Annual Cycle Tips

UVA grant seekers, are you already working on your proposal or considering applying for a Jefferson Trust grant? Consider these tips:

  1. Keep your Letter of Inquiry (LOI)/proposal form succinct. The key is to sell the idea first and not get lost in extraneous details.
  2. Use numbers to illustrate the scope and scale of your project whenever possible. Trustees want to clearly see the potential impact of your project—on the student experience, University community, or society at large.
  3. Budgets are important, so double-check your numbers and make sure it all adds up.
  4. Write for a lay audience. Not all reviewers are subject-matter experts in your field, so ask someone who is not affiliated with your project to read the LOI/proposal to see if they understand what you are presenting.
  5. Focus on your project’s novelty, uniqueness, or the specific niche it fills. The Trust has recently moved into funding research projects but is limited to efforts that bring students into the lab or is completely new. Graduate thesis projects, existing projects, or projects that clearly could be funded elsewhere are not likely to receive a Trust grant.

Have additional questions? Visit our grant seekers page to view our grant guidelines and contact our Director of Grants, Amy Bonner, at 434-243-9078 or An idea is more likely to be funded if we have a chance to work with the grant seeker. You may preview the LOI questions and the Annual Cycle Proposal.