• Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the differences between grants, gifts and contracts?

    Grants Definition
    Bounty, contribution, gift, or subsidy (in cash or kind) bestowed by a government or other organization (called the grantor) for specified purposes to an eligible recipient (called the grantee). Grants are usually conditional upon certain qualifications as to the use, maintenance of specified standards, or a proportional contribution by the grantee or other grantor(s).


    Grants may be considered as support given to the University in order to attain certain articulated specified project objectives proposed to be realized by the University and agreed to by the University and the grantor. The terms of such grant agreements are typically articulated in a grant proposal submitted by the University and/or in a letter of grant agreement or similar document provided by the grantor. Grants are usually paid in full or in part prior to project completion, in advance of project expenditures. (State and federal grants are usually paid in installments, following a schedule matching the grantee’s expenditures.)
    All grant work is to be completed in compliance with the “grants policies and procedures” Copies of all grant proposals and agreements will be maintained by the University Sponsored Programs Office.

    Grant agreements and contract agreements are typically made between funding agencies (grantors) and the University, not between such funding agencies and individual persons at Hamline. Accordingly, individual faculty or staff members are not authorized to sign grants or contracts on behalf of the University.

    Contracts are agreements between the University and an external funding agency where the contract contains provisions of certain services or products being provided to or on behalf of the grantor. Contracts often focus on deliverables required by the grantor and frequently establish ownership rights for the grantor. If in doubt about whether an agreement or proposed agreement is a grant or a contract, please contact the Sponsored Programs Office.   

    This will be my first foray into grants and sponsored programs. How does this process work at Hamline?

    Contact the Sponsored Programs Office as soon as possible in the process. The process can provide lots of support and help navigate the internal and external requirements of an often complex process.
    include simple cross functional flow chart

    I have found an opportunity I would like to pursue. Can the Sponsored Program Office help me write my proposal?

    Depending on the complexity and timing of the proposal the Sponsored Programs Office can help you access and obtain the need for writing, editing and financial assistance.

    I submitted a proposal three months ago, should it take this long for me to get notification?

    A decision from the grantor may take 6 months or more. Foundations generally respond in a timelier manner than federal agencies. The Sponsored Programs Office will continue to monitor the submitted grant proposals and contact grantors when appropriate.
    Depending on the agency or the foundation an award determination may be via email or letter and may be sent to the PI, Sponsored Programs Office, or the President’s Office. All offices receiving award determination information should communicate with the Sponsored Programs Office immediately providing original notification if available. Some grantors will send awarded funds along with the award notification. These funds should also be delivered promptly to the Sponsored Programs Office.

    I am writing a proposal for a continuation of a current award, do I still need to get internal approvals for my proposal before submitting?

    Yes. The University’s internal review process makes sure the current project is on target, other faculty or staff members are not already seeking a grant from the same agency, Hamline matching funds (if any) are planned, and indirect costs and other costs are calculated properly.