Letters of Agreement and Letters of Support

If you are naming an outside individual (e.g., consultant), agency, or another institution in your proposal and indicating commitment to do something for the grant, then you will need a letter from them saying they actually agree to do what you said they’d do!

And if the outsider commitment involves money, then the dollar amount and terms must be explicit. EVEN IF THE FUNDING AGENCY DOES NOT REQUIRE THIS, OSP REVIEWERS REQUIRE THESE LETTERS FOR UNIVERSITY SIGN-OFF ON ALL PROPOSALS

Letter of Support or Letter of Agreement?

  • Letters of Agreement are required in any situation where the outside individual or agency will be paid through the grant (e.g., outside consultants & subcontracts )
  • Letters of Support indicate support for a project when no money is changing hands but some commitment of time or resources is involved.

In general, you’ll need a letter from:

  1. Anyone outside the UW who will be a consultant (a letter of agreement). See sample consultant letter.

  2. Any outside individual or agency that is agreeing to participate somehow without pay – e.g. a clinic that will refer research subjects; a nursing home that will allow interviewers to come in and do a research intervention with residents there; a community member who will sit as an un-paid individual on a project advisory board, etc. (letter of support)

  3. Any outside agency or institution agreeing to be a sub-contractor. See sample subcontract letter of agreement .

  4. Any PI of a proposed sub-contract (in addition to the letter from the agency that will receive the sub-contract).

  5. Deans, Chairs, Heads of Schools within UW that might need to provide something extra for special projects (e.g., if building new space or establishing a “cost sharing” budget to match grant funds is required).

  6. You might want a letter from anyone from UW who agrees to participate as an “Other Significant Contributor” at 0% FTE – sometimes the PI wants to show involvement of people with specific expertice, even though those indivduals aren’t actually listed in the budget, and that’s one way to show it.

Every situation is different. Check the terms of the funding announcement to see if there are limits to what you *can* submit – sometimes PIs will excerpt shorter paragraph quotes from multiple letters of support onto one page, to save space.

Sample Letter for Subcontract “Agreement to Participate”

For subcontracts to agencies outside UW, a formal letter of agreement is needed for OSP review of the propopsal.

This letter must be on institutional letterhead, and should be signed by whoever is authorized there to enter into formal contractual arrangements on behalf of the institution (at the University level). They call it the "authorized business official" and it must be someone different than the PI on the sub-contract. At other universities, that person would be the equivalent of our Office of Sponsored Programs here at UW.

The letter of agreement must specify the work scope for the sub-contract and the budget amount, broken down by overall total and breaking out the indirect costs separately. You'll also need to include the indirect cost rate that the sub-contract institution charges. It doesn't have to be a huge work scope, but it basically needs to reflect the work scope described in the proposal as well, and show that if the project is funded, the sub-contract institution is aware of the proposal and willing to enter into this contractual arrangement.

The sample letter below includes the critical pieces needed in a letter from any sub-contract agency. Areas highlighted in red will require specific review & input from the sub-contractor.


UW PI Name
Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems
University of Washington, Box 357266
Seattle, WA  98195-7266

RE:       Letter of Intent Regarding Subcontract with {subcontract agency}
            Project Title:__________________________________________
            Principal Investigator: __________________________________
            Funding Agency: ______________________________________
            Period: ___________________________
            Total Costs Requested for Budget Period: $__________________
            Indirect Costs Requested @ ___% for Budget Period: $________________

Dear _PI NAME_

SUBCONTRACT AGENCY NAME would be happy to participate in the above-referenced project. The appropriate programmatic and administrative personnel of each organization involved in this grant application are prepared to establish the necessary inter-organizational agreement if this proposal is funded.

The attached budget estimates the resources necessary to implement the activities described in the budget narrative and scope of work.

Please contact ____________________________ at phone #__________ or e-mail address ________________________ if you require other information or have any questions regarding SUBCONTRACT AGENCY’s participation. Please notify us if the project is funded, so that we may implement a subcontract without delay.

Thank you for the opportunity to be involved in this important project.


Name of Person Signing for Agency                      Date
Role at agency

Sample "Consultant Letter of Agreement”

For individual consultants outside UW, a formal letter of agreement is needed for OSP review of the propopsal. This letter should describe their fees, how many days they expect to work, what they charge (specify $ per hour or $ per day, plus whether or not we’ll be paying for travel/per diem, etc.), include a short sentence or two describing what they expect to do for the project. This letter must NOT be on institutional letterhead - have the consultant use a home address if they do not have formal business letterhead. The letter should be dated and signed by the consultant.


UW PI Name
Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems
University of Washington, Box 357266
Seattle, WA  98195-7266

Dear _PI NAME_

I would be pleased to serve as a consultant on the continuation of your grant [GRANT TITLE] This is a very important project that _____________________ ______________________________________.

I understand that the grant will _______________________________________.

I strongly support this project and will offer my expertise in ___________________ ____________________________________________________________________

My fees would be as follows:__ days @ $___/day in Year 1 ($__________); ___ days @ $____/day in Year 2 ($________); ___ days @ $____ /day in Year 3, plus travel and per diem for each consulting visit.

Thank you for the opportunity to be involved in this important project.


Name  & degrees, etc.

Download a word version of the Consultant letter template

See the following link for information about Concurrence Letters.