The NIH Grant Writing Series is designed to prepare early-career faculty (years 2+) at Illinois to submit a strong proposal to the National Institutes of Health. The series consists of seminar and discussion sessions (approximately 90 minutes each) addressing various aspects of the grant submission process. The 2022 series will be held via Zoom on Tuesdays from 3:30-5 p.m. starting Feb. 1. Register for Zoom details

NIH Grant Writing Series logo

Seminar Series

The seminar series, held every other fall, is led by faculty who have demonstrated a history of success with NIH proposals. These sessions provide information and advice on all aspects of the grant writing process. The seminar series is open to all Illinois investigators.


Session 1: Introduction to the NIH

This session provides an overview of the structure of the NIH and the various funding mechanisms. Participants will learn to effectively communicate with Program Officers and get tips for planning a successful proposal.

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Session 2: NIH Peer Review Process

This session covers the review and scoring criteria for NIH proposals and the intricacies of the NIH peer review process. Participants will learn how to tailor their proposal to fit the NIH criteria.

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Session 3: Specific Aims Development

Participants will learn how to develop the Specific Aims section of their proposal.

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Session 4: Building a Successful Proposal, Part 1

This session will focus on developing the research strategy, including tips for writing the narrative and addressing rigor and transparency. This session will also start to discuss some of the sections outside the research plan, such as biosketches.

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Session 5: Building a Successful Proposal, Part 2

This session will cover the remaining sections outside of the research plan, such as the abstract, human subjects, care and use of animals, data sharing plan, subawards, letters of support, facilities and resources, and the budget and budget justification.

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Session 6: Responding to Reviews

Your grant went through peer review, but didn’t get funded. Now what? This session will address how to respond to the reviewers’ comments, interpret critiques, and use feedback from reviewers or mentors to improve your grant proposal.

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Mentorship Program

In addition to the seminar series, selected nominees will participate in a peer review workshop and three meetings with a faculty member who has a history of NIH proposal success. While the seminars are open to campus, only selected faculty may participate in the complete series.

Specific Aims Peer Review Workshop 

This session is loosely modeled after a study section with the participants acting as reviewers. Participants will act as primary or secondary reviewers, preparing written critiques of aims pages prior to the workshop. The critiques will be discussed as a group. Participants will get a taste of what it’s like to be on a review panel in addition to receiving peer feedback that will help them improve their Specific Aims page. 

Mentor Meetings (three monthly meetings are recommended)

Participants are expected to schedule a minimum of three one-on-one meetings with their assigned mentor to receive feedback on their proposal at various stages (i.e., specific aims, research plan, and the first draft of the proposal). 

Selected faculty must demonstrate support from their department. Deans and department heads are invited to nominate early-career faculty for participation in the series with a letter of support. If not nominated by their deans or department heads, faculty may also nominate themselves with a letter of support from their department head, a copy of their CV, and a brief summary of their research interests.  

Please contact Maggie Berg for more information and subscribe to the IHSI newsletter to receive updates about joining future cohorts.

2022 Cohort


Eva Fischer
Eva Fischer
Department of Evolution, Ecology & Behavior
Pamela Martinez
Pamela Martinez
Department of Microbiology

Vishal Verma
Vishal Verma
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering  
Chris Gaulke
Chris Gaulke
Department of Pathobiology
 
Moses Okumu
Moses Okumu
School of Social Work

Shulei Wang
Shulei Wang
Department of Statistics

Sarah Geiger
Sarah Geiger
Department of Kinesiology & Community Health  
Minakshi Raj
Minakshi Raj
Department of Kinesiology & Community Health  
Yi-Cheng Wang
Yi-Cheng Wang
Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition  
Lisa Guntzviller
Lisa Guntzviller
Department of Communication
 
Nathan Todd
Nathan Todd
Department of Psychology

Yang Zahao
Yang Zahao
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering 

2020 Cohort


Jont Allen
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


Mary Flaherty
Department of Speech & Hearing Science


Hua Wang
Department of Materials Science & Engineering


Charles Blatti
National Center for Supercomputing Applications


Hyunil Kim
School of Social Work


Angela Di Fulvio
Department of Nuclear Plasma & Radiological Engineering 


Annette McCoy
Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine


Mihn Do
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering 


Mary Pietrowicz
Applied Research Institute


2019 Cohort


Cabral Bigman-Galimore
Department of Communication


Dominika Pindus
Department of Kinesiology & Community Health 


Charee Thompson
Department of Communication


Liv Davila
Education, Policy, Organization, & Leadership


Yvonne Redman
School of Music


Justina Zurauskiene
The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology  


Hee-Sun Han
Department of Chemistry


Jodi Schneider
iSchool


Hyojung Kang
Department of Kinesiology & Community Health 


Beth Stadtmueller
Department of Biochemistry


2018 Cohort


Shiva Abbaszadeh
Department of Nuclear, Plasma & Radiological Engineering


Judy Havlicek*
School of Social Work


Brian Monson
Department of Speech & Hearing Science


Elizabeth Biggs
Department of Special Education


Naiman Khan
Department of Kinesiology & Community Health


Huanyu (Joe) Qiao
Department of Comparative Biosciences 


Catherine Corr
Department of Special Education


Adam Konopka
Department of Kinesiology & Community Health


Alessandro Rigolon
Department of Recreation, Sport & Tourism 


Neha Gothe
Department of Kinesiology & Community Health


Laura Mattie
Department of Speech & Hearing Science


Abigail Wooldridge*
Department of Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering


* Peer review workshop attendee

2017 Cohort


Liza Berdychevsky
Department of Recreation, Sport & Tourism


Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo
Department of Kinesiology & Community Health


Rebecca Smith
Department of Pathobiology


Joe Cohen
Department of Psychology


Ian Mertes
Department of Speech & Hearing Science 


William Witola
Department of Pathobiology


Makoto Inoue
Department of Comparative Biosciences


Laura Rice
Department of Kinesiology & Community Health


Hans-Friedrich Koehn
Department of Psychology


Sepideh Sadaghiani
Department of Psychology


2016 Cohort


Anna Arthur Parker
Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition


Li-Qing Chen
Department of Plant Biology


Allison Hansen
Department of Entomology


Jessica Brinkworth
Department of Anthropology


Wawrzyniec Dobrucki
Department of Bioengineering


Citlali Lopez-Ortiz
Department of Kinesiology & Community Health


Matt Browning
Department of Recreation, Sport & Tourism


Elizabeth Driskell
Department of Pathobiology


SungWoo Nam
Department of Mechanical Science & Engineering 


Meghan Burke
Department of Special Education


Catharine Fairbairn
Department of Psychology


Kai Zhang
Department of Biochemistry


2015 Cohort


Justin Aronoff
Department of Speech & Hearing Science 


Paul Eubig
Department of Comparative Biosciences 


Tara Leytham Powell
School of Social Work


Chung-Yi Chiu
Department of Kinesiology & Community Health 


Andy Ferguson
Department of Materials Science & Engineering 


Zeynep Madak-Erdogan
Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition 


Catherine Christian
School of Molecular & Cellular Biology 


Manuel Hernandez
Department of Kinesiology & Community Health


David Molitor
Department of Finance


Ahmed Elbanna
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering 


Hong Jin
Department of Biochemistry


64

faculty trained through the NIH Grant Writing Series

$48M

in NIH funding awarded to participating faculty