External Funding Resources


  • Cfda.gov – The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) is the government wide document identifying all federal assistance programs. To be included in the CFDA, a program must fall under the CFDA’s definition of federal assistance, which is: «any function of a Federal agency that provides assistance or benefits for a State or States, territorial possession, county, city, other political subdivision, grouping, or instrumentality thereof; any domestic profit or nonprofit corporation, institution, or individual, other than an agency of the Federal government». The CFDA is a repository of all programs but not all programs listed in the CFDA are actively funded. A listing in the CFDA indicates that the program has been authorized but does not necessarily mean that it is covered by a current appropriation. To find out if a program is currently funded, you will need to check the agency website or contact the agency representative identified in the CFDA program description. There are several ways to search the CFDA. Deciding how to search the CFDA will depend on your project type and your knowledge of existing programs. For example, some types of search in the CFDA site are: by Program or Agency; by Keyword, Program Number or Assistance Type; using the Advanced Search Form or searching within the Recovery Act funded programs.
  • Grants.gov – This grants management website creates a centralized place to manage, find, and apply for grant programs. This online system allows potential applicants to find synopses of all discretionary financial assistance opportunities in one site. Federal awarding agencies are required to post synopses in this system using the standard data elements developed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in coordination with the agencies. The synopsis links to the full program announcement or provide information about how to obtain it. The Uniform Guidance requires federal agencies to post announcements for funding opportunities generally 60 days, but no fewer than 30 days, before the closing date for applications. The Basic Search allows you to search by Keyword, Funding Opportunity Number (agency’s number for a specific solicitation), or CFDA Number. When searching the database by keyword, it is important to bear in mind that agencies will use various terms to refer to the same subject. You should perform a number of keyword searches using as many similar terms and phrases as you can to ensure that you capture all possible results. After you determines to pursue the funding opportunity, you must obtain the application package either from the agency’s website or through Grants.gov. Once you have the application package, you may still need to look at the agency website for more information about the program.
  • Community of Science (COS) – Despite its name, this commercial source includes information about sponsors in all disciplines. COS provides information on Federal, non- federal, and international opportunities.
  • SPIN – Sponsored Programs Information NetworkAn InfoEd’s company service that provides detailed and timely information about thousands of Federal, non- federal and international funding opportunities. A user-friendly database, searches can be initiated through general keywords (Quick search) or specific criteria categories (Advanced search).   A subsystem of SPIN, SMARTS / GENIUS notifies the registered participant of new funding opportunities via e-mail.
  • GrantsWeb 2000 – The Society of Research Administrators International (SRAI) provides links to a broad range of federal, non-federal, private and foundation sponsors.
  • proposalCENTRAL – A web-based grant management solution for government, non-profit, and private grant-making organizations to simplify their operations by receiving and reviewing grant applications online. Participating organizations include members of the Foundation Commons.
  • Foundation Center’s Grantmakers An excellent source of information about philanthropy worldwide, contains information on private foundations, corporate grantmakers, grantmaking public charities, and community foundations. This website includes links to more than 2,000 grantmaker websites.
  • Agency websites – for those programs you have identified as possible funding sources but can’t find on the previous sites, the awarding agency website is the next logical place to visit. In addition to learning more about the suitability of the program to your project needs, you may be able to find out if the program is currently funded or when the next funding cycle is expected.A broad range of federal and non-federal agencies have traditionally sponsored UPR research activities in the science fields, humanities, museum and library sciences, education, labor, health and human services, among many others. Though most of UPR’s sponsored funding comes from Federal sponsors, much funding is also received and available from non-federal sponsors including foundations, institutes and societies. Below are links to the websites of several federal and non-federal sponsors (for a more extensive foundations list see SRA International Foundation List):


Army Research Office (ARO)

Air Force Research (AF)

Department of Commerce (DOC)

Department of Defense (DOD)

Department of Education (DE)

Department of Energy (DOE)

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Department of Interior (DOI)

Department of Justice (DOJ)

Department of Labor (DOL)

Department of State

Department of Transportation (DOT)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Federal Aviation Administration – Office of Research and Technology Applications

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)  

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

National Science Foundation (NSF)

National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA)

Office of Naval Research (ONR)

Small Business Administration (SBA)

US Agency for International Development (USAID)

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)


Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

American Cancer Society

Andrew Mellon Foundation

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Cancer Research Foundation

Carnegie Corporation

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation

Ford Foundation

Helen Hay Whitney Foundation

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Human Frontier Science Program

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Kirsch Foundation

John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Life Sciences Research Foundation

Pew Charitable Trusts

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Rockefeller Foundation

Spencer Foundation

William K. Kellogg Foundation

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Most of this sponsors release program announcements in the form of Request for Proposals (RFP), Request for Application, (RFA), Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), Notice of Funding Announcement (NOFA), among others. These announcements are an important source of information, since they represent high-priority areas and funding allocations have been appropriately identified for those interested in applying.  University community may access these announcements directly from the sponsor website or through the links provided herein or the campus/unit webpages. Some examples are:

  • The NIH Request for Proposal (RFP) Directory has been established to provide Internet users with quick and easy access to RFP solicitations available at the NIH.
  • The Federal Business Opportunities website provides a more general source of information for all federal opportunities available to vendor/buyers, grant applicants, and entrepreneurs.
  • NSF’S Active Funding Opportunities- Recently Announced gives access to program guidelines and due dates of NSF active funding opportunities.
  • Rural Development – Notices Of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) – Rural Development publishes Notices of Solicitation of Applications (NOSAs) or Notices of Funding Availability in the Federal Register.NOSAs provide program information organized in a consistent way to easily and quickly find information regarding Rural Development Opportunities. The USDA Rural Development operates over fifty financial assistance programs for a variety of rural applications. The Grant Assistance is provided in many ways, including direct or guaranteed loans, grants, technical assistance, research and educational materials. Visit this site for information and/or assistance.


Once the university faculty, staff or student identify the most appropriate sponsor and grant mechanism, the proposal development and preparation process begins.  Proposals are typically very technical documentations that must adequately respond to all sponsor requirements.  Failure to do so may lead to administrative withdrawal of submitted grants and awards by the sponsor.  The Office of the VPRT, and the campus/unit Offices of Sponsored Programs, and a variety of institutional resources provide guidance in this process.  Furthermore, a series of sponsors have developed excellent web-based resources to assist in the proposal preparation and submission processes.  Additional university resources are also available in the network of UPR Offices of Sponsored Programs (or their equivalent), campus/units research support and development programs, and the VPRT. The web links to some of these sources and their application information are listed below:


Weblinks for Applications Information

NIH NIH Applications and Forms

NIH – Grants Process, Application Basics and Application

NSF NSF – Grant Proposal Guides

NSF – How to prepare Your Proposal

NASA NASA – Guidebook for Proposers Responding to a NASA Research Announcement
Department of Education (DE) DE – Grants Information