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For Faculty and Administrators Submitting Proposals

By offering experience, contacts, and context, CFR staff can assist and guide you through the proposal process in a manner that can increase the likelihood of your proposal’s success with corporations and foundations. To learn more about what CFR has to offer, please read our Frequently Asked Questions.

Q. What type of projects can CFR help with?

A. CFR primarily dedicates its fundraising efforts to the academic priorities of the Commission on the Future of the University and other major ($500,000+) projects that have been designated institutional priorities by the President or EVP/Provost and the VP for Research. These projects tend to be interdisciplinary in nature, involving faculty, researchers, and administrators from departments and divisions across the University of Virginia. For these projects, CFR provides a comprehensive set of services, including but not limited to:

  • Prospect identification and research
  • Inter- and multi-disciplinary team identification and coordination
  • Proposal coordination and development
  • Planning and staffing for on- and off-Grounds site visits
  • Editing and writing support for letters of inquiry and proposals
  • Help securing institutional approval and letters of institutional support
  • Assistance gathering institutional information and materials
  • Editing and preparation of stewardship reports for awarded grants

For other projects, CFR can provide a limited set of services including:
  • Prospect research
  • Editing and writing support for letters of inquiry and proposals
  • Help securing institutional approval and letters of institutional support
  • Assistance gathering institutional information and materials
  • Editing of stewardship reports for awarded grants

Q. Should I get in touch with CFR even if I don't need help with my proposal?

A. Yes. CFR should be an early point of contact when approaching private corporations or foundations for the following reasons:

  • Some foundations and corporations place restrictions on the number of applications an institution may submit. Ideally CFR is aware of the pending and funded grants that may be jeopardized by an unsolicited proposal.
  • Many foundations and corporations have strict guidelines that must be followed in order for grants to be considered. CFR can help you customize your proposal (or pre-proposal) to fit the required specifications.
  • CFR is aware of many existing relationships between University personnel and foundation/corporation staff. CFR can work with you to maximize these connections and strengthen these relationships.
  • All University of Virginia proposals (that are not for unrestricted gifts) must be approved by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) prior to submission. CFR can help guide you through this process and connect you with the appropriate contact person at OSP.
  • The OSP website is especially helpful for anyone seeking government funding and is useful for understanding the technicalities of the grant-seeking process, such as indirect costs and budget issues, troublesome clauses in grant contracts, etc.
  • An important issue that needs to be addressed in advance of submitting a grant request is the question of indirect costs. Faculty are advised to work closely with department heads, research administrators, administrative officers, CFR staff, or school development officers to resolve this issue.
  • You are encouraged to use this Research Proposal Checklist: Research Support Proposal Submission Checklist.

Q. Are there specific corporations and foundations that I must contact CFR about prior to applying for funding?

A. Yes. Corporations and foundations contribute $25 - $40 million to the University of Virginia each year, and the University has longstanding relationships with a number of these organizations. In order to both maximize the likelihood of your success and minimize the likelihood of competing internal grants, please contact CFR as soon as possible if the donor you intend to submit a proposal to is on our current List of Corporations and Foundations to Review with CFR.

Q. What other funding resources are available at the University of Virginia?

A. CFR coordinates its efforts with a number of offices on Grounds to ensure that faculty and administrators receive support on a full range of proposal types. Our affiliated offices include:

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP): OSP supports University of Virginia faculty and departmental administrative staff in the acquisition and administration of projects and programs funded from public and private sources outside the University. OSP is the central point of coordination for sponsored projects and the University’s authorized representative for grants, contracts, and other agreements. OSP can help faculty seek and obtain external funding, submit proposals, administer awards, and comply with all University and sponsor policies.

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR): VPR assists faculty in all of their research activities, including proposal preparation, pre- and post-award management of grants and contracts, and transferring research into the commercial market. The Office of the VPR can also help secure seed funds for promising projects. A list of funding opportunities including seed funds, faculty research awards, departmental research funds, and restricted external opportunities can be found on the VPR website.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The VPR coordinates limited submission proposals to private foundations, federal agencies, and other outside sponsors. Typically, the VPR issues requests for internal preliminary proposals well in advance of a sponsor's deadline, oversee internal review with a standing committee of faculty members appointed by the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, and as necessary, assist applicants with final proposals. For limited submission proposals, it is the responsibility of the faculty member to check with the VPR office regarding internal deadlines and internal review processes before making plans to prepare proposals. Contact Jeffrey Plank, Associate Vice President in the VPR office.