University of Chicago Women's Board

Frequently Asked Questions for Grant Applicants

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, students or student organizations, 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 annually establishes guidelines for selecting proposals in four key areas: faculty research and support, arts and cultural institutions, 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 Grants Committee.

Please note that salaries of University faculty (tenure-track or non-tenure-track) 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.

How much funding is allocated per grant?

The Women’s Board considers grants between $10,000 and $100,000. The majority of funded grants are less than $60,000; it is unusual for the Women’s Board to make a grant above this level. The average grant is about $30,000-$40,000. 

Who should sign my letter of endorsement?

The Women’s Board no longer requires applicants to adhere to a controlled list of approved signers for the letter of endorsement. Though a letter signed by your unit’s leader (e.g., the division’s dean, the office’s vice president, the institute’s director, etc.) is still welcome, a letter from a department chair or senior-level administrator will suffice. When in doubt, please contact us for guidance.

Please note: each unit may have its own internal vetting process and deadlines for Women’s Board grant applications, so please check with your unit’s grant office or dean’s office before proceeding.

Each proposal we receive must be accompanied by one letter of endorsement in order to qualify for review; letters may be addressed to the Grants Committee. Letters of endorsement should be individually tailored to each grant proposal submitted.

What is the audience for the grant application form?

Members of the Women’s Board Grant Committee read and evaluate proposals. Please use accessible language that is geared for an educated layperson audience, avoiding technical or specialized academic language when possible.

What if I have additional questions or need further guidance with my prospective grant application?

Please contact the Women’s Board at with specific questions, or to request a phone or Zoom consultation.