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Frequently Asked Questions

How can the Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) team help with the proposal process?

The CFR team curates private funding opportunities and disseminates the information to UMass researchers. They are available to review proposals and lend a lay-person perspective to them, help gather necessary institutional documents, and organize post-award site visits and progress reports.

What is an RFP?

An RFP, or request for proposal, is distributed by funders to announce a new funding opportunity, and typically includes the requirements and specifications of the opportunity. Sometimes the acronym RFA is used, for requests for applications.

What is an LOI?

An LOI, or letter of intent, is sometimes required by a funder before a full proposal can be submitted. Some provide a form to fill out, and others require a narrative of what the grant would fund. Some funders use the LOI process to invite full proposals after reviewing the initial expressions of interest. Make sure to read the specifications of the opportunity you're interested in to see if an LOI is required so as to not miss the deadline.

How far in advance of a deadline should I start working on the proposal?

The sooner the better! As soon as you decide to apply, you should start working on the requirements. This will allow you and the CFR team ample time to gather the necessary documents and polish the application.

How can I stay informed on upcoming private funding opportunities?

The CFR team distributes via email a bi-weekly digest summarizing upcoming private funding opportunities to the UMass Chan Medical School community. Sign up today by emailing

Does the CFR team provide assistance with federal or governmental grants?

No, CFR focuses solely on private philanthropic funders. However, the Office of Research can help with public funding opportunities.