Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs
External funding provides financial resources to enable your external impact and research efforts. It provides valuable experiences for undergraduate students who benefit from research opportunities that support the development of important skills they will need as engineers.
If you’re interested in finding funding, reach out to Susan and Lori to share your ideas and make a plan for next steps. Below are useful funding search tools and an overview of the grant application process.
The Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs subscribes to InfoEd SPIN, a funding search database developed by the State University of New York.
SPIN provides access to over 40,000 funding opportunities from more than 10,000 global sponsors and is updated daily. All faculty and staff are free to use this service.
You will be automatically logged into SPIN when connected to the Olin network.
To access SPIN outside the Olin network, or to save searches, create a user profile:
Go to SPIN
Click “Sign In” at the top of the page on the right
In the login box, click “Need to create a new profile?"
Enter your information and click "Save" OGSP will receive a request to approve your profile
You will receive notification once your profile is approved
National Science Foundation (NSF): The National Science Foundation funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering and is a major source of grant funding for Olin.
One of their many programs is the Research Opportunity Awards program, which offers grants specifically for faculty in primarily undergraduate institutions that allow them to work at research-intensive organizations during sabbatical leave. They also offer NSF SBIR/STTR awards that support technology transfer/start-up projects. You can check out examples of all kinds of awarded NSF projects on the NSF Award Search website.
- NSF program officers joined an Olin faculty meeting in December 2021 and gave an overview of their programs and answered faculty questions. A recording and other resources from this meeting are available on MyOlin (must be logged in).
NASA: Supporting research in science and technology is an important part of NASA's overall mission. NASA solicits this research through the release of various research announcements in a wide range of science and technology disciplines.
Grants.gov: allows users to electronically find and apply for competitive grant opportunities from all federal grant-making agencies.
Publicly Available Databases:
- Wellesley College curated lists by discipline
- Duke University funding database
- Vanderbilt University fellowship and grant opportunities database (humanities & social sciences)
- University of Rochester fellowships/awards database
- University of Iowa funding database
- Harvard University funding announcements page
- USF Faculty Honors, Prizes, and Awards database
- Listing of European Institutes for Advanced Studies offering fellowships
Check out our gallery of funded projects (current and recently completed) to see where Olin faculty have been successful in finding funding. Reach out to Susan Mihailidis if you're looking for examples of successful Olin grant applications.
Limited submission programs are those for which funding agencies restrict the number of nominations or proposals an institution may submit for consideration for an award. To ensure that the most competitive proposals go forward to represent Olin College, it is necessary to put an internal procedure in place to evaluate all eligible and interested nominees to determine which proposal will best represent the College.
Please contact OGSP well in advance of the sponsor deadline of your interest in applying for a program with limited submission requirements.
- IPF grants (Integrated Project Funding)
- RFP typically sent in early January with applications due early February.
- This year, Olin will prioritize proposals that develop the idea that engineering must be for everyone.
- Funding may include up to two weeks of faculty summer salary, necessary supply or travel budget, and support for students, if needed.
- Faculty Development accounts
- New faculty have access to their professional development accounts to launch their research and external impact work. However, they are also encouraged to seek external funding. Start-up funding can be used at any point during their time at Olin. Funds rollover from year to year.
- Students are encouraged to apply for Student Academic Grants (SAG) to attend conferences, conduct independent research, and to stimulate and facilitate innovative research and educational initiatives. Requests for SAG proposals are sent to students during the first week of classes each semester.
- The Manno Fund provides financial support for students, particularly those for whom accessing co-curricular opportunities would be a financial burden, to engage in activities that are co-curricular in nature and support the holistic and seamless learning environment.
- The Aaron Hoover Fund will support women students of color to attend conferences.
- We strongly recommend reaching out to the program officer or sponsor before submitting a proposal to discuss how your idea fits with their opportunity. It’s helpful to send them a brief (no more than 1 page) description of your idea.
- Once you’ve decided to apply, you should contact Susan as early as possible and provide a link to the funding opportunity website or copy of the request for proposals. Details on Olin’s proposal submission process and deadlines are available on our Proposal Preparation page. We ask for at least five days notice before a proposal submission deadline to allow us time to review your proposal and obtain institutional approvals; however, at least a month is preferred (especially for complex proposals) to allow us time to thoroughly review your proposal and provide feedback. All proposals must be submitted through our office.
- Pre-proposals don't always come through OGSP (unless review is needed); full proposals do. The only exceptions are for Fellowship proposals that are funded directly to the faculty member. We can still help with these!
- We will review your grant proposal to ensure compliance with sponsor and Olin guidelines and we will help you develop your budget. General information and resources to help you prepare and submit your application are available on our Proposal Preparation page.
- Congratulations! Forward a copy of your award notice to Susan. She will review your award notice and work with you and the sponsor to finalize acceptance of the award.
- Once the award has been finalized and accepted by Olin, Lori will set up an account for your award and send you the details on reporting requirements. Throughout the life of your award, Lori will send you financial reports showing the balance of your grant funds and she will prepare financial reports as required by the sponsor. More information on post-award services is available on our website homepage.
- As PI, you will be responsible for the management and integrity of the design, conduct, and technical reporting of the research project and for managing, monitoring, and ensuring the integrity of any collaborative relationships. Additionally, you will be responsible for the direction and oversight of compliance, financial, personnel, and other related aspects of the research project and for coordination with our office to ensure research is conducted in accordance with federal regulations and college and sponsoring agency policies and procedures. We will work with you and support you in this effort throughout the life of your award.
Most proposals are not funded on the first or even the second round of submission – it’s all part of the process. Feel free to reach out to Susan and Lori to discuss next steps for funding your project. Proposal reviewer feedback contains a wealth of information on how to craft a strong proposal. Review your feedback carefully, and we strongly encourage reaching out to the program officer to discuss your feedback. They are there to help you and they can often refer you to other opportunities if your project isn’t a match for their funding priorities.