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Pre-Application Contact

 An applicant who sends a proposal to a sponsor without first consulting the agency staff is often at a competitive disadvantage when the application is reviewed.  Important information can be obtained regarding the suitability of the applicant’s project for a specific program as well as format and presentation of the proposal.  The applicant can also obtain information as to the level of funds available for new projects, as opposed to continuation of existing projects.  However, the applicant should keep in mind that submission of the proposal proper as well as any negotiations related to contract terms and conditions must be handled by GCS.

    Occasionally an individual may be interested in contacting a private foundation regarding funding opportunities for which there is not a specific program.  The Development Office should be informed in advance of plans to submit a proposal to a foundation.  An e-mail or fax briefly describing the proposal, the amount requested and any submission deadline will be adequate notification.  Since many foundations also have restrictions on the number of proposals they will consider from a University during a given period of time, GCS must be notified in advance of any intensions to submit proposals to a foundation as well.

   There are several methods of making the preliminary contact:

E-MAIL

   This is the preferred method of initial contact.  Program announcements from most large sponsors will usually include an e-mail and/or Web address.

TELEPHONE

   This method can be used to determine the compatibility of the proposed project with the program and priorities of the sponsor.  Most program announcements include a telephone number and contact name.

PERSONAL VISITS

    Any visit should be preceded by either a telephone call and/or written communication to the appropriate program official.  Adequate preparation should be made by the potential applicant to ensure that the personal visit will result in a productive and informative communication with the funding agency.

WRITTEN COMMUNICATION

   Some sponsors indicate in their program announcement that preliminary written communication either will not be considered or actually is required.  This can take several forms that will be specified by the sponsor.  The most frequently requested forms of initial written contact requested by the sponsor are preliminary proposals (or pre-proposals), letters of intent and abstracts.

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