Grant Applicant FAQ's

Q: What can and cannot be supported by Women's Board Grants?

The Women's Board takes pride in supporting grants from all divisions, schools, offices, and units within the University community. The primary requirement of all proposals is that they must reflect and bolster the core values of the University of Chicago.

The Women's Board can only consider funding requests from University of Chicago entities (e.g., University departments, centers, schools, faculty members, divisions, offices, etc. Outside not-for profit organizations or other entities may collaborate with a University entity on the grants that we fund, but the funding must go directly to the University entity and may not be used for any purposes other than those that reflect and bolster the core values of the University of Chicago. 

The Women's Board establishes annually a set of guidelines for selecting proposals in four key areas: faculty research and support, the arts and cultural institutions, the quality of student life, and community outreach. All four areas are important to our mission, and we strive each year to adhere closely to the percentages established by our governing committee.

Please note that salaries of University faculty cannot be covered by Women's Board funding; however, personnel costs for independent contractors, student workers, postdoctoral workers, and other paid staff as necessary for the project may be requested.

Q: How much funding is allocated per grant?

All grant applications undergo a thorough internal review process before being shared with the full Grants Committee. The Women's Board considers grants ranging from as low as $2,000 to as high as $100,000. Most grants tend to fall within the $25,000 - $60,000 range. 

Partial funding is also possible if the proposal can move forward without receiving full funding. This question is included in the application form.

Q: Who can sign my letter of endorsement?

Each proposal we receive must be accompanied by one letter of endorsement in order to qualify for review. If your proposal involves multiple units, you need only submit one letter (either from just one person or from multiple people in a joint capacity); also, in this case, you may submit two or three letters, if you prefer, which will be included in your primary proposal materials.

Some units may choose to include a letter from a senior executive leader of the University, such as the President, Secretary, or Executive Vice President of the University of Chicago. If so chosen, a letter from one of these leaders will suffice in lieu of a letter from the unit's individual leader (e.g., the division's dean, the office's vice president, the institute's director, etc.). If these positions are not relevant to your office, a letter from a senior level administrator, faculty member, dean, or department chair will suffice.

Finally, please note that it is preferred for letters to be addressed to the Grants Committee. (Letters not addressed to this group will still be considered. This is simply to give more guidance to grant applicants.)

As always, please feel free to contact Stella McKearn at or (773) 702-7645 for a consultation of with specific questions.