In conjunction with SMU’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS), the Simmons School offers a variety of services that assist Simmons researchers with all stages of a funded project—from the 1st stage of identifying a funding source to the final stage of closing a project.

Project Stages

Identifying Grant Opportunities and Funding Sources

SMU’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS) can guide you through the process of finding funding. ORGS maintains databases such as the SPINplus database, Foundation Director Online Professional, Duke University Funding database, and the Office of National Fellowships and Awards. ORGS' research specialists are available for consultation, and Evelyn Day, a research librarian with CUL, can help you identify grants that align with your particular research interests.  Simmons’ Center on Research and Evaluation (CORE) also regularly sends Grants Alerts emails to keep researchers abreast of current opportunities as they arise.  Please contact the Center on Research and Evaluation (CORE) if you would like to receive these emails or have any suggestions to expand the funding agencies highlighted in these. 

CORE's Study Design Services

CORE offers a variety of valuable services to assist Simmons faculty and staff in the design and analysis of research. Their services include instrument design, data collection, data processing and management, quantitative and qualitative data analytics, and consulting on all aspects of research development.

Writing the Grant Proposal

Once you are ready to apply for a sponsored research project, please contact Kathryn Canterbury, Simmons Assistant Dean for Grants and Research.  Both ORGS and CORE offers resources to help you write the proposal. For ORGS writing assistance, visit ORGS’ guide to grants; for CORE’s writing assistance, visit CORE’s consulting page.

Preparing SMU's Proposal Initiation and Approval Form (PIAF)

Kathryn can help you prepare the SMU Proposal Initiation and Approval Form (PIAF), which is an internal review and approval document that is required for all proposals for external funding. Kathryn must submit the PIAF with an abstract/statement of work and budget justification to ORGS at least 10 days prior to the proposal submission deadline. The form comprises 8 sections, 6 of which are completed by the PI and Kathryn, 1 of which is developed by Kathryn, and 1 of which constitutes a signatures section that is processed by ORGS.

Proposal Initiation and Approval Form (PIAF):

Completed by PI with Kathryn Canterbury's assistance:

  • Section I: PI & CoPI Information
  • Section II: Proposal/Agency Information
  • Section III: Subcontract Information (if applicable)
  • Section IV: Proposal Characteristics
  • Section V: Antiplagiarism Scan Instructions: Submit a Turnitin plagiarism report to ORGS as a PDF. If you do not have access to this service through Canvas, please contact the Help Desk (8-HELP) to request enrollment in the "Office of Research and Graduate Studies" course and for assistance building the plagiarism report.
  • Section VI: Research Compliance

Completed by Kathryn:

Routed via DocuSign by ORGS:

  • Section VIII: Signatures: As soon as all signatures are secured, each signatory receives an email with an executed copy of the form.


Submitting the Proposal

The P.I. should work with Kathryn and ORGS to submit the grant application to the agency.

Setting up the Project

  1. A formal notification of an award from the funding agency must be received by ORGS and approved by an ORGS Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) before expenses are incurred on a new grant or contract. When the notification is received, ORGS prepares an Award Authorization & Approval Form (AAAF), which provides an audit trail and serves as a university record-keeping document that informs the administration of earned awards with expected commitments to resources, effort, and possible cost sharing. The AAAF--including the form, award document, and SMU budget form--is routed through DocuSign. Once all signatures are secured, each signatory receives a fully executed copy along with a timeline summary of the signatures. For new awards, the executed copy contains the new assigned Grant Number (GXXXXXX), fund, and organization account numbers.

  2. Requesting Research Space: Discuss your project space needs with Kathryn, who will in turn initiate the process to secure appropriate space.

  3. Research Compliance Training: All investigators and key personnel must complete compliance training prior to initiating research at SMU. Refer to SMU’s Research Compliance Training site for specific training opportunities, and pay particular attention to the requirements for Human Subjects Training and Responsible Conduct of Research. Consult Kathryn for additional information or interpretation of requirements.

  4. Pre-Award Spending: If your grant-funded project is eligible for pre-award spending, Kathryn will complete the Pre-Award Approval Form and provide the requested information and a justification for the pre-award costs. ORGS routes the form for signatures through DocuSign.

Grant Management & Closeout

Over the life of a project, Kathryn can assist with staff and consultant hiring and with the preparation and submission of miscellaneous post-award transactions, including Budget Change Requests (BCRs), invoices, travel documents, payroll, purchasing, accounts receivable, audit preparation, and closeout reporting. Should you have questions regarding research compliance, including the protection of human subjects, please refer to the Institutional Review Board. For issues regarding the protection and commercialization of intellectual property (IP), refer to IP and Technology Management.

For additional information about Simmons' Research Resources for Faculty and Staff, please contact:
Kathryn Canterbury
Simmons Assistant Dean for Grants & Research