Laura Williams

Director, Research Foundation Partnerships Office


​Office of the Vice President for Research                                  1109 Geddes Ave., 1374 Ruthven Building                                  Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079

Assistant: Linda Lillemoen, senior executive assistant,      734-764-7013,



Laura Williams leads the Research Foundation Partnerships Office, which helps faculty identify, engage with and gain support from foundations and other nonprofit funders to explore high-risk science and scholarship, as well as early-stage, proof-of-concept projects.

Williams and her team partner with faculty to develop nonprofit research proposals, supporting work that aligns with foundation funding priorities for research and creative practice. In collaboration with the Office of University Development and other U-M units, the office provides guidance on how to approach foundations, exchange ideas and write research proposals that target specific organizations, as well as facilitate proposal development and align university strengths.

Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Columbia University and a professional master’s in journalism from the Columbia University School of Journalism.  Since joining the university in 2010, she has held leadership roles in development and advancement at the Life Science Institute and School for Environment and Sustainability.