Grant Writing Program

Grant Writing

Grant-Writing Seminar

CASAA hosts an annual grant writing seminar that is open to all faculty and pre- and post-doctoral trainees at the University New Mexico. All trainees are required to attend this seminar in the Fall of their first year on the training grant. The aim of this 8-week course is to provide step-by-step hands-on training in the submission of high quality NIH applications. In addition to focusing on the writing of specific sections of an NIH application, such as specific aims and preliminary studies, the course covers such topics as budget planning and preparation, projecting necessary sample size and the resources necessary to implement and sustain the study protocol, securing IRB approval, understanding the NIH review processes, and writing of biographical sketches.

As part of annual goal-setting, pre-doctoral trainees will decide what kind of grant writing experience they will obtain during the year. This experience may include: (1) learning how to identify appropriate granting opportunities, (2) applying for some form of funding (internal or external) to partially support thesis research, or (3) submitting an application, typically an Diversity Supplement, or R36, to support their dissertation research. Predoctoral trainees in their third year of graduate study or beyond are expected to submit an F31 or similar application during the training year, if submitting a grant proposal is consistent with their training goals.

Pre-doctoral trainees writing grant applications and all post-doctoral trainees, in conjunction with the grant writing seminar, will have specific assignments each week that will help them prepare their own applications. Weekly meetings will continue after the seminar concludes, to complete a step-by-step process to prepare an application. Trainees will receive feedback from each other and from the grant writing seminar leader on each component of their grant application, and will be expected to have a completed grant proposal.

Goal Setting and Individualized Training Plans

Each trainee and mentor develop an Individualized Mentoring Plan and set annual goals in the areas of competency defined by the training program: (1) broad knowledge of the scientific literature in the alcohol field; (2) data science skills and knowledge of research design and statistics; (3) professional connections and collaborations in the field; (4) oral communication skills; (5) written communication skills; (6) independent research, community-based participatory research, team science, and project management; (7) service to the T32, community, and the profession; (8) responsible conduct of research and development of skills in project management; (9) grant writing skills; (10) training in reproducibility, methods, and rigor; and (11) mentorship and leadership.

We encourage setting SMART goals, which are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant/Realistic, and Time-bound. Many aspects of training are continuous (e.g., we are always learning new methods, and reading the literature), and training elements can also be developed into SMART goals with clear timelines and activities that you will be engaged in as a trainee to accomplish your SMART goals.