At the University of Rochester, our faculty and their research are heavily supported by external funding. There are many different funding sources including:

  • Federal
  • State
  • Foundation
  • Industry funding

Funding may also come from limited submission opportunities, where the sponsor has placed a limit on the number of applications that may be submitted from an institution. To determine who from the institution gets to submit, the University will have an internal competition for limited submissions based on the number of applications allowed. Typically, the chairs will be notified of an opportunity and asked to recommend one of their faculty members or AS&E Research Support will provide information about an opportunity in their weekly funding email.

Funding Categories

  • Research–Funding for the systematic investigation of materials and sources to establish facts and reach new conclusions.
  • Instrumentation–Funding for the purchase and/or maintenance of equipment needed to perform research.
  • Outreach–Funding to promote public awareness and understanding of science.
  • Training–Funding to support student training to establish or complete research projects, and/or participate in research labs and begin on the path to having a career as a researcher.

Types of Proposals

Each funding agency has their own was of announcing funding opportunities. The types of proposals include:


Responding to a call for a proposal (e.g., program announcement “PA,” request for application “RFA” for grants; request for proposal “RFP” for contracts.)


A general application submitted without a formal announcement or request.


Often referred to as a “white paper.” A letter of intent may precede the filing of a pre-proposal. Requested by certain sponsors in certain programs. Often does not contain budget information. If a request is made for budget information and/or cost-sharing the preproposal must be submitted to ORPA with required proof of approval of the budget and/or cost-sharing.

New Competing Proposal

Initial request for (typically multi-year) funding–subject to sponsor review criteria and the standard University of Rochester signoff process.

Non-competing Continuation

Request for the subsequent year’s funding within a multi-year project period–typically brief consisting of a progress report, budget, and other relevant materials. May require institutional endorsement (ORPA.)

Competing Renewal Proposal

A formal request for continued funding of a project where the funding period is ending–normally subject to the same sponsor review criteria as new proposals, therefore subject to the standard University of Rochester signoff process. This may be required to be submitted one year prior to the end of the project period that is expiring.