Preparing Your Application and Internal Review Documents

Grant Proposal Approval Form (GPAF)

The Grant Proposal Approval Form packet must be fully approved before any proposal may be submitted. The GPAF form includes basic proposal information: investigator information, budget figures, and project and funding agency details.  The bottom part of the GPAF form is for the signatures of the required internal reviewers.  The Principal Investigator (PI) prepares the GPAF packet for review.  A complete GPAF packet includes:

  • GPAF form/cover sheet,
  • Conflict of interest (COI) forms for all PIs/Co-PIs and significant personnel,
  • Project overview/narrative,
  • Project budget spreadsheet, and
  • Budget narrative/justification.

Please note that the GPAF file includes the Conflict of Interest Form.  Any other relevant documents regarding unique aspects of the proposal or funding opportunity should also be attached (example: a vendor quote for an equipment purchase).  Our policy requires that the PI allow at least 5 business days before the submission deadline for the internal approval process to be completed. Click on the link for a flow chart of the GPAF Process.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement Form 

The Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure Statement Form is required before any proposal is submitted to the funding agency and ensures that potential conflicts of interest are captured at the proposal stage.  The COI form prints out as part of the GPAF form. If you need additional COI forms, you can download them here.  If the answer to any question is “yes,” an explanation must be provided in the notes box.  Completed and signed COI forms are part of the GPAF packet that is routed for internal approval.  Completed and signed COI forms are required of all PIs and Co-PIs and in other specific circumstances.

Budget Spreadsheet

This Excel budget spreadsheet must be used for internal routing and review purposes (even if the funder has its own required budget format).  This spreadsheet facilitates internal review, recordkeeping, and financial tracking.  The project budget spreadsheet must be included in the GPAF packet. You may relabel columns to correspond to the number of years the grant will cover and add space for any required match amounts.

Budget Justification

A detailed budget justification must be included with each proposal to describe each item included in the budget and how it was derived.  The budget justification must be included in the GPAF packet.

Salary Calculator

This is a handy resource to calculate % of academic year and summertime as well as the salary dollar amount to put in the budget.

Example Grant Budget and Accompanying Example Budget Justification

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


For Changes after the Grant has been Awarded

Budget Revisions

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.

Prior Approval (Change) Form

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


Fellowships and Travel Grants

Fellowship Application Form (also used for travel grants)

Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form

Valpo encourages faculty to apply for fellowships.  To assure 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.


Helpful Valpo Information