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November 9, 1998

Web database links faculty with sources of funding

By Francine Tyler

UCSC faculty have a new place to go to find funding for research, conferences, equipment, and other scholarly needs.

The "place" is in cyberspace, on the Web pages of Community of Science, Inc. (www.cos.com), which operates databases dedicated to serving researchers of all academic disciplines.

"The COS Funding Opportunities database is definitely the most comprehensive and largest resource for funding information on the World Wide Web," said Donna Riggs, a grant funding information specialist at UCSC's Office of Sponsored Projects. "If the funding is out there, it's most likely in COS."

More than 300 UCSC faculty have joined COS since the campus started offering the free membership last spring, Riggs said. The Office of Sponsored Projects hopes to sign up all interested faculty by the end of this academic year.

A main benefit of the database, Riggs said, is that it allows faculty to search for funding opportunities through an automated e-mail service.

Faculty can submit a profile of themselves to the "COS Expertise" database, which lists approximately 60,000 profiles of researchers and scholars. A typical profile includes positions held, publications, patents, and a first-person narrative describing the person's current research activities and expertise.

The profiles are used by the database as a basis for sending weekly "COS funding alerts" to faculty who request them. The e-mail messages describe opportunities for funding that pertain to the faculty member's particular research interests.

Faculty can also search the COS Funding Opportunities database, which currently lists more than 15,000 funding opportunities worldwide. The database is updated daily and includes listings from federal and regional governments, foundations, professional societies, associations, and corporations. Soon, information on UC initiatives will also be available through COS.

The Office of the President is paying for UCSC's three-year membership in COS. All UC campuses and laboratories, with the exception of UCLA, have signed up for the service through OP.

The membership will be evaluated at the end of the trial period, Riggs said. "We want feedback from faculty about how it works for them," she added.

Riggs is providing individual and group training for faculty who are interested in using the database. Call (831) 459-5014 or send e-mail to dmriggs@cats.ucsc.edu for more information.

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