budget must be attached to each submitted proposal for internal review. Budget formats are usually dictated by the funder, but all budgets must show estimated costs by category and any institutional commitment. Federal proposals may have allowable indirect costs, while others do not.  Further assistance is available (and recommended) from Southwestern’s Business Office in preparing your budget during this phase of the proposal process.
  3. A complete project description must be attached that describes the timeframe and activities to be carried out, as well as personnel and facilities needed. This must include all institutional commitments of equipment, supplies, IT support and other resources.

Foundation Relations will circulate the proposal documents to the Vice President or Associate Vice President of University Relations.  After approval, the proposal documents are forwarded to the Dean of the Faculty. After approval, the proposal documents are then forwarded to the Business Office where the Grants Accountant and/or Associate Controller review each proposal and budget to make sure the PI has adequately and appropriately requested funding for the project. The Associate VP for Finance also reviews and approves the proposal on behalf of the Budget Committee and may submit the proposal to the Budget Committee for review. Foundation Relations will handle moving the form through the  various stages. After the business office approves the proposal, it may be submitted to the grantor.

Quick Tips To Help With the Routing Process
  • Tip 1: After concept approval from your chair or supervisor, please make an appointment with the Dean of Faculty to discuss your idea before routing the form.
  • Tip 2: Working with Melissa on the budget early, before anything gets routed, makes the process quicker.
  • Tip 3: While the documents are being routed, you may make changes to both the budget and the proposal, provided they are not major changes in scope or dollar amount. Foundation Relations can advise you.

Note: No routing forms are necessary for fellowships or publication scholarships, nor are they necessary for LOIs. However, we encourage discussing any applications with your chair/supervisor and when appropriate, the Dean of Faculty.