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The vocabulary used to describe funding opportunities can be confusing. In order to help you make the best use of the database search fields, we have outlined the way we use the following terms:

External Sponsor

If the money for an award originates outside the university, the external sponsor is the entity that provides the funding. External sponsors are usually government agencies, nonprofits, or businesses. In some cases, awards with an external sponsor may require you to submit an application to an entity at UNC before you can advance to a broader competition. Opportunities that use this process are called limited submission awards.

Internal Sponsor/Coordinating Unit:

If the money for an award originates entirely from inside UNC, the internal organization (a department, center, student group, or other entity at UNC) administering it is called the internal sponsor. 

If the money originates outside UNC and is administered by some internal organization, the administering organizations is called the coordinating unit. In this database, all internal awards will have an internal sponsor only, while all external awards will have both an external sponsor and a coordinating unit.

Applicant Type

This field describes who can apply for a given opportunity. For instance, some awards are limited to undergraduate students, while others may only accept applications from post-docs or faculty.

Award Type

This field allows organizations to state the intended purpose of their award in just a few words. However, some students may be seeking funding (and organizations may develop opportunities) that will not fit neatly into one of our predefined categories. That’s ok: this field is a place to help you think about how to describe what you’re looking for. Since the database is small, you may want to consider running some initial searches with this field left blank.

Deadline Date

Not every opportunity in the database has a deadline date, as some opportunities accept awards on a rolling basis or follow a schedule that changes from year to year. For this reason, we do not recommend relying on searching by deadline. You should also be aware that some awards with an external sponsor may have two deadlines: an early due date for the internal process and a later date for the external competition. A deadline search for opportunities with multiple deadlines will return results based on the earlier date.