Frequently Asked Questions
- What’s the first step for someone wanting to find grant/foundation funding?
Start by talking with your assigned development officer. The development officer will then connect with the Foundation Relations team or have the faculty/staff member connect directly with the Foundation Relations team. Whether you’ve identified a foundation you’d like to approach or have a project you’d like to find funding for, contacting your development team is the first step.
- Can faculty and staff reach out directly to foundations?
Faculty, staff, and development officers should reach out to the Foundation Relations team first. With numerous projects underway across campus, the Foundation Relations team works to coordinate our outreach so that we do not inundate foundations with multiple requests from Baylor University. From there, the foundation relations team works with faculty and staff to determine the best strategy for reaching out to a foundation. The Foundation Relations team works to maximize everyone’s chances of foundation funding, and this means coordinating our communications to foundations.
- What if you meet program officers at a conference, over social media, know them from a previous work experience or some other informal channel?
That’s great! Some of our most successful faculty and staff fund-seekers have formed relationships that way. Similarly, if you already know a program officer through a previous grant, a degree program, or some other connection, we encourage you to make use of those contacts. We do ask you to get in touch with us when you’re making an approach—that’s our area of expertise.
- Should faculty and staff contact Foundation Relations or their URA first?
- If you have a project in mind and are interested in finding funding, contact Foundation Relations first.
- If you’re responding to a specific call for proposal from a foundation or other private funder, contact Foundation Relations first.
- If you have a foundation or private funder in mind that you’d like to target, contact Foundation Relations first.
- If you have a government grant that you’d like to apply for (e.g. National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Institutes of Health, etc.), contact your URA.
- What is a URA and how to I contact the one that supports my department?
You can find more information about URAs—University Research Administrators—are part of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR). URAs support Baylor faculty and staff with the application process, ensuring that each piece is completed and in compliance with all the applicable policies as well as you with the financial aspects of managing and reporting on grants. You can find more information about URAs, including contact information for your pre- and post-award URA here.
- Who writes the proposal/completes the application?
Faculty and staff provide the core content of the application. You are the expert and know your content the best. However, Foundation Relations can help edit and strengthen proposals to maximize your chance for success. Feel free to reach out to the Foundation Relations team at any point for writing support with Letters of Inquiry or full applications. Your URA will also support the proposal process and make sure you have all of the required items and have completed each part of the application.
OVPR’s Research Development team is also a great resource when working on a grant and can provide detailed proposal development and writing support.
- What is an LOI?
LOI stands for Letter of Inquiry/Intent/Interest. LOIs usually serve as a pre-proposal screening device. Based on an LOI, the funder will either request a full proposal or drop you from consideration. You may also see some funders call this step a concept paper or pre-application, these are all the same step that is completed before a full application. Contact the Foundation Relations team before submitting an LOI to a foundation.
- Can we apply to a foundation or private funder without contacting Foundation Relations first?
In short, no. This is not to keep you from applying, but to maximize your chance of success. The Foundation Relations office can connect with a foundation to best understand their funding goals and priorities, will know the relational history and context with the funder, and will know what other entities on campus are applying to a specific funder. Contacting Foundation Relations first is the best first step for a successful proposal to a private funder.
- What about state or federal grants?
Applications for any government funding (municipal, state, or federal) go through OVPR. If you’re interested in applying for a specific government grant or would like to learn more about opportunities, contact your URA.
- Can funding from a foundation be processed as a gift and not a grant?
The way funding is processed is based on the funder’s requirements and not solely on what type of entity the funder is. Most of Baylor’s foundation funding is for sponsored projects, which route through OVPR. This means that the OVPR pre- and post-award team help manage the grant process and ensure compliance, but it does not change whether development officers and deans can count the funding toward their metrics. Learn more about this process.
- If my funding is processed as a gift, does it still count toward research goals?
Whether it’s a grant or a gift, if research is involved it counts toward research expenditure goals for academic units and the University.
- What is “IDC"?
Indirect costs are costs that are not directly accountable to a cost object. Indirect costs may be either fixed or variable. Indirect costs include administration, personnel, and security costs. Some indirect costs may be overhead. These costs in a grant ensure that Baylor has the resources to provide faculty and staff pre- and post-award administration, research proposal development support, grant management and compliance oversight, and many other back-office resources that it takes to successfully carry out a grant-funded project.