Autumn Proposal Bootcamp
Proposal Bootcamp — BIOS 242 — Weekly 2-hour meetings
September 23 to November 15, 2019 (8 weeks, 4-6 hour commitment per week)
Participants develop proposals through guided exercises with an emphasis on establishing a writing practice, in-class peer review, and focused faculty feedback.
Registration – closed! BUT IF YOU ARE A GRADUATE STUDENT INTERESTED IN THIS CLASS, PLEASE EMAIL CRYSTAL (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Comments from previous participants:
“The schedule forced me to write”
“One of the best things… I wasn’t the only one going through the grant writing process”
“This course helped improve the quality of my proposal”
“Thanks to you… I actually got a K99 on the first round. Your [course] was invaluable!”
Why Join our Multi-week Proposal Bootcamp?
- Increase your potential for success! Prior cohorts (started in 2014) have had a greater than 40% applicant success rate with 615 proposals submitted so far.
- Learn new approaches for eliciting and delivering effective feedback! 100% of prior Bootcamp participants (460 in Autumn Proposal Bootcamp alone) reported feedback received during course improved their writing.
- Discuss your proposal with engaged faculty! As part of the Bootcamp, you have an opportunity to meet with Stanford faculty to discuss your proposal in highly rated workshops.
- Join the Bootcamp community! This community will guide and support your efforts in writing a strong proposal.
School of Medicine or Biosciences Program Graduate Students and Postdocs committed to working on their proposals during the Bootcamp. Graduate Students and Postdocs from other Schools committed to working on proposals relevant to the biomedical and biosciences fields during the Bootcamp.
During the first week of the Proposal Bootcamp course your 1-page Specific Aims document will be peer reviewed. Please bring 3 copies of a draft of your 1-page Specific Aims to the first weekly meeting (Starts week of Sept. 24-27).
- Learn more about writing Specific Aims or attend a Specific Aims Workshop: https://grantwriting.stanford.edu/specific-aims/
Proposal Bootcamp participants must be actively working on a proposal. See below links to find relevant funding opportunities:
- For Graduate Students: https://grantwriting.stanford.edu/students/grad-funding/
- For Postdocs & Instructors: https://grantwriting.stanford.edu/postdocs/finding-funding-as-a-postdoc/
Weekly Meeting Times: The 2019 Autumn Proposal Bootcamp has multiple 2-hour weekly meeting times (6 in fact!) but you must attend the same weekly meeting time each week. Participants are divided into weekly meeting times based on the primary proposal type they will work on during the Bootcamp: Fellowships (generally all graduate students and early postdocs) and Career Development Awards (generally more senior postdocs).
Fellowship Meeting Times:
Career Development Award Meeting Times:
Bootcamp Goals: The goal of the course is to conceive, write, and revise a proposal, with the ultimate goal of submitting it. Towards that end, ancillary goals are:
(1) Understand the role each document has in a proposal.
(2) Draft and revise each document, with a focus on Specific Aims, Research Plan, and Training Plan documents.
(3) Learn to give and receive critical feedback on scientific writing.
(4) Understand how reviewers and the review process evaluate your application.
(5) Enhance writing clarity and simplicity to improve scientific writing, and establish a writing practice.
Proposal Bootcamp Structure: Each week will begin with a mini-lecture addressing the above goals. Then you will peer-review parts of your application, focusing on one document per week. You will give and receive feedback from peers in class, with additional input from your Grant Coach and faculty outside of class. For the sake of simplicity, the course is structured around the documents central to the NIH NRSA (F30, F31, F32) or NIH K Award application. If your application doesn’t require these specific documents, inform your group members and work with your Grant Coach to create an individual peer review schedule.
WEEK 1: 1-page Specific Aims
WEEK 2: NIH biosketch (or other Biosketch-like document specific to your proposal), Training Plan Worksheet
WEEK 3: Significance & Innovation (or background section if relevant for your proposal), 1-page Specific Aims, Approach Worksheet
WEEK 4: Research Approach – 1 aim only, 1-page Specific Aims
WEEK 5: Candidate’s Background, Candidate’s Goals / Objective
WEEK 6: Career Development Training Plan
WEEK 7: Research Approach (all aims), 1-page Specific Aims
WEEK 8: Project Summary / Abstract
Attendance and Preparation: Weekly attendance and participation is important! Each week you will complete guided exercises relevant to specific parts of your proposal application. In class you will receive feedback that will improve the clarity of your writing and deepen your thinking. Your peers also depend on you to provide feedback on their writing and our previous participants found that providing feedback helped improve their own writing as well. If you must miss your weekly session, please email your Grant Coach. You must attend 6 weekly meetings for a Satisfactory grade.
Textbook: Course textbooks are available to check-out at Lane Medical Library, Lane Course Reserves located in the Lane building, near the courtyard next to Stanford Hospital. Course reserves can be checked out for up to 28 days and can be renewed online up to three times.
The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook by Stephen W. Russell and David C. Morrison is an excellent resource when writing any fellowship or grant application. Though it focuses on the NIH R01, the strategies are useful for successful NIH fellowships (i.e. F31) and career development award as well as any other funding opportunity. *** Course participants that attend 7 of the 8 weekly meetings AND complete the weekly reflection quizzes in Canvas will be eligible to keep this book at the end of the course. All others must return the book (if book is not return, you will be charged $100 by Lane Medicine Library).
The Proposal Bootcamp was honored with an Innovations in Research Education Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). It also received a VPTL Innovation Grant along with the School of Engineering.