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J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library

Grant Writing at MTU

Finding Grants

After you've defined the project you'd like to pursue, the next step is identifying potential sources to fund it. There are several places to look for grant funding as granting agencies can vary from government (federal and state) to corporate to non-profit organizations. Below we've listed a few sites to help get you started. 

Call for Proposals and Grant Writing Tips

Once a funder is identified, look for the Calls for Proposals (sometimes called the Notice of Funding Opportunity) and see if you meet the requirements to apply. Check to ensure that not only your project meets the criteria outlined in the notice, but also that you, your organization, or company are eligible to submit an application. Most often, Call for Proposals (CFP) or Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) ask potential applicants for a wide range of documentation including, but not limited to, a preliminary project proposal, a project abstract, project narrative, budget sheets, and letters of support. Each document needed will also likely have it's own criteria that applicants need to meet in order to submit the application and be considered for funding. Read the Call for Proposals very carefully to ensure you understand exactly what is required to apply for the grant. 

Linked below are a few sources available either online or through the Library's subscriptions that provide other tips and support while you complete your grant application. 

Online resources:

Library Resources

Campus Resources


Grant Research and Data Sources

Grant applications require a great deal of research. Understanding the community's needs, what's been tried before, and what is currently available provides key insight and will help you articulate your project as you write. Demographic and other statistical information can demonstrate that a problem or gap in the community exists and illustrate that your project is the best possible solution. Other research helps to identify not only who may be affected by the proposed project, but also best practices for project implementation. 

Data sources are necessary to show:

  • Demographics that demonstrate need
  • People served/affected by their proposed project
  • Community/campus strengths
  • Current and effective services in the community/campus

Data Sources available through the library’s subscriptions:

Background Research is necessary to understand what has been tried previously, what other similar communities are doing, and potential funding that matches your project. You'll use this research to better understand: 


  • Similar projects in similar communities/campuses
  • Same/similar funders or previous projects that funders have supported
  • Previous related projects in current community/campus
  • Support that your project is the best resolution to the problem
  • Support that your funder is the best option
  • Best practices and relevant industry information to implement the project


Campus Resources

Michigan Tech's Research and Development Office

  • Works with students, faculty, and staff to provide resources for grant writing such as evaluating funding sources, developing proposals, and plannig budgets. 

Michigan Tech Writing Center

  • Available to Undergraduate and Graduate Students
  • Proofreading and Reviewing grant proposals

Van Pelt and Opie Library Research Help "Ask Us!"

  • Research and data components of a grant proposal
  • Patents, copyright, and creative commons
  • Citation management tools 

General Resources

These databases contain information on a wide range of subjects and topics and so may contain information relevant to your topic.

Visit the Journals search, Databases A-Z list, and Library Catalog for more resources.

Citation Management Tools