Office of Research & Sponsored Programs

Seeking Funding: Tips

  1. Know your field – what agencies fund your interests, what programs do they currently have, what are their typical due dates.

  2. Know your field – who else is doing what you’re interested in and how are they doing it (on campus, in the state, and in your field). Stay current in the literature to ensure you understand how your work fits into the work that others are doing in your field.

  3. Contact people in your field (your “competitors”) and ask them how they got funded.

  4. Find a balance between your interests and what’s currently of interest to funders:  this doesn’t mean shifting from one interest to the next as the funding winds blow (because programs as well as careers benefit from continuity, for example), but it does mean considering how your interests fit into the world of fundable ideas and making refinements as appropriate.

  5. In conceptualizing the project, consider secondary benefits or special populations that may be involved in the project that might attract new funding sources (e.g., science + space + education + girls).

  6. If you’re a new faculty who has never had project/research funding before, good options are career enhancement type grants, pilot studies, and/or serving as a co-investigator on a grant with an established colleague already funded by an agency you’re interested in.

  7. Bookmark agencies’ funding programs that fit your interests and check them monthly.  Also, sign up for funding alerts that are applicable to your field.

  8. Give consideration to ways that an interdisciplinary approach to your research or other project idea might enhance the concept, and explore that with potential collaborators from those disciplines at UNI, in the community, or other institutions.

  9. Don’t wait until the funding announcement for a particular program comes out to start working on a proposal! Know your likely due dates and begin the planning process early, including identifying collaborators and strategizing possible designs. Most grants are too competitive to plan everything in a month.

  10. Contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at 3-3217 or to assist you further in your seeking efforts. Staff can help you identify programs that match your interests, assist you with search engines, or sign you up for future funding alerts.