Funding Search Tools

If you type "research funding search" into Google, you'll find there are over a million results to your query. Many of these will be articles written about how to find funding, other university funding search sites that may or may not be available to you, government resources and also pay-wall services that UCI doesn't subscribe to.

In an effort to simplify things, we've created a short recommended list of services that will do the job for your funding search. They are:

GRAPES (UCLA Graduate Postdoctoral Extramural Support) GRAPES is a database of extramural funding opportunities—625 private and publicly funded awards, fellowships, and internships—for prospective and current graduate students, students working on a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation, and postdoctoral scholars. UCSD provides this excellent resource; a frequently updated and comprehensive list of funding opportunities geared toward early career faculty. YOUNG INVESTIGATOR FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES (UCSD) Foundation Directory is a database of over 140,000 grantmakers and their grants, including U.S. foundations, corporate giving programs, and grantmaking public charities, plus a growing number of non-U.S. grantmakers. FOUNDATION DIRECTORY Grants.gov is a central storehouse for information on over 1,000 U.S. Government grant programs offered by 26 federal grant-making agencies and provides access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards. GRANTS.GOV Pivot is a subscription based funding search tool—available to all UCI Faculty, Staff and Students courtesy of the Office of Research—featuring opportunities worldwide and across all disciplines. The tool is powerful and thus far the best tool we’ve found on the market for funding searches. PIVOT

If you type "research funding search" into Google, you'll find there are over a million results to your query. Many of these will be articles written about how to find funding, other university funding search sites that may or may not be available to you, government resources and also pay-wall services that UCI doesn't subscribe to.

In an effort to simplify things, we've created a short recommended list of services that will do the job for your funding search. They are:

GRAPES (UCLA Graduate Postdoctoral Extramural Support) GRAPES is a database of extramural funding opportunities—625 private and publicly funded awards, fellowships, and internships—for prospective and current graduate students, students working on a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation, and postdoctoral scholars. UCSD provides this excellent resource; a frequently updated and comprehensive list of funding opportunities geared toward early career faculty. YOUNG INVESTIGATOR FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES (UCSD) Foundation Directory is a database of over 140,000 grantmakers and their grants, including U.S. foundations, corporate giving programs, and grantmaking public charities, plus a growing number of non-U.S. grantmakers. FOUNDATION DIRECTORY Grants.gov is a central storehouse for information on over 1,000 U.S. Government grant programs offered by 26 federal grant-making agencies and provides access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards. GRANTS.GOV Pivot is a subscription based funding search tool—available to all UCI Faculty, Staff and Students courtesy of the Office of Research—featuring opportunities worldwide and across all disciplines. The tool is powerful and thus far the best tool we’ve found on the market for funding searches. PIVOT

Pivot is listed as #1 here as we feel that, used correctly, it will return much of the same results of any of the other 4, plus some.  As such, on this website we will focus on how best to use Pivot for optimal search results.  If interested, you can find a quick guide for Foundation Directory here and a comprehensive online user guide for Grants.gov here.  GRAPES has no user guide, but the interface is very straight forward, so if you’re a student/postdoc looking for funding,  just give it a whirl.

Let’s see how to optimize the use of Pivot…

Pivot in a Nutshell

OK. The first thing we need to do is get you a Login.

While you can use Pivot without logging in from any UCI networked computer (including through VPN), custom functions require a login.

 

Step 1

Go to https://pivot.proquest.com/

Click the “Sign Up” link, located in the upper right hand of the page.

Step 2

Fill out the required information to create your account. Use your UCI email address for the “” field.  Your password does not need to match that of your UCInetID.

Once this is done you will receive a confirmation email. Click the link to confirm your account and then you’ll be able to access the full features of Pivot, including claiming your Pivot-generated profile (if one exists).   We’re not going to cover profiles here, but we encourage you to check out this video tutorial on how to claim your profile and this one on how to update your profileThis video playlist also covers how to search and navigate the Profiles area of Pivot.

Step 3

We recommend not using the basic search box, but instead skipping ahead to Advanced search.  Basic search tends to return rather broad results.

Advanced search may appear a bit intimidating, and it really does have a lot of options to help refine your search, but the following recommendations should simplify things for your first go at it.

Step 4

Advanced Search is divided into two major sections “Find Opportunities matching” (i.e. “Include”), which is the top section and “Exclude Opportunities matching,” which is the bottom section.

  • Under the top section, ignore the first group of fields and skip down to “Amount.” This is optional, but if you’re looking for a certain funding level, enter your minimum threshold here.
  • Next Enter “United States” under “Activity Location” and check the box labeled “Sub-entities.”  You may also wish to check the boxes labeled “Unrestricted,”  and “Unspecified” which will include opportunities that don’t specify or enforce an activity  location.
  • The next part is the real engine of this search technique: Keywords.  Pivot has a library of keywords you can explore under “browse” (found to the right of the form field).  We recommend browsing this keyword library to familiarize yourself with how Pivot groups key terms.  Enter/select the keywords most relevant to your research.  You may check the box labeled “Explode” if you want Pivot to search subsets of your selected search terms.  This is on by default.  For finer results, uncheck this box.
  • Finally select from a list of 9 Sponsor Types.  You could select them all, but the 3 major categories would be: “Federal, U.S.,” “Private Foundation” and “Other Nonprofit.”

Step 5

Under the “Exclude Opportunities matching” section, we’ve found that it’s useful to exclude all continents aside from North America.  Select the 6 continents from the drop-down list, and check the sub-entities box as well to exclude.

Step 6

Now that you have your search results, you can preview them quickly using the magnifying glass icon, or click on each opportunity title for more detail.  If the search results are too, broad just click “Refine search” and narrow the results by excluding more activity areas or narrowing the keyword search.

Last Step!

Save and name your search query for easy retrieval later.  You could also opt in to receive a weekly email (sent Sunday evenings) that includes updated results from your query.

Hand Selected Video Tutorials

We spent hours on YouTube—mostly because we were distracted by cat videos—to find the following Pivot instructional videos.  There are many on the ProQuest Pivot YouTube Channel but these few are our recommended picks:

Navigating Search Results

Setting Up Funding Alerts

Claiming Your Pivot Profile

Updating Your Pivot Profile

Your Pivot Home Page: Advisor

Need additional help with funding searches?  You can Ask Beth, or  contact a Research Development professional in your area.