RSCA Tips

If you find yourself struggling to know where to begin exploring your research options, or simply in need of a little RSCA inspiration, take a look at these ‘top tips’ from the Research Development team. 

Use Pivot

Pivot is now SJSU’s main tool to find RSCA funding and get automated funding alerts tailored to your RSCA needs. Pivot, is a comprehensive funding opportunities database that features customized funding searches, funding opportunity tracking, deadline alerts, and more. Pivot is available to faculty, staff, and students. To explore Pivot, you will need to create a new account with your SJSU login information. Do not sign in using the “Institution’s Credentials” option as this will not work. 

Workshops on how to use Pivot, create custom funding searches, and track your specific RSCA interests will be provided twice a semester. The next workshop is April 25, 2022, from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. You can also request a 1-1 Pivot training by emailing funding-information@sjsu.edu.

Register for an ORCID iD

We encourage all faculty researchers to register with ORCID, which provides a persistent digital identifier (ORCID iD) that distinguishes you from every other researcher. You can connect your iD with your professional information — affiliations, grants, publications, and more. You can use your iD to share your information with other systems, ensuring you get recognition for all your contributions, saving you time and hassle, and reducing the risk of errors. Register for an ORCID ID here, and if you have any troubles come to one of our Managing Online Scholarly Identity and Using Pivot workshops where we will help you with any issues you have signing up, discuss managing your scholarly identity online, as well as show you how to find funding for your RSCA activities.

Create your RSCA Agenda 

Work with your RD specialist to formulate a strategic plan for proposal submissions on a 5-10 year timescale. This will save you time and energy in the long run, whilst allowing you the opportunity to take advantage of any additional opportunities that may come along, safe in the knowledge that you have a solid, efficient plan, to fund your RSCA.

Use the Questions for Success

How do you know if a given request for proposals (RFP) is a good fit with your RSCA? Ask yourself these four questions:

  • Does the RSCA you want to/can do truly fit the RFP?
  • Are you prepared with adequate preliminary works to be credible and competitive?
  • Do you have enough time to prepare a polished proposal?
  • Does it fit into your long-term RSCA strategic objectives?

If you answered no to one or more of these questions you may want to find another RFP or wait for the next round. If unsure, contact Research Development!

Attend a Webinar

Most funding agencies conduct numerous webinars, either specifically for a funding opportunity or more generally for a program, division or department. Make sure to look for webinars relevant to your funding opportunity or agency of choice - they provide a wealth of useful information, as well as opportunities for Q&A. SJSU Research Foundation maintains a list of relevant webinars so make sure to check their page!

Notify the Research Foundation

Research Development is here to help you strategically plan for, and then complete your proposal before it goes to the Research Foundation (RF) for submission! In addition to working with RD much in advance of a submission, as soon as you know you will be submitting a given proposal, you must also alert RF’s Office of Sponsored Programs, so an assigned Proposal Development Specialist can plan time to ensure that your submission and routing happens on time and the experience is smooth. Within 3-4 weeks of the due date, RF will begin actively working on your proposal. Your designated Proposal Development Specialist will offer guidance on how to prepare the budget, review the proposal submission timeline, provide needed compliance information, and will alert you to critical milestones involved in the required internal routing and approval process.

Be a Grant Reviewer

One of the best ways to learn about how agencies and programs review grants and what a fundable grant looks like is to volunteer to become a proposal reviewer. It is also a great way to get to know a program officer, and to learn deeply about a particular funding program to which you might apply in the future. Many funding agencies rely on faculty and scholars to review and advise them on proposals that should be funded. Most provide information online about how to become a reviewer. Visit the Research Development web page for details on how to become a reviewer for your favorite funding agency. The National Institutes of Health in particular, has a program designed for early career reviewers.