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Funding and Grants: Funding Resources

A short list of electronic grant resources based upon a presentation given by Joe Broderick, from the P.U. Office of Research and Project Administration (ORPA), at the Productive Scholar, March 12, 2009

The Department of Defense recently reported that 43% of military spouses expressed an interest in attending school; however, many stated that the steep cost education was one of the main issues holding them back. Combine this with frequent relocation and single parenting while their spouses are abroad, and going to college quickly becomes a daunting task.  

To address the very real issue of affordability, our college planning team at created a holistic financial aid guide specifically for military spouses and children. We provide context for how students can best take advantage of available federal resources while offering an extensive list of 30+ scholarships and grants.


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Information Resources to Help Researchers Get Funding
by Nancy K. Herther 
Sociology/Anthropology Librarian, University of Minnesota 

Searcher Vol. 17 No. 7 — Jul/Aug 2009

Link  to complete article.


[ResourceShelf] Newsletter No.416

July 9, 2009 is a great resource for (mostly free) information, resources, websites on the Internet, vetted by librarians.

Gary Price, editor

Key Databases for Finding Research Funding

Directly from Nancy K. Herther's text:

"Researchers seeking external support for their research — grants, fellowships, travel funds, or other support — have many tools available that might lead them to the right funding source. Although the top three — Community of Science, IRIS, and SPIN — are generally available at most large colleges and universities, many others might have value — including many sources available freely over the internet. Here are some of the best:

Associations Unlimited (subscription- or fee-based)

This online version of the standard reference work, Encyclopedia of Associations, is updated semiannually and provides detailed descriptions of more than 450,000 trade groups, professional associations, and other nonprofit organizations from around the U.S. and the world. By searching on keyword, it is possible to locate potential targets for funding applications. Even many local/regional associations will offer limited travel or other grants that might help support research and build a portfolio of funding successes for the budding researcher.

Back to College — Search for Scholarships (free internet resource)

This free website encourages people to participate by submitting articles, questions, or other information. The website includes useful information on financial aid, various types of courses and degree programs, internships, grants and fellowships, getting discounted textbooks, and other information. The site includes multiple web-based scholarship databases. Though originally intended as a resource for adults returning to college, the information is applicable to all populations looking for funding opportunities via the internet.

Community of Science (COS) (subscription- or fee-based)

Self-described as “the world’s most comprehensive funding resource, with more than 25,000 records representing nearly 400,000 opportunities, worth over $33 billion,” COS Funding Opportunities is the largest database of available funding today. COS includes all types of sponsoring agencies — from private foundations to public agencies, national and local governments to corporations, and more. The database includes all disciplines and funding for a wide range of purposes — such as research, collaborations, travel, curriculum development, conferences, fellowships, postdoctoral positions, equipment acquisitions, capital, or operating expenses. Updated daily, the search structure allows for simple or advanced searching, running saved searches, and creating alerts.

Federal Register (free internet resource)

Published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Federal Register is the “official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.” As such, this is a good source for learning about new funding opportunities from the federal government.

FinAid (free internet resource)

FinAid, Financial Aid Information Page, began in 1994 as an adjunct to a book written by Mark Kantrowitz while he was a computer-science graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University. Useful sections include FinAid’s fastWEB Scholarship Search, a database of more than 180,000 private-sector funding options, as well as links to other sources for support categorized by specific majors or courses of study, as well as one called Educator/FAA Guide to National Scholarship Databases. The site is full of useful information and links and provides a “first stop on the web for students looking for ways to finance their education.”

Foundation Grants to Individuals (subscription- or fee-based)

Compiled by the staff of the Foundation Center, this database includes about 8,000 foundation and public charity programs that fund students, artists, researchers, and other individual grant seekers. “Funding includes educational support, general welfare, arts, and cultural support, awards, prizes, and grants by nomination, international applicants, company employees, students, and graduates of specific schools, and research and professional support.” Updated quarterly, foundation profiles include basic information on the organization, the scope and nature of the funding programs, and the availability of information on the grant maker. Some profiles include a purpose and activities statement, fields of interest, information on the geographic focus, and limitations of the funder. Some entries provide descriptions of the application procedure, financial data, and a list of recently awarded grants. Where available, the profile also links to PDFs of the most recent IRS 990 or 990PF filings for that foundation.

GrantAdvisor Plus (subscription- or fee-based)

This searchable newsletter intended for faculty, researchers, and administrators in higher education — not students — focuses on “grant opportunities from federal agencies (except NIH) as well as many independent organizations and foundations.” Based on the monthly print product, “each issue contains 20-25 program reviews with descriptions, eligibility requirements, special criteria, funding amounts, and contact information (including phone and fax numbers, email and web addresses). The remainder of the newsletter is comprised of the Deadline Memo with more than 300 listings of grant and fellowship programs for the coming 4 months, organized into eight academic divisions (fine arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences, education, international, health related, unrestricted/other).”

GrantsNet (free internet resource)

A free “one-stop resource to find funds for research and training in the sciences” from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The searchable database is international in scope and focuses on the medical and other sciences. Other features include a Deadline Watch, Funding News section, and the ability to post jobs and funding opportunities. You can also create accounts so you can save your GrantsNet search results and individual grant announcements.

Grants and Awards Available to American Writers (subscription- or fee-based)

Updated monthly, this PEN America Center database includes more than 2,000 listings of domestic and foreign grants, literary awards, fellowships, and residencies for writers. Self-described as “the most comprehensive online database available to writers of all income brackets, at work in all genres, and at various levels of achievement.” Searchable by keyword, genre, organization, or deadline. (free internet resource)

This important website provides one-stop research for federal grants, providing information on discretionary grants offered by the 26 federal grant-making agencies in the U.S. government. The site includes multiple search options, a blog and newsletter, email alerts, and, in many cases, links to application sites and forms. It is an excellent, well-designed site focusing on this key grant-making area.

GrantSelect (subscription- or fee-based)

This provides access to “prospects for funding from pure research grants to arts programs, biomedical and health care research, community services programs, children and youth programs, K–12 education funding, international programs, operating grants for nonprofit organizations, faith-based grants, and scholarship programs.” The database includes more than 12,000 grant programs from more than 5,100 sponsors. The database is updated daily and is searchable by subject, geographic area, grant type, sponsor, free text, and other variables.

IRIS: Illinois Researcher Information Service (subscription- or fee-based)

A service of the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign, IRIS currently contains “over 9,000 active federal and private funding opportunities in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. The database provides funding opportunities for faculty as well as fellowships and scholarships for grad students and undergrads.” Searchable by sponsor, deadline date, keyword, and other criteria. Most records contain links to sponsor websites, electronic forms, or Electronic Research Administration (eRA) portals. Types of funding support include research, educational and professional activities, travel, exhibitions, publishing, seminars, equipment acquisitions, and more. Searchable by subject, type of support, population group, sponsor type, citizenship, application deadlines, and more.

ResearchResearch (subscription-based and a free, web-based subset)

ResearchResearch is available in a subscription version or you can freely use its ResearchResearch Lite, a subset of approximately 1% of the full database, “but this does include every funding opportunity from the NIH, NSF, and another 60+ Federal agencies in the US.” The full version covers all disciplines, focused largely on North America and western Europe, and, in addition to including more opportunities, carries significant news information on research trends, policy, and politics.

RSP Funding for Graduate Students (subscription- or fee-based)

Containing more than 3,500 records of funding opportunities for grad students from government agencies, professional organizations, corporations, sororities and fraternities, foundations, religious groups, educational associations, and military/veterans organizations, the database includes areas of the sciences, social sciences, and humanities — fellowships, loans, grants, and other awards. Individual records include eligibility requirements such as applicant characteristics, heritage, skills, affiliations, financial need, etc.

RSP Funding for Postdoctorates and Professionals (subscription- or fee-based)

This database offers “thousands of grants, fellowships, loans, awards, traineeships, and other funding programs available to support research, study, training, personal and organizational projects, conference and workshop attendance, exchange programs, and creative activities (writing, artistic work, etc.) in the United States and abroad” available to “scholars, academicians, researchers, practitioners, and professionals in dozens of fields, including the fine and applied arts, medicine, library and information service, engineering, social work, the sciences, business administration, etc.”

RSP Funding for Undergraduates (subscription- or fee-based)

Another RSP product, this database allows users “to search for funding available to college-bound high school students, high school graduates, currently-enrolled college students, and students re-entering college. Thousands of scholarships, loans, grants, awards, and other funding opportunities, worth billions of dollars, are described. This money can be used at private or public, 2- or 4-year, and religious or secular colleges or universities in the U.S.”

SPIN: Sponsored Programs Information Network (subscription- or fee-based)

SPIN, “the most widely used funding opportunity database in the world ... tracks the funding programs (e.g., research grants; fellowships; publication support; sabbatical support; curriculum development; etc.) of over 6,000 government, private, and nonprofit funding sources worldwide.” Easily searched, in basic or advanced mode, by citizenship, geographic areas and restrictions, deadlines, subjects, etc. Other features include alert services, an expertise database and access to the Federal Register. Updated daily."

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Louise Deis
Peter B. Lewis (Science) Library, Rm. 211


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