Do I need to be faculty to work with Foundation Relations?

We focus on assisting Danforth faculty, leadership, and programs to secure foundation grant awards and build the institution’s profile and reputation. We can also help connect other inquiries (federal grants, seed funding, etc.) to our colleagues in other administrative divisions.

What is the difference between a grant and a fellowship?

At Washington University, a key difference between “grants” versus “fellowships” is how they are secured and allocated. Generally, grants are funding that is requested and received via university fiscal offices. Unlike grants, many fellowships are awarded to an individual and may also include residencies, research access, etc. Fellowship applications may be submitted independently or in cooperation with school leadership. In all cases, we recommend communicating with administration 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 align with funder goals and interests. Our assistance includes developing strong narratives and application packages as well as navigating budget needs, deadlines, and submission portals.

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

Our team members welcome 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 a 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 proposal submission process so that you can have the best chance of securing a competitive award.

I can submit a letter-of-intent or proposal without outside 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. 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 it not required unless the award will be managed by the university. While we share fellowship opportunities in support of faculty, fellowship applications are typically not within the scope of this office. Please reach out to us with questions, plus we recommend consulting with your school or department about policies and support before applying for fellowships.

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