Hello, Doctoral Funding Mentoring Program Participants and GradFund Conversation Readers!
Today, I will be introducing you to a helpful online tool, the Pivot Database. Rutgers subscribes to the service to allow students, faculty, and staff to find external funding opportunities.
What is so neat about Pivot?
Pivot is a robust database that provides information on funding opportunities in a relatively quick and easy manner. The database is comprehensive, providing information on both local and international awards available all year around. It is constantly being updated as the funders update their information.
What’s the benefit of creating an account on Pivot?
One of the great features of having your own Pivot account is the ability to focus on necessary awards and grants specific to your research interests. Once you find an award opportunity, you can use the “track” option to add the award to your account. Pivot will constantly monitor and update your “tracked” awards and send notifications to you about any updates or changes to these awards. It also will help you build strong network connections for future opportunities (pre-dissertation, dissertation, postdoctoral and beyond!).
Aside from funding, you also have the ability to find research opportunities and people easily. Identify experts within Rutgers or outside of your institution by searching the profiles of leading research organizations worldwide. Your profile is viewed by other Pivot users who may be looking for potential collaborators for a research project. In addition, having a fully updated profile will enable the COS Pivot Advisor to recommend specific funding matches, making award searches even easier.
How do I get started?
Set up an account by following the simple instructions on the Rutgers Office of Research and Economic Development Pivot website.
Basic Search vs. Advanced Search
To search for funding, navigate to the Funding tab. Complete a basic search by typing your keywords into the search feature on top right and press go. All matching opportunities will be returned. You can refine your search by clicking on the options on your left such as Applicant Types (graduate student) and Funding Types (research). Clicking on those options will present only the awards applicable to graduate students for research purposes. The Advanced Search button will give you the option to add additional keywords, find keywords, exclude certain fields, and use other search criteria. If you make your advanced search options too specific, it will lead to a small number of awards. Making your search too broad will lead you to comb through hundreds, if not thousands of award information. Try the basic search first and refine using advanced search option.
What kind of things should I consider before I search for funding?
The external funding opportunities available to graduate students differ depending on the degree they are seeking (Master’s, PhD, MD, etc.), the stage of their research program (pre-dissertation, dissertation, postdoctoral), and their research interests. The specific benefits of the awards also change depending on the funder. While some have no restrictions, many are specifically offer support in the form of a stipend, tuition, travel funds, or research and related expenses.
Now that you know how versatile Pivot can be, try answering the following questions prior to starting your funding search:
- What is your research interest?
- What is your research question?
- What are you trying to accomplish?
- What is the stage of your research?
- What will the funding be used for?