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Grant Writing for Extramural Research Funding

SW833, Section 001

Grant writing is the primary mechanism to obtain extramural funding for scientists who plan to pursue a career as an independently-funded principal investigator. Whether that extramural funding is through the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, or a private foundation; the ability to clearly and concisely articulate your program of research and funding needs is a critical skill to succeed as an academic researcher. However, few PhD programs provide formal instruction on the use of successful grant writing techniques.

This course focuses on helping you develop advanced writing skills and knowledge of the grant-writing process, particularly as it pertains to NIH-style grant mechanisms. The course is conceptualized as covering the following topics:

1. Successful writing styles, including: a) writing readable sentences; and b) creating coherent paragraphs

2. Successful strategies for writing a specific aims page

3. Successful strategies for writing significance, innovation, and approach sections

4. Successful strategies for writing preliminary data

5. Successful strategies for writing a training plan

6. Reviewing the NIH review criteria and grant scoring rubric

7. Reviewing the preparation of all supporting documents (e.g., NIH biosketch; Human subjects, etc).

8. Learning to provide constructive peer review of grant applications

The grading for this course will be centered around developing: a) specific aims page; b) significance and innovation sections; c) approach; d) preliminary data; and e) a training plan for a full draft of a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship. Students will be encouraged to submit their award to NIH for peer review.

Students will spend much of their class assigned reading by reviewing funded F31 applications as well as unfunded F31 applications so the students can learn to critically review an application to identify its strengths and weaknesses. Class time will be spent reviewing the structures of funded grants, unfunded grants, as well as providing constructive feedback to students through peer review.

Semester: Winter 2023
Instructor: Matthew J. Smith
Category: Research Methods
U-M Class #: 34670
Time: Wed 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: 1794 SSWB
Program Type: Residential
Format: In-Person
Credits: 3 Credit Hours

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