Do I need to be a faculty member to receive assistance from Foundation Relations?

Yes, we work with faculty to secure grant awards and build the institution’s profile and reputation.

What is the difference between a grant and a fellowship?

The main difference between “grants” versus “fellowships” is how they are secured and allocated. Generally speaking, grants are funding that is requested and administered in cooperation with Washington University fiscal offices, including Foundation Relations and the Office of Sponsored Research Services. Unlike grants, fellowships are often awarded directly to an individual and may include residencies, research access, etc. Fellowship may be submitted independently or in cooperation with school/center leadership. For both grants and fellowships, we strongly recommend communicating regularly with administrators about clearances, submissions, policies, and award management.

Does Foundation Relations offer writing and editing assistance?

Yes! We are here to help you in crafting competitive proposals that match funder goals and interests. Our assistance includes creating and refining proposal narratives as well as navigating deadlines and submission portals.

I have a concept or project I’m seeking funding for, but unsure where to look — what should I do?

Our team welcomes direct contact, plus you can always submit a Foundation Relations Inquiry Form – it’s an easy way to ensure that you connect with the right personnel to discuss your ideas and needs.

How soon before an RFP deadline should I contact your office?

As soon as possible. The Office of Sponsored Research (OSRS) and related offices have rigid deadlines for institutional approvals, which we can assist in meeting. We also need time to gather information, review previous applicants, advise on strategy, and support the grant-writing and editing process so that you can have the best chance of securing a competitive award.

I can submit a letter-of-intent or proposal without much help, so why go through the Foundation Relations office?

It is very important that our team is looped in on engagement with external funders because we often connect with foundation officers and senior leadership about faculty proposals. By communicating and working together, we are better able to represent Washington University as a cohesive institution that submits compelling and competitive funding proposals.

Can Foundation Relations assist with funder reports?

Yes! We can create calendar reminders for report due dates, assist with content and submission, and strategize effective ways to engage with funders beyond the grant.

I’m seeking a fellowship from a foundation. Should Foundation Relations be consulted?

Contact is appreciated, yet not critical. All awards secured via Foundation Relations must be directed to the university for official management. While we share fellowship opportunities whenever possible in support of faculty, these applications are generally not within the scope of this office. Please consult with your school or department about its policies and support regarding fellowships before applying.

I don’t see my question listed here—can you still help me?

Definitely – please send questions to Shawna Brinson, Assistant Director of Foundation Relations.

Contact information

Medical Foundation Relations