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GrantWinners Seminars: Workshops for Academic Researchers
December 16 - 17, 2013


Robert Porter, PhD, has presented grant writing workshops at leading universities and medical schools internationally. Formerly Director of Research Development at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Porter has received the Distinguished Faculty Award by the Society of Research Administrators International.  With thirty years' experience as a tenured professor, private consultant and research administrator, his proposals have won more than $8 million in awards from government agencies and private foundations. A national leader in the growing field of research development, he has presented papers and workshops on grant writing at national conferences and has published prize-winning articles in the Journal of Research Administration and Research Management Review. Dr. Porter  has previously taught at Virginia Tech, Swarthmore College, Susquehanna University   and Eastern Washington University. He holds graduate degrees in Speech Communications from the University of Michigan.

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Click here to Register*
*Interested participants may register for one or all of the following sessions.


WRITING THE NSF CAREER PROPOSAL (3 hrs): Monday, Dec. 16th,  8:30 am – 11:30 am, MUC, Mississippi-Illinois Room

The prestigious NSF CAREER program can be a major boost to one’s academic future. Awarded to outstanding young teacher-scholars in all disciplines supported by NSF, CAREER is a five-year program with a substantial budget to support research and educational activities. CAREER proposals present unique challenges to young investigators, as a strong research plan must be integrated with creative ideas for teaching and learning. Further attention must be paid to the investigator’s long range career goals.

  • Overview of the CAREER program
  • Eligibility rules and deadlines
  • Required proposal components
  • Integrating Research and Education Plans
  • Departmental endorsement requirement


WRITING SUCCESSFUL GRANTS (3 hrs) Monday, Dec. 16, 1:00 pm- 4:00 pm, MUC, Mississippi-Illinois Room

For those who are new to the grant game, this introductory workshop covers basic principles of good grant writing, starting with the phrasing of a compelling research theme to the actual construction of the proposal itself. Major differences between traditional "academic prose" and persuasive grant writing are highlighted. Common pitfalls that can lead to early rejection of good ideas are reviewed, matched with practical strategies for better writing. Special attention will be paid to the perspectives of grant reviewers and how to write in ways that will meet their expectations.

  • Killer mistakes in grant writing and how to avoid them
  • Two critical steps that will double your chances for success
  • How to win over the grant reviewer
  • Simple keys to a more powerful writing style
  • Visualization: Using illustrations to "sell" your project 


BUILDING THE NEH GRANT PROPOSAL (3 hrs)  Tuesday, Dec. 17th, 8:30am – 11:30 am, MUC, Mississippi-Illinois Room

Major National Endowment for the Humanities funding tracks will be reviewed, together with eligibility requirements, funding levels, and lists of projects recently funded by each program. Key elements of the NEH grant review process will be covered, and examples of successful proposals will be distributed for group discussion by participants. A major emphasis will be placed on how successful grant writers meet the requirements of specific NEH program announcements.

  • Overview of NEH mission, structure and budget
  • Goals of major program areas
  • How to find the right program
  • Important upcoming deadlines
  • Key do's and don'ts for success


BUILDING THE NIH GRANT PROPOSAL (3 hrs) Tuesday, Dec. 17th, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, MUC, Mississippi-Illinois Room

 The complex requirements of an NIH grant proposal place extreme demands on the grant writer. From the tight logic of the Hypothesis/Specific Aims section to the minute details of the Research Design, the exacting format requires precise adherence to guidelines. This workshop will focus on key principles for effective writing in each major component of the proposal. Samples from successful proposals will be cited, with special attention to a model R01 proposal, annotated by NIH staff.

  • Overview of NIH mission,structure and budget
  • Characteristics of Successful Proposals
  • Recent Changes in Proposal Formats (R01, R03, R21)
  • The Abstract: Last written, First Read
  • Hypothesis/Specific Aims: Crafting a Solid Foundation
  • Tips for Writing the Research Strategy Section
  • The Revised NIH Peer Review Process