RSP subscribes to a grant funding search database, GrantForward, which contains thousands of opportunities from all types of sponsors, in the U.S. and around the world. It offers a basic search engine as well as advanced search functions and optional automated e-mailing of search results.
To view step-by-step instructions for creating and editing your GrantForward profile as well as guidance for searching for funding, click here
Grants.gov offers a searchable database of U.S. Federal funding opportunities.
General-purpose search engines can also be very useful tools for finding sponsors and funding opportunities. Publications often have references to an agency / foundation that provides support to a particular project. Be sure to look for these notations to see who is providing support in your field.
Also, many sponsors, including most federal sponsors, post lists of the projects they’ve funded previously. Searching through these lists can be a good way to find a sponsor interested in funding the type of work you want to do.
If you are looking for ways to diversify your current funding, or just looking to get started, schedule a time to meet with the Pre-Award Manager assigned to your Unit.
All proposals start with a clearly defined and developed idea, concept, or research question one is hoping to explore. PIs are invited to prepare a one-page Concept Paper outlining their potential project. An outline to assist with the creation of the Concept Paper can be found here. The Concept Paper can become a tool for inviting collaborators or to submit to a program officer for feedback.
Once your research idea or concept has been identified, the next step is to identify an appropriate funding source. The main funding sources include: Federal, State of Illinois, Foundation and Association Sources.
Where do I Find Funding?
Federal funding agencies generally have the most accessible information and often provide the most stable source of external funding. Illinois State University is eligible to apply to federal funding opportunities that are open to "institutions of higher education".
Federal agencies fund basic and applied research projects as well as student services projects. Federal agencies rarely fund sponsored projects (these are typically funded by State Funding Agencies). Once a potential program has been identified, you should carefully review the Proposal Guidelines (often called an RFA or RFP). These guidelines will explain what the agency is interested in funding and will detail the application process. The official university application is prepared by the PI and is provided to RSP for review and final submission. RSP is authorized by the Board of Trustees for Illinois State University to submit all applications requesting external funding. Pre-Award Managers can help you with the institutional process and reviewing the sponsor guidelines.
The State of Illinois typically does not provide funding for basic research projects. Most of the State funding supports sponsored projects such as:
While some State projects are competitive research projects, the majority are allocations based upon existing working relationships PI's have with state agencies. If this is the case, PI's will be allocated funding for a sponsored program rather than requesting a specific amount to complete the work.
Foundations are non-profit organizations that specifically exist to champion a cause. Most foundations are philanthropic arms of for-profit corporations or the byproduct of an endowment and have specific interests they are willing to support.
Foundation awards vary in size from small to large. For investigators whom do not have a track record with a particular foundation, a good strategy is to request funds for a small project. This will show the foundation your work is worth their investment.
Several electronic directories and resources are available to identify private/foundation funding opportunities: