Federal agencies are typically considered either general support agencies or mission-oriented agencies.
General Support Agency
A general support agency is one which supports basic and applied research that defines their purpose in general terms. Examples of general support agencies include, but are not limited to, the National Institute of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Endowments for the Humanities and Arts NEA.
A general support agency’s review of a proposal is often conducted by a panel of the proposal writer's peers. These reviewers are not agency staff members but university or private researchers in the field. They review the proposal in terms of its scientific merit and send their recommendations to an agency program officer. Once the review is complete the proposal must be recommended by the review panel, or it will not be considered. Therefore, a proposal to a general support agency must be written for one's peers.
A Mission-oriented agency is one which supports and funds only work which directly furthers their specific missions. Examples of such agencies include the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Energy (DOE) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
A Mission-oriented agency review of a proposal, if it is used at all, is advisory only. Individual program officers formulate research programs each year and fund research directly related to those programs. Funded research is expected to compliment on-going research in agency laboratories.
State and Local Agencies
State and local government agencies support research and training projects from both federal "pass-through" funds and from their own funds.
Federal monies given to a state or local government to support specific area programs. These programs operate much like federal programs with specific guidelines, program deadlines, and formal review processes. However, the state or local unit is responsible for administering the projects within the overall federal guidelines. Generally, proposals submitted to such programs are reviewed by agency technical experts, agency oversight boards or review panels.
State or local funds
State agencies simply identify specific needs, and then look for individuals to address those needs. These projects often grow out of conversations between College personnel and agency staff, rather than as the result of a formal proposal solicitation.
In either case, however, a formal proposal must be submitted which includes a statement of work and a budget. This proposal is required for formal approval by appropriate GSCRC officials and will form the basis from which a formal agreement can be negotiated and executed with the agency.
Two major sources of private funds are private foundations and corporations. Some private organizations, such as the American Heart Association, fund projects in areas related to their established purpose in much the same way as federal agencies. The funding interest of private organizations may not be clearly defined and are frequently restricted in some way. Therefore, before submitting a proposal to a private organization, you need to "research" the organization to determine what its funding interests are. Information and assistance regarding private organizations is available in the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration.