The first stage in the sponsored projects lifecycle is to identify and evaluate funding opportunities. This stage includes searching for funding opportunities that match your research profile and for which both you and your institution(s) are eligible to apply. For assistance in locating funding opportunities, contact the Research Enhancement Unit.
Sources of research funding can be: federal, non-federal (including corporate partnerships, foundations or philanthropy) or international. Additionally, a number of offices and schools at the George Washington University (GW) sponsor intramural funding competitions that support research.
For opportunities that limit the number of submissions by institution, also known as limited proposal opportunities, this stage may include an internal process for reviewing and selecting proposals to be advanced.
Strategies for Refining Funding Searches
There are a number of questions that may be helpful as you evaluate a sponsor and/or funding opportunity:
|For federal sponsors, review their mission statements and priorities. For other sponsors, such as foundations and corporations, discuss the opportunity with the relevant GW offices.
Does your project fall within the sponsor's current priorities?
Does the sponsor’s funding opportunity only allow one application submission per institution requiring internal coordination?
|Check the InfoReady portal for limited submission and intramural funding competitions
Is the application submission deadline hard or continuous, and allow sufficient time for proposal preparation, departmental/institutional approval, and submission?
Does the sponsor actually fund others "like" you (i.e., university faculty)?
|Talk with colleagues - who is funding their work? Look at journals in your field for acknowledgement of sponsor funding.
Type of support:
|Sponsor’s role on a grant (patron), cooperative agreement (partner), and contract (purchaser of services/goods).
Does the sponsor make awards in the dollar range you require to conduct the proposed research?
Does the sponsor make one-time, one-year only awards, or is continuation and/or renewal funding possible?
|Use Pivot as well as federal agency websites like NIH's Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool. This may give you a better understanding of what projects particular sponsors favor.
Is cost sharing prohibited or allowed (voluntary or mandatory)?
What is the anticipated application to award ratio? How many awards will be made?
|Where possible, determine review criteria and mechanisms the sponsor uses. This information may be provided in the proposal guidelines or on the sponsor's website.
|Motivation and intent:
Does the sponsor have special or undefined criteria that are used for awards? Is this a competitive opportunity or has the sponsor identified possible recipients (earmarking)?
Does the sponsor have staff to provide information prior to proposal submission?
|It may be appropriate to contact a sponsor before submitting a proposal. Program staff contacts are often identified in the program announcement or in the guidelines.
Are multidisciplinary efforts or collaborations (multi-PIs/PDs) strongly encouraged?
|Internal/external collaborators can be found through GW offices or Pivot. Make a multi-PI/PD plan to submit with your application.
Does your research project require dedicated administrative coordination/support or data sharing/management components?
|Be sure to account for and justify staff and/or technology equipment/component needed to properly conduct your research. If applicable, provide a data sharing plan with your proposal. Contact GW offices for further consultation.