​Clearance and Policies



Clearance from the Foundation Relations office may be required to approach a foundation for funding. This clearance is needed to

  • help faculty enhance their chances of gaining support
  • avoid duplicative solicitations or violation of foundation guidelines
  • respect relationships other faculty may have with foundations
  • sustain the university’s positive relationships with foundations

To request clearance, simply send an email to the Foundation Relations staff on your campus.

Faculty may also be required to obtain clearance from their dean and should verify that it is required.

Some foundations have requested that Washington University coordinate funding inquiries and applications. To ensure a positive relationship between these funders and the University, we ask that you check with us prior to starting your proposal to learn the best way of approaching them, especially when you wish to approach a local foundation or corporation or one that limits Washington University institutions to a fixed number of proposals. Ultimately, your proposal will require the signature of an authorized institutional official, who will confirm your eligibility and permission to submit before signing off on your application. Check early with Foundation Relations staff to avoid last-minute delays.

Budget Approval and Institutional Authority

Budgets for all research proposals to private foundations must be approved by the Office of Sponsored Research Services (OSRS) in advance of submission. Allow five days for this process prior to the submission deadline. For proposals that require it, OSRS can also provide the institutional signature to authorize submission and to accept the terms of an awarded grant.

Compliance and Institutional History 

Copies of all proposals, grant agreements or award letters, as well as declination letters, should be sent to the Office of Foundation Relations, by email or hard copy, for the files. This practice ensures compliance stewardship guidelines, helps inform future strategies with that foundation and allows the Foundation Relations office to maintain a historical record of the university’s relationships with the foundations. Grant giving foundations maintain the same records and expect grant seekers to know the historical relationship.

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