Professional Development

Professional development information from funding agencies and presentations from grant related conferences and workshops.

Follow Sounds of eRA - podcasts for grant writers and administrators.  Edward Johnson, Jr. (aka Eddie) discusses various topics such as tools and time-saving techniques for finding available funding, proposal preparation, and project management.  Podcasts are updated often.  


NASA Wants You!  The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) currently has opportunities available for individuals interested in becoming reviewers. This is an excellent way for proposal writers and sponsored programs officers to see first-hand what makes a winning proposal and to learn the nuances of the NASA proposal review process. Visit the NSPIRES website and click on "Getting an Account" in the menu on the left to get started. For more information on the peer review process within NASA, see Section 3.3 of the NASA Procedural Requirements page.


NSF Grants Conference hosted by Howard University (March 11-12, 2013)

Introduction and NSF Overview

Proposal Preparation

NSF Merit Review Process

Award Management

NSF Policy Update

Crosscutting and Special Interest Programs

International Programs

Office of the Inspector General

     Breakout Sessions:

Biological Sciences

Post-Award Monitoring and Compliance

Computer and Information Science and Engineering

Education and Human Resources


Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program


Mathematical and Physical Sciences

NSF Award Cash Management $ervices

Office of International and Integrative Activities

Science, Engineering & Education for Sustainability (SEES)

Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences 

 NSF-Day Workshop (November 8, 2012)

NCURA 54th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC 

Proposal Preparation and Merit Review - a compenhensive PowerPoint presented by Dragana Brzakovic, Jolene Jesse. and Jacqueline Meszaros. 

 Guarding Against Grant Fraud - TheNonProfitTimes

Source: (12/03/2012)

Given the stiff competition for grant funding and the amount of money at stake, the field of grant proposal writing is unfortunately fertile ground for fraud. When someone blows the whistle and the lawsuit flies, the person who wrote the grant proposal is in the line of fire. And, the organization that submitted the proposal - the applicant organization, is likewise in hot water.

Link to full article

 Writing a Successful NIH Fellowship Application

The Office of Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducts periodic podcasts on writing successful NIH grant applications. The latest installment, conducted by NIH director of policy and liaison activities Henry Khachaturian, provides strategies for writing the best possible pre-doctoral or postdoctoral fellowship application. NIH fellowship applications differ from research applications in substantive ways. Although they certainly require a solid research hypothesis, fellowship applications focus more on the applicant, his or her mentor, and the training plan. Trainee candidates need to write about themselves, their strengths, and their weaknesses. Khachaturian encourages candidates both to brag about themselves and to be realistic about their weaknesses. He also stresses that reviewers will be looking for an applicant's passion for doing research, and the strength of the mentor, who must be well-respected and well-funded (a status that is not often reached by the assistant professor level, so choose your mentor wisely). Candidates from non-research intensive institutions may not have access to an appropriate mentor on campus. NIH Report can serve as an excellent tool for identifying experienced researchers at other institutions who have secured NIH support for research connected to the candidate's own discipline and area of interest.


Khachaturian's advice for fellowship applicants can be applied to most any type of federal grant application:

* Assess your career situation. Be explicit about what you want to do after the period of support ends.

* Contact program directors. These individuals are especially open to talking to new investigators. Identify the appropriate contact (at NIH, begin with the contact list for institutes and centers) and send him or her a one- or two-paragraph e-mail to open a dialogue.

* Start early, and give yourself at least three months to write the application.

* Don't propose too much. New researchers can be tempted to over-promise, submitting far-reaching proposals that do not convince experienced reviewers that all the goals can be achieved.

* Use charts, graphs, headers, and bullets to communicate ideas and provide visual support for the narrative. Reviewers don't want to read an application with no white space.

* Balance the technical and nontechnical writing, and make sure the abstract (which reviewers read first) contains mostly nontechnical writing. In the case of early-career fellowship applicants, all of these strategies should work toward helping reviewers understand that the fellowship will be an important step in launching the candidate's career as an independent researcher. 

 NIH Releases New Grants Policy Statement

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grants Policy Statement -- which answers just about every question regarding the management of NIH awards -- was revised. The new guide is applicable to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2011. (Note that the October 2010 GPS should be used as the standard set of terms and conditions for NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011.)


While the new GPS does not introduce new material for the first time, it does incorporate new and modified requirements, clarify certain policies, and implement changes in statutes, regulations, and policies implemented during FY 11. A summary of significant changes is available online. NIH publishes interim grants policy changes in the NIH Guide. Direct specific questions to the NIH Division of Grants Policy at

 NIH All About Grants Podcast Series

NIH has a number of podcasts related to topics such as Prepare a Successful Grant Application; Understand How Your Grant is Reviewed; and Keep Up With What's Hot.  To get new podcasts as they are released, subscribe by visiting NIH on iTunes or catch our podcast RSS using your favorite software.

 Pass It on to Faculty: Research Writing Advice

The Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau hosted a webinar on preparing successful manuscripts on March 9, 2011. The presenters - two leading journal editors - provided advice on choosing a research question, planning a study, selecting research methodologies, preparing a manuscript, and submitting manuscripts for publication. The strategies presented have broad applicability across disciplines and audiences, and incorporate many of the principles of effective grant proposal writing. A recording ( of the webinar is available online. 

February 2010 - The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Research Integrity has posted an interactive movie and facilitator's guide on research misconduct entitled "The Lab: Avoiding Research Misconduct." To view this movie or download the guide go to

 Mapping Your Career with NIH (NIH-Posted 2/11/11)

Early career researchers: check out a recent Webinar conducted by the NIH Loan Repayment Program. The presentation will help you learn which NIH training grant, fellowshipor career development award is right for you. The recording is about an hour in length, with a significant portion at the end dedicated to audience questions and answers.