The Office of Research Development has introduced SPIN, a comprehensive funding opportunities database as a replacement for Pivot. As of November 1, 2017, Pivot is no longer available to the University.

With SPIN, UNC researchers, administrators, postdocs, and students can search over 40,000 funding opportunities from more than 10,000 federal, public, non-profit, and private sponsors. Registered users can set up and save search preferences, sign up for email notifications, organize and export funding searches and funding opportunities.

SPIN is available to all UNC users.

We encourage all UNC users to register a SPIN profile. With a SPIN profile, you can log into the full SPIN database and use all of its features. Signing into SPIN is also the only way to access the database off campus and/or through VPN.

If you do not register a SPIN profile, then you can still access the database through a computer connected to the UNC campus network. However, you will not be able to save search preferences or sign up for email notifications, and you will not have off-campus or VPN access to the database.

Eligible SPIN users must be currently affiliated with UNC and have an active UNC email address. To register a profile, visit You can complete your registration whether you are on or off campus.

  1. Click Sign In in the top right corner of the page.
  2. Under the login fields, select Need to Create a New Profile?
  3. If you are signing up from off-campus or through VPN, then select UNC-Chapel Hill from the drop-down box of institutions.
  4. Provide your first and last names, UNC email address, and a username.
  5. Check “I’m not a robot.”
  6. Click Save in the upper right corner.

A registration request will be submitted to a SPIN administrator. You will receive a confirmation email for your request. Please allow up to 24 hours for registration approval.

Once an administrator approves your registration, you will receive a notification email with a link to create your password (you can ignore the field for “current password”). You will then be able to log into SPIN both on and off campus and through VPN, and will be able to use all of SPIN’s features.

If your registration is denied, then you will receive a notification from an administrator explaining their decision.

SPIN has three distinct search modes: Text, Keyword, and Advanced. Each search mode functions differently to yield particular types of results. Search terms entered in one mode will not carry over to anther–for example, a SPIN user cannot conduct a Text search and select Keywords.

Text Search
Conducting a Text search makes SPIN search the full text of a funding opportunity to match relevant search terms. Text search also responds to common forms of search logic and grammar. For example, wrapping terms in quotations marks (e.g., “scientific research”) will cause SPIN to search for a specific phrase, while inserting a minus symbol before a term (e.g., scientific -research) will cause SPIN to search for one term while filtering out the other. For additional Text search tips, refer to SPIN’s Help tab.

Keyword Search
Keywords in SPIN are categorizations, such as Media Studies, Behavioral Sciences, or Cancer. Selecting Keywords allows a SPIN Plus user to see a variety of funding opportunities that fall under those categories. SPIN contains approximately 3,500 Keywords, which can filtered using “OR” and “AND” operators. Please note: selecting multiple Keywords will not necessarily result in longer lists of funding opportunities.

Advanced Search
SPIN allows users to target multiple criteria, such as matching Sponsor Type, Eligibility, or Title with search terms in the full proposal. Advanced Search has the potential to yield highly relevant results in ways that the other modes do not.

SPIN users can set general search parameters that will affect all three modes simultaneously, such as the principal investigator’s geographic location, citizenship, and institutional type. These filters remain in place regardless of which search mode is used and will remain active across multiple search sessions until the user edits them.

Download the SPIN Plus Quick Start Guide. This two-page guide covers logging into the system and conducting Text, Advanced, and Keyword searches.

Download the handout, SPIN Funding Database Search Tips. This handout describes the three types of SPIN search modes and includes helpful tips for making the most of each search.

SPIN includes over 20 short tutorial videos to guide new users through the database. These videos cover basic navigation, search techniques, and user customization. Tutorial videos are available under the SPIN Help tab.

ORD is working with our campus partners to provide educational materials and database training to the campus research community.

For questions or additional information, please contact Jonathan Foland, Administrative Support, at