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Nov 05 2020 - 10:00 AM
Workshop: Show Me the Money!

How do you find funding to support your research, special project, studies, travel, or other initiative? Although it may seem like a daunting task to find a grantor, the reality is that money is out there, and folks want to give it away (for good purposes)! This blog covers the do's of grant seeking.

For Starters:

Check with your Teachers College Department about funding opportunities. 


Consult the web site and staff of the professional association of your academic discipline for suggestions about funding sources.


Delve Deeper:

Read About Grants and Grantsmanship by locating resources in EDUCAT, TC's catalog, and CLIO, Columbia's catalog. You can click on the Subject tab in EDUCAT, or select Subject from the pull-down menu in CLIO.

Use these subject headings to locate print and online resources: 

  •    Endowment of Research
  •    Federal aid to research
  •    Grants in aid
  •    Proposal writing for grants
  •    Proposal writing in human services
  •    Research grants
  •    Scholarships
  •    Scholarships, fellowships, etc.


You can also try using the keyword "grant*" (the asterisk picks up all variations of the word) to see the many resources available, including directories, handbooks, reports, and more.

EDUCAT, for holdings of Teachers College

CLIO, for holdings of Columbia University


Use the resources of the Foundation Center, located here in New York. A pioneer in the field, the Center has a library open to the public, as well as classes on using their subscription databases. 

Accessible via Columbia University Libraries, Foundation Directory provides descriptions of grant makers, including private grant-making foundations, community foundations, operating foundations, and corporate grant makers.

Allow time to search the databases, and explore grant givers that have funded projects similar to your own; many philanthropic organizations do not have a competitive process and may consider funding your project.

SPIN, or the Sponsored Programs Information Network is a database produced by InfoEd Global that directs users to funding opportunities. It is an online database of federal, non-federal and corporate funding opportunities designed to assist faculty and staff in the identification of external sources of support for research, education and development projects. Training videos are available.

Investigate Teachers College Resources:


Search for overlap between the officers of the foundation and the officers and faculty of Teachers College

Build a collaborative team with members whose talents and interests complement your own.

Ask faculty for help or sponsorship.

Most grants are limited to U.S. citizens; consult the individual embassy for opportunities for non-US citizens. 

The Office of Sponsored Programs at Teachers College oversees the general administration of grants and has helpful institutional information and advice on proposal preparation, upcoming grant deadlines, and key contacts for offices and departments wishing to pursue applications. The Office also provides access to forms needed by granting bodies, including NIH.

Check Out Columbia University Resources:

The Sponsored Projects Administration at Columbia serves as a central resource to support the research community at Columbia University by providing guidance and stewardship for the researchers and administrators on all CU campuses.

SPA offers a wide range of services including:

  • Review and submission of proposals
  • Award negotiation and acceptance
  • Account setup
  • Subcontract issuance and negotiations
  • Sponsor communications during the life cycle of the award
  • Award close-out (non-financial)
  • Sponsored project data collection and reporting
  • Grants education, including a Sources of Funding page.

The Business Library at Columbia University offers extensive resources about nonprofit organizations.

Consider Teachers College Grants:


With regard to outside funders, doctoral students are more likely to find funding than Masters-level students.

So, start small; once you have established a record for funding, you are more likely to get more funding from outside organizations.

Key for internal funding opportunities:

Build Relationship with Funder:

Once you have identified a potential funding source, pick up the phone and establish a personal relationship with the funder.

Discuss your project with the grant officer before you apply.

Consult the grant officer while you prepare your application.

Grant Writing and Additional Assistance:

For a useful guide to grant writing for students, see Victoria Lebron's PowerPoint presentation in Pocketknowledge.

Be sure to check out the NY/NJ Common Grant Application, which can serve as a basis for any specialized applications you may need to complete.

For assistance finding grant opportunities, schedule a consultation with a Teachers College Librarian.

For assistance applying for and administering grants, contact the Teachers College Office of Sponsored Programs.


Piggy Bank with Coins, Pexels

Checkmark, Genie

Little Cat, Flickr

Communication, Pixabay

Heart Hand, Wikimedia

Posted in: Learning at the LibraryWorkshops|By: Jennifer Govan|1194 Reads