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Foundation Relations

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How to get started

Foundations usually focus on solving specific societal problems, and fund programs or projects that closely match their respective goals. Review the foundation website for its specific funding areas. If your project is not a close match, find another funder.

VU flagHave a clear understanding of your project.

  • What do you want to research and why?
  • What is the timeline for your project?
  • Who will be doing the work?
  • What will be the total project cost?
  • Will internal funding be needed?
  • How will you evaluate your project?
  • Will your project be sustainable?

Pay close attention to:

  • The funder's grant-making philosophy
  • Deadlines put forth by the funder
  • Application guidelines
  • Descriptions of recently awarded grants and scholarships

Who at Vanderbilt can help me in my grant seeking endeavors for non-federal funds?

The Foundation Relations team can help you identify a good match for your programs and projects. Contact us.  The Corporate Relations team can help you identify corporations and corporate foundations that would be a good match.

Others who can help determine specific plans for your projects include:

  • Department chair
  • Senior colleagues
  • Other Vanderbilt administrators
  • Division of Sponsored Research
  • Medical Center Office of Research
  • Grants and Contracts Management

What internal questions do I need to answer before proceeding?

  • According to your department chair and school dean, how well does the project align with department, school or university priorities?
  • Foundations rarely provide funding for indirect (overhead) costs. Will your department provide additional funding to cover indirect costs? If not, how will these costs be covered?
  • Will there be cost sharing with other Vanderbilt collaborators? Who are they and do you have their commitment?

Submitting a proposal

Be sure to contact the Foundation Relations team to ensure that your project is coordinated with other Vanderbilt efforts.


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