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GAP Form

Grants Approval Process Description

The Grant Approval Process (GAP) form is a framework designed to gain institutional support and pre-approval for your grant proposal early in the development process, prior to submission to a potential funding agency. The GAP form has been designed to ensure proposed projects are aligned with institutional priorities, are appropriate and feasible based on capacity and resources, and have the support required for success once funded. Only applications that have received pre-approval through this process should be submitted to a funding agency for consideration.
Steps to Take When Applying for a Grant

Step 1: Plan for Your Proposal

Discuss your idea with your instructional dean or program lead. This is an important first step, as all grants require the support of the department head that will oversee the grant.  Individuals cannot submit institutional grants; they must be submitted by the department that is responsible for their success.

As you discuss your grant idea with your dean or lead, please remember that thoughtful pre-planning is necessary for successful implementation. Grant planning is very similar to new program planning and many factors must be considered as you move forward with your idea.  You may consider using the Grant Approval Process form to guide your planning and conversations.

While considering your grant idea, please contact the Grants Office at x4180 or for a brief scoping meeting. This is the opportunity for the Grants Office to hear your idea, obtain and review grant requirements, ask questions for clarification, and share information about the review process prior to the submittal of the GAP form to the Grants Advisory Committee (GAC).

Step 2: Identify Potential Funders

Identify one or more potential sources of funding. If you have not already done so, there is a list of Prospect Research tools on the Grants Office site that may be useful. Please note that funding sources must be able to comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), as the District is required to comply with these accounting rules and standards as a part of its financial reporting.

Step 3: Complete the GAP Form

All grants, especially federal grants, require ample time to (1) prepare, (2) collect the supporting data, and documentation required by the grant, (3) develop the application, and (4) acquire the necessary signatories. As such, grant development requests received with less than 30 days’ notice run the risk of not being submitted. The Grants Advisory Committee comprised of faculty, senior administrators, managers, and classified staff will review the feasibility of submitting a successful grant proposal given the time constraints and determine whether or not the grant development process will proceed.

Complete and submit the Grant Approval Process (GAP) form with as much detail as you are able to provide to the Grants Advisory Committee for review and pre-approval. This form should also be submitted for new grant partnerships, even if SMC is not the lead institution.

Signatures Required: Your Department Chair or immediate supervisor and Area Vice President must sign off on the GAP form prior to submission. If you have questions about or need any support with the form, please contact the Grants Office for assistance.

During the Grant Advisory Committee's review process, additional information may be requested. Within 30 days, the Director of Grants will notify you if the proposal has received the initial approval needed to proceed. The GAC meets on the first Thursday of each month to review and consider proposals but may consider proposals between meetings. Please contact the Grant Office for further assistance.

Step 4: Write the Grant

Please coordinate your Grant proposals with the Grants Office to ensure transparency and coordination. Grant seekers may be responsible for portions of the proposal writing. Grant support is available from the Grants Office. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Tracy Beidleman at x4180. Draft proposals should be coordinated with the Grant Office throughout the life of the proposal development process. A near-final draft should be submitted to Grants Office no later than two weeks prior to the submittal due date for final comments.

Step 5: Obtain Final Administrative Approval

Once the grant is written and the budget is complete, SMC's executive administration (Senior Staff) must approve the grant. At the least, this means that the VP of your division will review your application and give you the authorization to proceed. However, if your grant includes significant impacts on Facilities, Information Technology, Institutional Research and/or any other department on campus, the program leads of the departments must also approve the grant for submission. Documentation of final approval by the area VP and sign-off by impacted departments should be included with the final submittal. (See attached concurrence form).

Step 6: Submit the grant.

All grants submitted on behalf of Santa Monica College must be signed and submitted by an authorized organizational representative or designee. Authorized Organizational Representatives currently include Dr. Kathryn Jeffery, Superintendent/President, Christopher Bonvenuto, Vice President of Business and Administration, and Tracy Beidleman, Director of Grants.

A final draft and all supporting documentation should be provided to the Grants Office. Please be aware that some grants have multiple steps in the submittal process. It is important that you coordinate with the Grants Office early in the process to determine the deadline(s) for the submittal of your grant application. Please upload the grant and all supporting documentation into the appropriate grant submittal portal.

Please note, grant submittal portals may experience system delays on the day of submittal. Additionally, most often grants have specific times by which the proposal is due, e.g. some federal grants are due by 11:59 p.m. ET or 5:00 p.m. local time. Please have the grant ready for submittal not less than 24 hours prior to the due date to allow the Grants Office time to submit and troubleshoot the system if necessary.

Please email Tracy Beidleman at to confirm the final upload and “Ready to Submit” status. A submittal confirmation will be provided to you upon the submittal of the grant.

The Grants Office is here to assist and looks forward to working with you and your team!