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Discovery DiscoveryFebruary 2000
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by Audrey Thurlow

The Vice President for Research's Pre-Award office is here to assist individuals, whether faculty or students, with grant seeking, proposal preparation and proposal submission. Our Pre-Award Faculty Resource Area is located in 303 Montana Hall.

We also have a number of resources available on the VP for Research home page. Under "Funding Sources," for example, you will find links to three searchable databases of funding information (TGA, SPIN, and COS). These are subscription-based databases and can be accessed either from on-campus or from home with a password. (Contact me for password information.) Also on this site is a form requesting information about your research interests. We like to inventory those interests so that we can regularly forward targeted announcements that we find in those areas.

Our web site also has links to federal agencies, private sources, and on-campus funding announcements; links to free e-mail-based alert services; links to proposal writing assistance; and much more.

Within the "Grants and Contracts" portion of the VP Research web site, you will find the Principal Investigator manual. It includes guidelines for and requirements of PIs and Project Directors. Under "Proposal Preparation" is the Proposal Clearance Form (in interactive PDF format), electronic forms for applications to federal agencies, information on the Institutional Review Committees, and NSF FastLane policies and procedures. It's worth noting that all National Science Foundation proposals must be submitted electronically via FastLane as of October 1, 2000. All NSF project reports are currently submitted this way, so please call me to register for FastLane and for guidance.

To help with proposal submissions, the Pre-Award office has a PC and scanner as well as PDF creation software on both the PC and Macintosh computers.

Looking for Equipment Funding?

Large pieces of equipment often cannot be requested in your routine proposals, so you may have to look for other funding sources for research instrumentation. Here are a few examples of potential sources:

  • The Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) funds research equipment for universities to use for research and to educate scientists and engineers in areas important to national defense.

  • The Hewlett-Packard Company's University Grants Program provides equipment to 4-year colleges and universities in support of their instructional mission.

  • W.M. Keck Foundation encourages multidisciplinary projects and multi-college cooperative science ventures.

  • The National Institute of Health's National Center for Research Resources provides expensive research instruments that can only be justified on a shared-use basis and for which meritorious research projects are justified.

  • The National Science Foundation has instrumentation programs available in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Materials Research, Computer & Information Sciences & Engineering, Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences, Laboratory Improvement, and the acquisition or development of major research instrumentation.

  • The Department of Energy provides used energy-related laboratory equipment to universities

  • USDA provides equipment grants for small to mid-size U.S. institutions.
For more information on these or any other potential funding sources, contact me at 994-6240 or

Audrey Thurlow is Program Specialist in the VP Research Pre-Award Office


© 2000 Montana State University-Bozeman

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