special thanks to Beverly Page at the Kansas State University
Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
- If you are fortunate enough to be either an advisor or a
student at a college or university with a grants research
department, utilize their services. Most grants department
personnel are happy to help you find and secure grants as
it makes them look productive too. If your college or university
does not have a research or grants department, there are simple
strategies that can help you locate grants.
- Remember that most foundations focus on positive outcomes,
i.e. the benefits that will be gained through the grant monies.
When searching think in terms of student outcomes.
- Most foundations will NOT fund daily operating costs. Instead
they focus on an innovative project that can serve as a prototype
- If you do not have access to the help offered by a grants
research department, try searching for grants utilizing a
computer in the library of a campus with a grants department.
Often all campus computers are linked to the database of one
of the three major grants information sources.
- There are three main grant information sources available
to colleges and universities. These organizations collect
and organize Foundation RFPs (Request for Proposals) and RFA
(Request for Applications) and post them through databases
to web subscribers. These databases include: Community of
Science ( COS ), InfoEd
International ( SPIN ) and the Illinois Researcher Information Service ( IRIS ). Since these services can be quite expensive, usually
only college and university research departments subscribe.
However many universities give log-in privileges to most on-campus
- When searching databases utilize broad key words. 'Academic
Advising' may be too specific. Instead try searches utilizing
terms such as 'education improvement' and 'student retention'.
- While monies may be found under broad subjects/topics, they
can also be found by targeted populations. If your campus
has a large group of students who share a specific characteristic,
think in terms of searching for that grants targeted to that
group of students. Search also by terms such as 'adult students',
'women', 'athletes', or 'minorities' to find grant monies
targeted to a specific population of students.
- While at the library ask the reference department about
'State Foundation Directories'. Many states publish a guide
to all grants available for residents of their particular
- Check out The Foundation Center's list of free funding information library centers. These are usually public
libraries that have agreed to help individuals search for
grants in exchange for housing grant information books.
- If you find a possible grant, talk to someone at the grant
foundation before beginning to write. Foundation personnel
can often provide insight not available from the RFP. Additionally,
many foundations accept grant proposals 'by invitation' only.
It's best to know this before investing a large amount of
time on a proposal.
- Consider taking a grant writing course through the Continuing
Education department of a university that has grants research
department. These courses are often taught by members of the
grants office staff who can help you find and secure funding.
- A number of resources related to research can be found in the NACADA Store
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