Sharpening Your Focus: Chance Favors the Prepared Mind, Getting Ready for the Grant Season

September 3, 2019
icon of magnifying glass with puzzle pieceNo matter what sponsor and program you are applying for, lay out the timelines well in advance and keep the following considerations in mind.
  • Be realistic. Make the plan feasible out of your busy schedule so that you are able to execute it and feel accomplished for each milestone.
  • Communicate as a team. It’s not uncommon that you collaborate with colleagues on the project. Timely and frequent discussions with collaborators throughout the proposal development lead to synergized products.
  • Leverage administrative support. Inform and engage your local research administration early. Administrative support ensures a smooth submission process and helps you focus on science.

Also, check out successful grant proposals in the Medical School Grant Proposal Sampler and by NIH. If you are using the new NIH FORMS-E for the first time and human subjects will be involved in the project, work with your Research Administrator on the additional Human Subjects & Clinical Trials Information form that may consume more time than expected.

Are you a junior faculty and thinking about your first R01? Consider the Medical School Mentored Research Academy: R01 Boot Camp. This ten-month program provides multifaceted training and prepares junior faculty on their first R01 application. The deadline for the 2020 Cohort is October 14, 2019.

No matter what your research goal is, it’s never too early to plan.


Medical School Grant Proposal Sampler (Medical School credential required)
NIH FORMS-E Research Proposal Review Checklist
NIAID Sample Applications
Medical School Mentored Research Academy: R01 Boot Camp

Sharpening Your Focus: Tips on Grant Proposal Preparation is a series of tips published in Medical School Research News about proposal preparation. This article was written by Melissa Li, Ph.D., Research Development Specialist, you can view the full archive of articles here. Contact Melissa at