Biological researchers scrambling for grant support once had to pore over small-print listings in the library and spend hours making query calls to public and private organizations in order to locate agencies amenable to funding their projects. But now, with the advent of the computer age, they can search for potential funders while sitting at their desks--even at 3:00 A.M., if it suits them. Moreover, the tasks of preparing proposals for those funders, once identified, and of managing the money, once won, have also been eased by computers.
According to Martha Verchot, education coordinator at the Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences, University of Alabama, Birmingham, a number of databases and other resources can help in identifying potential funders. Some of these are available over the Internet free of charge, and some are commercial products provided in different formats. Among these are the following:
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