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    Pivot Funding: Field Descriptions

    • Product: Pivot


    Funding Field Descriptions

    Pivot allows you to save your search queries.  When a search query is saved, we will automatically provide a weekly funding alert that identifies any newly added or updated opps that match your query.  There is no need to continually enter and run the same search over and over.

    All Fields

    All Fields permits full text searching across all available text fields (including Title, Abstract, Keyword(s), Applicant Type, Citizenship, Funding Type, Activity Location, Sponsor Type, Sponsor, Opp ID and Agency). If there is a term or concept for which you are searching but are uncertain exactly how it would be used, or in which field(s) it would appear, you may wish to try searching for it in All Fields. This approach will result in the broadest possible search of the database. After seeing how your term is used in your retrieved records, you may wish to try entering it in some of the other individual fields that are provided in the search interface (see below). In general, using these fields will increase the specificity and precision of your search.

    The Sponsor is the name of the organization that provides or administers program funding. Federal sponsors may be listed (and searched) under their governmental agency (e.g., United States Department of Health and Human Services) or under a more descriptive division (e.g., National Institutes of Health, instead of United States Department of Health and Human Services) that is more easily identified as a program sponsor.

    Most U.S. Federal government sponsors are listed under 'U' (i.e., "United States Department of...") in the Search or Browse Sponsor Lists.

    The Title is the name assigned to the specific Funding Opportunity. In the absence of an official, sponsor-supplied title, a descriptive title may be added by the Pivot funding editors. All individual terms in this field are searchable.
    The Abstract provides a general description of the Funding Opportunity. The Abstract field may include information that also appears in other fields. All individual terms in this field are searchable.
    Sponsor ID
    The Sponsor ID field allows you to search for full or partial U.S. Government ID numbers from the following organizations:  National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of the Defense (DOD).


    The numeric Amount field can be searched to identify opportunities for an exact amount of funding or for more (or less) than a designated amount. To search the Amount field, first select either "More than" or "Less than" from the drop down menu. Then enter the desired amount. Numbers must be entered without dollar signs and without commas. For example, to search on the amount $12,000, enter 12000. The search engine will not correctly search on $12,000, $12000, or 12,000. Entering a value in US dollars in the amount field on the Funding Advanced search will automatically convert that amount to all currencies to return funding opportunities with equivalent amounts.  Sorting by amount on the funding search results page will sort by equivalent US dollar amount.  Currency conversions are updated weekly.  


    The Deadline field contains deadline information as it is made available to Pivot. When a series of deadline dates for the processing of an application is provided, all mandatory deadlines are included in this field as well as any optional deadlines. Please note that deadline dates are subject to change. The sponsor contact (see Contact Information) can confirm deadline dates.
    Deadline Type indicates the level of submission, whether it is, for example, an Expression of Interest, a Full Proposal, a Nomination, or an Application.
    The Mandatory column indicates whether a sponsor requires this submission type or if it is optional. For example, a Letter of Intent (LOI) may be marked No, but strongly suggested.
    Invite Only indicates whether an application or proposal, etc., must be invited by the sponsor. For example, a Stage 2 Application Type that is only accepted if invited from a Stage 1 application.
    To search the Deadline field:

    • You can use the “deadline within” option to search for opps that have deadlines within
    • 7 days from today
    • 30 days
    • 90 days
    • You can choose the “select from calendar” radio button to search for a specific date or date range:
      • Use one or both of the "on-or-after," "on-or-before," or "on" menus, and the Month, Day, and Year pick lists provided in the search interface to signify the desired time frame.
      • Fill in as much information as possible for the most accurate results.
      • A year must be chosen (in the date lines used) or the deadline criteria will be ignored.
      • If the month is left empty, the system will default to January 1st and ignore any day chosen.
      • If the day field is left empty, the system will default to the first day of the month chosen.
      • Example: If "2015" is chosen as a year and the month and day fields are left blank, the system will search for the deadline date of 1 January 2015 (20150101).

    Optional Deadlines:

    Optional deadlines are any part of a submission that is not required to effectively submit a proposal. Common examples of optional deadlines are letters of intent and draft deadlines. Optional Deadlines are included in any deadline searching by default. Click in the box to de-select this option.

    Continuous or Undefined Deadlines:

    This refers to grants that either do not provide deadline information or that indicate an open or continuous deadline. There is a check box for this option that is not selected by default when a deadline date is searched. Click in the box to select this option.

    Limited Submission/Other Internal Coordination

    You can choose "Limited Submission" or "Other Internal Coordination Required" as options in your search.

    Limited Submission: For some opportunities, sponsors accept only a specified number of proposals or applications from an institution. This checkbox allows you to limit your search to just those opportunities. Further information about the limit on submissions is detailed in the deadline note field of each record.

    Other Internal Coordination: Limits your search to include opportunities that require some coordination at the university level prior to the sponsor deadline. This might be a ranking requirement, a limit on the number of times an applicant may submit, or some other special requirement by the sponsor. Further information about internal coordination detailed in the deadline note field of each record.

    Activity Location

    Activity Location identifies any requirements about where the grants may be used. Click on the ‘More Locations’ link to open a box to browse listings of valid location terms. The Activity Location Browser includes continents and political or geographic groups (e.g., UN, NATO, Commonwealth), as well as individual nations. Click on the    folder or the  symbol to see a list of more specific terms. Click on the hyperlinked term itself to add it to your search (the term will automatically be added to the Activity location field of the main search interface). The    Plum icon indicates that the term is the most specific available. This browser operates on the same basic principles as the Keyword Browser. Refer to the Keyword section of this article for more information.

    You can also type the location that you are looking for in the search box. The auto-complete will suggest any matches we have in our system. Click on the location name to add it to your search form.

    There are also check boxes for including records with unrestricted or unspecified location information, as well as for Sub-Entities and Super-Entities (see descriptions below):

    • unrestricted: the sponsor has stated that the field does not have restrictions attached to it.
      • Example: Searching for "France" in the Citizenship field with the unrestricted option checked will include grants for both French citizens, as well as grants where the citizenship requirement field has no restrictions (i.e. the sponsor has stated that it is open to citizens of any country).
    • unspecified: there is no information provided by the sponsor for the field.
      • Example: Searching for "Brazil" in the Citizenship field with the unspecified option checked will include grants for both Brazilian citizens, as well as grants that do not have any citizenship requirement information.

    If you click in one of the options' check boxes without entering anything in the search box above it, only opportunities with unspecified or unrestricted information will be returned with your search.

    • Sub-Entities refer to any locations (i.e. narrower terms) that may be a part of a larger entity than the one(s) selected. 
      • Example, if you chose "United States" as an activity location, sub-entities would include all the individual states.
    • Super-Entities refer to broader locations or groups on the Activity Location Browser hierarchy.
      • Example, if you chose "France" as a location, super-entities would include "Europe" and "NATO" as well.
    • The Entities options are activated by default when a term is chosen from the Activity Location Browser.
    • Click on an option's check box to select or deselect the feature.

    If you select multiple activity locations be sure to select either the Match all of the fields below or Match any of the fields below radio buttons.

    Citizenship or Residency Requirement

    Defining a search using the Citizenship field will return all funding opportunities available specifically to citizens or residents of the chosen country(s) as well as the opportunities whose citizenship requirements are unrestricted or unspecified. To select more than one option, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard (the Apple key for Mac users) and use your mouse to click. Please note that while awards designated as being for U.S. institutions only are classified under "United States", foreign researchers at U.S. institutions may be able to apply for such awards through their institution. For example, if research funding not available to individuals is awarded to the biology department at a U.S. university, a French citizen studying biology, or working in the biology department at that university could receive funding from that award through the department.

    Some sponsors do not have citizenship requirements, but do require that the research be done in a particular part of the world (see activity location field).

    You can include the option to include records with “unrestricted” and/or “unspecified” citizenship requirements. See the descriptions for these below.

    Funding Type

    The Funding Type field describes the type of activity or activities a Sponsor is willing to support for a particular Funding Opportunity. To select more than one option, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard (the Apple key for Mac users) and use your mouse to click. The Funding Type picklist is as follows:

    • Artistic Pursuit: funding for the presentation of artistic work, for example a performance, exhibit, or film or video production.
    • Collaboration or Cooperative Agreement: funding for any collaborative activity between people working at two or more institutions or in two or more disciplines.
    • Contract or Tender: funding for an agreement to conduct a specific project or task with stated outcomes (as opposed to a general research effort or program development).
    • Dissertation or Thesis: funding for research or other activities related to the completion of a doctoral dissertation or graduate thesis.
    • Equipment or Materials Acquisition or Facility Use: funding targeted toward the purchase or use of equipment, materials, or special facilities required to conduct research. Included would be the purchase of computer equipment, payment for the use of a facility's telescope, leased time on a supercomputer, use of library facilities or special collections and use of art facilities (colonies, studios). Not included would be general expenses related to research.
    • Facility Construction or Operation: funding to construct, remodel, or operate a facility
    • Meeting or Conference or Seminar: funding to either attend or organize a meeting, conference, or seminar.
    • Postdoctoral Award: funds for individuals who have recently received PhDs to perform research or study, usually under the guidance of a mentor, but sometimes not in the humanities or social sciences.
    • Prize or Award: monetary or other awards presented in recognition of past or current accomplishments in the arts, sciences, or humanities.
    • Program or Curriculum Development or Provision: funding to develop or provide a program to benefit the public, or to develop or provide a curriculum, a course, or other types of training or instruction for the public or for those in a traditional educational setting.
    • Publishing or Editorial: subvention for publication costs of journals, manuscripts, texts, documents, and translations of works.
    • Research: funding for activity that increases overall knowledge about a field.
    • Training or Scholarship or Fellowship: funding in the form of scholarships, internships, fellowships, or specialized training that advances the individual's knowledge of the area, not the area itself.
    • Travel: funds for travel expenses arising from programs or activities such as (but not limited to) visiting lectureships or professorships, exchange programs, on-site observation, or research activities.
    • Visiting Personnel: funding to either be or host a visiting expert.

    A doctoral student might select Training or Scholarship or Fellowship and Dissertation in order to access the maximum number of Funding Opportunities appropriate for doctoral research. A film maker wishing to actively participate in an important national or international meeting that would increase his or her knowledge of film practice might select Travel in order to find sources of funding for travel expenses to and from the event. Choose as many Funding Types as necessary to adequately describe your interests. If you feel that your results set is too large, go back to the search interface and narrow your search strategy as necessary.


    The Keyword field utilizes a large body of controlled vocabulary terms. These Pivot keyword terms succinctly describe the areas to which Funding Opportunities pertain. Terms associated with other standard controlled vocabulary lists may translate into, or be included in, Pivot keywords.

    You can view the Pivot keywords through the Keyword Browser which functions as a browsing interface. Click on the Browse button in the field box to open a separate keyword browser window.

    Browsing the Keyword Hierarchy

    When you choose to browse the keyword hierarchy the keyword browser will open on your screen. You can browse up and down through the hierarchy like you can through folders and documents in a personal computer file manager. The terms start with the broadest possible headings and step down to the narrowest subheadings, using the following features:

    • Folder - a folder icon indicates that there are terms below that term in the hierarchy. Click on a folder to see the next level of terms.
    • Plum - a plum icon indicates that this is the last term for this branch of the hierarchy.
    • Keyword Hyperlink - click on the term itself to add it to your search.
    • +/- signs - these indicate which way you will be going in the hierarchy when you click on the folder. A plus sign means you will be going down to narrower terms, and a minus sign means you will stepping up to broader terms. You can also click on these symbols to move up or down in the hierarchy.
    • Cross-Reference Terms

    Tells you which Pivot Keyword to use in place of the entry term that appears. For example, "Customer Service USE Consumer Services". Customer Service is the entry term. Consumer Services is the Pivot Keyword.

    Tells you that this Pivot Keyword is used instead of the entry term that appears. For example, "Consumer Services USED FOR Customer Service".

    Indicates that this Pivot Keyword is used in tandem with another Pivot Keyword to represent a compound term or phrase. For example, "Archaeology USED FOR+ Urban Archaeology". The corresponding cross-reference would be: Urban Archaeology USE Archaeology AND Urban Studies.

    You can also use the keyword search box to type in a term to search for a particular keyword.

    Searching for Keyword Terms

    If you are unsure about the location or exact syntax of a keyword term, you can use the search box in the middle frame to find particular keywords.  Begin typing the term or terms that you would like to search for, and a list of all keywords matching your search terms will appear. Click on the keyword or keywords from the list to add them to your search form.  You can add multiple keywords using the Search functionality.

    Exploding Keywords

    Keywords can also be exploded. If you have the explode function on, for those Keywords you have selected to use in your search, all of the subheadings below them in the hierarchy are also added to your search (i.e., when you click on a yellow folder next to a term this displays the subheadings, or more specific terms). It is a way to broaden your search within the area of interest.

    • Example: If you choose the keyword Education, the explode function would include all the narrower terms from the hierarchy in the search, including "Mathematics Education", "Higher Education", etc.

    Note: when keywords are added to the search query through the browser, the explode function is activated by default. Click in the explode check box to turn this option off.

    Applicant Type

    The Applicant Type field describes who the applicant must be to be eligible for a particular opportunity. Please note that this field identifies those applicants who qualify for a Funding Opportunity rather than Funding Opportunities about a certain type of individual.

    To select more than one option, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard (the Apple key for Mac users) and use your mouse to click. Making no selection will leave this field out of the search query.

    The Requirements list of options is as follows:

    • Academic Institution
    • Commercial (any business or corporation)
    • Government
    • Graduate Student (anyone currently in graduate school working on a master's degree or doctorate but who has not yet received a doctorate; also appropriate for undergraduate students looking for funding for upcoming graduate studies)
    • Minority (opportunities for which minorities ONLY may apply; this includes minority institutions, or minority-owned businesses; for U.S. sponsors, minority is defined in terms of U.S. government guidelines or standards; likewise for non-U.S. opportunities those countries' national guidelines or standards are applied)
    • New Faculty/New Investigator (denotes experience and encompasses professionals at various levels considered “inexperienced” or “emerging.” "New" does not denote an age or age range. Such opportunities include postdoctoral awards; new, young, emerging, and early career investigator awards; or junior faculty awards. The requirement is used across all disciplines within the Pivot Funding database. For example, an emerging artist award will be classified as "New Faculty/New Investigator”; as will a young investigator award for cardiopulmonary chest medicine)
    • Nonprofit
    • Persons With Disabilities (opportunities for which disabled individuals ONLY may apply)
    • PhD or MD or Other Professional (anyone who has a doctorate or is considered a professional in his or her field without having a doctoral degree, e.g. artists, architects, lawyers, journalists, nurses, librarians, etc.)
    • Small Business (includes all Small Business Innovation Research [SBIR] opportunities, Small Business Technology Transfer [STTR] opportunities, and small business set-asides)
    • Undergraduate Student (anyone currently in school working on a bachelor's degree)
    • Women (opportunities for which women ONLY may apply)

    It should be noted that if only "Minority", "Women", or "Persons With Disabilities" is selected from the Requirements list, some Funding Opportunities for which the searcher qualifies would not be retrieved. For example, if a female graduate student selected only Women, she would not find records available for all graduate students even though she, as a graduate student, would qualify for those Funding Opportunities as well.

    Eligibility is different than Applicant Type as used here. It refers to the specific text field in each citation giving general stipulations for eligibility not covered in the Applicant Type field.

    Sponsor Type

    The Sponsor Type field contains the classification of a sponsor for a Funding Opportunity. To select more than one option, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard (the Apple key for Mac users) and use your mouse to click. The Sponsor Type list is as follows:

    • Academic Institution (any college or university)
    • Commercial (any business or corporation)
    • Federal, U.S. (United States government entities only)
    • Multinational Organization (International organizations, e.g. NATO, UN, World Bank, etc.)
    • National Government, Non-U.S. (any non-U.S. government agency)
    • Other Nonprofit (any organization which is prohibited by law from distributing any of its income to organizational members, directors, or officers)
    • Private Foundation (any not-for-profit organization established by endowment)
    • Professional Society or Association
    • State, Province, or Local Government (any agency or unit of government)

    Please note that sponsoring organizations having the word "foundation" in their name do not necessarily fall under the category of Private Foundation. For example, the National Science Foundation is classified under "Federal, U.S.".

    If you want to find only those Funding Opportunities offered by private industry, select Commercial. For U.S., foreign federal, or state or province grants, select Federal, U.S., State or Province, and Federal, Non-U.S.



    • Article last edited: 24-Feb-2015
    • Old Article Number: 9982
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