*Update June 6, 2012: See bottom of article for information about a free trial of GrantForward, another grant-seeker’s tool.
The Community of Science is not just for scientists any more. The UC Davis Office of Research has recently announced that all UC Davis faculty, staff, and graduate students will now have access to Pivot, a new integrated funding and research tool based upon the Community of Science platform. Pivot’s purpose is to help researchers and scholars identify funding opportunities and find research collaborators.
Pivot is based upon the Community of Science (COS) platform but compiles opportunities in all disciplines, including humanities. Pivot will replace COS entirely as of January 18, 2012. Current COS users who wish to continue using COS services will have to claim their Pivot account at http://pivot.cos.com
According to Kassie Obelleiro, limited submissions program coordinator with the Office of Research, Pivot is an “invaluable and comprehensive tool in locating funding opportunities.” The Pivot system trawls the web for fellowship and grant opportunities, then categorizes them according to different criteria.
Users can create and save personalized searches in their area and receive weekly email updates when new fellowships or grants appear. A recent search for opportunities using the keywords “American Literature” yielded 400 results that were easy to sort according to criteria such as faculty or graduate student eligibility and amount of funding.
One of the major advantages of Pivot over similar tools is its ease of use, according to Obelleiro. “To make it easy for researchers to use, the Pivot staff created research and expertise profiles for most faculty members at UC Davis thereby eliminating the need for faculty to input and update their profiles – a major drawback of the earlier COS platform. ” Faculty simply have to log in and claim their profile in order to begin building saved searches.
Pivot allows individuals to create unique funding searches, choose to receive weekly emails based upon those searches, and track relevant opportunities in addition to creating a funding search based on the account holder’s profile. The search capability in Pivot is much more focused than previous tools, returning more relevant search results than COS.
“The Office of Research is aiming to improve service to the campus research community and to assist UC Davis is achieving the goal – set by Chancellor Katehi – of increasing our research funding to $1 billion,” said Obelleiro. “Two ways we can do this are by helping researchers find funding opportunities for their research projects and in building research collaborations across campus.” Pivot will help reach these goals by connecting researchers with more funding opportunities and with collaborators.
Pivot can be found at http://pivot.cos.com/, and training opportunities can be found at http://pivot.cos.com/support. Users may sign up for ongoing webinars or view previously recorded training webinars. For a quick guide to getting started with Pivot, please click here.