Demonstrating Institutional Support: Using the Facilities & Other Resources element to highlight the U-M resource-rich environment

During this time of restricted financial resources, describing the wide range of institutional resources available at the University of Michigan will help demonstrate to your sponsor the ready-for-success environment for your study.  Financial cost sharing is not typically an option, but conveying the depth of support already available to you can equally convince peer reviewers that your study has all the integral components to be a complete success.

When composing sections of your grant proposal, be sure to highlight the scientific environment and institutional investment at U-M that will contribute to the success of your research. Your sponsor will consider environment as part of their evaluation of your grant proposal, so be sure to give as much detail as possible about the available institutional resources that are relevant to your research. For example, at the NIH reviewers are asked to consider the following criteria:

  1. Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success?
  2. Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed?
  3. Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?


In each of the following sections of a proposal, you may wish to address specific concepts:

Facilities & Other Resources

Consider adding comments on:

  • The physical location of your co-investigators/collaborators.  Describe...
    • The physical proximity to the study site
    • Videoconferencing capabilities that facilitate interaction among members of the research team
  • The attendees of lab meetings if they are externally-funded investigators not formally named in your specific research study, but who complement your research or provide intellectual support.
  • Any unique opportunities, programs or cores provided by your department or the university that may set you apart from other applicants.

For instance, the University of Michigan is a resource-rich scientific environment that has invested in research infrastructure and support to enhance your science and ensure your success. Below are some facilities and resources that may be relevant to highlight in your grant proposal:



It may make a difference to highlight the accessibility to equipment that is not common in most labs. Do you have a shared item that is essential to your project and is available to you on demand? Is there a piece of equipment that is important to your success and is already provided at no cost for its use, or do you get subsidized rates?

  • Be sure to list major items of equipment already available for your project, including reference to non-standard equipment that is available at cores throughout the university. For a comprehensive directory of university-wide research core services including a catalog of equipment available, please visit the University of Michigan Research Cores website.
  • Where appropriate, identify the equipment's location and pertinent capabilities.

Other Support Reporting

Keep in mind that research investigators may need to report Other Support/Pending Support to funding agencies. This provides additional opportunities to highlight research environments that will help convey a culture of success. If Other Support is required in the submission, use it as another place to highlight access to support the research.

Some sponsors require details of all financial and non-financial resources to which a faculty member may have direct (or indirect) access.  This may include descriptions of access to resources through material transfer or data use agreements; research-related grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements (regardless of whether the award is at U-M); or affiliations to other institutions through other non-U-M appointments/positions.   All of these may open doors and opportunity to resources provided by non-U-M entities that are not freely available to other researchers (e.g., laboratory equipment, research materials, lab personnel, etc.)

The NIH requires extensive detail for Other Support.  The Office of Research and Sponsored Projects (ORSP) offers clarification and guidance. See GS&A's website for additional information.

Letters of Support

Consider including letters of support from the chair, a close mentor, colleagues or the Chief Scientific Officer (for large scale projects) that convey the structural support that U-M will provide for your study.  More importantly, obtaining enthusiastic letters of support from leadership in the organizations or communities necessary to conduct your study is a particularly strategic approach, especially if the groups provide assistance or access to something that you wouldn’t typically have for your research (e.g., laboratory equipment to run samples, availability of a specific patient population, etc.)  However, don’t overdo it– it is important to keep the letters focused on executing your research aims so that reviewers aren’t overwhelmed; use them to demonstrate you have leadership and collegial support in your unit as well as relevant organizations and communities within the envelope of support around you.

Additional Medical School Office of Research Units work to contribute resources to the success of your research; for a full list of units and related support services click here. The Grant Services & Analysis unit provides materials for developing the Facilities and Other Resources element for your grant application, including information on requirements and resource profile templates. Questions? Contact us at