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Model Successful Grants

Posted on March 19, 2007

Judy Garber (bio) stresses the importance of modeling your grants after those of successful peers.


I write my own grants. I have, one of the things with my T32 is we have people give feedback so we'll have the training program look at it and the trainees and some of the other faculty, but I've always written up my own grants and wouldn't know how to do otherwise.

I think the way you learn to write grants is to look at other people's grants. Look at successful grants. Use them as a model. And it's fine to use others as a framework.

So one of the good things that I learned from working with people, for example at the University of Pittsburgh Western Psychiatric, is they have an internal review and they're very strict about how their grants are, so I used in the prevention grant I wrote, I used their structure, which was to ask questions that you think your reviewers will ask and then answer them in the grant.

So anticipate what it is that the reviewers are going to be concerned about, so you do your typical specific aims and your background, but you, then when you get into your methods you say, okay, why did I choose to recruit subjects this way? And here's the reasons, here are the benefits, here are the advantages and disadvantages and so you kind of have thought about all sides of it.

And having a very detailed data analytic plan, it's very important to do that. You can't just say well, we're going to run regression analyses and structural equation modeling. You have to actually show that you know what you're talking about. But the way I've learned is basically by getting feedback and reading other people's grants.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher in March 2006.


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