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SPIN is a comprehensive database containing 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 current UNC faculty, staff, visiting researchers, postdoctoral scholars, and students.

Getting Started


Register a SPIN profile to use all of the database’s features or to have off-campus access. 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, then select UNC-Chapel Hill from the drop-down box of institutions.
  4. Provide your first and last names, valid 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. All request must be verified by an administrator, so please allow up to 1 business day for registration approval (expect delays during weekends and University holidays).

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 name and UNC email address cannot be verified with the UNC Directory, then your profile request may be denied. SPIN is available to current faculty, staff, and students; incoming faculty, staff, and students should register after they begin work or begin classes.

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.

SPIN Web Tutorial Series

The Office of Research Development has commissioned a seven-part video series to provide new users with an in-depth tour of the SPIN database, including sample searches and suggestions for making the most of the using the database. The first video in the series appears below, and the additional videos are available on our YouTube channel.

In additional, InfoEd Global offers over 20 short tutorial videos to guide new SPIN users. These videos cover basic navigation, search techniques, and user customization, and are located under the SPIN Help tab.

Educational Handouts

The SPIN Plus Quick Start Guide includes steps for logging into the system and conducting Text, Advanced, and Keyword searches.

The SPIN Funding Database Search Tips covers the three SPIN search modes and includes helpful tips for making the most of each search.

Additional Support

For general questions about SPIN, support for profile registration, or help resetting a password, contact the Office of Research Development,

SPIN users may also contact a librarian at Health Sciences Library for tips and tricks to make the most of a database search.