Securing funding for research or sponsored programs is a multi-stage process that involves:
- Evaluating your interests and needs;
- Defining short-, medium-, and long-term needs;
- Possibly conducting pilot work (gathering preliminary data; attending a conference or sponsored seminar; traveling to a special collection);
- Turning a need into a project;
- Researching and evaluating potential funders;
- Writing and submitting a proposal according to a funder’s guidelines;
- – probably revising that proposal and resubmitting; and, finally,
- Receiving the award and completing the project.
Technology has made the task of researching potential sponsors much easier, but old-fashioned methods are still some of the best ways to uncover good leads. Use a mix of the old and new for best effect:
- Review the sponsors listed on the Internal and External funding sources pages and bookmark the most likely ones for periodic review.
- Check with your professional organizations and successful colleagues to find out about small grants programs.
- Register to receive electronic notices from federal agencies automatically through grants.gov.
- Call or e-mail program officers to ask them about the programs they supervise and also about other programs they know of.
- Volunteer to serve as a proposal reviewer.
You may find it helpful to fill out a Sponsor Evaluation Form (MSWord) for your best possibilities.