2018 Grant Writing Series

NOTE: We are currently developing the spring 2019 grant writing series. Please check back in late January for details on the 2019 series!


Join us for our 2018 Grant Writing Series, organized by the Office for Postdoctoral Scholars.

Registration is required. Attendees can register for one or more sessions. This series is open to UCSF postdocs, PhD students and dual professional degree/PhD students, clinical fellows, and junior faculty.

Updated July 2, 2018



Session 1: Words of Wisdom from an NIH Research Training Officer

Wednesday, March 28
Location: Rock Hall Auditorium
Time: 2 – 4 p.m.

Speaker: Shawn Gaillard, PhD, NIAID Research Training Officer



Session 2: Navigating the NIH Grant Application Process and The R01 Award  

Are you confused by the NIH grant application and review process? In this session, you will learn about the NIH and be introduced to strategies for grant preparation and submission using the R01 grant as a model. First, we will give you a glimpse of NIH funding, an introduction to the structure of the NIH, and of the overall grant application and review processes. Strategies for preparing an R01 proposal will be presented. Faculty panelists will share their experiences in submitting (and resubmitting) R01 grant proposals, and give tips for how to succeed through this process.

Monday, April 16, 2018
Location: Mission Hall 1401-1402
Time: 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Featured Speaker: Hiten Madhani, MD, PhD

Panelists: UCSF faculty members Hana El-Samad, PhD; Hani Goodarzi, PhD; Hiten Madhani, MD, PhD; and Sheri Weiser, MD

Moderator: Elise Riley, PhD


Session 3: Writing a Clear and Compelling Specific Aims Section

Grant proposals are complex pieces of persuasive writing that require considerable skill to produce. The specific aims section is a particularly critical component. This workshop will briefly introduce the general structure of a scientific grant proposal (primarily for the basic and biomedical sciences). We will then focus on how to draft and refine your specific aims, by first analyzing sample specific aims and then revising your own. Finally, we will have a panel of senior scientists who share their experiences in crafting and re-crafting the specific aims page, and give tips for how to succeed through this process. Throughout the workshop, you will learn strategies for writing clearly and succinctly. Writing techniques learned in this session can be applied to grant/fellowship proposals from various funding agencies. If you are currently working on a specific aims section, please bring it with you.

Thursday, April 26, 2018
Location: Mahley Auditorium, Gladstone Institutes
Time: 1 – 5 p.m.

Featured speaker: Pamela Derish, Scientific Publications Manager,  UCSF Department of Surgery

Panelists: UCSF faculty members Tammy Chang, MD, PhD; Susan Fisher, PhD; and Todd Nystul, PhD



Session 4: Preparing a K99/R00 Award Application   

The K99/R00 grant, also called the Pathway to independence Award, provides funding for the last 1-2 years of your postdoctoral research training, followed by transitional funding for up to 3 years once you obtain an independent research position. While this training award is similar in many ways to other K awards, some distinct characteristics make it a different beast. In this session Keith Yamamoto, PhD, the Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy for the UCSF School of Medicine (and one of the original architects of the K99/R00), will outline specific tips for preparing all components of a K99/R00 application. Additionally, a panel of postdocs who were recently awarded K99s and an assistant professor with an R00 will share advice from their own experiences.

Thursday, May 17, 2018
Location: Helen Diller 160
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Featured speaker: Keith Yamamoto, PhD and UCSF K99 awardees Tanuj Gulati, PhD;  Zachary Hill, PhD; Katie Thompson-Peer, PhD (moderator); Yue Leng, PhD; and R00 awardee Jeanne Paz, PhD


Session 5: Getting an NIH Pre-Doc Fellowship (F30/F31) for PhD and Dual Professional Degree/PhD Students

Did you know that a pre-doctoral fellowship means more than money in your pocket? Applying for a pre-doctoral fellowship gives you the opportunity to revise and fine tune your research question, specific aims, significance, and methods. It is also an opportunity to get peer reviewed and increase your exposure to all who will look at your work. Dr. Judith Hahn, Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine,will talk about how to develop a competitive fellowship application for  NIH Fellowships F30 and F31. Sharon Louie, Assistant Team Manager from Research Management Services will explain how her unit can assist you with your application. Finally, a panel of current F30 and F31 awardees will present their experiences and lessons learned: Shaun Abrams (F30), Aaron Mattingly (F31), Caroline Tai (F31), and Sarah Wong (F30).

Thursday, May 24, 2018
Time: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Location: Helen Diller, Room 160

Speakers: Judy Hahn, PhD; Sharon Louie from UCSF Research Management Services; and student panelists Shaun Abrams (F30), Aaron Mattingly (F31), Caroline Tai (F31), and Sarah Wong (F30)



Session 6: Funding for International Scholars 

Pivot is one of the most comprehensive searchable funding opportunities databases available, with approximately 40,000 opportunities that are private, federal and international in nature. Min-Lin Fang will teach you how to navigate through Pivot to easily explore various avenues of funding and set up an alert for updated funding opportunities. Attendees should bring laptops or other devices to use during this hands-on workshop. During the 2nd half of the session, a panel of international postdocs, who have found funding to support their research, will share their experiences.

Friday, June 15, 2018
Time: 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Mission Bay, Helen Diller, Room 160

Speakers: Min-Lin Fang, Research Librarian (Pivot). Panelists: Ernesto Diaz-Flores, PhD (moderator); Pao Castel Morales, PhD; Lucas Schirmer, MD; Tanvi Sinha, PhD


Session 7: Preparing an NIH Mentored K Award Application

NIH mentored career development award programs provide an opportunity for postdocs and early-stage investigators who need additional mentored research experience to develop their independent research careers. Dr. Rick McGee will present a general approach to writing K grants and go over the specific elements. As part of the workshop, Dr. McGee will be demonstrating, in real-time, his approach to the style and content of proposals, as well as the oral feedback process he uses. To do this requires examples of real proposals that people are working on and would like to receive feedback. If you are willing to have a portion of your proposal viewed by the group and receive feedback from Dr. McGee, please indicate this on the registration form.

Monday, June 25, 2018
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location: Mission Hall, Room 1400


Dr. Rick McGee
Associate Dean for Faculty Recruitment and Professional Development
Associate Professor of Medical Education
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine



Session 8: Getting a Postdoctoral Fellowship – NIH F32 and Beyond

NIH F32 fellowships for postdocs are just one of many different postdoc fellowship opportunities. This workshop will cover: 1) how to find fellowships, 2) what UCSF's Research Management Services can do to help, 3) words of wisdom from UCSF faculty who have served on fellowship review panels, and 4) stories from postdocs who have been awarded fellowships from NIH, Damon Runyon Cancer Research, Helen Hay Whitney, and more.

Speakers: Chris Des Jarlais, Sharon Louie, Donald McDonald, Diane Barber, Amy Weeks, Andrew Wolfe, and Katie White

Friday, July 20, 2018
Time: 8:45 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location: Mission Hall, Room 1401-1402