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Frequently Asked Questions about Applying for IEEE McNaughton Learning Resource Centre Grants

The Questions

  1. Who can apply?
  2. Why must I get the three letters of support?
  3. Why must I include everything requested in the "Application" section?
  4. What is a well documented proposal?
  5. What about funding?
  6. What about bridge financing?
  7. How much time do I have to get reimbursed?
  8. Who gets the money?
  9. How can I get help in making my application?

The Answers

1 Who can apply?

Any IEEE Student Branch in Canada. You can apply to start a McNaughton Centre if you do not have one. You can apply to upgrade an existing McNaughton Centre.

2 Why must I get the three letters of support?

If you don't, your application will be rejected.

These letters are to ensure that the Centre will have the appropriate level of support at your student branch so that the Centre is likely to be able to exist in the future.

Plan ahead - be sure to arrange submission of your application and all letters of support prior to the published deadline. Leave ample time for your supporters to respond.

Follow up - the onus is on you the student branch applicant to ensure timely submission of letters of support.

3 Why must I include everything requested in the "Application" section?

If you don't, your application will be rejected.

The members of the Foundation believe that engineering students should be able to prepare high quality project proposals. They believe that if you prepare a good proposal, you are likely to manage the project sucessfully.

The requirements (stated by the foundation) for these applications have developed over a number of years, and after receiving many applications. These requirements are intended to assist you in preparing a good proposal in the hope that you will be better able to manage the Centre and use the funding from the Foundation effectively.

4 What is a well documented proposal?

First and foremost, it is a business plan. It states clearly the purpose of the project, the time frame for completion, the resources needed for sucess, a clear definition of what is meant by sucess and clear metrics to measure sucess.

In this case, the sucess should relate to expected benefits acruing to the IEEE student membership of your branch. The resources include the items you need to purchase (or otherwise legally obtain), the infrastructure (space, utilities, telephone, security) that will be provided by your school (you may have to pay for telephone charges), the people power to get the project completed and operated, and the funding that you need to pay the bills.

5 What about funding?

That's where the foundation comes in, along with other folks. The foundation may fund up to 75% of real expenses for equipment - not infrastructure. If a grant is approved, the foundation will only reimburse your Branch for 75% of original receipts that you submit for purchases consistent with your grant application. The other 25%, and other charges - telephone, licence fees, etc, must be paid for by your Branch and other funding sources you can find. The more inovative your proposal, and the more financial partners you find, and the smaller the percentage of funds that you ask the foundation for, the more likely you are to receive a grant. If your request is for more than a few thousand dollars, it may be difficult for the foundation to provide funding.

Here are some ideas for other funding sources. Your Branch can hold fund raising events (raffles, auctions, short courses/training sessions, etc.) or sell services/products (printing, electronic parts, manuals, exam reprints, etc.). Your department (Office of the Chair), faculty (Office of the Dean), engineering club/society, and your local IEEE Section. Moving farther afield, try IEEE Canada, professional engineering organizations, community groups, fraternal groups, ethnic groups - some of these may be interested in partnering with your Branch to take advantage of your computer expertise.

6 What about bridge financing?

How do you buy the equipment, software, etc. after you have been awarded the grant? You have your 25% (or more) of the planned expense, you know what to order, BUT you do not have the remaining (up to) 75% of the CASH - so you can purchase, get receipts, and submit to the foundation, to get reimbursed? You need bridge financing - that's a fancy name for a temporary loan to enable you to place your order. Here is a suggestion that usually works - go to your Department Chair or Faculty Dean and explain how the reimbursement process works - and ask her, him, them, for "bridge financing".

7 How much time do I have to get reimbursed?

Two years. BUT - it is a really good idea to purchase all your items within a few weeks of being notified by the foundation that you have been awarded a grant. Why? You and your branch volunteers get busy with other things (assignments, tests, exams etc. !). Do it NOW while everyone is interested and before the branch executive changeover. Remember - you have to submit receipts for "approved expenses" (what was in your grant application" before the foundation treasurer can send the cheque!

8 Who gets the money?

Your Branch - Grants made in support of IEEE McNaughton Learning Resource Centres will be paid by cheque directly to the student branch upon submittal of appropriate receipts.

9 How can I get help in making my application?

Here are some suggestions for people to ask. Your Student Branch Counselor (SBC). If your school is not familiar with McNaughton Centre Grants, ask the SBC or student leaders at a Branch at another school where a Grant was recently received - check the list of McNaughton Centre Grants awarded on this set of pages. The IEEE Canada SAC Chair and/or Student Representative - check the IEEE Canada SAC home page for contact information.
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