Find Funding

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.

Explore Funding Databases

Strategies for Refining Funding Searches

There are a number of questions that may be helpful as you evaluate a sponsor and/or funding opportunity:

Considerations Suggestions/Resources

Does the sponsor's mission include the activities or research you wish to pursue?

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?
Limited submission:
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?

Are you (and/or GW) eligible to receive funds from this sponsor (i.e. residency, applicant type)?

Sponsor type:
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:
Are you applying for a grant, cooperative agreement, or a contract?

Sponsor’s role on a grant (patron), cooperative agreement (partner), and contract (purchaser of services/goods).

Geographic area:
Is the conduct of the research activity in your geographic area?

Funding range:
Does the sponsor make awards in the dollar range you require to conduct the proposed research?
Ongoing funding:
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.

Committed funds:
Of the funding available for the current fiscal year, how much has the sponsor committed to continuation funding for awards made in preceding years?

Cost sharing:
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.

Pre-submission review:
Will the sponsor review either an outline or a draft proposal if provided with reasonable lead time?

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.
Management plan:
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.