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Types of Funding Sources

Support for research and scholarly activities can come from diverse sources. The more traditional sources include
  • Federal agencies
  • State agencies
  • Private foundations
  • Corporations, industry and business
  • Not-for-Profit organizations (universities, libraries, museums, etc.)

Less traditional sources include local government, community groups, or discretionary funds from program officers in the more traditional sources. Some disciplines or activities lend themselves more readily to some types of sponsors than to others.

Some generalities can be made about these categories of sponsors. However, there are no rules that sponsors must follow in terms of their giving patterns, application process, or review procedures.

  • Federal agencies - National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), United States Department of Education (USDE), etc.
    • They generally have the most accessible information
    • They are considered by some to be the most stable source of funding
    • In some fields, support from this category may be used as a faculty performance tool (i.e. if successful in the peer review process)
    • Federal agencies often have the longest timeframe for reviewing proposals and making awards
  • State agencies - Oregon Department of Education (ODE), Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), etc.
    • This is an increasingly important category of funding/ there is some federal flow through to state agencies to other entities, such as the University of Oregon (UO)
    • The competition may be less intense than for federal funding
    • State agencies often have accessible information or mechanisms for advertising
  • Private foundations - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, etc.
    • Approximately 40,000 foundations in the United States annually award over $10 billion; 3,000 foundations have 90 percent of the assets.
    • By law, foundations must pay out five (5) percent of market assets on net return on investments
  • Corporations, industry and business - REI, Nike, Honeywell, etc.
    • These are a good source of non-monetary contributions
    • They often have no established program or written guidelines
  • Not-for-Profit - Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), American Heart Association (AHA), American Cancer Society (ACS), etc.
    • Such organizations generally offer smaller amounts of money
    • They generally have a quicker turnaround than other types of sponsors

Sponsored Projects Services (SPS) Web Page

  • SPS maintains a Home Page with information on services it provides to faculty and departmental grant administrators, UO policies on grants and contracts administration, current budget rates and categories, and links to other web-based resources (NSF FastLane, Grants.gov, NIH Guide, etc.). SPS’s web address is http://orsa.uoregon.edu/ .

Research Development Services (RDS) Web Page

  • RDS maintains a web site at http://rds.uoregon.edu/ which displays information and a variety of services provided for faculty seeking support for research, performance, public service and scholarly projects. These include funding source information dissemination, assistance with proposal development and management of internal research support programs. RDS is the central coordinator for most external competitions in which a limited number of UO submissions is allowed. RDS also coordinates funding information, develops proposal workshops, and provides other research-related services. We welcome researchers to contact any of our staff members to discuss research goals, strategy, and potential funding sources.