Grant Writing Tips: Letter of Commitment

A very common element of grant proposals is a letter of commitment from one’s department chair (in the case of COE, school director). See the following grant writing tip reprinted by permission from Grantseeker Tips newsletter Issue #362, June 18, 2013 published by Miner and Associates, Inc.

What information should be included in a letter of commitment from a department chair?

Department chair commitment letters are crucial because they help document the environment in which the research will be conducted and reassure the reviewers that there is institutional “buy-in” of the PI and the project.

Depending on each faculty member’s situation, letters may contain the following items:

•     Affirmation that the faculty member is a “rising star” in the department with a unique skill set.

•     Assurance that the faculty member will be given protected released time to carry out the proposed project.

•     Promise that the faculty member will have guaranteed access to essential departmental and university resources such as instrumentation, equipment, library holdings, computers, and similar items.

•     Pledge that the faculty member will be able to use “start-up package funding” or internal seed support to complement grant funding.

•     Guarantee that the faculty member will be provided support personnel to help carry out the project (e.g., student support from undergraduates, graduates, or post-docs; laboratory support from electrical or mechanical personnel; and research design and statistical analysis expertise).

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