Office of Research


Q. I have an idea for a project that seems appropriate for funding by a private foundation. How do I get started?
A. Your first step is to speak with your department chairperson about your concept to determine whether it fits with department and university priorities and whether there is sufficient institutional support to move forward. The next step is to create a concept paper/draft proposal using the Proposal Development Guidelines to begin getting your ideas organized. Then, contact our office to set up a meeting or phone call to discuss next steps.  

Q. How can I keep informed of Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for private foundation awards?
A. A good way to stay informed about RFPs is to subscribe to The Foundation Center’s RFP Bulletin. You should also subscribe to the Office of Sponsored Program’s Research Roar newsletter, which includes announcements about both public and private funding opportunities. A list of foundations and their focus areas may also be accessed here.

Q. Should I obtain approval from your office (Foundation Relations) before contacting a prospective private foundation funder?
A. Yes, our office should be notified about all foundation proposals so that we can help coordinate the proposal submission process across all units of the university. We can also provide the documentation that is typically needed to accompany foundation proposals (verification of tax-exempt status, board lists, etc.) We can also offer more extensive grant preparation assistance for proposals requesting $25,000 or more in funding.

Q. Can I apply to a foundation that another faculty member is applying to? How are multiple foundation proposals handled?
A. Many foundations accept multiple submissions from the same institution. However, to be strategic and as effective as possible in our approaches, we sometimes need to prioritize proposal submissions. Some foundations do limit the number of submissions per institution; in these cases, our office works with the appropriate Vice-Presidents and/or Deans to manage a limited submissions process through which a campus committee reviews preproposals and selects which submission(s) may go forward from the University.

Q. Do you provide assistance with proposals to government agencies?
A. Our services extend only to those applying to private foundations. You may contact the OSP Proposal Development Center to request assistance with government agency proposals.

Q. I am interested in approaching a corporation for funding. Can your office assist me?
A. Our office works exclusively with private foundations. Please contact the Office of Corporate Relations to inquire about approaching corporations for support.