research funding database

How to find more research funding in 2023   

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We have exciting news at scientifyRESEARCH!  

We have launched our premium funding database, and you’re invited to take a look at what we have to offer:  

Who are your favorite research funders? 

We spent much of 2022 talking with researchers from all corners of the globe, from various disciplines and career stages. We found some common themes. Most researchers have a handful of research funders that they are familiar with and apply to on a regular basis. Most researchers are also quite confident that there are only a handful of research funders out there that fund their work. 

Is it true that there are only a handful of research funders for any given researcher? 

“There are so many different research funding opportunities from a huge number of different funding sources, and as a researcher it is extremely hard to have a coherent approach to it. By collecting them all together in a uniform way and making it freely available to researchers, this start-up will both make individual researchers’ lives easier and help direct funding to the most important ideas needed for the future
– Edmund Highcock – Senior Data Scientist, Power Factors, Sweden  

More than 39,000 research funders worldwide 

Did you know that there are more than 39,000 research funders worldwide? Surely among these 39,000 research funders, there are many “unknown” funding opportunities. With so many funders and so many funding opportunities, it is a challenge for researchers to navigate.  

To make sense of the information, every researcher we spoke with had their own personal spreadsheet of research funding opportunities. But as anyone who has used spreadsheets to keep track of information would testify, creating a spreadsheet is one thing, keeping it up-to-date is another.   

If every researcher is spending time curating and updating their own research funding spreadsheet, that is a huge waste of research time.  

“scientifyRESEARCH is a great funding database for researchers! It’s opening the door of global opportunities for researchers.

– Suyuan Chen, PhD student at Leibniz-Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften, Germany  

Word-of-mouth and email groups as sources of funding information  

How does the information get listed on a spreadsheet in the first place? When it comes to discovering new research funding information, researchers tell us that they rely on their peers and mentors to share information directly with them, and/or through email groups. They also tell us that often they find out about research grants just before, or worse, just after, the deadlines. 

Given that research starts with research funding, waiting to receive information on funding seems like leaving career success to chance? A more comprehensive overview and systematic approach is needed. 

“Many of my trainees are international and they are constantly looking for funding sources for which they are eligible. Being able to search by country you are from and where you would like to study seems super useful for them. My university supplies them with some US-centric information, but your system seems much more global.”

– Niall Mangan, Assistant Professor of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics at Northwestern University, USA 

Research Funding is Competitive

It is stating the obvious to say that research funding is competitive. ERC Starting Grants had a success rate of 15% for the 2023 round [1]. NIH R01 has been hovering around 20% for the past two decades [2]. MRC in the UK had a success rate of 17% in their latest figures [3]. This hyper-competition is clearly not conducive to productive research, neither for the individual researcher, the research ecosystem, or society.  

What we have noticed, as a research funding database, is that often, funders extend their grant deadlines. This seems contrary to the hyper-competition that we see at the national funders’ level. What is going on? 

“Applying for research funding can be difficult, time-consuming, and stressful, besides the fact that it has, now, become an increasingly competitive and demanding job. There are many challenges that an applicant needs to address to keep oneself competitive, and that are much beyond motivation.”

– Dr. Monica Mastrantonio, Visiting Professor at University of York, United Kingdom and the Guest Lecturer at Justus-Liebig University, Germany

 Diversify your funding sources 

The sheer volume of research funding information makes it impossible for individuals to keep track of relevant funding information. It is thereby no surprise that researchers focus on the “famous” research funders, creating the hyper-competitive funding environment that we see for the national funding agencies.  

“This is great – to know not only what academic grants are out there, but that there are many private foundations. When you have your head buried in the technicalities of your projects, you might not be aware of the funding that is out there from private organizations.”

– Gustavo Ruiz Buendía, Bioinformatician at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Switzerland  

What is the future state of finding research funding?  

At scientifyRESEARCH, we’re not satisfied with the status quo. We see a future world where researchers quickly and clearly see the best suited funding to increase their likelihood of success. This is why we’ve created a research funding database in 2021, which we now call the “freemium” version of our platform. This freemium version already provides useful filtering options:  

  • Career stage  
  • Current location  
  • Diversity  
  • Subject  

To find funding even faster, we now introduce the premium version of our database that offers advanced filtering options, including:  

  • Grant types  
  • Funding source  
  • Indirect or direct costs  
  • Additional benefits  
  • Activity location  
  • Citizenship  
  • Visa requirements  
  • International mobility  

Sign-up here for your free trial of our premium database.

The wealth of current funding insights available in our premium database is a time-saving tool – particularly when one considers how long it takes to read each lengthy funding call to assess eligibility and keep track of upcoming deadlines.   

Our database is updated daily with the latest funding information. To save researchers even more time, we have content alerts for researchers to sign up for email notifications whenever a relevant grant is posted in our database! Give the premium version a try and let us know what you think!   


[1] Starting Grants 2023 applications: Facts and figures. European Research Council. Accessed March 1, 2023.  

[2] Success Rates: R01-Equivalent and Research Project Grants. NIH RePORT. Accessed March 1, 2023. 

[3] What MRC has funded. UK Research and Innovation. Accessed March 1, 2023. 

Kate Gardner, Co-founder and Judy Mielke, PhD, Founder in London, December 2022.

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