Some colleagues and readers have asked about my experience with grant applications. Perhaps the most common questions is just “Where do I find out about grant opportunities?” That one is fairly straightforward.
As usual, I recommend the automated or passive method: find websites that will crawl the internet for what you seek and then send you emails/notifications when they find it—sometimes called a “saved search”. That way you don’t have to spend days doing something that a bot can do while you do other work. This is how I find research in my areas. It is also how I find many grant opportunities. In this post I’ll share those kinds of grant resources as well as others. I’ll also try to make note of which resources are free to use.
Grant Resources With Passive Notifications
- Grants.gov. Free database of grant opportunities from US government agencies by agency, opportunity status (forecasted, posted, etc.), instrument type (e.g., cooperative, procurement, etc.), eligibility, field, and keyword.
- Philanthropy News Digest (PND): Entirely free. Find requests for proposals (RFPs) by category, sign up for the PND newsletter to get notifications about these RFPs, philanthropy news, and job postings.
- Pivot. A ProQuest tool that allows you to search for grants based on career stage, applicant type (e.g., individual vs. institution), amount of funding, date posted, deadline, location, citizenship, keywords, and more. Many research universities provide a subscription to their students, faculty, and/or staff.
- Grant Gopher: Offering US organizations free basic searches and access to the details of their first five search results. They also offer a free newsletter that includes a selection of open grant opportunities. In addition, you’ll have the option to download up to five sample grant proposals under each funding category. Subscribers get access to all grant opportunities and create email alerts.
- Terra Viva Grants Directory: Find grants for projects in developing countries related to agriculture, energy, environment, and natural resources for free. Email alerts and some search functionality requires paid subscription.
- Foundation Center: For grants in the US and abroad. Allows to search by location, but also advice on fit and more general grant advice. Requires paid subscription.
- Instrumentl. For hundreds of dollars a month, you and your team can get various resources, including passive notifications, reminders, etc.
Other Grant Resources
- GrantStation: A subscription service that allows free access to their database through other services. For example, subscribers of the Chronicle of Philanthropy and members of Grant Professionals Association receive free access to the GrantStation. Offers a free subscription to a newsletter about grants, but I am not sure it offers a free saved search function.
- FundsforNGOs: Find opportunities, organized by category for free. There is also a free newsletter. With a subscription, you can also use their webinars and training materials.
- Council on Foundations. Find US-based nonprofits and foundations and join communities related to them. I didn’t find a saved search feature, but let me know if you do.
What Am I Missing?
There are surely more resources than this. So please tell me if you know of another resource for finding research grants!
One final piece of advice: don’t underestimate networking. A huge chunk of my grant awards so far have been at least partly the result of prior networking, either online or in-person—and I say this as an introvert who often wants to avoid anything resembling in-person networking.
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