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.
Health Humanities & Arts Research Collaborative
Experts at KU
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 2024 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, skill 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.
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 cohort 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.
Fall 2023 (via Zoom)
Friday, Oct. 20: Cohort application materials due
Friday, Oct. 20: Seminar: CAREER Overview and Strategy Tips | Register on Zoom
- Suzanne Shontz, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science/CAREER and PECASE winner
Week of Oct. 30: Seminar: Insider Perspectives Program Officer Panel
- Ted Bergman, Mechanical Engineering
- Joane Nagel, Sociology
- Paulyn Cartwright, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology/CAREER winner
- Carol Burdsal, Director, Research Development
Tuesday, Nov. 7: Seminar: Incorporating Educational Activities into Grant Proposals | Register on Zoom
- Teresa MacDonald, KU Natural History Museum
- Ward Lyles, CTE Ambassador
- Joey Orr, Spencer Museum of Art
Monday, Nov. 13: Seminar: Basic Grant Writing | Register on Zoom
- Carol Burdsal, Director of Research Development
December Break: Cohort continues proposal drafting and participation in optional partner exchanges.
Spring 2024 (via Zoom)
Friday, Feb. 2: Initial full proposal draft due.
Cohort continues drafting/refining project description.
Week of Feb. 5: Seminar: Simply Engaging: Crafting Clear, Concise Prose
10 – 11 a.m. | On Zoom
- Lisa McLendon, Coordinator, Bremner Editing Center
Begin revising summary pages based on seminar tips.
Week of Feb. 12: No cohort meeting. Self-edited Summary Page due to Doug. Doug and Lisa edit the revised Summary Pages.
Week of Feb. 19: Cohort meeting, 10 a.m. Summary Read-and-Critique Roundtable #1. Participants read their polished Summary Pages aloud for Cohort comments and feedback. Cohort begins preparing Presentations for Full-Proposal Roundtables.
Week of Feb. 26: Cohort meeting, 10 a.m. Summary Read-and-Critique Roundtable #2 (If necessary). Participants read their polished Summary Pages aloud for Cohort comments and feedback. Cohort continues preparing Presentations for Full-Proposal Roundtables.
Week of March 4: Seminar. Previous CAREER Winners Panel Discussion Summary-Page Edits due for return to cohort (Doug and Lisa). Cohort reviews/incorporates feedback and readies Summary Pages for Read-and-Critique Roundtables.
March 11-17: No cohort meeting (spring break)
Week of March 18: Cohort Meeting: Full-Proposal Presentation and Roundtable #1: Cohort members present pre-recorded research and educational plans to the group, get constructive feedback. (Play Recorded 10-minute presentation followed by 15 minutes of live discussion, 2-3 presenters per session).
Week of March 25: Cohort meeting,: Full-Proposal Presentation and Roundtable #2 (if needed).
Week of April 1: Cohort meeting: Full-Proposal Presentation and Roundtable #3 (if needed).
Week of April 8: Cohort meeting: Full-Proposal Presentation and Roundtable #4: Cohort continues preparing narrative first drafts.
Week of April 15: Seminar: Incorporating Proposal Feedback
10 – 11 a.m. | On Zoom
- Carol Burdsal, Director, Research Development
Week of April 22: No cohort meeting. CPartner Full-Proposal Exchange: Full-proposal drafts due to Doug for exchange (Cohort). Doug and Lisa will distribute to a cohort partner.
Week of April 29: No cohort meeting. Exchange partners work on edits/comments (Cohort).
Week of May 6: No cohort meeting. Partner Critiques are due to Doug for distribution back to authors: (Cohort).
Week of May 13: Workshop wrap-up, Workshop review—Discussion of what worked and what didn’t.
May-July: Optional internal proposal edit (Doug/Carol). PEER review.
Submit proposals to external subject-matter experts for feedback. Revise and polish for final submission.
July: Submit proposals to NSF
NSF CAREER-eligible applicants employed by the University of Kansas can request a spot in the workshop cohort by completing the online application form no later than Friday, Oct. 20, 2022. The application should include a current CV/biosketch and a summary page for the applicant’s CAREER project prepared in Microsoft Word according to the content and formatting requirements specified in the most current NSF CAREER solicitation and NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG).
This one-page summary should contain a project overview and a description of the project’s intellectual merits and broader impacts, as detailed in the PAPPG. If more than 10 applications are received, the submitted summary pages may influence applicant selection. These summary pages will receive detailed feedback during the workshop.
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.
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 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 past KU MIRA winners who will present strategies that focus for each part of the application to ensure competitiveness. 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.
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.
Friday, April 21: Application materials due
By Friday, April 28: View webinar: The NIH MIRA (R35) Program at NIH
Dr. Sailaja Koduri
Week of May 1: Cohort meeting
Week of May 8: Webinar: A Successful MIRA Applicant's Perspective
Josephine Chandler, Associate Professor, Molecular Biosciences
Week of May 15: From Concept Paper to Elevator Speech
- Assignment #1 – Draft of page 1 of research strategy due
Week of May 22: Guided Discussion: Writing for the Generalist and Specialist
- Page 1 documents returned with comments
Week of May 29: Presentation of page 1 to cohort for initial feedback
Week of June 5: Presentation of page 1 to cohort for initial feedback
Week of June 12: Presentation of page 1 to cohort for initial feedback
- Assignment #2 – Craft and record 10-minute PowerPoint presentation of research strategy to be presented during proposal round tables.
Week of June 19: No meeting
Week of June 26: Webinar: Simply Engaging, Crafting Clear Concise Prose, with Lisa McLendon, Bremner Editing Center
Week of July 3: No meeting
Week of July 10: Proposal roundtable
- Assignment #3: Continue drafting full, 6-page research strategy (incorporating roundtable feedback)
Week of July 17: Proposal roundtable
Week of July 24: Proposal roundtable
Week of July 31: Webinar: Incorporating Proposal Feedback, with Carol Burdsal, Director of Research Development, Office of Research
- Deliver 6-page research strategy to cohort partner for edits/comments
- Assignment #4: Submit list of 2-3 names of potential peer reviewers by week of Aug. 14
Week of Aug. 7: Partners return edited 6-page docs (cc: Carol on email delivering return of comments). Incorporate edits and prepare final document for PEER program submission.
Week of Aug. 14: Workshop wrap-up
Aug. 29: Last day to deliver research strategy for peer review
Sept. 29: KU internal MIRA submission due date
Oct. 2: Expected NIH MIRA due date