The Commonwealth Fund provides a rich source of health care data for researchers and is a potential source of research funding. The Fund’s mission is to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children and elderly adults. It carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy.

The Commonwealth Fund requests letters of inquiry to initiate the grant application process. Program staff will contact applicants if more detailed information is required. Proposals recommended by Fund staff are reviewed and voted upon by the Board of Directors, which meets three times each year. However, letters of inquiry are accepted on a rolling basis; there are no deadlines.

In addition, the Fund awards grants through its Small Grants Fund (for grants up to $50,000), with decisions made on a monthly basis. Small grants are closely tied to the Fund’s strategic purposes, and enable the foundation to move quickly and flexibly to underwrite targeted work. The letter of inquiry is the starting point for both board-level and small grants.

Faculty seeking assistance in seeking external grants are encouraged to contact Director of Grant Support and Foundation Relations Jenny Bousquet at or 540/665-4618. Resources are also available on Shenandoah University’s Grant Support Blackboard organization page.