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Funding Sources

Having developed a well-articulated research question, the next step is to begin identifying appropriate funding sources. Sponsored projects fall within several general functional categories. Examples of those categories are: research, training, curriculum development, public services, fellowships, art exhibitions and equipment awards. Sponsors of those activities include the federal government, state and local governments, foundations, international organizations, research institutes and corporations. The successful funding of a project will be determined by how well the researcher matches the project's scope with a sponsor's mission and interests.

There are several starting points possible for initially identifying potential funding sources. Included as an appendix to this manual is a listing of specific currently available sources for identifying potential sponsors. An overview of those sources includes:

  • Office of Sponsored Projects Website: The OSP has recently developed a web site to facilitate sponsored research efforts of the Dartmouth community. The web-site is intended to provide a quick and direct Internet link to the most useful funding sources. Among sources researchers should check are:
  • Community of Science (COS): The COS web site provides a quick reference point for Expertise, Inventions & Facilities, Federally-Funded Research in the United States, the Commerce Business Daily and the Federal Register.
  • Social and Natural Sciences Funding Information
  • Creative Arts and Humanities Funding Information
  • Foundation Center: The Foundation Center is an independent nonprofit information clearinghouse established in 1956. The Center's mission is to foster public understanding of the foundation field by collecting, organizing, analyzing, and disseminating information on foundations, corporate giving, and related subjects. The audiences that call on the Center's resources include grant seekers, grant makers, researchers, policy makers, the media, and the general public.
  • FEDIX: This site contains information about federal grant opportunities for educational and research communities.

Dartmouth College Information System (DCIS)

Dartmouth College supports the DCIS as a means of providing comprehensive access to a wide range of information sources. Access to information includes materials available through the Dartmouth College Library system, databases currently maintained in the Dartmouth College system, and navigational access to a host of databases outside the purview of Dartmouth College.

Additional Internet Sites

Researchers should be aware that agency specific information provided electronically can change daily. When seeking funding information on the Internet, timely searching is recommended.

In targeting potential sponsors, the researcher must match the characteristics of their proposal with the guidelines and interests of each sponsor. Carefully read each sponsor's requirements, funding interests, and submission guidelines. It is also recommended that one look at past projects funded by specific sponsors. Reviewing successfully funded proposals provides a realistic portrait of a sponsor's interests. Taking the time to identify the best potential funding sources for a particular research project will increase the likelihood of funding success. Key matching points include:

  1. Goals of the research project match the mission and interests of the queried sponsor.
  2. Amount of funding requested falls within the normal funding range of the queried sponsor. There is an established relationship with the potential funding source.
  3. This relationship can be the result of past successfully executed awards, professional contacts, or professional reputations of the institution and researcher.

Last Updated: 12/7/10