Funding Opportunities

Select Opportunities Available to UM Investigators

University Grant Program – The UGP is a small grant program available to UM Faculty.

Mountain West Clinical Translational Infrastructure Network (CTR-IN) provides an array of resources to UM Investigators seeking support which will lead them to successful NIH R01-type proposal development.  For further detail, visit the Additional Resources section of the Proposal Development Resources webpage.

Searching for Funding:

There are several resources that you can use when beginning your search for funding.  Several of these resources are described below, including:

SPIN Funding Opportunities Database

To access SPIN, visit SPIN can be accessed anonymously from any computer on the UM network. You may also sign up for a user profile, which will allow you to access the site remotely, save searches, bookmark opportunities, and sign up for daily SMARTS emails. You may sign up for a user profile by performing these steps:

  • Visit 
  • Click the “Sign In” button
  • Click “Need to create a new profile”
  • Complete the form and click “Save.” Note that you must use your University email address on the form.

Once you have completed this process, the SPIN administrator will need to validate your profile. Once the profile is validated, you will receive an email from with instructions on how to update your password.

Note that SPIN provides a series of training videos on their site, accessible at 

SMARTS Automated E-mails

SPIN Matching And Retrieval Transmittal Service, or SMARTS, is the system that SPIN uses to deliver daily emails to individuals based upon the individual’s search terms. To sign up for SMARTS emails, follow the steps below.

  • Visit
  • In the text field, enter your search terms (automated emails will be based on the search terms). Click “Locate Funding.”
  • On search results page, you will now see a “Save” button next to the “Locate Funding” button.  Click “Save.”
  • A popup will display with options for saving the search. Enter the name of your search in the “Search Name” field. Under “Would you like to configure SMARTS automation?” select the format and frequency for which you would like to receive emails related to this search. Once finished, click “Save Changes.”
  • Repeat this process with as many search terms as you would like.

Alternately, you can contact Katherine Swan and let her know that you would like to receive the SMARTS emails. She will work with you to get SMARTS configured.

Using the Foundation Directory Online

You may access the Foundation Directory Online by using your UM NetID to log in when prompted. A few tips for using this site:

  • Start by clicking “Search Grantmakers” near the top of the page – this will take you to a page where you can perform an advanced search.
  • Focus on two fields to start your search: Fields of Interest and Geographic Focus. If your search yields overwhelming results, you can revisit the “Search Grantmakers” page and narrow other fields.
  • Us the “view index” link to the left of each search field to select key words, rather than typing your own. This ensures that you are searching for fields that exist in their system, and may even prompt more keywords from you.
  • If you get too few results, rethink your keywords to broaden your search.
  • If you find a foundation that does not accept unsolicited proposals, do not pass it by. Rather, find out what the process is for working with the foundation; there may be a process in place for getting them to open the competition to you. It could be as simple as completing a form online, writing a letter, or making a phone call as a first step.
  • Try, try, try! It can take time to find a good fit.

Using Agency-Specific Sites

If you have a strong sense of which federal agency might fund your idea, it would be prudent to visit that agency’s website to seek relevant funding opportunities.  Many agencies provide access to regular email updates, RSS feeds, and other tools.  Common sites include:

  1. National Institutes of Health
  2. National Science Foundation
  3. National Endowment for the Humanities
  4. National Endowment for the Arts
  5. Department of Education
  6. Department of Justice
  7. USDA (Note that USDA is a great resource for many areas of interest including Forestry, Animal Health, Climate Change, Energy, and more)
  8. You can also use to search for funding opportunities or to sign up for an RSS feed (see below).

Accessing RSS Feeds

What is RSS?

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, delivers content directly to you so that you do not need to spend time browsing websites for specific content.  You can use your RSS reader to collect and monitor information from your favorite feeds in one central location. 

How do I use RSS?

The exact display of the RSS feed depends upon your reader.  It can be delivered directly to Outlook (where it looks like an email); content can be displayed as a news feed via a browser extension; or it can be displayed as news blips on a web-based feed reader.  You can search the internet for a browser extension or a web-based feed reader, or set up RSS feeds in Outlook (instructions are available in the help section of Outlook).  If you would like to use a web-based feed reader, some of the most popular readers include FeedlyNewsBlurDigg Reader, and The Old Reader.

Once you register on one of these sites or install a browser extension, you will follow their instructions for adding RSS feeds.  Generally you will need to copy and paste a URL of the feed you would like to follow into an "Add Feed" box.  To get this URL, you will go directly to the site whose RSS feed you would like to monitor and find the URL there. A few sites with relevant RSS feeds are listed below.

  • Announcements by Agency or Category
  • US Department of Education News
  • National Institutes of Health Funding Opportunities
  • National Science Foundation Program Announcements
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Grant Announcements

Additional Resources

In addition to the resources detailed above, there are several other resources available for finding funding opportunities.