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Funding Resources

VU Resources for Writing a Grant or Fellowship

Fellowship and Grant Opportunities

Internal Funding Opportunities

NIH Resources for Writing an F Fellowship or K Career Development Award

Other Resources for Writing Your Grant


VU Resources for Writing a Grant or Fellowship

The ASPIRE Program maintains a repository of funded predoctoral fellowships from various agencies, including NIH, NSF, and AHA. Visit the ASPIRE Grant Repository website to learn how to access the resource.

The BRET Office provides support to early-stage graduate students in the biosciences who are writing applications for the NSF GRFP award program (You will need to log in with your VUNet ID and password to view past overview presentations and example applications).

The BRET Office has compiled descriptive text and supporting documents that describe institutional services to support the training of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at VU and VUMC. The text describes resources such as the BRET Office of Career Development ASPIRE Program. This text can be customized and incorporated into your fellowship or career development award application to help you convey the strength of the training environment at Vanderbilt. The BRET Office of Career Development also publishes an annual report. We recommend trainees review the annual report with their research advisor and incorporate relevant career and professional development training opportunities into their fellowship training plan. Additionally, the "descriptive text" website has many useful resources for writing an RCR plan.

StarBRITE includes resources for grant-writing assistance & research related templates, including a calendar of upcoming events that pertain to Responsible Conduct of Research.

The Vanderbilt Writing Studio offers individual consultations to help Vanderbilt students and postdocs improve their writing, with a particular focus on structure, argumentation, and clarity of expression. They also have handouts and links to style guides.


Fellowship and Grant Opportunities

Databases for finding funding opportunities

Vanderbilt pays for institutional subscriptions to two databases of funding opportunities, called Grant Forward and SPIN. These databases allow users to create a personal profile to match them to comprehensive and up-to-date funding opportunities government agencies, corporations, private foundations and international organizations.  Users can receive weekly emails of new or updated grants based on saved searches and manage specific grants of interest using monitoring and tracking features. All Vanderbilt graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have free access to these databases. Visit the Vanderbilt University Research Development and Support website for links to the databases. The Office of the Provost has archived training webinars to help you learn how to use these databases effectively.

UCLA Graduate and Postdoctoral Extramural Support (GRAPES) database catalogs funding opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, including fellowships, travel awards, and internships.

Foundation Directory Online can be accessed via the Eskind Biomedical Library (Browse resources: databases) and contains over 120,000 in-depth profiles of foundations, corporate giving programs and grantmaking public charities.


US Government opportunities

  • F kiosk on the NIH website has links to program announcements and policies for individual NRSA predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships from the NIH (“F” awards).
  • K kiosk on the NIH website has links to program announcements for NIH career development awards (“K” awards).
  • NIH Loan Repayment Program will repay up to $50,000 of qualifying student loan debt per year for individuals involved in certain types of biomedical research. "Qualifying research" includes pediatric research, clinical research, health disparities research, contraception and infertility research, and clinical research for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Program applications are accepted online for Extramural New & Renewal Awards between September 1 and November 17 each year.
  • database contains federal funding opportunities from U.S. government agencies.
  • NIH RePORTER and NSF FastLane databases of previously funded projects are useful for determining which NIH institutes or NSF directorates have funded research in your area, and for identifying Vanderbilt scientists who have had funding from NIH or NSF.
  • NIH Guide Listserv is the official publication for NIH medical and behavioral research grant policies, guidelines and funding opportunities. It is updated weekly.


Private funding opportunities

The best way to identify the most up-to-date information on funding opportunities is to search a funding database for opportunities based on your research area and career stage. Vanderbilt has an institutional subscription to a funding database called Grant Forward (formerly SPIN and Pivot). It contains up-to-date funding opportunities from government agencies, corporations, private foundations and international organizations.

American Heart Association funds predoctoral fellowships, postdoctoral fellowships, and career development awards for individuals conducting research pertinent to the organization's mission.

List of Non-NIH Funding Opportunities, maintained by the Fogarty International Center, includes a variety of international grants and fellowships in biomedical and behavioral research. It provides information about funding opportunities and travel grants available to those in the field of global health research.

Many private foundations use the Proposal Central application system. Their list of participating organizations may help you identify potential funding sources.

The National Postdoctoral Association posts a list of International Fellowships & Grants, a directory of  funding opportunities open to international scholars.


Internal Funding Opportunities

The Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR) provides pilot funds for clinical and translational hypothesis-driven projects that involve human tissue, human information (e.g. medical records), and/or have application to human health. Postdoctoral fellows, research fellows, and faculty are eligible to apply. The Office of Research maintains a list of internal funding opportunities. Most require a faculty appointment or sponsor. Vanderbilt has numerous institutional NIH training grants to support research training.

NIH Resources for Writing an F Fellowship or K Career Development Award

The “All About Grants” tutorials from NIAID offer great advice and tips for investigators applying for NIH awards. Some of the information is specific to NIAID, but much of it applies to funding from many different NIH institutes and centers. The NIH Center for Scientific Review manages the peer review process for the NIH.

Their “Applicant Resources” page includes tip sheets, links to study section rosters, and a video showing mock peer review of an application.

NIAID/NIH has a sample F31 Diversity Fellowship application and summary statement on their website.


Other Resources for Writing Your Grant

Tips on Writing Your NRSA from Real Reviewers

Confessions of an NIH Grant Proposal Reviewer

The Best-Kept Secrets to Winning GrantsNature, May 24, 2017

PowerPoint presentations from the 2011 Grants & Fellowships workshop sponsored by BRET: