Forms and Helpful Resources

Preparing Your Application and Internal Review Documents

Grant Proposal Approval Form (GPAF)

The Grant Proposal Approval Form (GPAF) packet must be routed, reviewed, and fully approved BEFORE any grant proposal may be submitted. This routing process assures that everyone who needs to be aware of the application is aware and that the budget (and any match/cost-share requirements) have been reviewed and approved. It also assures that the university has approved the grant submission. The GPAF packet includes key proposal information and is prepared by the Principal Investigator (PI).  A complete GPAF packet MUST include:

  • GPAF form/cover sheet,
  • Conflict of interest (COI) forms for all PIs/Co-PIs and key personnel,
  • Project overview/narrative,
  • Project budget spreadsheet,
  • Budget narrative/justification,
  • RCR/RECR CITI ethics training certificates (NSF and NIH only), and
  • Off-Campus Safety and Inclusion Plan, if applicable (NSF only).

Any other relevant documents regarding unique aspects of the proposal or funding opportunity must also be included in the GPAF packet (examples: a vendor quote for an equipment purchase, a statement of work for a subawardee or consultant).  Valpo policy requires that the PI allow at least 5 business days before the submission deadline for the internal approval process to be completed. People review the GPAF packet in the order listed on the GPAF form, starting in the PI’s local department. Download the GPAF cover sheet and one copy of the COI Form here.

GPAF Definition of Terms

The GPAF includes several terms that have specific definitions as set by higher education standards and government regulations. Refer to this resource document for definitions.

Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure Form

The Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure Form is required for all PIs/Co-PIs and key personnel before any proposal is submitted to the funding agency and ensures that potential conflicts of interest are captured at the proposal stage.  If the answer to any question is “yes,” an explanation must be provided in the notes box.  If in doubt, err on the side of transparency. Updated COI Forms are required 1) if there is a change in circumstances and 2) annually for as long as the PI/Co-PI/Senior Personnel has an active grant. One COI form prints out as part of the GPAF form above. Additional COI Forms can be downloaded here. 

Valpo’s Budget Template

This Excel budget template must be used for GPAF internal review purposes.  This spreadsheet facilitates internal review, recordkeeping, and financial tracking.  You may relabel/add columns to show additional years and match amounts and add/change rows for expenses not included on the template.

Budget Justification/Narrative Template

A budget justification must be included in the GPAF packet. Every proposal also requires some type of budget justification. The justification describes each item included in the budget and how it was derived. 

Salary Calculator Tool

This is a handy resource to calculate the percent of the academic year and summer months time as well as the salary dollar amount to include in the budget.

Example Budget and Budget Justification

Here is an example of a completed budget and its accompanying budget justification.  Take a look for best practices!

Student Pay Scales

Valparaiso University has four tiers for student jobs defined by the level of responsibility and knowledge/experience the position requires. Each tier has a pay range that should be used when preparing budgets for grant proposals.

For Changes after the Grant has been Awarded

The Prior Approval (Change) Form and related attachments must be submitted to OSSR before any no-cost extensions, significant budget revisions, or pre-award costs can be approved.  Please complete this internal process prior to contacting the funding agency.

Need help revising your budget after the grant is awarded?  Here is an Excel spreadsheet that can help you compare the original budget to the proposed revisions.  The spreadsheet includes line items frequently included in grant budgets but you may need to tailor the spreadsheet to your needs.  Formulas are included so if you change the spreadsheet, double-check the formulas!  Feel free to attach this spreadsheet to your Prior Approval (Change) Form.

Fellowships and Travel Grants

Valpo encourages faculty to apply for fellowships to support their research interests and creative work.  To ensure accurate coordination of salaries and benefits, faculty are required to share information with various internal parties, similar to the internal review process for grants. This form is also used for travel grants where the PI is only requesting travel support and no funds are requested for any other project or activity.

Research Ethics Training

In-person training, facilitated by Valpo faculty, will be held on the following days. Each session will last 2 hours and is required for all faculty, staff, and students involved in NSF- or NIH-funded research. Other researchers are welcome to participate pending space availability. Please note that CITI certificates confirming the completion of online training must be uploaded as part of the registration process. Click here for additional information on research ethics training sessions.

  • Thursday, April 18, 2024, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Brown and Gold Room. Register.
  • Summer session to be scheduled.

Important Documents