Finding a Grant Funding Opportunity


Prospect research is the process of researching and identifying appropriate funding sources to support one's project.  It is often the most difficult and time consuming aspect of grant development.  The following resources provide information about potential sources of funding.  Please remember that federal funding is usually not available for 6 to 12 months after you submit.  It is not a quick or easy source of funding.

All Funding Areas  -- This is the government clearinghouse for all federally-funded grant opportunities.  Each of the federal agencies will post available grant opportunities at this site.  -- Although this document from the U.S. Department of Education is a little difficult to negotiate, it will provide an overview of the proposed funding that the Department of Education expects to distribute during the fiscal year.  It includes grants encompassing all aspects of education in the United States, from pre-kindergarten to post-graduate education.  Areas of focus include disabled students, adult education and literacy, student support services, recruitment and outreach, retention and transfer, student safety, curriculum development and program implementation, among others.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math -- The National Science Foundation (NSF), like many of the other federal agencies, also posts its funding opportunities on its own website.  One of the best features of the NSF site is that faculty and staff who are interested in a particular program and/or project can obtain information about other similar projects that the agency has funded.  The NSF strongly encourages applicants to research what other faculty have proposed and design their projects to build off of these previous works. -- The National Aeronautics and Space Agency also provides grants to support the STEM programs.  Many of NASA's grants at the community college level involve faculty and student fellowships and other professional development opportunities.

Health Sciences -- The Health Resources and Services Administration is the primary federal funding source for community college health science grants.  Grants available through HRSA address faculty development, program expansion, student scholarships, and student support services.

Arts and Humanities -- The National Endowment for the Arts awards a number of grants each year to support the arts in education. -- The National Endowment for the Humanities is similar to the NEA, providing an array of grants to community colleges to support the humanities.

Student-Led Competition Awards

From time-to-time students may seek opportunities to compete in a number of prize-based challenges such as the Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP); MUREP Innovation Tech Transfer Idea Competition (MITTIC) or other competitive programs. These competitions often come with financial awards or incentive prizes. Should a student-led competition be awarded it must be administered through the Santa Monica College Foundation. 

Faculty Sponsors, please contact the Grants Office at for more information.