Grants Education and Training Resources

Foundation Relations partners with Ohio State’s Office of Research and Office of Sponsored Programs to deliver relevant trainings for grant seekers. Grant Writing 101 and Introduction to the Heilmeier Catechism are popular introductory courses, coordinated and hosted regularly at the Research Commons.

We are working to develop additional targeted trainings for select Limited Submission and Early Career Investigator opportunities released by private foundations. As we develop additional trainings, we will promote them here, through our partnership with the Research Commons, and through targeted outreach to relevant units.

Members of our team are available to attend department or unit‐level faculty meetings to provide a brief introduction to our office and services (typically 10–15 minutes in length). For units interested in hosting more in‐depth meetings targeted for faculty on working with private foundations, please contact Helena Thigpen to inquire about scheduling a session. We respectfully request that detailed training sessions have a minimum of five participants who are eligible to serve as principal investigators and who have the full support of the college to pursue foundation funding.

Getting Started

“Fit” is critically important when pursuing private foundation support, which is highly competitive. Funders are looking to partner with researchers and institutions whose work clearly aligns to their strategic priorities and that will advance shared goals. Foundation Relations offers pre‐consultation meetings with principal investigators who are unsure if their work is a “match” for a specific opportunity. We will support initial outreach to a private foundation in keeping with its preferred methods — either via letter of inquiry or through an exploratory call with foundation staff — and will walk with you throughout the process of developing and managing a relationship with the funder.

Once a proposal is invited, investigators should complete the ePA‐005 and loop‐in your grants team and sponsored program officer to ensure compliance with university policies and process. Your assigned SPO and in‐house grants specialist(s) will assist you with your budgets and securing internal approvals, particularly in instances where cost share may be present. By connecting with the entire team early, we can all best support you by providing exceptional service and expertise to help you develop competitive funding requests.

Proposal Development

To submit a competitive proposal, it requires applicants to prepare, plan and review the requirements listed by the foundation. Below you will find general references for proposal development.

  • For an extensive list of resources and opportunities for funding and proposal development and details regarding proposal writing help, sample proposals, finding collaborators, University Libraries resources and other campus-related information, visit Research Funding and Support Resources.
  • Subscribe to Ohio State's institutional, monthly newsletter for expert written content for those developing a grant proposal or who are unfamiliar to grant writing Research Development and Grant Writing News (Ohio State login required).

Letters of Support and Signatures

The Foundation Relations office can help investigators apply for private funding and obtain required institutional letters of support and signatures before submission. We do our best to facilitate these processes as quickly as possible, but request at least a one‐week lead time for signatures and two‐week lead time for letter of support from academic leadership. When a letter from the university provost or president is required, please allow a minimum of four weeks.

Proposal Submission

The Foundation Relations office can help investigators prepare for and finalize proposal submissions for private foundation funding.

  • Submission schedule: Similar to the Office of Research, we strive to ensure institutional awareness of private funding requests led by investigators. When submitting a proposal through the Office of Foundation Relations, we request a minimum of one‐week lead time to review and seek approval from leadership. Earlier notifications most welcome!
  • Supporting documentation: While each private foundation has different requirements, various institutional supporting documents may be required along with your submission. Our office can provide you with supporting documentation, including a 501(c)(3) letter, audited financial statements, institutional budgets, Board of Directors/Trustees lists, IRS 990 form and IRS W‐9 form, and fundraising history forms as may be required. Please allow a minimum of one week for customization of any foundation required templates with institutional information. For information, please contact thigpen.18@osu.edu.

Preparing for a Foundation Site Visit

Often, grant seekers spend significant time developing a proposal, but not enough time preparing for a funder site visit. Our office can help you prepare for, and host, site visits with private foundations. Please consider reading The Funders are Coming! Preparing for a Grant Site Visit, made available by the Grant Professionals Association.