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GIM 33

Grant and Contract Proposals to Industry


Office of Sponsored Programs


July 1, 1981

SUBJECT: Grant and Contract Proposals to Industry


Aside from the more frequently considered sources of external funding such as government agencies and private foundations, there exists what may be a growing potential for research funding from industrial organizations, both local and nationwide. The approach to such organizations may be quite different from that used with other sources. One basic difference is that money for research can be found at many levels in an industrial organization and is best sought out by personal contact through professional counterparts, friends, attendance at professional meetings, and through departmental affiliate programs. Opportunities created by these means are much more likely to be productive than would be unsolicited proposals, for instance. It is recognized also that opportunities for sponsored research funding may come about as the follow-on result of consulting work or summer employment.

Private industry is most often interested in solving specific problems, frequently involving the use of unique facilities or expertise it does not routinely maintain, and for that reason funds such work in the form of contracts rather than grants. (Funding for basic research is more often channeled through industrial research associations rather than individual industrial firms).

Preliminary discussions with prospective funding sources should be limited to matters relating to the scientific aspects of the work; budgetary matters must first be cleared with Office of Sponsored Programs, and only thereafter incorporated into a proposal. Invention rights are another feature requiring close attention in the negotiation of agreements with private companies and the assistance of Office of Sponsored Programs in developing appropriate arrangements should be sought. Proposals to industry are generally less elaborate than those required by government agencies and private foundations, but are expected to contain specific statements of the work to be performed.

In preliminary discussions with industry personnel, it is important to remember that the work to be done should have obvious research value or should have a clear relationship to the University's academic responsibilities; that there should be maximum involvement of students; that there should be no apparent conflict with the University's published guidelines concerning the avoidance of competition with private enterprise; and that publication of research results within a reasonable time is assured.

Questions relating to the contents of this memorandum may be directed to Office of Sponsored Programs, extension 3-4043.

Donald R. Baldwin, Director
Office of Sponsored Programs