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Pivot Guide

Pivot is a funding opportunity and expertise database system that combines a funding database of over 25,000 opportunities with a database of over 3 million researcher expertise profiles. Along with powerful search features, the system provides tools for individuals to save searches and opportunities, explore possibilities for collaboration, share opportunities with colleagues, and choose to receive email alerts when records are added or changed. Pivot replaced the COS Funding Opportunities database.

Pivot is available at UC Berkeley, based on the campus subscription provided by the Sponsored Projects Office.

Here are some suggestions for deriving the most benefit from using Pivot:

  1. Take an active role in designing your Pivot funding searches. A Pivot funding search based on search terms that are too broad can generate numerous funding options, some of which may not be suitable to your funding needs. Searches can be refined by using specific keywords, sorting by the type of funding agency you are interested in, and selecting the geographic location and funding level best suited to the project.
  2. Using search terms that are too specific also can yield disappointing results. The Pivot keyword glossary can help you choose search terms that fit “categories” of funding opportunities.
  3. Faculty and scholars should review and update the profile Pivot has created for them to ensure that the funding opportunities and collaborators based on this profile are valid. Existing profiles may be updated by submitting a CV. New profile content submitted is checked by Pivot editorial staff then used to update the profile database.

An overview of searching for funding and using other tools in Pivot is provided below. Pivot also provides detailed support and training. If you need additional help, please contact Shelley Sprandel (spore@berkeley.edu, 2-8122). SPO will provide training for departments; department contacts may contact Shelley or Pam Miller (plfmiller@berkeley.edu) for more information and to set up a session.

Your feedback on Pivot is most welcome. Please note that human interaction with the system is important to create better matches and search results, in particular when using the system-generated matches between expertise profiles and funding opportunities. The more detail and the more accurate the profile, the better the matches. You may send comments to Pam Miller or Shelley Sprandel.


Setting up an account

You may use Pivot from any campus-based computer for basic searches without setting up an account. If you choose to set up an account, you will be able to log in from any location, and you will have access to the tools for managing searches and opportunities. If you are a researcher, an account will allow you to create, claim, or update a profile.

If you had an account for COS Funding Opportunities, you will use that same username and password for Pivot. If you do not have a current Pivot account, you will need to create an account:

  • Go to Create your Pivot Account
  • Complete the required fields including the name of the subscribing institution to which you belong
  • Click the “Create my account” button
  • You will receive a verification email at the email address entered in the account creation process, the email will include a link to Pivot.
  • Your email address and the password your entered during account creation will be your Pivot username and password

For more guidance on your account and using Pivot, see Your Pivot Account and other Pivot support (under Getting Started).


Searching for funding opportunities

The Pivot Quick Search is an easy way to search across all funding opportunities available. Searching for funding by text searches across all fields, providing you with broad search results. Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT can be used within the text search box, and quotations can be used for exact phrase searching. Searching by sponsor searches the entire sponsor list or allows you to browse the sponsor list alphabetically. If search results are too broad, you can then refine your search results. For more guidance, see Funding Search Tips, Funding Quick Search, and other Pivot support (under Finding Funding Opportunities).

The Advanced Search allows you to construct a targeted, field-specific search using search boxes, browsing windows, and pick lists. Note that there are no required fields for conducting an Advanced Search. You can enter information in only the fields you wish to search. Adding information to more fields will result in narrower search results. Fields available are listed briefly below and described in detail in Funding Field Descriptions. For more guidance, see Funding Search Tips, Funding Advanced Search, and other Pivot support (under Finding Funding Opportunities).

  • All Fields. This will yield results similar to a Quick Search for text. Put a word or phrase in this field to search for that word or phrase in every field.
  • Abstract (drop-down under “All Fields”). Add a word or phrase in this field to search for that word or phrase in program abstracts taken from the agency solicitations.
  • Title (drop-down under “All Fields”). Enter a word or phrase in this field to search for that word or phrase in titles.
  • Sponsor (drop-down under “All Fields”). Put in the sponsor name, part of a name, or acronym to search opportunities offered by the organization or organizations that match the search.
  • Amount. Use this field to select programs providing a specific amount of funds, or use “more than” and “less than” drop-down options.
  • Deadline. Use this field can be used to look for a specific frame of time, or use “on or after,” “on or before,” and “on” drop-down options.
  • Limited Submission/Internal Coordination. This field is used for programs which allow only a limited number of applications per organization or require other internal coordination before proposals are submitted.
  • Activity Location (under “More search attributes”). This field restricts your search to specific locations where the funded project will take place. To narrow results, try clicking “more locations,” then open “United States,” then click “California,” leaving “Unrestricted” and other default categories checked.
  • Citizenship or Residency (under “More search attributes”). This field yields programs that require a specific citizenship to apply. To narrow search results, try clicking “United States,” leaving “Unrestricted” and “Unspecified” checked (default).
  • Funding Type (under “More search attributes”). This field provides information on specific types of funded activities, for example “Research” or “Travel.” More than one type can be selected.
  • Keywords (under “More search attributes”). Pivot uses keywords to categorize funding opportunities by area. Type in the “search” field to search the keywords list, then click to add one or more specific keywords to your list. Click on “browse” for a hierarchical list of keywords organized in folders. Click the plus signs next to the folders to see additional folders or terms. Select a keyword by either clicking the folder name or a name within a folder to add it to your list. Check “Explode” to include all the narrower keywords in a subject hierarchy (folder) in your search.
  • Requirements (under “More search attributes”). This field limits the search to programs with eligibility requirements for specific applicants, for example, “Academic Institution” or “Student.” More than one category may be selected.
  • Sponsor Type (under “More search attributes”). This field allows you to select the type of funding agency, for example “Federal, U.S.” More than one type may be selected.

A few tips for searching:

  • To search for a specific phrase, use quotes. Example: “apple juice” for the phrase apple juice.
  • To search for all words starting with a specific set of letters, use an asterisk. Example: Geo* for all words starting with “geo,” such as geology, geography, etc.
  • To list the funding opportunity search results by “Deadline” or by “Amount,” click on the column name.

Refine your query

Use this option after you have done a search and want to change the search fields to get better results. For example, add fields for fewer results, broaden the keyword category for fewer results, or change text search for different results.

Faceted search

After you have done a search, use the categories on the left menu to see only the results in that category. For example, click “Federal, U.S.” for only opportunities in your results from federal sponsors.


Saving searches and tracking opportunities

If you have a Pivot account, you can track individual funding opportunities, adding them to a list of either active or tracked funding opportunities. Active Opportunities are those which are the most important to you. Tracked Opportunities are those which you want to monitor, but they are less critical. You can manage your saved tracked and active funding opportunities on your Pivot homepage.

Pivot also allows you to save your search queries. Saving a search saves time, as you can use Pivot to review newly added or updated opportunities, or use the funding email alert to receive email with the changes. You can also run the saved search whenever you like or use it as a starting point to create a similar search. You can manage your saved searches on your Pivot homepage.

For more guidance, see Managing Individual Funding Opportunities, Active Opps, Tracked Opps, Saved Searches, and other Pivot support (under Your Pivot Homepage).

Email alerts

If you choose to receive an email alert for a saved search query, Pivot will automatically provide a weekly funding alert that identifies any newly added or updated opportunities that match your saved search query. If you choose to receive an email alert for an individual funding opportunity, Pivot will send email if that opportunity is revised. If you choose to receive email alerts for have more than one saved search and/or opportunity, you will receive only one email each week, compiling all new results for each search and individual opportunity. For more guidance, see Funding Alerts, Funding FAQs, and other Pivot support (under Your Pivot Homepage).

Sharing searches and opportunities

Pivot allows you to share individual funding opportunities as well as saved search queries with colleagues. (Note that saved search results will only be accessible to collaborators with a Pivot account). You can see opportunities you have shared and that have been shared with you on your Pivot homepage. For more guidance, see Managing Individual Funding Opportunities, Shared Opps, Saved Searches, and other Pivot support (under Your Pivot Homepage).


Researcher profiles

Pivot Profiles provides pre-populated profiles of over 3 million faculty and other scholars worldwide, with verified affiliation and publication information. Pivot will match profiles with suggested funding opportunities and with potential collaborators at UC Berkeley and at other institutions.

Faculty interested in using the funding opportunities match may want to create an account, then claim and update their profile. Pivot uses a proprietary matching algorithm to determine a summary of the topics most highly associated with the profile and use those topics to find funding opportunities with similar topic summaries. As the researcher’s profile information changes and the funding opportunities are updated, this list will continue to change. The more detail and the more accurate the profile, the better the matches.

For more guidance, see Creating and Updating Your Profile, Pivot Advisor, and other Pivot support (under Finding Scholars).