Find Funding

Now that you have developed your idea and have it down on paper, it is time to start looking for an appropriate funder. See below for some tools and tips to make this process easier.

Conduct funding searches using these resources. Keep in mind that some funding opportunities are directed toward faculty at various points across their research career (early career, etc.), and while some may require preliminary data, others do not.

Suggested Search Tools

  • is a free searchable database for all federal funding opportunities (search tips).
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) opportunities are found on, but you can also search for them on the NSF funding page. From there you can also see recently announced opportunities.
  • Pivot combines the most comprehensive, editorially maintained database of funding opportunities worth an estimated $33 billion with a unique database of three million pre-populated scholar profiles. Need help getting started with Pivot? Review this cheat sheet [PDF].
  • Visit the Office of Research and Innovation website for a more comprehensive list of grant search databases.

Other Helpful Tips

Recommended Next Steps

Already have a funder in mind? Subscribe to their listserv to stay apprised of any upcoming funding announcements.

Found your funding opportunity and ready to move on to preparing your proposal?

  • Consider applying to the grant academy in the Office of Research and Innovation.
  • Draft and circulate specific aims, project summary, or letter of intent among colleagues (internal and external to VCU).
  • Email project officer and set up a time to discuss your idea.
  • Firm up relationships with collaborators.
  • Contact/meet with CHS Sponsored Programs Office to obtain a complete list of all sections and documents required for your submission.
  • Aim to have a complete rough draft of the science ready to share with colleagues two months out.
  • Email collaborators and request biosketches. Offer to write the narrative portion and to help with formatting.