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With diminishing resources allocated to competitive funding from federal/national levels, researchers need to find alternative avenues to get the grant money they need and RDPs need to become savvier searchers.
Regional funders – including state/provincial governments, foundations, and associations/societies – offer funding to individuals and/or institutions within their area of coverage. These sponsors range from small community foundations up to multinational organizations. Making sure you’re searching the right area can dramatically improve your search results.
Understanding How Geographic Searching Works: The Right Activity Location Matters
Where are you looking for funding? While this might seem like a simple question, typically users set up their search parameters in the Advanced Search as Unrestricted and the country where they are located. This yields funding opportunities that are open to anyone anywhere in the world or to anyone within the country they are located in. However, if you are looking for funding at your university to be used locally, including state or provincial designations in your search parameters opens up a range of regional funding that only those within the select state, province, or grouping of these, can apply to. You might even find a sponsor you didn’t know offered funding.
Sub- and Super-Entities
As you begin typing in an Activity Location into the Advanced Search, the first thing you will notice is that the auto-complete function offers a dropdown menu. For example, typing in G-E-R will bring up a series of choices for the country Germany. The strings preceding the country are the different political/geographic groupings that the country is attached to within the database, such as the United Nations or the European Union. These are the Super-entities. In the hierarchy, these are the levels above your selected area.
The default for Activity Location on Advanced Search checks the boxes marked Unrestricted, Sub-entities, and Super-entities. This is our recommended means of searching to get the widest range of results that are valid for the location you have indicated. There is also a fourth box marked Unspecified, which is not automatically checked.
Unrestricted and Unspecified are fairly straightforward. Checking Unrestricted will return all opportunities in which the sponsor has indicated that the activity may occur anywhere in the world. Checking Unspecified will return all opportunities where the sponsor has not indicated a geographical restriction or editors were unable to determine any based on sponsor literature.
Checking Super-entities will search up the hierarchy in addition to searching the location you selected. In the example of Germany, selecting Super-entities will look for opportunities marked with the Activity Location Germany and/or European Union (if that’s the string you selected). Sub-entities work in the opposite direction. For example, if you select the country Canada and check Sub-entities, the search result will yield all opportunities in which the Activity Location is tagged as Canada and/or any of the provinces or territories within Canada.
Be specific. Honing in on your region in addition to your country can return regional opportunities that country searches alone miss. Your chances of receiving a grant from these organizations may also be better than from a national/federal sponsor because the competition may be less intense. Current Pivot Sub-entities include the nations within the UK, provinces in Canada, and the states within the US and Australia.
Remember to look at the big picture. There are many multinational sponsors within Pivot. Be open to new sources of funding. Super-entities offer these possibilities.
Good searches give good results. If you select European Union as the Activity Location and check Sub-entities you’ll get back all opportunities tagged European Union and all those tagged with any of the 28 countries within the EU. This is great if you are willing to do the research in any of those countries, but if you are looking for funding in France specifically, you’ll have to wade through a lot of irrelevant opportunities.
Pivot Funding Opps team