This is the first stage in the sponsored projects lifecycle.  This stage describes the search for funding opportunities and identifying institutional and Principle Investigator (PI) eligibility.  This includes the review and selection of proposals for competitions that limit the number of institutional submissions.

The Research Enhancement Unit within OVPR is available to assist in vetting potential funding opportunities and answering questions you may have regarding interdisciplinary and collaborative opportunities as well.

Strategies for Refining Funding Searches

Questions to think about when considering a sponsor and/or funding opportunity:

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

Does your project fall within the sponsor's current priorities?

Are you (and/or GW) eligible to receive funds from this sponsor?

Does the sponsor actually fund others "like" you (i.e., university faculty)?

Geographic area:
Does the sponsor make awards in your geographic area?

Funding range:
Does the sponsor make awards in the dollar range you will require?

Ongoing funding:
Does the sponsor make one-time, one-year only awards, or is continuation and/or renewal funding possible?

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?

What is the anticipated application to award ratio? How many awards will be made?

Hidden agendas:
Does the sponsor have special - undefined - criteria that are used for awards? In other words, is this really a free and open competition or has the sponsor already selected the recipients (earmarking)?

Does the sponsor have staff to provide information prior to proposal submission?

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

Where do you find answers to the above questions? The following are a few suggested resources.

Proposal Guidelines
Where possible, determine what review criteria and mechanisms the sponsor uses. This information may be laid out in the guidelines, or may be available on the sponsor's web site.

Funded Abstracts
You can use COS 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.

Funded Proposals
Where possible, review a full proposal that a potential sponsor has funded in the past.

Sponsor Contacts
It may be appropriate to contact a sponsor before submitting a proposal. Specific program staff contacts are often identified in the program announcement or in the guidelines.

Talk to your colleagues - who is funding their work? Look at journals in your field - often authors will mention the sponsor of their research.

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