Many grant proposals require a letter of support from an institutional signing official, typically provided by the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation (VCRI). The following process standardizes the procedure for requesting a letter of institutional support from the VCRI.

Additionally, this process ensures that leadership within the Colleges and/or Institutes are aware of the request, and that these relevant university officials have been involved in decisions of financial commitments in support of the application. 

As early as possible, optimally four weeks before the due date, the Principal Investigator (PI) should determine whether an institutional letter is required. Extra time may be needed if financial commitments are requested (please see the Research & Innovation Office (RIO)’s cost share/matching policies) or to answer questions about the sponsor and/or collaborators that may arise prior to receiving an official signature.  

No financial commitment from RIO

If the letter is to approve and/or endorse a submission without the need for specific financial institutional commitment, the PI, through their Associate Dean for Research (ADR) and/or Institute Director, must supply the following information with the request for a letter to   

  1. draft of the requested letter based on the solicitation’s requirements (Word doc) 
  2. information about the funding opportunity (e.g., link to solicitation) 
  3. a brief description of the project 
  4. date the letter should be returned to the PI

Financial commitment from RIO

While it is understood that some funding opportunities require (or reviews are favorably impacted by) institutional support, the PI should first secure support from the units involved in the research, which is best achieved and/or coordinated by the College ADR(s) and/or Institute Director. Thereafter, the ADR and/or Institute Director should email with the following information:  

  1. information about the funding opportunity (e.g. link to solicitation), including any matching or cost share requirements  
  2. breakdown of financial commitments and sources
  3. the financial request to the VCRI  
  4. a brief description of the project 
  5. date the letter should be returned to the PI 
  6. once the financial commitments have been discussed and approved, the ADR will send a draft of the letter to the VCRI based on the solicitation’s requirements (Word doc) 

Once the VCRI receives the final version of the letter, it will be signed and returned via DocuSign to the PI, ADR/Institute Director and all relevant parties for budgeting purposes (including the appropriate OCG Proposal Analyst) within three business days, depending on VCRI availability. 

Copies of a support letter that makes financial commitments, along with the email correspondence pertaining to it, should be retained by the PI until an award is closed or until the PI knows an award will not be made. (Note: The VCRI letter does not replace OCG’s required cost share form.)

If a proposal for which the VCRI has committed resources is not funded, please notify RIO for budgetary planning purposes by emailing

DATE UPDATED: July 1, 2023