November 27, 2016

November Conversation Recap – Postdoc Funding Resources

Though many funding opportunities are available for postdoctoral researchers, funding opportunities are highly competitive and finding opportunities specific to you is a daunting task. The UWPA hosted Rochelle Lundy from Graduate Funding and Information Services and Anna Salyer from UW Tacoma Libraries at our November conversation focused on funding available to both US and international researchers, where to find compilations of resources for funding opportunities, and how to best spend your valuable time in selecting and applying for fellowships.

Rochelle introduced us to a number of open-access databases to use to search for funding opportunities including the Harvard Postdoctoral Fellowship Guide, Minority Postdoc, UCLA GRAPES, and the Duke Research Funding Database. She also highlighted two databases we have subscriptions to through the UW library: Grant Foward and SciVal Funding. Both of these are excellently curated and SciVal Funding is more focused on STEM funding. Still seems pretty daunting, huh? Well, Rochelle strongly suggested looking in more than one place as no one database covers all opportunities you might be interested in… and sometimes it’s really hard to find things that apply to you! Rochelle also strongly suggested using broad search terms. For example, a listing might not have the wording “postdoctoral”, but instead “early career researcher”.

Anna then talked to us about navigating the world of philanthropy and using the website foundationcenter.org… did you know that these nonprofit foundations -have- to give away 5% of their funding each year?? And they want to give it away to people who will further their philanthropic interests! Anna showed us some key utility of the FoundationCenter website– the Issue Lab (http://www.issuelab.org/) where you can research statistics to illustrate the “gap” in knowledge in your field and TRASI (Tools and Resources for Assessing Social Impact http://trasi.foundationcenter.org/), which is really key to find how others in your field measure and convey the impact of their work. We also looked at grantspace.org with Anna, where you can find sample documents such as budgets to jump start your proposal (http://grantspace.org/tools/sample-documents). You can also go to library terminals at either the Tacoma or Seattle public library to search a huge number of grants! No need for a library card for those of you who don’t live in the same county… you can just ask at the reference desk to be logged in to the foundation computer!

What a fantastic conversation we had. The handouts from Rochelle and Anna are attached below if you want to take a look. We’d love to hear any questions you might have and invite you to join in the conversations!


Postdoctoral Funding Resources – Curated by UW Graduate Funding Information Service (DOCX)

Foundation Directory Online – Professional Database of Grantmakers (DOCX)