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Ex Libris Knowledge Center

Searching for Funding Opportunities

Pivot provides multiple ways of searching for funding opportunities:

Funding Types

The funding type is the type of activity or activities a sponsor is willing to support for a particular funding opportunity. They include:

  • Artistic Pursuit – The presentation of artistic work, for example a performance, exhibit, or film or video production.
  • Collaboration or Cooperative Agreement – Any collaborative activity between people working at two or more institutions or in two or more disciplines.
  • Contract or Tender – 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 – Research or other activities related to the completion of a doctoral dissertation or graduate thesis.
  • Equipment or Materials Acquisition or Facility Use – The purchase or use of equipment, materials, or special facilities required to conduct research. Includes 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). Does not include general expenses related to research.
  • Facility Construction or Operation – Construct, remodel, or operate a facility.
  • Meeting or Conference or Seminar – Either to attend or organize a meeting, conference, or seminar.
  • Postdoctoral Award – 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 – In recognition of past or current accomplishments in the arts, sciences, or humanities.
  • Program or Curriculum Development or Provision – 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 – Journals, manuscripts, texts, documents, and translations of works.
  • Research – Activity that increases overall knowledge about a field.
  • Training or Scholarship or Fellowship – Scholarships, internships, fellowships, or specialized training that advances the individual's knowledge of the area, not the area itself.
  • Travel – 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 – Either to be or host a visiting expert.

Searching for Funding Opportunities Using Text Search

Pivot offers both basic and advanced text search.

  • Ensure that the Search by text tab is selected (which it is by default).
  • To search for a specific opportunity ID, use the basic search. A basic search includes the fields Title, Abstract, Keyword(s), Applicant Type, Citizenship, Funding Type, Activity Location, Sponsor Type, Sponsor, Opp ID, and Agency.
  • Many grant sponsors do not mention specific kinds of research they fund. Instead they state broader disciplines within which they consider applications. Some research topics may not get any search results, but that does not necessarily mean there are no grants for which the project may be eligible. If this happens, try searching for grants in the broader field(s) within which your project falls. For example, a project to study zebra mussels may be eligible under a grant looking to fund projects in the broader fields of Biological Sciences, Marine Biology, or Environmental Biology, and so forth.

In the results, you can view specific opportunities or select multiple opportunities to perform actions on them in bulk. See Viewing Funding Opportunities and Tracking Funding Opportunities.

Basic Text Search

To perform a basic text search, either use search option drop-down and search box in the main menu, or use the secondary search on the Funding Discovery page (Funding).

As an administrator, you can set institution-wide defaults for some search options. See Configuring Institution Search Settings.


Search on the Funding Discovery Page


  • Each word is looked for independently. So a search for baseball football returns items that match both words anywhere in the item. This is the same as searching for baseball AND football.
  • Do not use the articles a, an, or the.
  • Searches are case insensitive.
  • With the exception of the hyphen, do not use punctuation marks (slashes, commas, and so forth). Punctuation marks may return erroneous results. This also applies to monetary amounts: leave out any commas or periods: use 10000 instead of $10,000.
  • Use double quotes to search for an exact phrase. "baseball football" returns only items with those two words in sequence.
  • baseball OR football returns items with either or both words.
  • baseball NOT football returns items containing baseball but not containing football.
  • bas* returns items with words that start with bas, such as baseball and basket.
  • (gene w/2 mouse) OR "mouse genome" returns items that have the word gene within two words of the word mouse or that contain the exact phrase mouse genome.

Advanced Text Search

On the Funding Discovery page, select Advanced Search. The Funding Advanced Search page appears.


Funding Advanced Search

Select, enter, edit, or clear filters to expand or narrow your search and select Search. For funding opportunities, the first set of filters is used to include opportunities and the second set of filters is used to exclude opportunities.

Your administrator may have set default filters for location or citizenship. see Configuring Institution Search Settings. If defaults were set, they appear at the top of the list of options. You can clear the institution's default filters.

Find opportunities matching:

  • Activity Location Filter / Citizenship/Residency Filter – These filters appear if they are configured by your institution, and you have not permanently disabled them, You can clear the filters for this search. To permanently disable these filters, see Managing Your Account. See below for additional filters for both of these values.
  • Match all of the fields / Match any of the fields – The three rows of text boxes that appear by default enable you to select three fields to search for up to three texts. For field, select Abstract, Title, Sponsor or you can select All Fields in one or more of the rows to search all fields for up to three texts. For more about the how to format these texts, see the basic search. To add more rows, select Add another row.
  • Amount – Return an amount more or less than a certain value in USD, or unspecified.
  • Deadlines – Return relative or absolute deadlines based on the current or a specified date. You can also select optional or continuous/undefined deadlines.
  • Limited Submission – Return only opportunities that accept limited numbers of applications/proposals and/or opportunities that require some coordination at the university level prior to the sponsor deadline.
  • Activity Location – Return only opportunities from a specific location, is unrestricted, or is unspecified. Note that an additional activity location restriction might appear at the top of the page.
  • Citizenship or Residency – Return only opportunities available to citizens or residents of a specific location, is unrestricted, or is unspecified. Note that an additional citizenship or residency restriction might appear at the top of the page.
  • Funding Type – Return only opportunities matching one or more funding types.
  • Keyword – Return only opportunities that match one or more keywords (topics). Keywords are manually added to each funding opportunity by Pivot's editorial team. As a result, selecting opportunities matching a keyword is likely to return more relevant results than using text.

    Enter part of a keyword in the text box and select the matching keyword from the dropdown list. You can select multiple keywords. In addition, you can click browse to browse for keywords. Returned opportunities match all keywords you select.

  • Applicant Type – Return only opportunities available to one or more applicant types.
  • Sponsor Type – Return only opportunities available from one or more sponsor types.

Exclude opportunities matching: Use these filters to exclude from the search results any opportunities that match specified values.

Searching for Funding Opportunities by Sponsor

Pivot's sponsor search enables you to search or browse our list of sponsors: all sponsors, US federal sponsors, or non-US federal sponsors.

Many sponsor names are listed under the name of their larger controlling entity. Examples:

  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is listed as one of the departments in the United States Department of Health and Human Services, under U.
  • The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is listed in the European Commission under E.

To search by sponsor, select Search by sponsor and enter all or part of the sponsor name. To browse sponsors, select Search by sponsor and select All sponsors, US Federal, or Non-US Federal to open the relevant page for browsing. When available, you can drill down to search by a specific division within the sponsor. If a sponsor's name appears in gray, the sponsor does not currently have any open funding opportunities, but Ex Libris will continue to monitor them to see if they have something available in the future.


Browse All Sponsors

Searching for Funding Opportunities by Keyword

Pivot provides graphical and text keyword search features. Keywords are manually added to each funding opportunity by Pivot's editorial team. As a result, selecting opportunities matching a keyword is likely to return more relevant results than using the basic/advanced search features.

Keyword Search Using the Graphical Discovery Tool

Pivot's graphical keyword discovery feature provides visually appealing browse and search tools for discovering funding opportunities. This feature enables you to zoom in on funding opportunities by keyword categories.
The graphical keyword search is available on the Funding Discovery tab of the Funding page.
Funding Discovery
The figure on the Funding Discovery page initially displays the total amount of funding available for all opportunities inside a series of concentric multi-colored rings. Move your mouse over the picture to display specific categories of opportunities and their corresponding funding amounts. General categories are on the inside ring, while more specific opportunities are on the middle and outside rings. The area currently under your mouse appears above the figure.
Browse by Keyword
When you find a specific category that you would like to examine in detail, select the area. All funding opportunities related to that keyword appear, exactly as if you had performed a search for that keyword.
Note that this search feature enables you to view opportunities for only one keyword at a time. Search results for a general category include all results for the more specific categories that are under that general category.

Keyword Search Using One or Multiple Keywords

As an alternative to using the graphical discovery tool, you can manually search for opportunities that match one or more selected categories.Select Search by Keyword at the top of the Funding Discovery page, manually select one or more categories from the drop-down, and select Search. When selecting categories, you can enter a few characters and use auto-complete to view matching categories in the drop-down list.
Like the graphical search, search results for a general category include all results for the more specific categories that are under that general category.

Funding Search Results

Regardless of which type of search you perform, the results appear in the Search Funding Results page.

Keyword Search Results

For more information on this page, see the sections in Viewing and Managing Funding Opportunities.

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