This article is from the B1G expansion in 2010, but relevant to our current conversation re: conference academics vs. athletics. While the CIC has a huge budget, it appears each individual school still applies for its own funding - the CIC just serves as a facilitator of networking & collaborative opportunities - albeit a highly valuable one... "One of the first big misconception (at least one that I had), is that the CIC is directly soliciting grants from the federal government. This isn't the case. The CIC is really just a club, comprised of the Big Ten's members and the University of Chicago. The Club, per se, doesn't go out and solicit grants or distribute money in any way."