Home | Process | Define Opportunity | Locate and Select Funding Opportunity

Responsibility: Units
Prepared by: RAS
Work Instruction Number: WI-DO-05


To provide tools to the RA and investigator on locating funding opportunities, including

  1. The Faculty Interest tool
  2. The Current and Pending tool
  3. Guides to screen for eligibility

Identify opportunities

1. Before working with a faculty member to create a funding opportunities search strategy, the RA should become familiar with the individual’s funding history and pattern:

  • Use the Current and Pending Tool to review their current awards and pending proposals – who are their regular sponsors, and what level of funding are they receiving?
  • The Current and Pending Tool can be used to review their current proposals and active awards. Once an award has ended, it will no longer show on the Current and Pending report. Another useful report is the Allocations for an Investigator report in ERA. This report will show all proposals where an investigator received allocations, regardless of if it was funded or not.
  • Many of the federal agencies have databases where synopses of awarded projects can be viewed (e.g., NIH, NSF). By reviewing this information for awards in which they have been involved , other sponsors may come to mind based on recent funding announcements, the limited submissions list, etc.
  • View the faculty member’s ASU directory listing which will generally link to their bio or website, and can provide additional information on current research, center involvement, outside affiliations, etc.

2. Have the faculty member complete the Faculty Research Interests Tool. The RA may wish to set an appointment with the individual to go over their information, ensure that they understand how Pivot is organized, and have provided sufficient information to create a successful search.

3. Once the research interests tool is complete, choose from the resources/tools available to assist in locating funding opportunities. These include:

  • Pivot – Pivot is a funding opportunities and scholars database updated daily that allows users to receive results in a variety of ways. Additional guidance for using Pivot to conduct funding searches is available here.
  • Foundation Directory Online – ASU has a subscription to FDO, which is accessible via ASU Libraries. This is considered the “go to” resource for private and nonprofit funders. While organized somewhat differently than Pivot, it is similar in nature, whereby you will select areas of interest (keywords) to focus your search. You can apply the same technique described in the Pivot guidance to use text terms to further narrow the scope.
  • Grants.gov – all Federal agencies are required to post their grant opportunities in the Grants.gov database on a daily basis. You will find the information similarly organized to Pivot. There are some general searches provided such as New This Week. One key difference is that the categorization of field of work is more general here than it is in Pivot.
  • NIH, NSF opportunity databases – both of these agencies have easy to search funding lists, with alerts available as well. If a faculty member has a specific agency as a primary source of funding, take advantage of any funding alerts they provide. NSF, especially, can be narrowed in scope to fit closely with an individual’s interests, and provides other information such as Dear Colleague Letters that announce emerging interests in stimulating research by the various directorates.
  • Federal Register – the original source for information on federal funding opportunities, the Register continues to be a useful resource on several of the agencies, including the Department of Education, the State Department, and US AID, as their detailed opportunity information generally appears here first.
  • FedBizOpps – Use this database when a faculty member is seeking contracting (vs. grant) opportunities. It has a robust search engine but will require some time to set up an effective funding search. Search-based alerts are available as well.
  • FedConnect – Occasionally an opportunity posted in Grants.gov will link out to FedConnect (e.g., Department of Energy). To effectively use this search engine you will want to make sure you have the exact title of the opportunity, or the complete identifier #, or know which subsection of the agency has posted the opportunity (e.g., Golden Office), otherwise you may not retrieve any results.
  • NSPIRES – This is NASA’s opportunity database. If a faculty member is interested in NASA funding, become familiar with this database. General listings for umbrella programs, such as ROSES, will be posted in Pivot and Grants.gov, however the detailed information on those opportunities will be found within NSPIRES.

Other sources that may produce opportunities:

  • Publications, poster sessions – authors and presenters will identify their sources of funding there, and this may provide ideas for additional funding sources.
  • Dimensions provides visibility into funded research projects worldwide. This tool can be used to get valuable funding information by topic (e.g., which sponsors have been increasing their spending on a certain topic?), to identify closely related research projects, and to find and build collaborations.
  • NIH RePORTER is an excellent resource for looking up awards. If an R01 opportunity from a given institute has no stated maximum amount, for example, this is a way to determine what range of funding has been provided previously.
  • The NSF Awards database provides easy-to-access information as well.
  • NEA has a Grants Search tool for information on NEA grants awarded since 2000.
  • NEH provides lists of grant awards by year. These are best found by searching on the phrase “NEH grant awards”, which will bring back the various press releases that have the lists attached.
  • ASU Foundation – has researched potential funding sources for the key areas of ASU’s research and programs.
  • Internal grants at ASU: Women & Philanthropy, IHR seed grants, ASU-Mayo Seed Grant Program.
  • SBIR/STTR opportunities – SBA.gov has opportunities for small business and tech transfer.

There are many avenues for accessing funding opportunities. ASU subscribes to Pivot as a comprehensive, centralized source for faculty’s funding searches. If an individual has a strong focus on a specific funder, etc., do utilize the services they provide to receive timely announcements. Grants.gov is also useful for tracking daily postings, depending on the scope, urgency, or monitoring needs of a unit.

Screen for eligibility

Review funding announcements to determine if the opportunity is viable:

  • Which, if either, entity is eligible to apply – ASUF or ASU?
    • Institution Type
    • IRS Status
    • Location
    • Other

Type of funds

Non-federal charitable grants, ASU direct recipient of Award – ASUF

Non-federal charitable grants, ASU to be a subgrantee – ASU/ORSPA

Non-federal charitable grants, 401(c) 3 not eligible – ASU/ORSPA

Federal and federal flow through grants – ASU/ORSPA

Non federal, non charitable grants – ASU/ORSPA

Disseminate funding announcement

Screened opportunities should be disseminated to appropriate faculty.

Select opportunity

Opportunities selected should be reasonable in scope, funding, and timeline to align with the strategic vision of units and ASU as a whole.

Notify RA of intent to apply

Faculty should share funding announcements with their RA as soon as a decision is made to apply.