Grant Databases

Grant Databases

Although Grants.Gov and the Foundation Center are useful resources, SPIN is the most user-friendly, versatile, and comprehensive database. When using SPIN, Grants.Gov, or the Foundation Center, begin a search with broad criteria so that you don’t miss out on any opportunities; narrow the search if the results contain too many opportunities to sort through.


SPIN is the single solution for researchers and principal investigators who desire to spend less time doing the arduous and labor-intensive steps of searching, but still be presented with ideally-suited and perfectly-matched funding opportunities. It’s comprised of two powerful InfoEd Solutions: 

  • SPIN, the world’s largest database of funding opportunities. SPIN monitors public and private sponsors to ensure that the most current funding opportunity information is always accessible and SPIN’s queries and filters functions allow users to easily find future opportunities.
  • SPIN Matching And Research Transmittal Service (SMARTS). SMARTS delivers highly-targeted funding opportunities that exactly match pre-defined criteria and research focus.

Accessing SPIN

After you log into SPIN, select Sign in using institutional credentials on the right side of the screen and select North Dakota State University from the dropdown list. This will allow you to log in through the NDSU Central Authentication Service (CAS).

NOTE: The first time you log into SPIN, you will need to click “create profile” in the pop-up window. 

After you're logged in, you'll be able to:

  • Retain parameters set from the Category Filters Menu across multiple sessions.
  • Retain search and detail view parameters set from the Options Menu.
  • Save searches and SMARTS settings, and access them repeatedly from the Saved Searches Menu.
    NOTE: Searches shared by an administrator are accessible to anonymous users.
  • Bookmark opportunities and share them after navigating away from the opportunity, by using the Bookmarks Menu. 

If you have any questions, please contact

Learning about SPIN

Once you've logged into SPIN, there are a number of short videos that detail various features and options under the HELP menu on the far right. To help you start using SPIN most effectively, you may want to review these videos first:

  • Conducting a Basic Search
  • Configuring your Preferences Filters
  • Saving Searches
  • Managing Saved Searches
  • Managing SMARTS Funding Alerts



Grants.Gov allows users to search for federal, government-wide grant opportunities. No subscription is required. does not allow the grant seeker to narrow a search by activity location, so be sure to double check this criteria when looking at an opportunity. Grants.Gov applications will be submitted through the site’s online process, but the database only allows users to register when preparing for a specific opportunity. 

The Foundation Center

The Foundation Center has a database with over 3 million grants and profiles of over 120,000 grantmakers. NDSU's Business Development unit in RCA has two account licenses for this database,  and you can contact them for help with searches, or you may access the database yourself through the downtown Fargo Public Library Online Resources, by using their computers or by being on their wireless. A valid FPL Library card is required, and this database can be accessed only at the downtown site, not the north or south branches.

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