About the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (OCFR)


What does OCFR do?

Working within Rice University's Development and Alumni Relations division, OCFR helps to secure funding from corporations and private foundations.  We want to help as many people at Rice understand the process so that we spread the capacity for grant and gift-seeking beyond OCFR.

Our involvement varies widely based on the project, and is often dictated by the needs of the faculty or the degree to which the program is deemed a priority by the president, provost, or dean. That said, there are many sources of potential funding, and while there’s probably not something for every project, we will give your needs our best shot!

We are eager to speak to anyone interested in a partnership with a company or foundation, and we enjoy learning about the variety of projects and programs on campus.  We hold open houses on the first Friday of every month from 9-11 a.m. in Brochstein Pavilion.  We are also available for individual appointments or to speak in group settings.

Where is OCFR located?

Our offices are located on-campus on the fourth floor of the Cambridge Office Building.

How does OCFR work with Rice's Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) division?

OCFR is a small team of people working with corporations and private foundations, as part of Rice's larger Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) division.

What services can OCFR offer?

Services we typically offer cover a wide range and include:

  • Helping to pinpoint likely sources of funding and developing related funding strategies
  • Arranging on- and off-campus visits involving funders and campus representatives
  • Showcasing key projects at Rice for prospective funders
  • Arranging special invitations for key funders or prospective funders to lunches, dinners, or events
  • Writing or editing letters of inquiry
  • Writing or editing proposals
  • Setting up practice sessions for faculty who have to give presentations during a site visit
  • Securing letters of support to accompany proposals from institutional officials
  • Securing necessary documentation to accompany proposals
  • Writing letters of thanks from the president, provost, and deans
  • Reminding PIs when reports are due
  • Writing, editing, or submitting reports
  • Providing faculty with information about targeted funders, including any institutional history

With what kind of projects and programs can OCFR assist?

The OCFR staff is always happy to learn more about the project, program or research for which you seek funding.  We aim to offer a realistic assessment of its chances of being funded by a particular company or private foundation, based on a number of factors, to maximize your chances for success.

If I am working with a corporation or foundation, should I contact OCFR?

Yes, please let us know about any contacts you have with a company or foundation, even if the relationship does not necessarily involve grant or gift funds.  While we encourage as many people as possible to develop direct relationships, we do need to have a complete picture of Rice’s overall relationship and to occasionally help manage simultaneous requests of the same company or foundation.  We don’t want any of you to run into each other!  Recognizing that each circumstance is different, we will discuss with you ways in which we can, or even should, be involved.  Sometimes, we will simply provide you with any insight we might have, including the company’s or foundation’s historical relationship with Rice. 

When else should I contact OCFR?

If you are planning to apply or request funding from a company or foundation, please contact OCFR for advice and guidance.

How can I receive regular updates from OCFR?

The best way to stay informed of new grant opportunities, OCFR open house events, and other happenings is to add your name to our newsletter mailing list and to check the website regularly.  RFPs are kept up-to-date, and a complete list can be accessed from the OCFR homepage.

When are the OCFR open house events?

We hold open houses on the first Friday of every month from 9-11 a.m. in Brochstein Pavilion. See here for more details.

How does OCFR differ from the Office of Sponsored Projects and Research Compliance (SPARC) and from Research and Cost Accounting (RCA)?

All three offices support research at Rice University, though in different ways. OCFR works closely with SPARC and RCA to receive and manage grants from foundations and corporations. SPARC supports the submission of proposals to all external sponsors, including federal, state, and local agencies, foundations, and corporations. OCFR and OSR work closely together to submit proposals to and receive grants from companies and foundations, a process that involves properly routing proposals through Cayuse.

RCA creates funds for all sponsored project awards in Banner, including all foundation grants that will be managed in R funds. RCA reviews expenditures throughout the grant period and monitors spending compliance with the award terms. RCA will prepare grant financial reports and close out awards.