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SPIN Funding Database: Using SPIN

Selected Training Videos

View training videos at any time by clicking the "Help" dropdown on the SPIN webpage, and selecting "Training Videos."

Find other training videos at this link.

Searching SPIN

Basic Search:

This version of SPIN Search integrates with a modern full-text search engine. It is designed to allow you to perform as simple or as complex of a search as you would like to. Searches are carried out against the entire text of the SPIN programs; this includes opportunity titles, sponsor names, synopses, objectives, as well as funding opportunity numbers, email addresses, keywords, and several other fields.

The search automatically invokes inflectional forms of the entered words. For example, a search for test will scan all SPIN programs for: test, tests, tested, and testing. Basic search also has the ability pass the entered terms through an integrated thesaurus, potentially expanding the terms being searched for. For example, a search for cancer will scan all SPIN programs for: cancer, carcinogens, chemotherapy, tumors, oncology, and other terms. The basic search also contains a number of capabilities to build complex searches with various logic and grammar parsing. The commands can be combined together, along with parenthetical logic to dictate the order of operations, for building complex queries defining exactly what you are looking for.

Clicking the Help dropdown and viewing Basic Search Help will show additional search strategies.

InfoEd Keyword Search:

From the Search dropdown, choose InfoEd Keyword Search. Click the link to "Select Keywords" and search or browse the controlled vocabulary. **The Search Select Keywords box uses auto-fill to match terms in the index.** Select the terms to appear in the main search box.

Advanced Search:

From the Search dropdown, choose Advanced Search. Advanced Search is a powerful query builder permitting use of Boolean logic (AND / OR) to join expressions to search. These expressions can be searched across the entire text of the opportunity, or you can target specific elements to search: for instance, only return opportunities from a particular sponsor or with specified eligibility criteria. See the sample Advanced Search below:


Preferences may only be saved if you are logged in.

Preferences may be set to return opportunities which match your specifications:

Applicant Location Applicant Type
Project Location Project Type
Citizenship Sponsor Type

If nothing is selected among these preferences, the results will not be filtered by them.

Additional Limiters:

  • Limit search to include only New/Recently Modified Programs and set the number of days
  • Limit search to Include/Exclude/Only the following types of Opportunities:
    • US Federal
    • Limited Submission
    • Suspended Opportunities (May no longer be available)

Saving Searches and Setting Alerts

Note: You must be logged in to save searches – anonymous users cannot save searches and therefore cannot configure SMARTS automation.

Conduct a search and review the results to make sure they're on target. When you are satisfied with the search query, click the "Save" button, name the search, and decide whether you want to receive any SMARTS alerts for new results. The image below illustrates this menu of options:

Automation options include whether to receive update notices daily or weekly and whether you want to receive plain text or html-styled email messages. If you choose ’none’ for this option, the search will be performed at the frequency selected (daily or weekly) and the data stored in SPIN for you to review online, but results will not be emailed.

Any number of SPIN saved searches can be automated so that you can segregate alerts by different research areas of interest or other criteria. To review, add, or modify SMARTS automation for saved searches, use the Funding Alerts dropdown menu.

From the Saved Searches dropdown, you can "Manage Saved Searches" which will allow you to run it on command, share it, or delete the search. 

Bookmarking Opportunities

Follow funding opportunities by Bookmarking them. You can bookmark opportunities one of two ways: 1, from the results list look for the plus sign in the Bookmark column, or 2, from the view of the funding opportunity itself, you can click the "Bookmark Program" button to start following this opportunity.

Each bookmarked opportunity is saved into a group which may have one or more opportunities in it.

From the main navigation bar, choose the Bookmarks dropdown to "manage" your bookmarks. Options available include viewing the opportunities in the group, sharing the group, or deleting the group.