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Transcript of Finding Funding
Keywords and Databases
Make a comprehensive list of keywords that match your project concept or idea to be funded. Identify categories and sub-categories (i.e. "public health>native health>research funds")
Line up your project ideas with databases that will most likely have funding for your type of project. For example, if you are interested in start-up funds for a private business, you will want to start with private foundation money and then look into SBIR/STTR funds through govt. agencies.
Register for Databases and Email Notifications
It is a good practice to perform active searches regularly and to sign up for newsletters, databases, and email notifications that push opportunities to you based on search criteria. Active searching will give you a good idea of what is "out there" and spur funding creativity, and passive receipt of opportunities tailored to your needs will keep you in the loop and serve as good reminders to keep pursuing funds.
To register for SPIN, you must first create a profile: http://infoedglobalcom/
If you are not affiliated with MSU (employee, faculty, student) you will have to search SPIN without a profile. Some of the features will not be available, but you can still perform productive searches and email opportunities to yourself or others.
Searching and Filters
SPIN contains filter tabs and other options that assist in refining your search. Begin your search as broadly as possible just to see what comes back to you. Refine less and increase as necessary. Remember that increasing filters means decreasing results. Filters make searching manageable but can also exclude opportunities that may interest you.
If you have a profile in SPIN you can save your filter settings, but if you do not, you will have to reset these each time you search.
Begin with a simple keyword search to see how the system functions. Open up some of the individual results to see how they appear. Email one to yourself using the "email" tab.
Finally, don't underestimate Google. You will be amazed at the results. Experiment with this by typing "Native Health RFP's." Take your main category/keyword and add "RFP."
(insider tip) don't apply "cold," meaning, establish a contact at the agency and make sure they know who you are and what you offer. If they get your application without knowing you beforehand, it is unlikely that they will consider your application.
Basic Search Process
1. Develop a list of keywords that define your concept
2. Register for newsletters, email notifications, and databases. Search actively and receive opportunities passively based on criteria.
3. Search using filters and criteria and contact the agencies and organizations to form alliances and vet your ideas.
Results: Grant Funding Opportunities
Generate a list of promising Request for Proposals (RFP's) or Request for Applications (RFA's).
Track these opportunities and your progress on them using a chart or similar organizational device.
Make sure to select the best fit for your idea or project concept - find people who appreciate and will fund your work.
Contact the individual identified on the RFA and propose your idea once it is well formed. Shop it around to make sure your project is responsive to the opportunity and therefore likely to be funded.
Montana State University
Make a ladder or write down your vision! (think, "what is my end goal, and how can I get there?"
Investigate your funding universe! (Commit to a monthly search and make sure you are signed up for relevant notifications, check MSU internal funding page regularly)
Talk to the rock stars! Who funds the person you see yourself being?
Know your agency. Locate their core strategies document or equivalent to get a good idea of what they fund.
Finally, don't get discouraged or, "Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must. Just never give up." - Dean Karnazes (ultramarathon man)
Next Steps: I Found an Opportunity! Now What?!
1. Carefully read the RFA or solicitation and make sure you are eligible!
2. Download the instructions and read them carefully as well!
3. Write a one-page summary or abstract with your project idea or fellowship goals and visions.
4. Polish up your CV!
5. Give both of these docs to your chair or a professor you like/trust. Ask for the slash and burn.
6. Contact the program and propose your idea/project to check receptivity to call and "fit."
7. Seek help in writing your proposal: chair, OSP, ADVANCE, the English Dept. Writing Center!