Finding funding is like finding a job. There is no one way to go about it and talking to people is usually your best strategy. However, an additional excellent strategy for finding funding is to sign up for funding alerts.
Yes, it is true, you can receive email alerts specially designed to fit your research interests! You can also receive funding alerts from organization that you think might be interested in your research.
Email Alerts from Funding Databases
I recommend that you receive email alerts from two funding databases, Pivot and Grant Forward.
The easiest way into both databases is through the UA library website here:
Pivot is a database with a dizzying number of funding opportunities. According to its own website, the cumulative opportunities are worth more than $33 billon. Only a sliver of those are relevant to you. However, Pivot has information on everything from a Science without Borders fund for Brazilian graduate students studying nanotechnologies to a $10,000 prize from Restless Books for New Immigrant Writing.
To create an email alert from Pivot:
Figure out a search that works well for you. This will take a little time. Begin by setting the automatic parameters (such as “graduate student”) without any keywords. Next, try using the keywords suggested by Pivot. At first you will probably get too many results; you’ll have to learn the best keywords and search parameters for yourself and your research. The UA library’s guide on the side is helpful: http://www.library.arizona.edu/applications/quickHelp/tutorial/pivot .
Save your search. In order to do this, you need to create a login and all that business, but it is fairly straightforward. You will need to use your email@example.com account since the UA pays for the subscription to Pivot and this email verifies your relationship to the UA.
When you save your search, you create a name for the search. Check the box that asks if you would like a weekly email containing new or updated opportunities from the query.
Grant Forward is another database that is similar to Pivot. However, you will find that even if you do similar searches, you will get different results from the two databases. As with Pivot, the best way in is through the UA library http://www.library.arizona.edu/help/how/find/grants.html .
To create an email alert from Grant Forward:
Figure out a search that works for you. See the suggestions above for Pivot.
Save your search. You also need to sign up for Grant Forward in order to do this.
When you save the search, you can opt for a weekly alert.
Mailing List for Nationally Coveted Graduate Fellowships is another less official but surprisingly informative email alert. The google group is managed by Francisco Tomei Torres you can find more information here: https://www.fatomei.com/google-group-fellowships.html .
Alerts from Funding Agencies
Signing up for email alerts from organizations from which you would like to eventually receive funding serves two functions. First, you get notices of possible funding opportunities and the scope of projects that the agency funds. Secondly, you get a sense of the language and values of the organization which can be helpful as you frame your proposal.
Here are several agencies which may be of interest to graduate students:
National Science Foundation: https://service.govdelivery.com/accounts/USNSF/subscriber/new
National Institutes of Health: http://www.nih.gov/email.htm
National Endowment for the Arts: http://arts.gov/
Environmental Protection Agency: http://www2.epa.gov/newsroom
Professional organizations for your field. Join these now to keep up with the currents within your discipline and to be aware of funding opportunities that may be relevant to you.
The most common question that I receive is the following: how do I find funding opportunities? This is a good question. But a better question is, how do I learn about funding opportunities that are appropriate for me when I need to know about them?
Quite honestly, I do not have a perfect answer to either of the questions above. But signing up for funding alerts is one of the many good ways to find what you need to know when you need to know about it.
The GradFunding Newsletter is a service of the University of Arizona Graduate College, Office of Fellowships and Community Engagement. You may reuse this article but please acknowledge Shelley Hawthorne Smith and the University of Arizona Graduate College Office of Fellowships and Community Engagement.
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