Industry Gifts & Charitable Contributions in Support of Research

Industry can support research at Boston University in many ways. Two of the most common ways companies work with BU are by making gifts to support research or by sponsoring research. Making a research gift and sponsoring research at the University have very different outcomes, requirements, and procedure. Depending on a company’s goals, each mode of supporting research may be appropriate in different situations.

Learn more below, or reach out to BU’s Director of Corporate Relations, Sophia Monkman, at, with questions or to make a gift.

Types of Industry Gifts

Cash Gifts

A company interested in providing broad support for an initiative, a department, a particular lab, or research project might choose to support that engagement via gift funding. Gifts to support programs or research must be “no strings attached.” Generally, “gifts” are charitable contributions for which the company does not receive any tangible benefits in return, while sponsored research “contracts or grants” are used when a company wants to identify a particular scope of work, and guarantee access to the research results.

Gifts in Kind

Companies may have unique equipment or data relevant to BU areas of research or academics and can participate by contributing these as in-kind gifts. Given their unique nature, in-kind gifts are not valued by the University, but rather the donor or an independent third party. Subject to University approval, acceptance of in-kind gifts is at the discretion of university leadership.

Research Center & Institute Membership

Boston University is home to over 130 research centers, initiatives and institutes that offer a myriad of opportunities for industry to engage with our faculty and students, including University-wide centers like the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, as well as centers embedded within schools and colleges, like the Bioengineering Technology & Entrepreneurship Center and the Engineering Product Innovation Center.

Industry partners are essential to collaborative research projects, offer invaluable guidance on our curriculum, present guest lectures, provide case studies, and advise on appropriate software and equipment so that we can maintain state-of-the-art facilities.

To learn more or to initiative a gift…

Please reach out to BU’s Director of Corporate Relations, Sophia Monkman, at