Read about important clearance procedures and policies, and find links for frequently requested proposal attachments.

Clearance and policies


Clearance from the Foundation Relations office may be required to approach a foundation for funding. This clearance is needed to:

  • help faculty enhance their chances of gaining support
  • avoid duplicative solicitations or violation of foundation guidelines
  • respect relationships other faculty may have with foundations
  • sustain the university’s positive relationships with foundations

To request clearance, simply send an email to the Foundation Relations staff on your campus.

Faculty also may be required to obtain clearance from their dean. Foundation Relations can expedite this clearance.

Your proposal may require the signature of an authorized institutional official who will confirm your eligibility and permission to submit before signing off on your application. Check early with Foundation Relations staff to avoid last-minute delays.

Budget approval and institutional authority

Budgets for all research proposals to private foundations must be approved by the Office of Sponsored Research Services (OSRS) in advance of submission. Foundation Relations coordinates with your departmental Grants Administrator, who facilitates this process in the university’s Research Management System (RMS).

Compliance and institutional history 

Copies of all proposals, grant agreements, or award letters—as well as declination letters—should be sent to the Office of Foundation Relations by email or hard copy for our files. This practice ensures compliance with stewardship guidelines, helps inform future strategies with individual foundations, and allows the Foundation Relations office to maintain a historical record of the university’s relationships with foundations. Grant-giving foundations maintain the same records and expect grant seekers to know the historical relationship.

Institutional Proposal Content and Attachments

Foundation Relations staff can provide all institution-level content a proposal may require (e.g., university history, school history, list of organizational accomplishments, institutional data, school of medicine facts, etc.). We also provide attachments such as 501c(3) certification, audited financial statements, board list, organizational budget, tax policies and procedures, and any other institution-level documents required by the individual foundation.

If your proposal requires institutional documents not listed here, please contact a Foundation Relations staff member.

Office of Sponsored Research Services

All full proposals for faculty research projects must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Sponsored Research Services (OSRS) prior to submission. It is strongly recommended that you begin involving this office as soon as possible since significant lead time is necessary to ensure proper approvals. OSRS also can help you identify funding opportunities or submit proposals to federal and other government agencies.

If you are submitting an initial letter of inquiry without a detailed budget or if your project does not include research, please contact the Office of Foundation Relations. In these cases, it may not be necessary to seek approval from OSRS.

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