COS Pivot -- External Funding Search Engine

Through our affiliation with Harvard University, all Mass General Brigham faculty, staff, and students have access to the funding opps database, Pivot. Pivot includes grants, awards, prizes, and fellowships, as well as support for travel, conferences, and equipment acquisition.  It contains information about government, philanthropic, industry, and international funding opportunities from across scientific disciplines.  Pivot allows researchers to easily limit results by criteria including citizenship or residency, geographic location, or professional rank.

Additionally, Pivot Funding Alerts provide researchers with a weekly, individualized notification of new & updated funding opportunities based on the user’s saved searches.

Training Materials
For more information and training materials, please see:

There you will find instructional videos and webinar schedules as well as user guides and FAQs. 

You may also schedule an individual research consultation or group workshop on the use Pivot with Amy Robb in the MGH Office of DevelopmentSchedule a consultation through the Center fro Faculty Development or email

Set up a username and password to access the database, save searches, and track individual funding opportunities.

  1. Go to
  2. Use your email address and select Harvard University as the affiliated institution.
  3. Once you’ve created a password, you’ll receive an automated email message.  Click on the link provided in that message to confirm your account.
  4. Login to the database using your email and password.

Search Stra​tegies
Funding sponsors will probably not describe what they want to fund in the same way you describe what you are trying to fund.  With this in mind, search individual concepts of your research or project separately.  For example:

  • Disease, symptom, or physiological system (e.g. EPILEP* or SEIZURE* or BRAIN or NEUR*)
  • Patient population (e.g. PEDIATRIC* or CHILD* or JUVENILE)
  • Research stage or methodologies employed (e.g. BASIC or BIOLOG* or TRANSLATIONAL or PILOT or “DRUG DISCOVERY”)
  • Medical specialty or academic degree (e.g. CARDI* or “COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY”)
  • Impact or benefit (e.g. “MEDICAL ETHICS” or “PATIENT SAFETY”)

Notice a few additional search strategies are employed in the bulleted examples above.  These tips include:

  • Use the wildcard (*) to capture multiple parts of speech as well as the singular and plural.
  • Add synonymous or related concepts liberally. 
  • Use quotation marks to search a phrase (e.g. “mental health”).  But also remember that you might get more (or better) results if you instead just use the most important part of the concept (e.g. mental*).

Two fields that everyone should include in their search are:

  • Activity Location:  MASSACHUSETTS is usually the best option here but include everywhere you work.
  • Citizenship or Residency:  Include the citizenships or permanent residencies of everyone who works on the project and could potentially submit a proposal.