Higher Education

Higher Education

General Foundation Guidelines

The Luce Foundation pursues its mission through individual grant-making programs. Prospective grantees should visit the relevant program page to familiarize themselves with that program’s goals and priorities before applying through the online portal.

Below are the general guidelines for submitting a grant application. Please read the requirements and restrictions below, in addition to the details outlined for the relevant grant category, before beginning the application process.

If you have difficulty registering for the online portal or submitting a concept note through the portal, please contact the grants administrator at grants@hluce.org.

General Eligibility Requirements and Restrictions

  • An organization that has an active grant from one of the Foundation's programs should contact the program director before applying for a second grant from that same program. There is no prohibition against an organization with an active grant from one program applying for a grant from a different program.
  • Grants are only made to institutions and cannot be made directly to individuals, with the sole exception of the Luce Scholars Program; however, individuals may seek funding from Luce-supported programs administered by other organizations.
  • Typically, grants are made to U.S. not-for-profit organizations or their international equivalents.
  • The Foundation does not support healthcare, medical, disaster relief, or international development projects.
  • The Foundation does not provide support to political parties or political campaigns, or for lobbying or other political activities.
  • The Foundation does not contribute to annual funds, fundraising events, endowments, or building campaigns.

General Application Process

  1. Review the relevant program's goals and particular guidelines.
  2. Create an account on our online portal and complete the concept note form. If you have difficulty registering for the portal or submitting the form through the portal, please contact the grants administrator at grants@hluce.org.
  3. You will receive an automatic confirmation of receipt after submitting a concept note. Concept notes will be acted upon within eight weeks of submission. Applicants are encouraged to reach out to the relevant Program Director by email with any specific questions or concerns during the application process.
  4. Following review by Foundation program staff, selected applicants will be invited to submit detailed proposals through our online portal. 
  5. Recommended proposals will be presented to the Foundation’s board of directors for consideration three times each year—in March, June, and November. The concept note review and proposal development process generally take 3 to 4 months, and can take longer, so institutions should plan accordingly.

Start the Application Process

Image: Columbia Professor Pamela Smith (second from left), Making & Knowing project leader, works with students in the project’s lab trying to recreate recipes from a 16th century French book of secrets.
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