Guide to Finding The Right Grant For Your Project

Get on the Web!     Get on the Phone!     Get on the Ball!

Contact Erin Scott, Grant and Contract Officer, x2547 for assistance.


The WWW is an enormous electronic library of federal, state, and private funding resources. At Ferris State University, electronic research is currently the most efficient and productive way to identify funding for your work. Consult Federal Agency Grant Opportunities, Federal Search Gateways, Michigan Foundation Grantmakers, and Private Resources for direct links to numerous federal and private granting agencies. Also, consult with Reference Librarians at FLITE Library for assistance in Internet search strategies.


Personal contact is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal as you pursue grant funding. When you research grant opportunities, note carefully the names, street and email addresses, phone and FAX numbers for the officers who oversee and manage the grant you want to apply for. Then get on the phone! Introduce yourself and discuss your proposal idea. As the expert on your own project ideas, only you can ask the questions that will help you find out if this is the right grant for you. Also, this initial conversation is actually the first step in your proposal. You and the grant contact are engaged in a mutual screening and information gathering process. The impression you make on your contact – energetic, thoughtful, organized – will pay dividends throughout every stage of your project proposal. And don’t forget to ask these important questions:

  • What projects does this agency like to fund?
  • What projects has this agency funded recently?
  • What is the typical, average award from this agency?
  • What are the deadlines for submitting proposals to this agency?


The most commonly cited reason for not writing a grant proposal is a lack of time. The most effective solution to this problem is to break the process down into manageable chunks. Also, don’t isolate yourself. Start with a search on the WWW looking into current opportunities. Then, make some phone calls. After you receive the grant application forms, sit down with a colleague and look things over together. Talk to people who have written successful proposals and ask for tips and advice. Finally, keep the rewards in mind. A summer’s research in Europe? New equipment for your lab? Paid time to develop new curricular ideas? These, and so much more, can be your rewards for a successful grant proposal. Start now!

Contact Erin Scott, Grant and Contract Officer, x2547 if you are considering applying for an external funding opportunity.