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Guide to Grantsmanship at Shippensburg University

This guide is intended to provide basic information for faculty and staff interested in preparing grant proposals.

Use the navigation buttons on the left of the web page to learn more about the steps of putting together a grant proposal.

Before you proceed, read the 3 topics below related to frequently asked questions.

Contact the Institute for Public Service and Sponsored Programs ( or x3049) for more information. 

1. University Approval Requirement

All extramural grant proposals must be reviewed and approved by University senior staff before submission. Be sure to fill out a Request for Authorization to Apply for External Funding form (at /public-service/forms2/ ) and obtain department chair's and dean's signature of approval. Submit the form to the IPSSP no later than 5 working days prior to the deadline for your grant proposal (10 working days in the case of electronic submissions, such as

2. Budgeting Direct & Indirect Costs 

When building a grant budget, direct costs include: personnel, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, contractual, and some other expenses. 

Indirect costs include: administrative costs, such as grant accounting and personnel, use of facilities, etc. As of our May 2020 agreement with the federal government, Shippensburg University calculates indirect costs as the equivalent of 45% of all salary, benefit, and wage expenditures. NOTE: Some granting agencies (particularly non-governmental funders) may require an alternative method for calculating indirect costs (e.g. 8% of total costs, excluding equipment). Please contact the Institute for Public Service and Sponsored Programs ( or x3049) for assistance with calculating indirect costs.

As indirect costs are reimbursed to the University during the post-award phase of a sponsored project, the funds are allocated as follows: 60% to the university general fund, 30% to the Office of the Provost, 10% to the Institute for Public Service and Sponsored Programs.

Effective 2016, the Office of the Provost has agreed to a faculty professional development incentive. This applies only to faculty-generated grants that pay indirect costs. In these instances, the Office of the Provost will receive 20% of the recovered indirect costs, and 10% will be allocated to a professional development account to be used by the faculty PI for eligible professional development activities. Contact IPSSP for more details.

3. Matching Funds

Many granting agencies require that some percentage of total support come from other sources and refer to these contributions as a match. Consider all opportunities to include in kind matches, such as professional time donated to the project.  The university may have funds available for matching costs, however do not assume that unlimited funds are at your disposal. Given budget constraints, the university does not maintain a special reserve account to provide cash match for grants.


Contact the Institute for Public Service & Sponsored Programs Old Main 207 Phone: 717-477-1251 Fax: (717) 477-4053