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Research Funding

 

IDENTIFYING FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Grants.gov

E-mail postings of all federal funding opportunities: Subscribe here for email postings of all federal funding opportunities. You can receive all new announcements or filter them by agency, funding types, or subject area.

Find Grant Opportunities: Grants.gov's search engine for all federal funding opportunities.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices: This page is a gateway to many useful pages for research funding. It includes a funding search engine and links for postings of announcements and notices, organized by types of announcements, or chronologically by release date. New announcements are posted once a week. Links for instructions and application forms can also be found here.

NIH ListServer: Sign up for weekly e-mail postings of new releases of notices, Requests For Applications (RFAs), and Program Announcements (PAs).

NIH R Series Proposal Examples: The National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases has provided PDFs of R01, R21 and R23 proposals that serve as examples proposals. If you are a grad student, NIGMS also provides examples of successful NIH predoctoral F31 Applications. Unfortunately, I have not found NIH-sanctioned examples of K-series proposals for postdocs applicants.

NIH RePORTER: NIH RePorter is adatabase for currently funded grants. You can search for currently funded NIH grants by subject area, key words, or principle investigator, etc. This database contains abstracts of all funded grants. This is very useful for finding out the types of proposals that have been successful in your area of research, and might give you an idea whether the idea you have is already saturated.

Funding Priorities of Individual Institutes at the NIH: This page links to all of the individual institutes at the NIH. Each institute has its own set of priorities for the types of ongoing research it funds. Familiarize yourself with research goals of the different institutes. The most typical NIH grant is an "investigator-initiated" R01 application. These applications must be related to the stated program interests of one or more of the NIH Institutes and Centers. Investigator-initiated proposals opportunities are separate from RFAs and other calls for very specific types of research. Each institute maintains its own web pages, detailing the types of on-going research it funds, as well as open RFAs and PAs. When you have found an institute that matches your research interests, you should contact the program officer to confirm their interest and/or to obtain advice about how to mold your proposal to better suit the institute's research priorities. Proposals are submitted at standard deadlines (check each institute for details, as some institutes do not use all the deadlines).

Definitions of and Requirements for Types of NIH Funding Programs: NIH has a wide range of programs or mechanisms used to fund research and training. NIH uses acronyms, such as R01, R21, PO1, T32, etc., which designate the different types of funding. The standard NIH grant is an R01, but NIH also funds short term exploratory programs, large multi-PI program project grants, equipment acquisition, etc. Each "mechanism" has different grant requirements, policies, and eligibility rules. This site will help you sort out these differences.

Lost Your Funding Recently? If you have lost your funding recently and are trying implement measures to keep your lab afloat, you aren't alone. NIAID has some good advice at this link, which applies to any other NIH institute.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

NSF Funding Home: This site includes a search engine for funding opportunities, links to program areas that NSF funds, lists of recently released funding announcements, and links for special funding programs for students, postdoctoral fellows, K-12 teachers, small businesses, etc. It also has links for instructions, forms, etc. See the writing tips section below for more detail.

NSF Active Funding Opportunities (and email-subscriptions): This page has links at the top so that you can sign up for weekly email notifications of releases of opportunities and/or upcoming deadlines. It also has a sortable list of active funding opportunities.

NSF Award Search (database for currently funded grants): You can search for research grants that are currently funded by NSF here. Again, such information is helpful for knowing more detail about the types of programs NSF is supporting, or whether the idea you have is already significantly covered.

California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)

CIRM's current requests for applications (RFAs): CIRM is specific to STEM cell research and is funded by the state of California. This page provides a list open requests for applications. Links for downloading application forms are found on the page of each RFA. .

Private Foundations, International Agencies, and other Funders

Community of Science PIVOT Funder Database: COS provides a comprehensive funding database for private foundations and federal, state, and international funding organizations. It is the most useful database for finding private funding opportunities, but also excellent for finding programs that support foreign postdocs, sabbaticals to other countries, etc. It will also list federal and state opportunities. You can do searches by keywords, type of applicant, deadlines, agency, etc., or do a simple click to get alphabetical lists of funders or opportunities with upcoming deadlines. Check the advanced search capabilities! This site requires use of browser cookies. You must be a member to use this site and UCSC is member: if you open your browser using a University server, you can access the COS database, but you can also access the database from other servers (e.g., when you are at home), if you register using your UCSC email address. Registering gives you other privileges as well, such as saving searches or receiving email postings of opportunities in which you are interested. This database is well worth exploring.

GRANT WRITING INSTRUCTIONS AND TIPS

Grants.Gov

Grants.gov Applicant Tips Page: Most federal agencies now require electronic submission of grants through the Grants.gov system. Typically, the University's Office of Sponsored Projects handles input of these applications. Contact your OSP officer or, if you are student or postdoc, ask your PI about this.

NIH-Specific

NIH Funding Strategies Website: NIAID has created a grantsmanship tutorial called the Strategy for NIH Funding. Topics include Qualifying for NIH Funding, Picking and Designing a Project, Writig Your Application, Submitting Your Application, Assignment and Review, If Not Funded, Funding and Staying Funded.

NIH Application Forms and Instructions: NIH typically utilizes the Standard Form 424 and submissions are almost always electronic via Grants.gov. If you are simply interested in length of various NIH grant applications, you can find page limits here. NIH also requires applicants (including postdoctoral participants) to acquire an eRA Commons ID to submit electronically. Please read and follow these instructions. (Updated December 2014 - Note that a new Biographical Sketch format is being phased in between January and June 2015.)

NIH Standard Due Dates: This provides a list of standard due dates for grant programs in all standard series of grants.

National Institutes of Health Grant Application Writer's Workbook: The Grant Writers' Seminars & Workshops LLC publishes an excellent, comprehensive practical guide to grant writing. It specifically addresses NIH application formats and review criteria and has been updated for 2015. It is expensive ($75), but it is full of solid advice and addresses very specific points regarding NIH applications, etc. While the advice is broadly applicable to all grant writing, the publication group also produces similar NSF-specific and general grant writing workbooks (see below).

NIH Grant Writing Tutorials: This web page has a series of links for grant writing tutorials, tips, etc. The site was updated on July 29, 2014. I prefer the workbook found at link above, but the NIH site tutorials are free.

NIH Reviewer Guidelines: The information on this page provides insight into how NIH instructs the reviewers of your proposals. It includes PDF downloads for multiple topics, such as "Review Criteria at a Glance," "Overall Impact versus Significance," and "Scoring System and Procedure."

What NIH Looks For? NIH's Grant Application Basics page has a quick summary of what NIH is looking for in research proposals.

New and Early Stage Investigator Policies: Information and advice regarding special policies involving new investigators (e.g., new assistant professors and those with limited previous funding).

NSF-Specific

NSF Grant Proposal Guide (general instructions): This page has html and PDF links to the NSF instructions for all proposals. In my experience, NSF doesn't offer much in the way of practical advice.

National Science Foundation Grant Application Writer's Workbook: The Grant Writers' Seminars & Workshops LLC also publishes a workbook that directly addresses NSF requirements, formatting, and nuances (updated for 2015).

NSF Merit Review: Description of NSF's proposal reviewing process. The information on this page can provide insight into what and how NIH instructs the reviewers of your proposals.

Broader Impacts Advice: UCSC has a Broader Impacts Office, where you can get advice about how to maximize your score in this area on your NSF proposal. In short, NSF places much more formal emphasis on the societal and educational impacts of your research program, as well as issues involving inclusiveness (the Broader Impacts Office can clarify the semantics of what this means in practical terms). This is particularly important for NSF Career Awards. In addition to offering general advice at the website, the office also offers individual help with proposals in this regard.

Other Grant Writing Tips

Generic Grant Writing Workbook: Grant Writers' Seminars & Workshops LLC also publishes a more generic workbook geared to various funding resources, which can be particularly helpful for private foundations.

 

 

 

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