Preferences, filters can help target searches in SPIN

This is the fourth in a series of updated posts (the others are herehere, and here) designed to help Miami University faculty, staff, and students learn to use SPIN to find potential sources of funding for their research, scholarly, and creative projects.

The basics

You do not need a profile to conduct searches or to set preferences and filters in SPIN. However, if you want to save your preferences/filters so that they are active when you access SPIN in the future, you will need a profile and you will need to login to SPIN each time you use it. For more about accessing SPIN and creating a profile, read this post.

Setting preferences and filters

Setting preferences and filters in SPIN helps target results to weed out opportunities that may not be relevant to your situation. For instance, if you are a faculty member, you could set your preferences to exclude opportunities for which only students are eligible to apply.

One preference we recommend most users change from the default is whether SPIN displays opportunities that may already be closed. By default, SPIN does not display these opportunities. That means that if a program has a deadline of March 1 and it is now March 15, SPIN will not display that program in its list of search results. However, it can be useful for researchers to be aware of these opportunities as they plan their future submissions, so we recommend changing preferences to include these opportunities. Instructions for making this change are outlined below and may serve as a model for making other adjustments to preferences so that search results are as relevant as possible.

To change the default “Closed Opportunities” preference:

  • Hover over Preferences in the black menu bar.
  • Select the preference you would like to adjust, in this case Closed Opportunities.
  • In the resulting pop-up window, use the drop-down menu to change the “Opportunities that have no documented future deadlines” field  from “Exclude” to Include.
  • Click the Save and Exit button.

Once you have set a preference, you’ll see this text under the search box in any type of search: “You have additional filters active. Click here to edit them.”  To edit multiple preferences at once:

  • Click on the Click here to edit them link.
  • On the “Current Settings” page, click on the Edit button in the top right corner of the group of preferences you want to adjust. (To remove all preferences/filters and start over with SPIN’s default settings, click the Reset Filters button near the top right of this page.)
  • In the resulting pop-up window, adjust your settings. Note that there are multiple tabs across the top: “Applicant Location,” “Applicant Type,” “Project Type,” “Project Location,” “Citizenship,” and “Sponsor Type.” You will select your preferences the same way you did in the keyword search – by dragging and dropping them from the left, options box into the right, “Chosen” box. (You can also select options and use the arrow button in the middle to move them to the “Chosen” box.)
  • Once you have your preferences adjusted, click the Save and Exit button in the lower right of the pop-up window.

More help

If you need more help working with preferences and filters, watch this training video.  (More training videos can be found in SPIN by hovering over Help in the menu bar and selecting Training Videos.)

Filter photo by Lindsey Turner via Flickr, used under Creative Commons license


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