Jeffress Memorial Trust

The Thomas F. and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust

A Guideline for Applicants

Original guidelines are in plain text.

Notes in bold  indicate official changes to original guidelines--11/24/1998.

Notes in bold  indicate official changes to original guidelines--5/15/2001.

Bracketed notes are additions included by the W&M Grants Office--last revised, 8/30/2004.

Newest information from Jeffress in bold italics --revised, 4/6/07

[NOTE: THESE GUIDELINES HAVE BEEN COMPILED BY THE OFFICE OF SPONSORED PROGRAMS BASED ON INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE JEFFRESS TRUST FOR USE BY PROSPECTIVE APPLICANTS. THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL PUBLICATION APPROVED BY THE TRUST. SCANNED COPIES OF OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS CAN BE FOUND HERE.]

General Policy Guidelines

The purpose of the Jeffress Trust is to support basic research in chemical, medical, or other scientific fields through grants to educational and research institutions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Grants are given to assist scientists in such institutions to conduct investigations in the natural sciences, generally considered to include chemistry, physics, biology (with the exception of field studies, classification, other largely observational studies), studies in the basic medical sciences, such as biochemistry, microbiology, and others.

Grants are made to institutions and organizations in the Commonwealth of Virginia only which qualify under IRS regulations as tax exempt and are operated exclusively for charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, so long as attempts to influence Jeffress Memorial Trust or to support candidates for public office do not form part of their activities. Grants are not made to private foundations or private operating foundations as defined by the IRS.

[The Jeffress Trust provides approximate $1 million in grants each year, spread over two competition cycles.]

Specific Guidelines for Jeffress Research Grants

The Trust will make grants-in-aid of research and will not suggest specific research programs. Institutions requesting support for programs will be expected to give evidence of their interest in the programs by providing usual supplies and services and indirect costs. The Trust will normally not support clinical research (diagnosis or treatment of disease, abnormality, or malfunctions in people or animals, or testing of drugs or procedures for their treatment). The principal evaluation criteria will be the scientific significance of the proposed work and the competence of the investigator. The Trust is particularly interested in supporting fundamental research by scientists early in their careers and new areas of research or more speculative projects by established investigators.

Funds should be requested for only one year, maximum $30,000.  After the first year, one-year renewals can be requested for up to $10,000 per year for up to two additional years. These renewals should be requested at the regular application deadlines and should begin no sooner than one year after the start of the first award.

[Applicants should request the full $30,000 for the first year and the full $10,000 for renewals.]

In general, items of direct expense essential to the successful prosecution of the proposed project will be provided. These would normally include undergraduate or graduate student summer stipends; summer stipends for principal investigators who lack other support for research in the summer months (up to two months at the monthly rate of $3,000 per month or $6,000 for the summer, no FICA should be included); supplies directly related to the proposed project; special equipment (for expensive equipment whose use can extend beyond the specific project, the Trust will expect the institution to share the cost); and other expenses clearly justified as necessary for satisfactory performance of the work.

[The $3,000 monthly rate is a maximum rate as is the $6,000 for two months.]

Student participation should be in the form of fellowship or scholarship activities whenever possible.  Fellowship or graduate assistant stipends paid from grant funds shall not exceed one-fourth of the academic year stipend for student assistants, not including any amounts for tuition or fees, paid by the institution.  Summer stipends for undergraduate students who participate in research programs are limited to the regular monthly rate paid in the academic year for three summer months.

Up to $1,000 will be allowed for national or local travel.

The following categories of support will not normally be provided.  Indirect costs; common supplies and services; secretarial assistance; academic year salaries or stipends for faculty and students in academic institutions; instrument or computer time and maintenance charges for institutionally owned equipment, with the exception of specialized, expensive equipment shared by several departments.  No funds will be approved for international travel, tuition and fees, or fringe benefits including FICA

Not currently eligible for Jeffress grants as principal investigators are:
  • Research Assistants, Research Associates, Post-doctoral, Fellows, Instructors, Visiting Scientist or other similar categories. 
  • Faculty with significant external grant funds.
  • Faculty who currently have Jeffress funding.
  • Research Assistant Professors or Research Associate  Professors currently in the lab of a fully funded senior professor.
Lower priorities for funding include:
  • Research Assistant Professors or Research Associate Professors.
  • Senior faculty, even those who clearly justify their research as new or speculative.
Jeffress has advised:
  • New investigators early in their careers have funding priority; senior faculty and others detailed above have lesser priority.
  • Funding continues to be limited.
  • Senior Faculty and those with other funding support are less likely to be reviews and funded.  When Jeffress receives many applications from new investigators, they tend not to review Senior Faculty applications.  Senior Faculty can contact Dr. Richard Brandt, Ph.D., Advisor, Bank of America, at 804-788-3698, with specific questions about eligibility prior to writing a proposal.
  • Applications that do not adhere to the specific application guidelines, including those who do not submit with 12 point font, will not be reviewed. 
Review of Applications

Applications will be reviewed initially by the Advisor to the Trust and will be evaluated by the Trust's Allocations Committee at meetings held in the spring and fall of each year, generally in May and November. [The proposal deadline for the spring meeting isApplicants March 1; for the fall meeting, September 1. Applications should be POSTMARKED no later than the deadline date.]  Applicants will be notified only in writing of the decision of the Committee after the meeting at which their proposal has been considered. Reviewers comments, edited to assure anonymity, may be furnished to applicants, if requested.

[Awardees are generally notified within three months of proposal submission.] 

Applicants should be aware that it is only the Committee as a group that makes each decision, and that almost every application the Trust receives is meritorious. Because of the number of such requests, the Committee must pick and choose and many worthy requests must be declined. Applicants should not be discouraged from future requests if a proposal is declined.