What is a research gift?

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 Form. Review of research gift proposals and back-up is required by the campus gift acceptance policy

  • Research gifts are subject to the 10.5% research administrative fee

  • 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.