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Grants Manual

This manual has been prepared as a resource for faculty and staff who are seeking, or have received, funding from external sources (e.g., federal agencies and private foundations) in support of their research, equipment acquisition, or other projects.


Who does what?

At Bowdoin, multiple offices work collaboratively to support you and your project team in your grant-seeking and grant administration efforts:

A Principal Investigator (PI) or Project Director is the individual with primary responsibility for the design, conduct and reporting of a research project.

A. Roles and Responsibilities of Principal Investigators / Project Directors

  1. Develop the proposal narrative and project budget.
  2. Complete a Proposal Endorsement Form and Conflict of Interest Form to accompany a draft statement of work and budget to begin the internal review process.
  3. Participate in negotiation of the grant award or contract as appropriate.
  4. Participate in a meeting to establish a formal project account at the Controller's Office, plan and initiate campus notification of the award, create an ongoing communication process with the funding source, and establish a formal project management plan to ensure satisfactory progress in the technical conduct of the project
  5. Comply with Bowdoin College appropriate policies and procedures including ethical conduct, financial conflict of interest, scientific misconduct, intellectual property, the use of human subjects in research, animal welfare and subcontractor oversight.
  6. Comply with state and federal regulations and institutional policies and procedures including those related to human resource management, procurement, travel, and safety
  7. Responsibly manage project funds, including expending funds within the project period and within designated budget categories
  8. Request budget modifications and no-cost extensions through the Office of Sponsored Research Programs
  9. Complete and submit required reports according to award terms and conditions
  10. Provide documentation of grant/contract expenditures and matching contributions to the Controller’s Office in a timely manner
    The Office of Sponsored Research Programs helps faculty identify grant opportunities, submit proposals, and ensure non-financial compliance.

A. Responsibilities of Sponsored Research Programs

  • Provide leadership, guidance necessary support faculty development of research projects and in the preparation and submission of applications for funding
  • Coordinate the grant application and administration activities with the Controller’s Office, Academic Departments, and College Administration
  • Monitor and interpret for use at Bowdoin College all relevant regulations and practices associated with federal, state, local and private funding sources
  • Provide troubleshooting assistance and intervention for all aspects of grant application and administration
  • Maintain a database of information for faculty research activity and all aspects of the grant application and administration processes and generate activity reports each semester
  • Assist the principal investigator/project director as necessary in preparing the proposal, with particular emphasis on technical aspects of the project, the budget (as it relates to the business unit's budget and faculty/staff effort), and with special attention to proposed protocols involving human subjects or the use of animals in research
  • Consult with the principal investigator/project director as necessary to ensure that work on the sponsored project is progressing satisfactorily
  • For sponsored projects involving human subjects, the use of animals in research, or the use of biohazards, provide sufficient oversight to ensure compliance with governmental regulations and institutional and professional standards
  • Assist the principal investigator/project director as necessary in solving technical problems with the conduct of the sponsored project
  • To the extent necessary, assist the principal investigator/project director in completing and submitting technical reports on time
  • Assist the principal investigator/project director as necessary in managing project funds
  • Monitor as necessary to ensure that funds are expended within the project period and that budget categories are not exclusively overspent


The Dean for Academic Affairs authorizes all proposed budgets and activities and the submission of academic proposals. The Dean for Academic Affairs is one of two Authorized Institutional Officials for the College.

  • Encourage faculty and staff to seek external funding for research, curriculum development, training, and service projects
  • Serve as a mentor for junior faculty and faculty and staff members who have not had extensive experience in seeking and managing external funds
  • Assess departmental or unit personnel needs in light of grant and contract activity and approving faculty and staff effort proposed for the project
  • Assist the principal investigator/project director in identifying source(s) of matching funds (cash and in-kind) if required by the sponsor
  • Approve the principal investigator's/project director's request to the sponsoring agency via signature on the KSC Grant Proposal Clearance Form
  • As necessary, participate in negotiation of a grant or contract
  • In the event of audit exceptions, disallowances, or over-expenditures, seek the provision of funds from departmental, division or college sources (or securing them from some other source) to correct negative sponsored project account balance


The Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer authorizes subaward and contractual agreements binding your grant-funded project to another institution. The Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer is one of two Authorized Institutional Officials for the College.

The Grants Administrator in the Controller’s Office works with the Principal Investigator to ensure accurate financial administration of the grant and compliance with federal regulations.