Guidelines for Grant Proposals to Foundations

The Corporate & Foundation Relations (CFR) team has provided these application guidelines to Tufts faculty members who want to apply for foundation grants.  Many private and corporate foundations are now limiting grant submissions to electronic applications only.  Aside from the particulars of your research, these online grant applications often require you to answer standard questions about Tufts’ history, mission, leadership, operating budget and non-profit status.

Please note that every grant application submitted must follow proper Tufts procedures:

Step 1:

Every  grant application of any kind or dollar amount requires the completion of a properly signed and authorized Internal Coordination Form (ICF) from the Tufts Office of Research Administration (ORA) before your proposal can be submitted.  Please contact them at least one week in advance of your application deadline before proceeding.  On the Boston campus, ORA can be reached at:  (617) 636-6550.  On the Medford campus, or from Grafton, the phone number is:  (617) 627-3417.

Step 2:

Every grant application of any kind or dollar amount requires departmental approval and signoff on the ICF of your estimated research budget, and calculation of overhead or internal cost recovery (normally at least 10% of budget).

Step 3:

Once the ICF form is complete and includes every required departmental signature, you are ready to submit the grant application.  CFR will be glad to review your application before online submission in order make sure that it meets the foundation’s guidelines and grant priorities.

Step 4:

Once your application has been submitted and confirmed as received via the foundation’s online process, please forward a copy of your final proposal to CFR via email:  Or a hard copy can be sent to the CFR office in Medford:  80 George St., 2nd floor, 02155.  CFR will enter your proposal into the permanent records of Tufts University Advancement.  This step also applies to any correspondence you send to the foundation or receive from them–please forward a copy to CFR for our records.

Grant Proposal Guidelines


Foundations, including those that are privately or corporately funded, award research money or other related grants to Tufts when there is a convincing need for the requested support, and the grant will help the foundation to reach its long-term goals.  Each foundation has specific funding priorities such as the elderly or homelessness or global health, and many limit their giving to defined purposes, such as program support.  Often there are geographic limitations as well, including to specific states, regions or cities.  Proposals must take into account each foundation’s program restrictions or requirements, and communicate the request in a way that appeals to the foundation’s mission.

Proposal Tools and Templates

Here are some standard templates developed by the Associated Grantmakers of Massachusetts and accepted by most foundations that you can use for a grant proposal or a preliminary letter of inquiry:

Grant Proposal and Budget Proposal Templates  

Letter of Inquiry (LOI) Templates

Here are common requirements for most online grant applications:

Tufts Tax ID (EIN) Number:    042103634

Tufts’ History:

Tufts’ Mission Statement:

“Tufts University’s mission embraces teaching, research and public service in the United States and  around the world.  Every year Tufts graduates physicians, diplomats, dentists, veterinarians, entrepreneurs, teachers, engineers, researchers, scientists and liberal arts professionals who will be leaders in their chosen fields and who believe it is their responsibility to contribute to the advancement of humanity and improvement of today’s global community and environment.”

For further information and general date about tufts’ students, faculty and operations, please consult the Tufts Fact Book.