On Campus

Searchable Databases

The Office of Foundation Relations and Sponsored Programs (link to contact information) will assist you in researching grants but you can also access the following resources to do some searching on your own.

The federal government hosts this site for all federal grant notices. There are multiple search options from the "Find Funding Link"

Saint Michael's College subscribes to this database to assist faculty and staff in finding grant opportunities. A profile (link to the profile form) is required before utilizing the database. SPIN provides daily alerts and search options for grant opportunities and for other researchers/faculty/Instructors in your field.


SPIN is a comprehensive database of funding opportunities gathered from federal agencies, foundations, professional societies, associations and corporations. It is updated daily and can be searched by sponsor, amount, deadline, funding type and area of interest and other criteria.

GENIUS is a database, which contains profiles of scholars and researchers at universities and research institutions. GENIUS profiles are used for identifying interest or expertise within the university as well as globally, for information to be used with SMARTS and for storing curriculum vitae. You choose whether your GENIUS profile is private, accessible to your institution only or accessible to the global community.

SMARTS is the electronic matching and notification system that sends targeted funding information to you via your e-mail. The keywords that reflect your areas of interest or expertise and other criteria that you select in your GENIUS profile are used to search current opportunities in the SPIN database of funding opportunities. Matching occurs electronically on a daily basis and any results are sent directly to you.


SPIN (Sponsored Programs Information Network) is a searchable database of funding opportunities that is comprehensive in its subject coverage and includes announcements from Federal as well as nonfederal sources.

Tips on Search Strategies

  1. Use the quick search feature if you want to get either an overview of what’s available on a one phrase or word topic or if you know the specific title of a program that you want to look at. It searches on the title, synopsis and objectives fields.
  2. Use the advanced search feature to search with more specific criteria such as keywords, applicant types, award types, geographic locations, etc.
  3. Keep in mind that you want to achieve a balance between the broadness and specificity of your search that is right for you. The broader the search the greater the chance you will have irrelevant results, but also the greater the chance you won't miss something. The more you narrow the search, the more likely you'll get relevant hits but it’s possible you also might miss a good match. If your search pulls up 300 programs, many of which are not good matches, you might decide you need to narrow or modify your search.
  4. If after doing a search you get either too many (irrelevant) or too few results go back and modify your search criteria. For too many irrelevant hits, try to determine if you have too many peripheral keywords and cut some out; focus on the main theme of your area of expertise. Or, perhaps you have chosen too broad of a subject heading (i.e. a broad topic like EDUCATION instead of or in addition to some of the more specific subtopics). For too few results, there may simply not be that many at this time, but you should not assume this. Broaden the search, either by selecting additional keywords, or by using a broader topic, for example, use "Environmental Restoration/Remediation" instead of just the word "watershed" or "Physical Sciences" instead of just "Physics".
  5. Look for a program that seems to be a good match; then look at the criteria under which it was indexed and consider using any relevant ones you had not thought of. This is especially helpful when looking at keywords and award types.
  6. If you're not sure what a certain keyword means or includes, run a search just on that keyword to see the programs it pulls up. That will help give you an idea.
  7. When choosing keywords from the major topic area most closely associated with your area of expertise, go through the whole list of associated keywords so as not to miss any.
  8. Have you included ANY/NO RESTRICTIONS in the applicant types, the geographic locations and the Locations Tenable categories?
  9. Have you included Institutions/Nonspecific and Individual/Nonspecific under applicant types to pick up opportunities that don't have specific qualification requirements?
  10. Use the Boolean "AND" feature under the keywords category to combine keywords so that you can pull up opportunities that have been indexed under two or more specific keywords and not just any of a number of keywords. In other words, using the Boolean "AND" with the keywords Undergraduate Education AND Physics, Physical Sciences, and Solid State Physics will weed out undergraduate education opportunities in other fields such as biology or music or some other field. This will narrow the search results.

Tips on the Mechanics of Doing a Search in the SPIN Database of Funding Opportunities.

  1. Use the ctrl key when making multiple selections within a category.
  2. After highlighting your selections in a particular category hit the select key to save them before returning to the main search page or selecting from another main topic area.
  3. Use the hyper linked red dot "Help" button next to each category if you need an explanation about any of the search criteria categories.
  4. If you can’t find a keyword you're looking for, type it in the "Search for a Particular Keyword" box to see if it is a keyword but under a different major topic.
  5. Use the "Synopsis Contains" or "Objectives Contain" boxes to type in relevant words that are not listed as keywords but on which you would still like to search.
  6. At the very bottom of the main search page under "Return Results" choose 100 so that you get as many program announcements as possible on one page.
  7. Use the Save Search feature to be able to re-run searches at a later date without having to put in all the criteria over again. If you want to rerun a saved search to show just those opportunities that have been updated or added to the database since your last search, modify the saved search to include a review date for updated programs and another search to include an establish date for any new programs (features towards the bottom of the screen).
  8. To save the relevant programs from a search, either use the "e-mail a colleague" feature in the full format version of an individual announcement or build a report after you have gone through them and checked the boxes next to the SPIN numbers of the ones you wish to keep. TIP: When toggling back and forth between the page of search results and the full format view of the individual programs you wish to look at in depth, always use the back button of your browser- that way you will come back to the place you left off plus you won’t lose all the check marks you’ve made to indicate which programs you're interested in. Then build your report at the bottom of the screen. If you put a check in the box next to "Select All Programs From" it will save ALL the announcements. To save only the ones you have checked, click on either of the two circles underneath the heading. If you have more than one page of announcements with programs for which you have put a check in the box next to it, then you will want to choose the circle that says "whole search" which would include all the checked items regardless of how many pages you have in your search.

The Vermont Community Foundation provides a link to a searchable database. This database provides information on all foundations that provide grant funding to organizations in Vermont and Nationally.

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