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External Funding Sources

Federal, state, and foundation grants are the most common sources of external funds for sponsored projects.  Sponsored Programs (SP) distributes regular emails to interested faculty and staff to inform them of upcoming funding opportunities.  SP staff meet one-on-one with faculty and staff to help identify the best potential funding sources for each project.

To assist SVSU employees in locating funding sources, SP purchases database services from FoundationSearch, InfoEd, and Grant Resource Center

Foundation Search 

Foundation Search provides access to 120,000+ foundations and corporate donors, 3 million recent grants and more than half a million key decision makers.  Contact Melissa Woodward, Grants Coordinator with your request to conduct a search. 

Grants Resource Center (GRC)

GRC is a part of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).  For a yearly membership fee, the Center provides a list of current funding opportunities by discipline, training at workshops or webinars, bi-annual external funding conferences, online resource library, and GRC staff expertise.  The GRC Bulletin and the Grant Week newsletter are available in weekly emails, containing grant opportunities and announcements.  Under “Funding Resources” select “GrantSearch” and conduct your own keyword search.  Log-in information: user name - svsu;  password – information.

For a list of GRC’s three regular publications, visit  GRC Deadline provides a list of upcoming grant deadlines, organized by college disciplines. 

InfoEd - Information Network (SPIN)

SPIN is a robust grants database. It is accessible from any campus computer and provides detailed information on funding opportunities offered by more than 10,000 federal and non-federal sponsoring agencies. A variety of qualifiers allow users to filter retrieved data by keywords or phrases, project category, geographic limitations and applicant type. Alternately, users can click the “Funding Guides” tab and read the latest requests for proposal (RFPs) released by the federal government in the Federal Register or browse the current contracting opportunities published in the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) digest. 

To use SPIN, point your web browser to and then click on “SPIN” at the top of the webpage. Enter appropriate keywords in the “Search” box. Anyone with an email address is automatically able to use this resource.

InfoEd - Spin Matching and Researcher Transmittal Systems (SMARTS)  

SMARTS is InfoEd Global’s proprietary funding opportunity alerts service. Leveraging data in our SPIN funding opportunities database, users can configure automation for any SPIN saved search to generate daily or weekly email notices of newly added or modified opportunities that meet the criteria of the saved search.  SMARTS works hand-in-hand with SPIN. Simply configure a search in SPIN, save the search, and setup the automation you prefer. Automation options include whether to receive update notices daily or weekly and whether you want to receive plain text or html-styled email messages. Note: You must create an account and be logged in to save searches – anonymous users cannot save searches and therefore cannot configure SMARTS automation.

National Science Foundation Reports Success Rates

Dear Colleague Letter: Removal of Deadlines for the Core Programs in the Directorate for Engineering

The Directorate for Engineering (ENG) is notifying members of the research communities about an important change to submission windows for unsolicited proposals to all core programs in the Divisions of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems (CBET), Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI), Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS), and Engineering Education and Centers (EEC).

In order to allow Principal Investigators (PIs) more flexibility and to better facilitate interdisciplinary research across engineering disciplines, ENG is removing deadlines for submission of unsolicited proposals to all core programs in CBET, CMMI, ECCS and EEC, effective August 15, 2018. For those unfamiliar with the no-deadline submission process, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and other relevant information will be provided on CBET, CMMI, ECCS and EEC webpages.

By accepting proposals at any time, ENG is affording the opportunity for PIs to think more creatively, build strong collaborations, converse with Program Directors and carefully prepare proposals with the potential to make significant research contributions to engineering. It is our hope that the elimination of deadlines will reduce the burden on institutions and the community.

Fiscal Year 2016 Success Rates

In fiscal year (FY) 2016, principal investigators (PIs) seeking "competitively reviewed" awards from the National Science Foundation had an overall 24% success rate, and the agency made 11,877 awards, numbers similar to FY 2015, according to the newly released annual report on NSF's peer review system that was submitted to the National Science Board (NSB). The highest success rate was for women, at 26%. In proposals where submitters included data on gender, "the proportion of research proposals with self-identified female PIs" was 27%.

"The success rate for proposals from White PIs was 24% while the rates for proposals from Asian PIs and Black/African-American PIs were 17% and 18%, respectively," the report also states. "The proportion of research proposals that came from Black/African American PIs remained very low, only 2%. The proportion of research proposals from Asian PIs was 25% of the total. The success rate for the 1,602 research proposals from Hispanic or Latino PIs was 20%."


Sources of external funding include Federal grants, state grants, and foundation grants.

  • Federal Grants. Federal grants are announced in the Federal Register, a search page for locating funding opportunities – and
  • State Grants. State grants are generally announced by the various state agencies through official publications and electronic bulletin boards –
  • Foundation Grants. Foundations do not issue Request for Proposals (RFPs), but many published annual reports highlight priorities and available resources. Start by contacting SP for assistance with your search.

Note: For many foundations in the local area, coordination is required with the SVSU Foundation office. Contact:  Andrew Bethune,

Sponsor Websites follow with detailed information:


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