There are various types of grants. There are also other types of funding such as foundations, bequests, endowments, fellowships and more.Always be yourself, because the people that matter don't mind, and the ones who do mind, don't matter. - Unknown
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Grant Types and Other Funding

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Grant Types

There are various types of grants. There are also other types of funding such as foundations, bequests, endowments, fellowships and more.
  • Challenge Grant:  A grant award that will be paid only if the recipient organization is able to raise additional funds from another source(s). This form of grant is fairly common in the arts, humanities, and some other fields, but is less common in the sciences.

  • Consortium Grant:  A grant made to one institution in support of a project which is carried out through a cooperative arrangement between or among the grantee institution and one or more participation institutions. The cooperative agreement is subject to approval by the grantor and should be negotiated prior to submission of the proposal.

  • Continuation Grant:  Money awarded for the continuation of a previously funded project (funded via a grant or cooperative agreement). Usually, a continuing grant is not competitive with other proposals; however, it is contingent upon successful performance in the previous year.

  • Cost- Reimbursement Type Contract/Grant:  A contract/grant for which the sponsor pays for the full costs incurred in the contract of the work up to an agreed-upon amount.

  • Demonstration Grant:  A grant, generally of limited duration, made to establish or demonstrate the feasibility of a theory or approach.

  • Institutional Grant:  A grant awarded generally on some type of formula basis which takes into consideration the volume of grants and contracts in one or more fields or disciplines at an institution. Detailed proposals are normally required. The national Science Foundation and the Department of Health and Human Services are the primary sources of institutional grants. The scope of work is very broad. Institutional grants, like federal and state grants, do not have to be paid back. The amount of grant aid offered differs from one institution to another.

  • Small Grant:  A special type of award, often limited to a beginning researcher. Typically, such an award may be obtained for one year only.

  • Step-Funded Grant:  A project grant where the sponsor’s commitment decreases each funding period. It is usually for a period of three years, with the initial grant providing 100 percent of the funds for the first year, 2/3 of the funds for the second year, and 1/3 for the third year. A year later, if the project is to be continued, the grant provides 1/3 of the funds for the second year, 1/3 for the third year, and 1/3 for the fourth year.

  • Pell Grant:  The Pell Grant is named after Senator Claiborne Pell. It is for post secondary education. Congress sets Pell Grant award amounts each year. The amount of Pell Grant you may receive is determined by the EFC that is calculated by the Department of Education and the Financial Aid Budget or Cost of Attendance.

Other Types of Funding

There are many types of foundations: national, family, community, corporate, etc. As a general rule, it is a good idea not to start searching with large national foundations, but to start with funding sources close to home, which are frequently most concerned with solving local problems. Corporations, for example, tend to support projects in areas where they have offices or plants. It should be pointed out that most foundations only provide grants to nonprofit organizations. Individuals seeking grants will generally have to find a tax exempt organization to sponsor their project.

Bequests:  A type of donation or gift, without obligation to repay usually made available upon the donor’s death. The unique flexibility, or lack of restrictions, makes gifts attractive sources of support.

Community Foundation:   A tax-exempt, non-profit, autonomous, publicly-supported organization that makes grants for charitable purposes in a specific community or region. The funds available to a community foundation are usually derived from many donors and held in an endowment that is independently administered; income earned by the endowment is then used to make grants. Although a community foundation may be classified by the IRS as a private foundation, most are public charities and are thus eligible for maximum tax-deductible contributions from the general public. In addition to making grants, these foundations often play a leadership role in their communities and serves as a resource for grant information.

Corporate Giving Program:   A grantmaking program established and administered within a for-profit corporation. Because corporate giving programs do not have separate endowments, their annual grant totals generally are directly related to company profits. Corporate giving is usually limited to programs of benefit to employees, their families, or residents of specific locations where the company conducts business. Corporate giving programs are not subject to the same reporting requirements as corporate foundations.

Cooperative Agreements:  Agreements that generally involve no exchange of funds but involve either the use of an agency’s services, equipment, facilities, or significant technical collaboration.

Cooperative Giving Program:  A grantmaking program established and administered within a profit-making corporation or company. Corporate giving programs do not have a separate endowment, and their annual grant totals are generally directly related to the previous year’s profits. They are not subject to the same reporting restrictions as private foundations. Some companies may make charitable contributions through both a corporate giving program and company-sponsored foundations.

Cooperative Venture:  A joint effort between or among two or more grantmakers. Cooperative venture partners may share in funding responsibilities or contribute information and technical resources.

Cost Sharing:  The University’s support of a project through either cash or in-kind services, required by some sponsors. Cost sharing requirements vary, but they generally represent a percentage of the total cost.

Endowments:  The principal amount of gifts and bequests that are accepted subject to a requirement that the principal be maintained intact and invested to create a source of income for a foundation. This may be a contribution to a charitable organization by an employee that is matched by a similar contribution from his or her employer. Many corporations have employee matching-gift programs in higher education that encourage their employees to give to the college or university of their choice.

Fellowship:  Awards that enable individuals to pursue study in their fields or to introduce them to related fields. Although not consistently defined, some sponsors place their emphasis on contribution to the individual’s own scholarly development. A fellowship often advances, synthesizes, or enlarges the applicant’s special area of interest. Or, it may enable the recipient to study in a different area which will extend his or her competence. The salary support provided by a fellowship may be referred to as a stipend. Fellowship types may include: Research Fellowship; Training Fellowship or Traineeship.

Foundation Family:   An independent private foundation whose funds are derived from members of a single family. Family members often serve as officers or board members of family foundations and have a significant role in their grantmaking decisions.

In-Kind Contribution:  A contribution of equipment, supplies, or other property in lieu of a dollar contribution. Some organizations may also donate space or staff time as an in-kind contribution.

Investigational New Drug Application ( IND):  A request for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization to administer an investigational drug to humans. Such authorization must be secured prior to interstate shipment and administration of any new drug that is not the subject of an approved new drug application.

Operating Foundation:  A 501(c)(3) organization classified by the IRS as a private foundation whose primary purpose is to conduct research, social welfare, provide charitable services, run charitable programs of their own (such as a school or camp), or other programs determined by its governing body or establishment charter. An operating foundation may make grants, but the amount of grants awarded generally is small relative to the funds used for the foundation's own programs.

Private Sector Grants and Funding:  Foundation and corporate grants that allocate funds to strengthen education - These are easier to obtain than federal and state grants and often have community based interests.


  • Applied Research:  Research which studies the relationship and/or applicability of theories or principles to the solution of a problem. Example: Studying how the regeneration of cells relates to tumors.

  • Basic Research:  Research which adds something new to the body of knowledge in a particular field. Example: Research on the regeneration of cells.

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