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Finding a funding source entails identifying a sponsor program with goals aligned with your research project and finding an opportunity you are eligible to pursue.

How to Find Funding

  1. Library

    Contact the UTSW Library via to request Pivot access, a comprehensive database for federal, state, and private funding opportunities.

  2. Email Alerts

    Sign up for agency-specific email alerts and SPA’s weekly newsletter and ListServ.

  3. Eligibility

    Review the eligibility for potential grants before beginning the application process. Eligibility requirements and restrictions are often available in grant guidelines.

  4. Alignment of Research Goals and Strategies

    Examine the types of projects a specific program funds and consider how your project fits with the agency or foundation’s mission and strategic goals.

  5. Deadlines and Requirements

    Review a potential sponsor’s program deadlines and requirements, including proposal requirements and submission format.

Funding Sources

We have compiled a few sponsors for each type of funding agency and encourage you to visit the listed comprehensive databases.

  • Comprehensive Databases
      A single access point for over 1,000 grant programs offered by all federal grant-producing agencies
    • Pivot
      A comprehensive database of funding opportunities available for free to all UT Southwestern researchers. You can search for funding opportunities and sign up for email alerts through the UTSW Library.
  • Federal
    • Department of Defense (DOD)
      Research area: Basic Science
      Works with academic institutions to foster collaborations, shape priorities, and forge pathways in scientific investment areas
    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
      Research area: Engineering, Technology, Space, and Earth Science
      Provides funding through the release of numerous research announcements in a wide range of science and technology disciplines
    • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
      Research area: Biomedical Research, Clinical Research, and Basic Science
      One of the largest public funders of biomedical research globally, investing more than $32 billion a year to enhance life and reduce illness and disability
    • National Science Foundation (NSF)
      Research area: Basic Science and Engineering
      Offers research funds through grants and mutual agreements to more than 2,000 academic and research institutions throughout the U.S., and accounts for nearly one-fourth of its federal support to academic institutions for basic research
  • State
  • Private
    • American Heart Association
      Research area: Cardiology and Cerebrovascular
      Premier private not-for-profit funding sources for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease research
    • The Welch Foundation
      Research area: Basic Chemical Research
      One of the nation’s largest private funding sources for basic chemical research
    • American Cancer Society
      Research area: Cancer
      Grants funding for high-impact and innovative cancer research conducted by scientists and health care professionals – primarily early in their careers – at institutions across the U.S.

Terms and Definitions

Financial assistance that provides support for research, including grants, contracts, and grant agreements.
Funding Source
Private, state, or federal entity that provides financial assistance for research.
Financial assistance awarded by foundations, federal or state government, or private agencies.
An organization outside UT Southwestern that manages or finances a research project.

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Expert Tips

Finding a funding source for your research can be an extensive, time-consuming process. It's essential to seek grants that best fit you, your team, and your research experience. Here are some useful tips to help you uncover funding opportunities:

  • Start Early

    Begin preparing your research concepts before identifying a funding opportunity that interests you. Give your mentors, trusted colleagues, and SPA enough time to review your draft proposal to determine if it is robust, complete, and accurate. Remember, the more eyes and red ink on a draft, the stronger your application will be in the long run.

  • Focus Your Search

    When you are looking for funding, it can be tempting to expand your search as wide as possible to view countless opportunities; though you are better off focusing your efforts on the options you are most likely to succeed. Some sponsors explicitly pursue women, minorities, or early-career researchers. Therefore, it is imperative to use specific keywords in your search.

  • Be Sure You Qualify

    One important rule to remember when looking for funding is “if you don't qualify, don’t apply.” Explore funding sources that have demonstrated interest in your research field or geographic area. Those sponsored programs are more likely to consider your proposal.

  • Broaden Your Funding Horizon

    Go beyond the big-name sponsors and try to diversify your search. Sign up for grant announcements from UT Southwestern and professional societies, scan online databases, watch for social media communications, and regularly check those sources.

  • Keep Trying

    Many grant proposals get rejected, so it's important not to let rejection discourage you. Rather than tossing the reviews to the side or forgetting about them, read them. There is often valuable feedback to help you craft more robust proposals in the future.

Ask for Guidance

Inquiries reviewed and assigned within 4 hours, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Open a ServiceNow TicketWhich SPA Team Can Help


Cheryl Anderson, CRA

Director, Pre-Award Administration

Jamie Maiden, MBA, MHSM

Assistant Director, Pre-Award Administration


Contact Us

LaTasha Stevenson

Lead Proposal Analyst


Diana Camp

Lead Proposal Analyst


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Tools and Resources

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