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MORE Grant Writing Workshop

Interested in Improving your Grant Writing Skills?
Attend the MORE Grant Writing Workshop!

Any investigator who has written a grant application knows it’s a scholarly process that stems from having a testable, original idea worth studying.  Developing that idea and conceptualizing the research approach requires a solid understanding of a given area of science and the ability to assess the significance and feasibility of what is being proposed.  Also of importance is the investigator’s self-assessment (Why me? Why this project? Why now?).  Presenting a compelling idea in writing is just as important as having a great idea; however, outstanding writing cannot compensate for a poor idea or an underdeveloped research plan.  Grant writing is a process that is learned and researchers can often improve their skills if they receive guidance and work on the feedback received.

The MORE Division relied on this principle in supporting the development of an innovative workshop that assists investigators from minority-serving institutions to improve their grant writing skills.  The workshop, developed by Don Frazier and others at the University of Kentucky (UK), uses interactive learning modules coupled with online peer and anonymous expert reviews.  To introduce investigators to the modules, participants are required to attend a 2 ½ day workshop at UK. The investigators then return to their home institutions where they continue to participate in other course components with the expectation that they will generate a competitive grant proposal.

The Kentucky Grant Writing Workshop has been offered yearly since May 1999 and to date over 300 investigators from minority-serving institutions throughout the United States and Puerto Rico have participated. Many of these participants, especially those who have used additional unique features of the workshop such as the expert review of proposals or revisions for English and grammar, have been successful in securing funding. These successes are best summarized in the participants’ own words:

"I was recently awarded an R21 grant! My proposal got a priority score of 113 and 1.7 percentile. Thanks to the “all-stars” team of Dr. Frazier for their excellent work in preparing the workshop materials and for their dedication and help in the “hands-on” Grant Writing Workshop."

"I have been quite busy writing grants, doing experiments, teaching, setting up my lab, etc. After attending the workshop, I re-focused a grant I had been writing (with a colleague) for NSF’s CCLI Program. We submitted it in early May … We just received notice that we have been recommended for funding. I also submitted a NSF CAREER Proposal this past July. In short, the workshop has been very helpful and informative. … I feel more confident, and learned a few tricks that seem to be working."

"Thank you so much for hosting the grant writing program. The instructions that I received in the workshop were indeed quite helpful, and I learned a lot from it with regard to successful grant writing. I have submitted an R15 (AREA) application to NIH/NIDA . It received a quite favorable score of 127 from the initial scientific review, and I am cautiously optimistic that it will likely be funded."

If you or someone you know is interested in participating in this year’s grant writing workshop, which will be held May 11-13, 2009, contact Ms. Margaret McConnell at  The workshop is limited to 30 participants and preference will be given to investigators who are writing or revising a SCORE SC or R01 application and plan to submit it within 6-8 months of taking the Kentucky-based introductory workshop.  Travel to Lexington, KY, and subsistence expenses will be paid by the NIH grant that funds the UK grant writing project.

This page last updated November 19, 2008