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External Funding

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External Funding

External funding is available from diverse sources; there are many avenues to look for information. Below is an overview of various sources to receive assistance in finding external funding.


Office of Research Services (ORS) routinely handles funds coming into OU via subcontracts/subawards (subaward). Most organizations require a statement of work, budget, budget justification, and OU intent letter. Some have additional forms, or the sponsor may have required forms. A subaward is treated like any other proposal; the work officially starts in ORS when the info sheet is submitted (the sponsor is who we will receive funds from).

The agreement to do a subaward usually comes about as a PI is looking for collaborators with certain experience to support work on an idea they are submitting a proposal on. Sometimes a solicitation will specifically call for a subcontract to be included and may specify parameters related to it such as funds limitations, percentage of work limitations, or specific types of organizations (small business, minority institution, etc.).

Limited Submissions

Many federal, state, and private funding agencies issue requests for proposals that limit the number of applications they will accept from an institution. OU has established a process to identify limited submission opportunities and internally select applicants to submit proposals in response to particular programs. You can learn more about the process and review a list of some limited submissions programs here.


University Resources

Contact ORS, Research Information Services, at, and ask to be added to our funding announcements email list.

Foundations Directory Online

Foundations Directory Online is a VPR-provided system that can be used to search foundation and corporate donor listings. ORS maintains an on-site computer system that allows access to the Foundations system that is available during office hours. Contact Research Information Services at for more information or to schedule time.

Community of Science Pivot

Community of Science Pivot is a funding database sponsored through the OU Vice President for Research and the OU Libraries. It provides extensive search capabilities, can send personalized updates, and allows you to connect with other researchers. We highly recommend creating a profile and utilizing this resource. If you have any questions or need assistance, contact ORS, Research Information Services, at

Federal Resources

  • Federal agencies are required to post their main solicitations in FedBizOpps or   
  • Search the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.
  • Government Contracting Page
  • Most Federal agencies also have listservs or bulletins you can sign up for. These usually contain notices on solicitations being issued and sometimes information on funding or other research opportunities that might not be issued in a solicitation, such as ‘visiting fellow’ openings or travel funds to attend a conference.
    • NSF and NIH – each Directorate and Division has a separate website and most have a newsletter/announcement mechanism.
    • NASA – each Directorate and Division and lab has a separate website and newsletter/announcement mechanism.
    • Investigate which agencies are most likely to fund the research you are interested in, become familiar with their funding cycles, announcements, and organization, and sign up for their listserv, etc., such as:

Other Resources

State or Local Government/Agencies – funding solicitations are usually found on their websites under grants, RFPs, contracts, agreements, etc. They may have listservs or bulletins. Some PIs also approach them with ideas to see if they are interested.

Oklahoma EPSCoR

Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science & Technology

Foundation/Non-Profit solicitations can be found at and may require prior approval to be submitted, which can be obtained by ORS.  

Industry – a few companies have grant programs on their home page (some from their foundations and others from company funding sources or possibly flow through such as an SBIR or STTR); sometimes they will approach a PI on a topic they want work done on or a PI can approach them.

International – you may approach an international organization based on planned collaboration with a certain PI or you can search for a specific opportunity. Many countries have an NSF equivalent office.

Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) - provides international information including European-Union funded research, a research and development gateway, and numerous databases for searching

Funders’ Site (select flag icon for English)

Be aware than many foreign countries also like to do proposals where they pay for their country’s participation and a US agency pays for the US participation.

When looking at non-federal resources, be careful that you are not agreeing to rate restrictions or other things like publication restrictions. It is wise to involve ORS as early as possible so the correct agreements can be started.

While internet search engines such as Google, Dogpile, and Bing can be used to find both federal and non-federal funding opportunities, make sure the solicitation is current and the data provided is free.