Research development training + resources


The KU Research Development team and partners across campus and beyond provide training and resources to help researchers build collaborations, improve grant writing skills, and optimize their chances of securing grants.

View training and resource opportunities below.

National Science Foundation CAREER Writing Workshop

 

The NSF CAREER program typically expects to fund 450 proposals from approximately 3,000 applicants. To succeed, proposals must rank in the top 10 to 15 percent.

Want to increase your chances of success? Participate in KU’s 2021 CAREER Writing Workshop.

Brought to you by the KU Office of Research and the Bremner Editing Center in the KU School of Journalism, the program will provide strategies and tips for writing competitive CAREER proposals from CAREER Award winners and former NSF program officers, highlight potential educational-plan partners at KU, and explore the use of advanced writing techniques and partner review for enhancing proposal clarity and persuasiveness.

CAREER Writing Workshop details

Crafting a competitive CAREER proposal requires dedication, craft and nuance. You’ll be competing against your peers, a group that’s already succeeded through many years of rigorous selection. In this context, a solid research plan is necessary, but not sufficient.

Successful CAREER awards integrate research and education plans and demonstrate excellence in both: They’re expected to present a career-development plan, not merely a research proposal. While no amount of grantsmanship can rescue a weak concept, clear and compelling presentation can propel an innovative and well-balanced plan across the funding line. In this workshop, we will provide strategies and tips for writing competitive CAREER proposals from CAREER Award winners and former NSF program officers, highlight potential educational-plan partners at KU, and explore the use of advanced writing techniques and partner review for enhancing proposal clarity and persuasiveness.

Workshop format

The workshop consists of two parts: seminars and the workshop cohort. Seminars are sessions open to anyone interested in applying for a CAREER grant; they cover all aspects of the CAREER process. The workshop is an intensive, peer-centered set of meetings intended to help participants refine and polish all aspects of their CAREER proposals. Participants in the cohort will get detailed review and specific feedback according to a strict timeline; as such, the cohort is limited to 10 participants.

April 1: Cohort meeting
Full-proposal Roundtable #2

April 8: Cohort meeting
Full-proposal Roundtable #3

April 15: Cohort meeting
Full-proposal Roundtable #4

April 22: Seminar: Incorporating Proposal Feedback

  • Carol Burdsal, Director, Research Development

April 22: Partner proposal exchange
Turn in proposals for exchange with a cohort partner

April 29: Cohort meeting
Partner critiques due

May 6: Mock panel exercise 

  • Doug Bornemann, Assistant Director, Research Development
  • Carol Burdsal, Director, Research Development

May 13: Workshop Wrap-up

May/June: PEER Review
Submit proposals to external subject-matter experts for feedback. Revise and polish for final submission.

July: Submit proposals to NSF

The 2020-2021 cohort application period has expired.

Attendance

By accepting a cohort position, you are committing to completing the drafting, editing, and reviewing elements of the workshop in a timely fashion. These activities will require significant effort beyond the scheduled meeting times. While missing a meeting or two can be accommodated, you’ll still be expected to comply with the proposal drafting, editorial, and evaluation due dates. If you doubt you can commit the time required for cohort participation but would still like to participate, consider attending the seminars. Seminars are open to everyone and require no application or outside time commitment.

Seminar #1

CAREER Overview + Strategy Tips | Oct. 23, 2020

Seminar #2

Insider Perspectives: Program Officer Panel | Oct. 30, 2020

Seminar #3

Incorporating Educational Activities into Grant Proposals | Nov. 6, 2020

Seminar #4

Basic Grant Writing | Nov. 13, 2020

Seminar #5

CAREER Winners Panel Discussion | Feb. 25, 2021

National Institutes of Health Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award for Early Stage Investigators

Are you a young biomedical investigator at the University of Kansas looking to establish an independent research laboratory? A special funding opportunity from the National Institutes of Health could help you achieve your goal, and KU’s 2021 MIRA Writing Workshop is designed to increase your chances of securing an award.

Brought to you by the KU Office of Research, the workshop will provide strategies and tips for writing competitive proposals for the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award for Early Stage Investigators, a grant program sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

MIRA Writing Workshop details

Participants will learn from a current NIH MIRA program officer, a past KU MIRA winner, and a MIRA reviewer. The workshop also will include presentations from experts that focus on basic grant writing skills. Guided discussions and exercises — including partner review for enhancing proposal clarity and persuasiveness — will help participants draft the most compelling proposals.

Workshop format

The workshop consists of two parts: seminars and the workshop cohort. Seminars are sessions open to anyone interested in applying for a MIRA; they cover all aspects of the MIRA process. The workshop is an intensive, peer-centered set of meetings intended to help participants refine and polish all aspects of their MIRA proposals. Participants in the cohort will get detailed review and specific feedback according to a strict timeline.

April 16: Seminar | Simply Engaging: Crafting Clear, Concise Prose

  • Lisa McLendon, Bremner Editing Center

April 30: Proposal roundtable

May 7: Proposal roundtable

May 14: Proposal roundtable

May 21: Proposal roundtable

May 28: Proposal roundtable

Summer 2021

Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be conducted via Zoom.

June 4: Proposal roundtable

June 11: Cohort meeting

June 18: Seminar | Incorporating Proposal Feedback

  • Carol Burdsal, Director of Research Development

June 25: Cohort meeting

July 2: The Letter of Support

July 9: The NIH Biosketch

July 16: Cohort meeting

July 23: Deliver 6-page research strategy to cohort partner for edits/comments

July 30: Partners return edited 6-page documents

Aug. 6: Deliver research strategy documents to PEER Review

Aug. 13: Workshop wrap-up

Oct. 4: MIRA due date


PIVOT database

Use the PIVOT database to search for funding opportunities.