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Grant Writing Coaching Group Program Kick-Off

By March 24, 2016No Comments
Mentor Training Workshop

Hosted by Dr. Daniel Jay at Tufts Sackler School on March 1, 2016.


Daniel Jay, PhD is a Professor of Developmental, Molecular, and Chemical Biology at Tufts Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.

On Tuesday March 1st Dr. Jay hosted an in-person kick-off session for an NRMN Grant Writing Coaching Group program on campus at the Sackler School. Joining him in hosting was Sheila M. Thomas, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director of Diversity and Minority Affairs, Division Of Medical Sciences at Harvard Medical School, who will act as a coach alongside Dr. Jay across the several months of the program.

The curriculum follows Dr. Rick McGee’s Grant Writing Coaching Group Northwestern University model, and is designed to give guidance to postdocs and junior faculty to develop their skills in writing NIH-style proposals while actively preparing their own submission for funding.

Dr. Jay’s current program is the first NRMN Gratwriting Coaching Group being offered through NRMN’s Northeast Regional Hub. The five NRMN Hubs (also including West/Great Plains, Midwest, South, and Southeast) are designed as access points for delivering NRMN’s mentorship, professional development, networking and training opportunities across key concentrated populations nationwide.


The twelve participating mentees in Dr. Jay’s cohort came to Boston from Florida International University, University of Texas, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Tuskegee University, Tulane University, UMass Medical School, Saint Louis University, Loma Linda University, Harvard University, and MIT. Some areas of research for which these mentees are seeking grant funding include ALS, prostate cancer, HIV, post traumatic stress disorder, and nutritional health disparities.

Rick McGee, PhD, is the Associate Dean for Faculty Recruitment & Professional Development and a Professor in Medical Education at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. McGee’s work and research are focused on the development of young scientists through understanding undergraduate and PhD student career decisions, coaching-based models to support early PhD students and group-based models to assist junior faculty in their development.


At the session’s introduction, Dr. Jay and the group reviewed the format of an NIH R01 Grant and the various elements of such a grant proposal: rationale; justification and feasibility; research design; expected outcomes; potential problems and alternative strategies; and future directions. The participants then broke out into two groups to perform peer reviews of each other’s grant proposal drafts and provide constructive feedback.


After this first in-person meeting, the group will meet bi-weekly for virtual sessions lasting 90-120 minutes. The program lasts anywhere from two to four months, as may be needed in order for mentees to get to the stage of being ready for submission of their grant proposal.

For additional information about the Grant Writing Coaching Group, or to determine if it is a good fit for you needs, feel free to contact the NRMN Professional Development Core at

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