Research Gifts

Research gifts are those directed to a specific research topic or project led and/or managed by a specific principal investigator (PI). While some fundraisers do certainly work on and solicit research gifts, many are brought in directly by faculty. A research gift may come about as the result of a faculty member being invited to submit a proposal to a funder, or even as a result of a faculty member giving a talk. Most, but not all, research gift donors are corporations or foundations. Research gifts differ from other gifts in a few ways:

  • Back-up for all research gifts of $500+ for corporations and $5,000+ for individuals must be submitted for review and acceptance through the Research Gift Intake FormReview of research gift proposals and back-up is required by the campus gift acceptance policy

  • Research gifts are subject to the 13% research administrative fee (effective 7/1/2023).

  • Research gifts require additional scrutiny in order to maintain and protect UC Berkeley’s academic freedom, intellectual property rights, and 501(c)3 status. 

  • New research gifts for specific projects often require a new fund. Read more about when new funds are required.​

  • It can be difficult to distinguish a gift for research from a grant or other type of sponsored project. Please visit the Gifts vs. Grants Eureka page here and the Research Office Grant Life Cycle page here to learn more.

  • Research gifts do differ from sponsorship gifts. Gift sponsorship programs allow industry sponsors to receive non-tangible benefits in return for unrestricted support for the lab. Gift sponsorship programs are vetted through the intake process detailed here

The Research Gift Intake Form​ is used by the UDAR Fund Management and Gift Services teams to review research gift documents and accept the gifts for processing. The form requests the information needed to ensure that a transaction  can be accepted by UC Berkeley as a gift and will comply with relevant University policies and guidelines, as well as IRS rules. 

When do I need to complete the Research Gift Intake Form?

  • A research gift agreement needs to be drafted

    • A UC Berkeley research gift agreement can be drafted by the UDAR Fund Management team when requested by the donor, to establish new gift terms, and/or to confirm gift intent.

  • Award Letter- A funder sends an award letter regarding a PI's research gift

    • Some of these letters may require an award agreement to be signed by UC Berkeley in order to issue gift payment. Complete the Research Gift Intake Form to collect campus signatures.

  • Research Gift Money- A funder sends money ($500+ for corporations, and $5,000+ for individuals)

    • A new check or wire for a research gift has been received and should be processed and deposited into an existing or new fund.

    • If a gift arrives after you have already submitted an award letter via the form, simply email to let them know. They will send you updated request fields to connect the new gift with the award letter.

What will I need to complete the Research Gift Intake Form?

  • Name of funder and amount

  • Check or wire number (if a gift has already arrived)

  • The fund number to which the gift should be placed

    • ​​If a new fund needs to be set up for this gift, please provide the appropriate Department ID and Chartfield 1 or 2.

  • Gift/Award Letter - This could be an externally generated letter, email notification of award, or other email or document stating that a gift is being made.

    • If a letter is not provided by the donor, a research gift agreement can be requested via the Research Gift Intake Form.

  • Completed proposal or application for funding - This could be a completed application form requesting funding, a formal or informal proposal that was submitted to the funder, or communication with the funder discussing the nature of the gift. This is not necessarily a proposal you would upload to Phoebe (the proposal approval portal for projects going through the Sponsored Projects Office or the Industry Alliances Office). Rather, it is the communications between the PI and funder about the research and gift.

  • Call for applications - This is the funder's call for nominations or call for proposals. Please include the funder's submission guidelines.

To submit for research gift processing:

  • Signed 700-U Form (Statement of Economic Interests for Principal Investigators) - Required for gift processing. 

    • A copy of the completed 700-U should also be submitted to the Conflict of Interest Office

    • Positive disclosures should come with the Conflict of Interest (COI) determination notification and related backup.


Additional Resources:

Research Gift Intake Form

Research Office Grant Life Cycle

Conflict of Interest Office Financial Disclosures Page


Gifts vs. Grants

UCOP Gifts vs. Grants