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Grant Writing Series

Join us for our 2019 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.

Spring 2019 Schedule

Session 1: 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.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Location: Helen Diller, Room 160
Time: 1 – 4:30 p.m.

Featured Speaker:  Hiten Madhani, MD, PhD

Panelists:  Myriam Chaumeil, PhD; Deanna Kroetz, PhD; Hiten Madhani, MD, PhD; David Wilson, MD, PhD

Moderator:  Jennifer Fung, PhD

Session 2: Writing Clear and Compelling Specific Aims


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. 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 for various funding agencies. If you are currently working on a specific aims section, please bring it with you.

NEW DATE: Monday, March 25, 2019
Location: Mahley Auditorium, Gladstone Institutes
NEW TIME: 12:00 p.m. – 2:30  p.m.

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

Session 3: 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. This funding mechanism is open to U.S. citizens and international postdocs. Although this training award is similar in many ways to other K awards, some distinct characteristics make it a different beast. In this session, a panel of UCSF faculty members who have served on K99/R00 study sections (this is what review panels are called) will talk about what makes a fundable K99 proposal and what not to do. Additionally, a panel of K99 and R00 awardees will share tips and lessons learned.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Location: Helen Diller, Room 160
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Faculty Panelists:  Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, PhD; Larry Baskin, MD; Michael Evans, PhD; Luke Gilbert, PhD; Ophir Klein, MD, PhD

Awardee Panelists:  Duncan Leitch, PhD; Valentina Pedoia, PhD; Jennifer Yujiao Sun, PhD

Session 4: International Postdocs – Finding Funding and Grant Writing Tips 

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. You will be taught 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 second half of the session, a panel of international postdocs who have found funding to support their research will share their experiences.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Location: Helen Diller, Room 160
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Speaker:  Min-Lin Fang, Research Librarian

International Postdoc Panelists:   Nikos Kyritsis, PhD; Marcus Huinan Li, PhD; Anne-Katrin Pröbstel, MD; Suvrajit Saha, PhD

Moderator:  Ernesto Diaz-Flores, PhD

Session 5: Getting a Postdoctoral Fellowship – NIH F32 and Beyond

Note: This session does NOT focus on the K99.

NIH F32 fellowships for postdocs are just one of many different postdoc fellowship opportunities. This workshop will include words of wisdom from UCSF faculty who have served on fellowship review panels, and a panel of postdocs who have been awarded fellowships from NIH, (F32) American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Brain Tumor Association, and the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Location: Genentech Hall, Byers Auditorium
Time: 1 – 4 p.m.

Speakers:  Diane Barber, PhD; Donald McDonald, MD, PhD

Awardee Panelists:  Ruchika Bajaj, PhD; Milena Gianfrancesco, PhD; Teresa Monkkonen, PhD; and Hanna Sabelstroem, PhD

Session 6: 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. This session will feature an overview of how to develop a competitive fellowship application for the NIH F30 and F31 fellowships, followed by a panel of F30 and F31 awardees.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Location: Helen Diller, Room 160
Time: 1:45 – 4:30 p.m.

Featured Speaker:  Judy Hahn, PhD

Awardee Panelists:  Kei Katsura, F30; Andrew McNeal, F31; Rachel Care, F31

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. The speaker will present a general approach to writing K grants and go over the specific elements.

As part of the workshop, Dr. McGee will demonstrate, 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 when you register.  One caution, however, is to be sure there is no sensitive intellectual property you do not want to have broadly viewed.  Everyone will be reminded of the strict requirement for confidentiality in any peer review process, but we will not be able to guarantee confidentiality.  If you agree, Dr. McGee will need the document you would like feedback on by Monday, April 8.  You will be contacted before then for how to provide it. You can provide any one of the following: Specific Aims Page, Candidate Background, or Career Goals and Career Development Plan

Monday, April 22, 2019
Location: Mission Hall, Room 1401-1402
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Featured Speaker:

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