Pivot - Fund Your Research | Kent State University

Pivot - Fund Your Research

Need research funding?

Funding opportunities are not always easy to find, but a free tool is available to all Kent State faculty and students that can make all the difference. This support service is called Pivot, and it provides a weekly email notifying you of funding opportunities directly in your field of interest.

Yet, while many Kent State University faculty have found funding opportunities through its online database, a recent survey sent out to faculty, staff, and students shows that many still don’t know what Pivot is or how to use it.

Over the coming months RASP will design an outreach program to ensure that faculty, staff and students are fully aware of it and can become fluent in its use.

“A resource like Pivot is vital to the success of research funding, especially at a university like Kent State, that is still working to establish its reputation as a renowned research institution,” said Research Vice President Paul DiCorleto, Ph.D. “Our research efforts will be greatly bolstered if faculty are universally aware of a funding source tool like Pivot. 

In March, Sponsored Programs Administrator and Pivot liaison Mark van ’t Hooft sent a survey to 176 faculty, staff, and students who logged into the database at least once in 2015, asking about their familiarity with Pivot, how they learned about it, and how they use it.

“Respondents mostly found out about the availability of Pivot from someone else (word of mouth, colleague, peer),” van ’t Hooft said. “But it is also noteworthy that quite a few respondents did not remember how they learned about Pivot.”

Those who do use the system are mostly satisfied with it.

About 36 percent of respondents said they have applied for a funding opportunity found through Pivot. In addition, 85 percent said they would recommend the service to someone else and 55 percent have already done so.
Respondents said RASP should provide more training and support, like set training times, call-in and office hours, and help with setting up profiles and improving search strategies.

Using the tool well is a key to finding the right funding opportunities, and van ’t Hooft said making sure faculty, staff and students know how to find what they’re looking for is vital to making Pivot a useful and successful resource.

“It’s one thing to be able to use Pivot and just run searches,” van ’t Hooft said. “It’s another to be able to vet the results you’re getting back and narrow those to something useful.”

Van ’t Hooft said that RASP has provided training in the past to those who asked for it, but that means more need to start asking.

“To get maximum results from Pivot, there has to be a concerted effort, it can’t just come from Sponsored Programs,” he said.

Spreading the word, though, does fall to RASP, and an active marketing campaign has begun.

A link to Pivot link is now available here on the RASP home page. RASP will use also social media to share tips and tricks about setting up a profile and composing good searches, as well as direct email and promotional materials engaging faculty, staff and students in further discussion about how to make Pivot a more integral part of Kent State’s research funding efforts.

There are also how-to videos from Pivot and on YouTube, and we welcome researchers to tell us their Pivot funding success stories and best practices advice, which we will share here in videos and articles.

One key focus of RASP’s targeted campaign will address how to use the system to find funding opportunities and apply for them in a timely manner, an area of concern among survey respondents “We’d like to engage faculty more,” van ‘t Hooft said. “Ideally, we’d like for staff to become more knowledgeable about Pivot, so they can provide more day-to-day support to faculty, because they’re right there in the department or office.”

He said faculty may also want to consider having their graduate students be trained to use Pivot, to help seek grant opportunities and get a new generation of researchers familiar with the system and fluent in its use.

Faculty, staff and students can reach van ’t Hooft at 330-672-1630 or mvanthoo@kent.edu


Want to just get started now?
Go directly to Pivot

Or use the Pivot quick search tool for a list of funding opportunities in your area of interest.