NIH Grant Writing Tips

What you need to know

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NIH Grant Writing Tips

NIH grants are extremely competitive, and getting funded has become increasingly difficult over the years. While we would like to report that we have assembled a list of secrets to NIH grant writing, the truth is, there is no such thing. A successfully funded grant is a blend of thorough preparation, persistent hard work, scientific ingenuity, expert collaboration, strategic planning and just plain good fortune.

We hope that this article will provide sound advice for successful NIH grant writing, whether you are applying for your first fellowship as a pre- or post-doctoral trainee, establishing yourself as an independent investigator or simply looking to improve your grant writing skills. In the following sections we will walk through the key components of the NIH grant writing process from start to finish, including: the essentials of grant preparation; salient points in the NIH grant process, including understanding funding mechanisms and grant types; the basics of study section, the review process and how your grant is scored; and lastly, but most importantly, an essential breakdown of the critical components of the specific aims and research strategy of an NIH research application.

NIH grant preparation: Know your resources

Start early. Like, really early. Even six to nine months ahead of an NIH deadline is a reasonable target to begin planning your proposal and to make sure you've completed the necessary preliminary data. Discuss your proposal with your mentor, department chair, colleagues and/or faculty to gauge level of interest, suitability of ideas, and preparedness. Read Full Article →

Understanding the NIH grant process

We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to take the time and effort to understand the NIH grant process from start to finish. This can include funding mechanisms, proposal components, submission and review. This will most certainly reduce stress and save you much needed time and energy as deadlines near. First, be familiar with the NIH and its types of grants and funding mechanisms. Read Full Article →

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