NYMC > Research > Office of Research Administration > Funding Opportunities > Funding Searches

Searching for Funding Opportunities

Funding Search Tools

Numerous funding opportunity search methods are available for investigators in the biomedical and biobehavioral sciences. The best include a few federal sites, several subscription services, and Google.  For non-federal funding, a good first step may be to review about 600 funders whose programs you may Search by Funding Source OR Search by Funding Interest.

NYMC subscribes to one of the top subscription funding search tools.  InfoEd’s “SPIN” is a database with over 40,000 opportunities from more than 10,000 global sponsors.  A SPIN account allows you to conduct single searches and to receive notifications of funding opportunities that match criteria you establish in saved searches.  To register, go to InfoEd SPIN and create a profile.  For more information, see below.

Did you know that there are 17 federal agencies other than NIH that have awarded research grants to U.S. medical schools?  Click here for a list of these agencies and links to their web sites.

Information on almost all of the funding programs offered by federal grant-making agencies may be accessed via Grants.gov.  Every federal grant program has a “Funding Opportunity Announcement” (FOA) and a specific FOA number.  Remember: investigators affiliated with academic institutions will apply for federal grants through their institution’s registration with Grants.gov.  You are not required to (and should not!) register yourself with Grants.gov.  The only personal registrations you may need will be with individual federal agencies (e.g. NIH Commons, NSF Fastlane, DOD eBRAP).

For NIH program announcements and requests for applications, you may find the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts to be a better option. For NSF offerings, see NSF Find Funding.

Though not used often to support academic research, federal contracting opportunities (Requests for Proposals; RFPs) may be searched at Fed Biz Opps.  For biomedical contracts, you may also use the NIH RFP Directory.

Lastly, always try using Google to find funding.  A simple search for <XXXXX  grants> can often lead you to web pages that other organizations have created to help their members.



Anyone associated with NYMC may create an account to use SPIN.

For questions not answered here, please see the SPIN Training videos (available at Help after logging into SPIN).

When you create a SPIN account, be sure to choose “New York Medical College” as your institution.  The Office of Research Administration will receive an email prompt to approve your registration.  Once approved, you will be sent instructions for creating a password.  If you register without an NYMC email address or are not a faculty member who is listed in the NYMC web site’s faculty directory, you may be asked to explain your affiliation with the College. 

When you first login to your SPIN account, you can set-up “Category Filter” preferences that will apply to every search you conduct.  It recommended that you limit these preferences to 1) Applicant Location (choose USA or New York) and 2) Applicant Type (choose Individual Applicant).  You may also wish to specify a Sponsor Type if, for example, you wish to only use SPIN to search for non-federal sources of funding. 

NOTE: setting too many criteria, either in overall category filters or in specific searches, can lead to missing opportunities that may be appropriate.  A good rule of thumb is to conduct broad searches and take the time to weed through a list in which many hits will be irrelevant.  Your brain will always make better selections than the search tool algorithm.

You may search the SPIN database using Basic Search, InfoEd Keywords, or Advanced Search.  You are advised to begin with a basic search.  NOTE that Boolean operators and other short-cuts can be used with the Basic Search.  See details below.

Email notification of funding opportunities uses the “SPIN Matching And Research Transmittal Service” (SMARTS).  To set up your SMARTS alerts:   

  •         Run a search in preferred SPIN search mode (Basic, Keyword, Advanced)
  •         Click the Save button to the right of the Locate Funding button
  •         Name your Search
  •         Set SMARTS to HTML and select frequency (daily/weekly)
  •         Save
  •         SMARTS notifications are now active
  •         To revisit any searches configured in this manner use the Saved Searches and Funding Alerts tabs

Tips for Using SPIN Basic Search [from the InfoEd web site]

This version of SPIN Search integrates with a modern full-text search engine. It is designed to allow you to perform as simple or as complex of a search as you would like to. Searches are carried out against the entire text of the SPIN programs; this includes opportunity titles, sponsor names, synopses, objectives, as well as funding opportunity numbers, email addresses, keywords, and several other fields.

The search automatically invokes inflectional forms of the entered words. For example, a search for test will scan all SPIN programs for: test, tests, tested, and testing. This can be disabled by inserting a plus sign (+) before the search term, as shown below.

The search also has the ability pass the entered terms through an integrated thesaurus, potentially expanding the terms being searched for. For example, a search for cancer will scan all SPIN programs for: cancer, carcinogens, chemotherapy, tumors, oncology, and other terms. This can be invoked for all terms entered by simply enabling the Find Similar Terms checkbox, or by inserting a ‘~’ before each individual term you want passed through the thesaurus. Note that enabling the Find Similar Terms checkbox will not expand quoted strings (e.g. “search term”) via the thesaurus by default. You must insert a ~ before the quoted string, as shown below.

The search also contains a number of capabilities to build complex searches with various logic and grammar parsing. The commands can be combined together, along with parenthetical logic to dictate the order of operations, for building complex queries defining exactly what you are looking for.

Example Input


Scientific research

Searches for records containing ‘scientific’ and ‘research’ or their inflectional forms

Scientific OR research

Searches for records containing ‘scientific’ or ‘research’ or their inflectional forms

"Scientific research"

Wrapping terms in double quotes searches for records containing the phrase ‘scientific research’

Scientific -research

Inserting a minus symbol before a term searches for records containing ‘scientific’ and not ‘research’


Inserting a plus symbol before a term performs search after disabling expansion for inflectional forms


Appending an asterisk to a term invokes a wildcard search: searches for records containing

 ‘scient’ and any suffix


Wrapping terms in angled brackets searches for records containing ‘scientific’ and ‘research’

and ranks results by the proximity of the two.

~Scientific research

Inserting a tilde searches for records containing ‘scientific’ or its related terms in the thesaurus, and ‘research’

~“Scientific research”

Inserting a tilde before a quoted phrase searches for records containing the phrase ‘scientific

research’ or its related terms in the thesaurus