Frequently Asked Questions

The information presented below is typical of questions asked of the Grants Committee. If you have a question that is not answered in this section, please contact Director of Grants Matthew Moriarty.

Office of Grants and Special Projects

The form for the grant I’m applying for asks for specific information about the university. Where can I find this information?

If you are looking for or require the following information, please contact the Office of Grants and Special Projects:

  • Castleton’s Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Castleton’s Organizational DUNS Number
  • SIC Code
  • NAICS Code
  • Commercial and Government Entity Code (CAGE)
  • Office of Postsecondary Education ID (OPE-ID)

I’m looking for information that is not listed above. Who do I contact?

The list above is a general summary of the types of data grant applications ask for. We withhold this information because we want you to contact the Office of Grants and Special Projects. If there is any fact or figure that you need to know about the university, please contact the Office of Grants and Special Projects.

What is our congressional district?


What is our fiscal year?

July 1st to June 30th.

What is defined as a grant?

A grant is a form of non-repayable funding, conferred upon an individual or institution after the successful completion of a proposal or application. Grants are only given to fund specific projects.

Are grants the same things as gifts?

No, grants are not gifts. Grants are applied for and disbursed through a process with intent for the funds to be used on specific purposes. Gifts, unlike grants, are given without restriction and can be given to any department for any purposes. Gifts are not applied for and do not involve paperwork.

What is a grant proposal?

A proposal is a written document, prepared by an individual or institution to request for funding.

Who can give me a grant?

Grants come from a wide array of individuals and organizations. The largest body of grants within the United States comes from the government. Other potential sources of grants come from:

  • Public and private trusts
  • Private foundations
  • Charitable foundations
  • Businesses and corporations

What is the first step in getting a grant?

If you have an idea for a project, your first step is to go to the forms page and fill out an “intent to submit” form. Be specific in your application. Understand what your project or goal is, and be thinking of why it is important for you to get funding for your idea – this question will need to be answered clearly and fully in your proposal.

Is it necessary to work with the Grants and Special Projects office in order to secure a grant?

Yes. The purposes of the office are to ensure all rules and procedures are followed in accordance with VSC. The office is responsible for letting key faculty members know that a grant is being applied for, as well as ensuring other departments and/or faculty members are not applying for the same grant.

What benefits does working with the Grants and Special Projects office provide me?

Working with the office ensures that a second pair of eyes will be scanning all documentation and obtaining the necessary signatures to ensure success in receiving a grant. Additionally, the grant office has the ability to assess the likelihood of a projects success; determine if the project can continue after funding ends, and attempt to find fund matching.

Where can I find sponsors for my project?

Visit the funding resources page to find a list of potential sponsors. Additionally, visit the grants office where we can perform a search to determine a potential sponsor for your project.

Where can I find out how to write the grant proposal?

Visit the proposal preparation page to view a guide and see examples of how to write our your proposal. Additional links are also available on the helpful links page.

Why does my project require pre-approval?

Any and all projects that faculty or staff is considering may or may not fit in line with the goals of our university. In order to ensure that your goals fall in line with the mission of the university, it will be reviewed before you are allowed to work on your proposal.

What is the total project cost?

The total project cost is the sum of both your direct and indirect costs.

How do direct and indirect costs differ?

Direct costs are the costs that are easily identified and traceable e.g. salaries, cost of equipment, etc. Indirect costs are costs that cannot be directly calculated and are implicit to your project e.g. the cost of operating the equipment, maintenance over time, etc.

Do I need to have a funding source in mind, or simply an idea?

You are not required to have a funding source already found when working with the grants office; all you need is to have a solid idea for a project or program, and to submit it the idea to the Office of Grants and Special Projects. We will take your idea and match it up to possible sources of funding.

How long does it take for a grant to be accepted? When will I know if I am eligible to receive funding?

It depends on the type of organization and whether it is public, private or state. Generally, federal programs will be in contact within 90 days on the status of your award, while many businesses can take from 90 days upwards. If you have questions concerning the timeline of a funding opportunity, please contact the office.

Who is the principal investigator (PI) / technical contact / project director (PD)?

This is the title assigned to the faculty member that is directing the project.

What is the most important part of being a director?

It is important that you be familiar with your grant proposal and what your goals are. Your proposal tells you what you want to do, how long it should take, when it will be done, and what you intend to accomplish; all these factors must be maintained and thought about regularly to ensure your success.

Who can sign grant documents?

It depends on the source and type of grant. Contact the Office of Grants and Special Projects to determine the appropriate signature(s).

What is the request for proposal (RFP)?

The request for proposal, or RFP, is a document or announcement posted by a business or organization stating that funding is available for a specific project or program. It is a form of bid, where the poster seeks to get contacted by as many candidates as possible, and will choose the best bid as the recipient of funding. Every RFP will have a set of guidelines outlining the bid process and the format in which the bid should be formatted and presented.

What do I do if the funder is asking for institutional data that I do not possess and it’s not listed on the FAQ? Why is some data not published on our website?

If a potential funder is asking for institutional data that is not found on this page, please contact the Office of Grants and Special Projects directly to obtain the data. The most likely reason you cannot find some specific data on our institution is due to sensitivity – some data is not intended for online publication and must be acquired directly from the office. The office is responsible for maintaining data such as institutional tax statements, funding appropriation and other highly sensitive data, so it will be necessary to contact the office if and when you are asked such questions.

What do I do if a funder is asking me questions I don’t know how to answer?

If there is any information a potential funder is asking about your project and you are unsure about how to answer or respond, please contact the Office of Grants and Special Projects for assistance.

Can I submit my paperwork on the day of a deadline?

Documents will be accepted on the day of a deadline, but be aware that you severely limit your chances of success. Success in attaining grant funding is about punctuality and adherence to details. Large federal grants usually require several months of planning and development while some private organizations only take a matter of weeks. Therefore, the Office of Grants and Special Projects please asks that you submit all proposals, budgets and documentation at your earliest convenience.

What are the different types of grant?

  • Block Grant – money awarded by the federal government to state or local government. Block grants are subject to federal guidelines, and the awardee is given complete autonomy of the usage of funds awarded.
  • Research Grant – funding given to a professor and/or student to support his or her research.
  • Matching (aka Challenge) Grant – a form of commitment where an organization or individual will award a specific amount of funding given that you raise an equal amount i.e. you will be given a $1,000 grant if you can find or raise $1,000 from another source.
  • Project Grant – funds given to an individual or organization to support a specific, well-defined project or program
  • Capital or Building Grant – used to buy land and build or renovate buildings; also used to buy large amounts of machinery or equipment.
  • Emergency Grant – offered on a limited basis to help agencies or individuals in need of assistance from a natural disaster or otherwise disastrous event; offered only on a limited basis.
  • Formula (aka Non-Competitive or Entitlement) Grants – this is a form of federally administered funding that are noncompetitive and based on socioeconomic factors, such as population, income or education. Funding of this type usually goes toward a program that serves a target demographic, such as persons with disabilities.
  • Training Grant – funding used to support teaching and education goals.