Northcentral University

Grants Office

Helpful Resources

NCU Grants Office

Welcome to the Grants Office webpage at Northcentral University. The information provided here is intended to help faculty seek external grant funding for research, programs, sabbatical leave, and more. On this page, you will find a list of services provided through the grants office; information on preparing, writing, and submitting proposals; university policies and procedures; and grant related resources.

Our Mission

The primary mission of the NCU Office of Grant Writing and Initiatives ("Grants Office") is help increase external funding by promoting, supporting, and administering externally funded projects and programs. By supporting NCU faculty and staff in seeking and managing funds from external sponsors, the grants office is a key partner in NCU's vision as a premier online graduate university. The grants office assists with funder identification, coordination of internal policies and external regulations, and the stewardship of public and private funds entrusted to NCU. Specific services are described in the Grant Support Services linked above.

Grants Process

First Action - Inform your Dean or School/Department Leader of your intentions.

All grants are comprised of two parts: the academic/content element and the financial/budget element. The first step of this process is to connect with your Dean or School/Department Leader and inform them of your intent to pursue an outside funding source to support your research ideas. The purposes of this step is to ensure your ideas align with the mission or goals of your school, and to allow your Dean or School Leader time to consider the level of human capital needed to support the grant efforts, if funded. You may initiate this contact over the phone, via Skype or Zoom, or through an email.

Second Action - Consider this question to guide your next steps: Do you have a funding source you would like to pursue?

  • • No, I have an idea but need help finding funding. This link will take you to the Need for Funding Request Form where you can ask the Grants Office for assistance in locating funds to support your project.
  • • Yes, I have a project in mind AND I have a funding source. This link will take you to the Notice of Intent to Submit Proposal form where you will describe and submit your proposed grant efforts to the Grants Office.

Finding Grants

Explore these resources to search for funding opportunities. is a searchable database of all discretionary grants offered by federal grant-making agencies.

Grant Gopher
Grant Gopher’s free “Lite” plan provides a searchable database for currently available grant opportunities in the U.S.

NCU subscribes to the Chronicle of Philanthropy which offers institution-wide access to GrantStation, a searchable data base of U.S., Canadian, and global funding opportunities. For information about access, visit the CTL Faculty Resource Area.

Philanthropy News Digest
On the PND website, you will find Request for Proposals (RFPs) listed by category. You can also sign up for the PND newsletter to have RFP announcements delivered to your email.

American Psychological Foundation
Geared toward the field of psychology, the APF offers a number of foundation grants to support projects and programs using psychology to solve social problems.

Non-Funded Proposals

In the event a submitted proposal does not receive funding, the faculty member should advise the Grants Office so that university records can be kept up to date. It is also prudent to request copies of the peer reviews if not already received. Sometimes the proposal can be amended to reflect the advice of the reviewers and then resubmitted at a later date. Such amendment and resubmission may result in funding for the project.

Internal Funding Opportunities

To maintain our commitment to a graduate culture, NCU offers a number of internal research funding opportunities and honoraria. These include Faculty Research Awards (FRAs); honoraria funds to recognize faculty, staff, and student research publications, poster sessions, and conference presentations; and internal micro-grants to support faculty in searching, and writing, for external grants. The FRAs, honoraria, and micro-funding opportunities are outlined in the NCU Research Support Funding Handbook.

The availability of these funds is subject to annual budget approvals, subsequent distribution to, and usage by faculty, staff, and students.

NCU Research Support Funding Handbook 2020
Publication Honoraria Application 2019
Presentation and Poster Honoraria Application 2019
Faculty Research Support Application Cover Page 2019


Frequently Asked Questions

View information for responses to commonly asked questions.

Persuasive Words List

This document lists 108 words you may want to consider when drafting a grant proposal.

Tips for Completing an LOI

View this document to tips on writing a Letter of Intent/Interest or Letter of Inquiry.

NCU Letterhead

Use the NCU letterhead for any formal communications, such as the LOI.

Research Partnership Flyer

Use this flyer to communicate the benefits of partnering with NCU for research opportunities. Intended recipients might include outside organizations or agencies, state departments of education, other schools or universities, and companies.

Academic Minute Presentation

Consider the Academic Minute as an opportunity to showcase your research.

Sample Grant Budget

Learn About the NCU Grants Office

Do you have questions?

Email the Grants Office:


2019 Academic Library Impact Research Grant from Association of College & Research Libraries

“Library impact on Online-only Graduate Student Success” Amanda Ziegler


AAMFT 2019 Mixed Reality Simulation Training Grant

Awarded to Northcentral University’s COAMFTE-accredited Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) Program.


The Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education

Delphi Award for 2020 Supporting Adjuncts from a Distance: Adjuncts as Subject Matter Experts & Valued Members of the Northcentral University Community.

Grant Writing at NCU

Frequently Asked Questions and Tips for Successful Proposals

  • - Read the instructions carefully, understand all the parts of the application, and just answer the questions.
  • - Develop a clear, descriptive narrative outlining a solution or proposed effort to address the problem the grant seeks to address.
  • - Keep the funder’s priorities in mind. Remember, they want to fund proposals addressing the things they care about!
  • - Be sure you are clear about the hypothesis you are testing or question you are trying to address.
  • - Always tell the story of NCU and emphasize how the unique nature of our university makes NCU a logical and effective mechanism to respond to the purpose of the grant or vision of the funder.
  • - Be sure the majority of your proposal focuses on your proposed solution, and not on problems. Most funders are well aware of the problems – they are interested in your ideas for addressing it.

All applications and proposals vary depending on the nature of the grant as well as the funder. Most federal grants, for example, provide a detailed list of all required application elements as well as additional forms and documents required as a part of a complete application package.

Be sure to carefully review the funder’s requirements. The Grant’s Office can conduct a review of submission requirements, help with your proposal and/or budget development, or review completed documents. If you’re unsure about something, just ask!

An NCU IRB review should be conducted when needed for the proposal. The internal NCU IRB is very responsive to faculty request and as a result, a review can often be completed prior to the submission of the proposal even though most funders require IRB approval after an award has been made.

Yes! In this one-hour webinar hosted by the American Sociological Association, What Investigators Should Know about Grant Seeking from Private Foundations, representatives from the Spencer Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, and William T. Grant Foundation provide an overview of programs and priorities, new initiatives, the basics of grant-seeking from private foundations, and what investigators should consider when writing a grant application. Check it out!

In short, no. If you are working on a federal project during the academic year the project should fit within your full time schedule. In the case of NCU faculty, the academic year is twelve months.

Federal rules and regulations do not allow an individual’s institutional base salary (IBS) to be increased as a result of obtaining sponsored research funding. These federal rules and regulations also restrict the payment of extra, bonus, or other payments outside the individual’s institutional base salary.

The institutional base salary is the annual permanent salary of the employee as it appears in their employment contract or subsequent letters of notice of salary increase/decrease for time spent on activities such as teaching or research. In the case of full time NCU faculty, employment contracts are for a twelve month period.

The institutional base salary is the annual permanent salary of the employee as it appears in their employment contract or subsequent letters of notice of salary increase/decrease for time spent on activities such as teaching or research. In the case of full time NCU faculty, employment contracts are for a twelve month period.

Ref: 2 CFR § 200.430 - Compensation - personal services

Excellent question! Specific instructions are available in The Commons Faculty Resource Center Area.