Core Databases

The following databases are available to search by type of sponsor, type of project, and by applying additional filters in each database.


Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) is committed to helping faculty locate funding opportunities. While the Research Development Specialists (RDS) can assist with funding searches, there are databases that can run searches and provide frequent results. SPA has invested in SPIN, a robust grants search engine that will allow you to do your own searches whenever it is convenient for you. Moreover, you can save key search terms and SPIN will automatically search grant announcements for you and send the results to your email.

Log-In Information

  • If you are not a current user of our InfoEd database, obtain log-in information by sending an email from your NIU email account to Julie Miller, eRA Coordinator for Sponsored Programs Administration, at  Include “requesting SPIN login” in the subject line.  A login ID will be sent to you.  You will receive a temporary ID that will allow you to do searches, but it will not allow you to save your searches for automatic email updates; when you receive your regular login ID, that will allow you to save multiple searches for different research interests and receive ongoing updates.

Conduct a Basic Search

Conduct an Advanced Search

Adding filters

If you know that you want to restrict your results in some way (project type, citizenship, sponsor type, etc.), you can add a filter to your search.

  • Click Preferences in the top banner.
  • Review your options and determine which ones apply to you or to your project.
  • Select the filters you want to be applied to your search.
  • Save.

Additional Resources

Your Research Development Specialist is available to answer any questions you may have and help set up working searches for you. Additionally, you can also consult a SPIN Quick Start Guide (PDF) or the full InfoEd SPIN guide (PDF). provides a valuable resource for searching for federal fellowships, grants, and other funding opportunities across multiple disciplines. provides information only on federal sources.

You can subscribe to receive notifications of new federal grant opportunities. Options include subscribing to all grant notices, selected notices based on specific criteria, or notices based on funding opportunity number.

Read instructions for using (PDF).

RSS feeds

Most federal agencies have RSS feeds; subscribing to these feeds allows an investigator to be current with specific funding opportunity notices. These notices are updated daily, and links to the RSS feeds are available on agency websites. also has RSS feeds available to filter for specific federal agencies.

Foundation Directory

The Foundation Center provides one of the largest databases of philanthropy in the United States. The Foundation Directory contains information from more than 108,000 U.S. foundations and corporate donors interested in supporting creative, technical, medical, scientific, outreach projects, and more. The Foundation Directory provides information only on:

  • Foundations
  • Associations, professional and charitable

See your Research Development Specialist or go to Founders Memorial Library and ask the Reference Librarian for help in logging on to this database. Instructions are also available for you (PDF).

Foundation Center Newsletters – The Foundation Center also sponsors several email newsletters, including an RFP Bulletin, a weekly newsletter of recently announced Requests for Proposals from private, corporate, and government funding sources.

Additional ways to stay up-to-date with specific Federal agency notices:

The following federal agencies have listservs and/or RSS feeds so that you can stay up-to-date on their funding announcements. This is not an exhaustive list; if you are interested in funding notices from a specific agency, check their website or ask your Research Development Specialist for assistance.

USDA NIFA Update - Biweekly Administrator’s newsletter for research, extension, and education partners at land-grant ad other cooperating institutions. Click on the RSS feed button and choose which feeds you would like to see.

Department of Education - The U.S. Department of Education (USED) provides a web page, Twitter feed, facebook page, and RSS feed for grant opportunities. Their Grants Forecast is also a valuable tool to stay up-to-date with upcoming notices.

Environmental Protection Agency National Center for Environmental Research - The National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) sends email to subscribers announcing new grant and or funding opportunities or newsworthy items regarding NCER-Funded research.

NASA - The NASA Acquisition Internet Service (NAIS) provides email notifications on NASA acquisition opportunities in relevant areas of interest.

National Institutes of Health - The NIH Office of Extramural Research offers the NIH Guide Listserv, an email service with funding notices. It is available weekly with inks to each RFA, PA, and Notice published for that week.

National Science Foundation - When you subscribe to the National Science Foundation Update service, you will receive an email message each time new content is added to the NSF website in the categories you select. NSF also provides an RSS feed for funding information.