Spotlight on Grants & Funding

We’ve entered the New Year, but before starting the spring semester, consider taking a moment to search for grants and other sponsored research opportunities. The Graduate Center Library provides access to several grants and funding databases.

1) Pivot bills itself as a tool providing “access to the most comprehensive source of funding opportunities globally.” You have the option to create a profile, search by keyword (for example, “urban farming”), and save your searches for later (once logged in). The Profiles feature allows you to easily pull up information about individuals at different academic institutions, such as their website, list of research interests, and affiliations. Pivot uses its algorithm to identify possible funding sources for listed individuals, their department, and also for users who create their own Profile.

2) Foundation Directory Online and Foundation Grants to Individuals Online

These databases are maintained through The Foundation Center, which aims to be “the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide.” The organization offers many digital resources as well as in-person availability: “anyone who lives, works or studies in the five boroughs of New York City is eligible to borrow from the Foundation Center library,” and can also use their full suite of web-based resources on-site.

The Foundation Directory Online is designed to search through 20,000 large and mid-sized U.S. foundations and files for more than half-a-million grants. You could search by Grant Recipient, to see what types of funding has been awarded to similar organizations; by Company, to look through corporate offerings; or use their “Powersearch” feature for keyword-based searching.

Foundation Grants to Individuals Online helps to narrow the field, describing 8,300 programs that fund students, researchers, artists, and other seekers of individual grants. Across the various Foundation Center sites, you will find free webinars, subject-specific posts, research bibliographies, and even comic infographics, so be sure to explore the many options available (GrantCraft, GrantSpace, GlassPockets).

3) Grant Advisor Plus

If you seek simplicity in your searching, try Grant Advisor Plus. It offers a searchable, up-to-date database of grants/fellowships, and a monthly newsletter that can be downloaded as a PDF from the site (unfortunately, there is no option to have it sent to your email). The focus is on Federally-based sources or long-established Foundations, so you will see many fewer results than with another search tool, and some prefer the website’s less-cluttered interface.

4) Grant Forward (Trial Access)

Grant Forward offers up-to-date information about new and ongoing grant opportunities, with about 43% currently listed as Federal/State sources, and 26% from private foundations. It highlights the deadlines for grant applications, and you may search by due date as well. They also allow you to select by Applicant Type – Undergraduate, Graduate, Early Career Investigator, International – and save searches once logged in.

In addition to these sites, The Graduate Center Library has a comprehensive Research Guide devoted to this topic, which is worth exploring: ( At the top, be sure to click on the individual tabs: Research and Writing, Arts, Humanities, and Science Funding Sources.

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About the Author

Elvis Bakaitis is currently the Head of Reference at the Mina Rees Library. They're also proud to serve on the University LGBTQ Council, and as a board member of CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies.