Kick-Off – NU Model Grant Writing Coaching Group at Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA

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The 1st cohort of the NRMN Southeast Regional Hub’s Northwestern University Model Grant Writing Coaching Group will host its Kick-Off event May 18th through 20th, 2016 at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA.

The deadline for applications is March 31st, 2016.
Postdocs and early career stage faculty investigators are encouraged to apply to participate as a Mentee.
Click here for more information and application instructions.
Senior faculty investigators with success writing several NIH-style proposals of one or more variety that were funded are encouraged to apply as a Coach-in-Training.
Click here for more information and application instructions.
 


Program Director

Rick McGee, PhD, Northwestern University
Contact Rick McGee, PhD (r-mcgee@northwestern.edu) with questions about the program.

Program Manager

Natasha Berryman, Morehouse School of Medicine
Contact Ms. Berryman at nberryman@msm.edu with questions about the program occurring May 18-20, 2016 at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Postdoctoral fellows and Junior faculty

Program Overview

Rationale & Background

One of the last and most complicated skills a scientist must cultivate is the ability to develop and effectively present proposals to obtain funding for their research. It is so complicated because it is not just about effective writing, but rather the combination of identifying research questions that peer reviewers and funders think are worth studying; crafting an appropriate research design; obtaining preliminary data to establish feasibility; and flawless written presentation in a style that reviewers expect to see and compels them to view it favorably. Ideally, mentors provide the guidance to develop these skills, but too often they lack the time, interest or expertise to actually teach mentees the grant writing process. Workshops and short trainings abound, and many present valuable information, but in our experience, a more sustained coaching process is needed for weeks to months as research ideas evolve and writing is refined. This approach is what has been developed by Dr. Rick McGee over the course of his work at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, the NIH intramural program, and most recently Northwestern University (NU).
Pattern-based Group Process
Rather than approaching grant writing with a “just do it” attitude, we have developed a novel approach that displays the typical writing or rhetorical patterns that are common to many NIH-style proposals and that are particularly effective for conveying what is being proposed and why.  Knowing and writing to this framework has shown to be exceedingly helpful for early-stage scientists. Additionally, we have found that a group process across 2 to 3 months is far more effective for teaching and learning these skills than even individual coaching or mentoring by a single expert. In addition to getting real-time feedback from multiple perspectives, participants master writing skills more effectively and the camaraderie that develops among group members mitigates the isolation and sense of insurmountable barriers that early stage scientists can experience.
The process is modeled after the in-person grant writers groups that Dr. McGee leads at NU which have been successfully modified for combined in-person and virtual meetings in collaboration with the AAMC Minority Faculty Career Development Workshops.
Size of Instructor Cohort: 1 NRMN faculty; 5 to 10 coaches in training
Size of Cohort: up to 50 individuals in the cohort; groups break up into subgroups after the kickoff sessions
Total Program Duration: 2 to 4 months depending on the needs of the subgroups