Extramural Funding Search Engines Evaluation

The Office of Research invites you to participate in an on-line trial of new tools for identifying extramural research funding opportunities. During December 2016, we are test-driving three alternative search engines: AmpliFund, GrantForward, and SPIN. For the past several years, UCSC has subscribed to Pivot, however some of the alternative services may prove to be better aligned with the UCSC research portfolio. More importantly, we are seeking a system that is easy for the UCSC research community to access. We want to make sure that we have a useful and usable system that is valuable for identifying research opportunities and streamlining proposal planning. We plan to provide campus researchers access to the new system via our website and we envision that individualized searches can be tailored to meet the needs of individual investigators, research teams, or research programs. We will also post a calendar of upcoming opportunities on our website. Your input on this decision is very important! We have set-up trial subscriptions to allow you to test each candidate search engine service. Your feedback will help us compare the performance and usefullness of these systems to our current system (Pivot).

We expect that the trial will take about 30 minutes (more-or-less) depending on how many searches you run and the overall complexity of each search. You may also discover some new opportunities that might be of interest. Please provide your feedback in the form below and there are also text-boxes available if you’d like to provide more specific information. We appreciate your help with this evaluation.

Links and supporting documentation are provided below. In some cases, the accounts were pre-populated to evaluate linkages between UCSC web-based information and search engines. In other cases, you will need to set up an account (or use the system anonymously). We would like you to run a few different types of searches on each system to compare and contrast the output, effectiveness, and ease-of-use. It would be helpful if you can test how well each system is able to identify disciplinary and interdisciplinary opportunities that are sponsored by governmental or non-governmental organizations. Also, please evaluate whether it is easy (or frustrating) to use.

As an incentive for your participation in the evaluation, the OR is offering two prizes:

  • 1 $50 BayTree Bookstore Gift Certificate for being the first participant to submit a valid web-form evaluation of all three services
  • 1 $100 BayTree Bookstore Gift Certificate for the test participant who is able to devise a a relevant search that stumps any of the systems (entry must be received by January 4, 2017).

If you have any questions about the trial-systems, how you can process the output, or if you’d like to discuss your impressions in more detail, please contact Dr. Audrey Levine, Director of the Office of Research Development.


  • Go to http://demo.gotomygrants.com/account/login.aspx
  • Enter your email
  • Enter your password or click “forgot your password” to reset it
  • Once you are in the system, Go to "Grant Management"
  • If you have problems entering the system, please contact Dr. Audrey Levine to request access; you will receive an email with a link for activating your access
  • Click on "Research"
  • Start searching!

Please note that the AmpliFund trial will only be LIVE until mid-December.


  • Go to https://www.grantforward.com/search
  • Did you receive an email from GrantForward?
    • If you have received an email from GrantForward
      • Click on “Log In” 
      • Enter your UCSC email account. 
      • Enter the password that was provided or click on “reset your password”
  • If you have not received an email from GrantForward: 
    • Click on “Sign-up”
      • Enter your name and campus email address under the “Institutional Account” tab
      • Create Account
  • Start searching!


  • Go to: www.infoedglobal.com
  • Click on SPIN link
  • You can run SPIN anonymously from any campus computer or you can generate a dedicated login and profile. A dedicated login will allow you to save searches and receive alerts about new opportunities. If you want to generate a profile on the system, it is a two-step process that needs to be confirmed prior to finalizing it. Having a profile in the system is not essential, but it could provide additional features.

Fill out my online form.