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Identify prospective funding opportunities


OSRP assists prospective PIs with funding research to identify potential funding sources for a project by:

  • Preparing a customized report of available opportunities that match their interest
  • Facilitating account set up in COS Pivot for PIs to conduct their own searches

The main resource OSRP uses for prospect research is COS Pivot (formerly Community of Science). In order to request research assistance, PIs must fill out and email it to the Assistant Director. The Assistant Director will respond within 2-3 weeks.

Follow the instructions here to set up your COS Pivot account.

Prospective PIs can also conduct their own research using a range of resources found on the Locate Funding Opportunities page.


Interpreting a funding announcement

Different agencies refer to funding announcements or solicitations in a variety of ways (RFP – Request for Proposals, RFA – Request for Applications, NOFA – Notice of Funding Availability, NOFO – Notice of Funding Opportunity, etc). Whatever it is called, this document is the primary source of information for determining fit, eligibility, and feasibility before pursuing, and it is what you will refer back to throughout the entire proposal development process. Factors to consider in whether to pursue a particular funding opportunity include:

  • Will the university/campus leadership support the proposal?
  • Are the goals and objectives of the proposed project relevant to the university’s mission and strategic plan?
  • Are resources available to meet the required match (if any)?


See Reading the RFP: What to Look For for some additional tips.



After assessing eligibility, the PI should develop a timeline that helps to identify, organize, and prioritize tasks, forms, and approvals that are needed to complete the proposal submission process, as well as identify responsible personnel (i.e. co-PIs, contractors, sub-awardees, etc.).

To go forward with the proposal submission process, the principal investigator should consider:

  • Is there sufficient time to develop the proposal?
  • Is there sufficient support to obtain authorizations?
  • Is there sufficient time to develop necessary partnerships?

If there is not sufficient time to develop the project, the PI should consider pursuing another source of funds or preparing for the next funding cycle for the chosen RFP.

Timelines should include:

  • Addressing statements and criteria required
  • Allowing for writing and editing time
  • Developing relationships with third parties/project partners
  • Allowing sufficient time before the deadline to undergo internal review (usually one week prior to submission date)
  • Scheduling adequate time to review issues and make potential recommended changes that result from the internal review process

Sample Proposal Development Timeline (reproduced from UCD Office of Resource Development and Education)

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