Foundation Funded Programs


The Foundation for Excellence Fund of the Ferris Foundation is hereby established. The purpose of establishing this Fund is to offer additional opportunities for financial assistance to exceptional and outstanding students beginning or continuing their studies at Ferris State University. By its execution of this agreement, the Ferris Foundation acknowledges that any property that may be contributed to the Fund shall be held by it pursuant to the terms of these guidelines.

The Fund shall be maintained as an endowment. The principal of the Fund shall be preserved and the investment proceeds only, as defined by the Foundation's investment and spending policies, shall be used for the support of the Foundation for Excellence Scholarships at Ferris State University.

The following criteria shall be used to select recipients of The Ferris Foundation Opportunity Endowed Scholarship:

For additional information, please contact Kim Erickson at (231) 591-2365 or [email protected]


Merit Grant Process for 2019-20:

NOTE: In addition to submitting your electronic request for proposal, you will be expected to present your project in person to the Gifts and Grants Committee of The Ferris Foundation Board of Directors.

Presentation dates will be March 20 and 22, 2019.

The Ferris Foundation, acting under the authority of its Board of Directors, respectfully requests the submission of proposals from those who are interested in pursuing projects that demonstrate exceptional merit in advancing the mission of Ferris State University, which states

"Ferris State University prepares students for successful careers, responsible citizenship, and lifelong learning. Through its many partnerships and its career-oriented, broad-based education, Ferris serves our rapidly changing global economy and society."

Funds have been established to support projects that represent the innovative and collaborative spirit of Ferris State University, including (but not limited to) the following types of endeavors:

Pilot programs
Matching grant expenses
Research or special projects that involve students
Faculty, and/or other expert participation
Enhancing faculty expertise or funding equipment dedicated to specific programmatic objectives

**It is not the intent of the grant to fund/provide direct compensation for faculty/staff. Student salaries are considered on a case by case basis** 

To foster academic collaboration and maximize academic project initiatives, extra consideration (more weight) will be given to projects that have obtained outside funding from partnering business and industry or outside government agencies toward the estimated proposal total.

Grant awards will not exceed $7,500 and are not renewable, however, previously funded projects may be considered by The Foundation. For projects involving animal and/or human subjects, such protocols must be approved by the appropriate University committee (Human Subjects Review Committee and/or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) prior to grant approval.

Grant Award Timetable

Proposal Submission Date Deadline: February 28, 2019
Initial Review of Proposals Complete: March 16, 2019
Grant Awards Announced: April 15, 2019
Merit Grant Progress Report Due: December 12, 2019
Final Report Due: April 10, 2020

Proposals received after 5:00 p.m. on February 28, 2019 or not adhering to the guidelines and format below will not be accepted or considered.

Check the FAQ section near the lower half of this webpage to see if your question can be answered. It is very important that you read and follow the instructions outlined below to successfully complete the application.

Proposals, and any questions relating thereto, should be directed to: Kim Erickson, Ferris Foundation, 420 Oak Street, PRK-101, Big Rapids, Michigan 49307, (231) 591-2365 or [email protected].

The Request for Proposal form can be found online at The form can be filed electronically or turned in to The Foundation Office in person by the deadline.

It is very important to follow the instructions - please see the FAQ section of this webpage if you have questions. It is essential that you be at your own computer when filling out this form, as it uses your email client to send the form to the Foundation Office.

Proposal Content

Proposals must be submitted in electronic format or in person and provide the following information to the extent that it is available:

  1. Grant Application Cover Sheet: Please print and use the online cover sheet; it must be complete and include the proper signatures. This form is the only sheet that is required to be submitted in hard copy format (not electronically).
  2. Narrative: A brief description of the project being proposed and the desired outcomes (maximum 1 page).  When completing the narrative portion, please be brief and concise.
  3. Relevance: Please share the relevance of the project and how this aligns with the mission of Ferris State University.
  4. Timeline:  Please outline the timeline.
  5. Names and Qualifications: The names and qualifications of all individuals who are substantially responsible for pursuing the proposal's objectives.
  6. Dissemination: Please describe how you will disseminate the results of your project to the University, community, and your greater academic/professional community.
  7. Budget: A complete project budget which details how grant funds will be used. The budget should also describe the extent to which any additional resources beyond The Foundation's grant are needed and have been committed to the project. If requesting equipment, assess distribution/disposal upon completion of project. Food and beverage expenses will not be funded and therefore shall be excluded from the amount requested from the Foundation. For ongoing projects, please include a discussion of financial sustainability of the project or initiative.

Grant Guidelines

  1. All proposals shall be submitted using the attached outline and the responses shall be contained to the space indicated on the page. Please use standard fonts, such as Times New Roman or Arial, keeping the font size to either 10 point or 11 point. All text shall be single spaced, and paragraphs shall be indented. The final proposal should be no longer than 7 pages in length. Proposals not adhering to these formatting guidelines will not be considered for evaluation.
  2. IRB Approval: For projects requiring protocol approval from either the Human Subjects Review Committee or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, please include a copy of the approval with your proposal.
  3. **PLEASE NOTE: Because this is a PDF form, you cannot save information to it. We recommend that you cut and paste from a Word document into the PDF form. This will save you some frustration later if you have to walk away from the form and you lose your progress.

Grant Application Submission Guidelines

Attention: Please follow the directions for submitting the form exactly as presented in the "Proposal Guidelines and Content" section above. Follow these exact steps to submit your proposal:

Please contact Kim Erickson at the Foundation Office (231-591-2365) if you have any questions regarding the process.

The grant application requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Fillable/Printable Cover Sheet

IMPORTANT: Do not use Google Chrome to submit this application due to a known issue with cutting and pasting.  If you are using a Macintosh to complete your application, visit the FAQ section of this webpage for special instructions for submitting your application.

2019-20 Merit Grant Application

Note: This is a fillable PDF form. Do not attempt to copy it to your hard drive. It is designed to be filled in and sent via email. If you save it to your hard drive and attempt to send it to the Foundation Office as a PDF file, it will arrive blank. Please review the instructions above prior to filling out the form.

Recipient Reporting Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

Note: If your question is not listed here, please email Foundation assistant Kim Erickson at [email protected]

  1. Will my application be funded? Although there are many exceptional proposals submitted, funding is limited. Only those that best meet the criteria will ultimately be funded. 

  2. I can't complete my application on time. Can I have extra time? Only those proposals submitted by the deadline will be considered.

  3. What if I can't get a signature on time? In preparing your proposal, it is important to communicate with your Dean/Department Head/Chair or Vice President/supervisor and arrange for signatures within the allowed time period. Applications without proper signatures will not be considered.

  4. Are there samples available to view? Yes. You can view winning applications by clicking here. Contact Foundation Assistant Kim Erickson by email at [email protected] or by phone at (231) 591-2365 if you need additional assistance in viewing proposals.

  5. I'm trying to send my grant, but it wants to find an email program. What's happening?Per the instructions on the Merit Grant Homepage, it is critical that you be at a computer that has your Outlook client installed in order to successfully send the form to the Foundation office. Make sure you have your grant materials in a Word document. If you didn't do this, make sure you copy your materials to a Word file before you close the form. Otherwise, you will lose all your work. Take the word document to a computer that has your Outlook client, copy and paste the materials, then send it to the Foundation office.  Alternatively, see the instructions below for Mac computers.  You may also save a copy of the .xml file on the desktop of the computer you are using, open an internet version of an email program you use (i.e. Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail) and attach it to an email to Kimberly Erickson ([email protected]). 

  6. Note: When you click the "Submit" button, be sure to select "Desktop Email Application" and click "OK" to send your application through your Outlook account (special instructions for Macs below).

  7. I can't make this form work. Who can help me?   Call Mary Kay MacIver at (231) 591-3739. She can walk you through it, or she is happy to have you make an appointment to see her for assistance.

IMPORTANT. If you are using a Macintosh computer to complete your application DO NOT USE SAFARI or GOOGLE CHROME. This is due to the form using Javascript, which does not work in either of these browsers. Note: Tests with Firefox have been successful. Alternately, if you use Parallels, try opening the form in IE on your virtual machine.

Whatever browser you choose, we recommend you test the form first before entering your grant information to make sure you can send it. Put "test" in several of the fields and determine if the "Send by Email" button at the bottom of the form allows you to send it by "Desktop Email Application" via Outlook.   If this doesn't work, choose the "Internet Email" option, and save your .xml file to your desktop.   Choose the successful method to send your your grant via Outlook or your email program of choice to Kimberly Erickson.  If you are still having difficulties, contact MaryKay MacIver at (231) 591-3739 for assistance.