by H. Gregory
The Leakey Foundation office in the Presidio of San Francisco
While many of you are busy putting the final touches on your grant application for our fall 2015 cycle, I thought I would post some information you may find handy.
For those of you who have not met the The Leakey Foundation grants department staff, Paddy Moore is our grant officer, and I am the grant associate. It is our job to facilitate the granting process. We are also here to answer any questions our applicants have about applying for Leakey Foundation research grants. Please do not hesitate to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org (even if you have already submitted your application)!
Once the application deadline passes, we will begin our audit of the applications. We make sure all the pieces are there and that the appropriate instructions have been followed. This is the time when applicants might hear from us. The best way to NOT hear from us is to pay close attention to the Detailed Application Instructions, the Application Guidelines and our FAQs section.
Here are a few things that regularly come up during the audit:
- The Leakey Foundation does not fund the purchase of equipment. Expendable supplies are okay. Contact us if you are unsure.
- Salaries can be a sticky issue. The Leakey Foundation does not fund salaries of the applicant or senior project personnel, and so it is probably best to avoid including anything that looks like a salary in your budget. In addition, you might want to list lab costs as cost per sample as opposed listing a total compensation for lab personnel.
- Please provide accurate and current contact information for both you and the financial contact at your institution. If you are awarded, we need a place and a person to send the money!
Paddy Moore and H. Gregory
We typically receive slightly over 100 applications during our fall cycle. This is roughly 20% more than our spring cycle. When looking at the numbers alone, this seems to indicate that the fall cycle is slightly more competitive than the spring, but don’t let that discourage you. The range, quality, and amount of applications vary from cycle to cycle, but we are always limited by the amount of money available for funding. In other words, every cycle is competitive!
Take a look at our Tips for Funding document for some general tips on increasing your funding chances. Here are a few additional suggestions:
- For the second section of your proposal body, we ask for a “Description of the importance of the research project to your specific field and to the study of human origins…” Our reviewers take this section quite seriously. This is what the Leakey Foundation does- human origins!
- Our reviewers also take a close look at the budgets, so please use the budget justification document to your advantage.
- This blog is a good place to read about previous grantees and the types of research we are currently funding.
The fall cycle is somewhat longer than our spring cycle. Paddy and I are grateful for this! Once we finish the audit, we will have extra time to find peer reviewers, and we are also able to give these reviewers more time to review. If during this time there are any changes that would affect your project length, budget, feasibility, etc., please feel free to contact us.
We will send out notifications the second week in December. We understand this is a long time to wait, but we hope that the process and the feedback you receive will make for a positive experience!