Incredible demand experienced for graduate student grant writing seminar

Rare back-to-back sessions scheduled

The Proposal Development division of the Office of Research and Graduate Studies is once again sponsoring the exclusive, one-day grant writing seminar, “Getting Started as a Successful Proposal Writer and Academician,” to jumpstart graduate students and postdoctoral research fellows into writing grant proposals.

Taught by a distinguished external grant writing training company, Grant Writers’ Seminars & Workshops LLC, this year’s seminar will feature Dr. M.S. (Peg) AtKisson as the instructor. Dr. AtKisson holds a doctorate degree in neuroscience from Tufts University and is a world-renowned scientist and grant winner. At Tufts, she was the director of proposal development and earned years of successful proposal-writing experience. During the seminar, Dr. AtKisson will address topics including the practical and conceptual aspects of proposal writing and idea development, identification of the most appropriate funding agency and grant mechanism for that idea, organizational structures of the major federal funding agencies, an in-depth analysis of preparing a convincing application, and strategies for writing for reviewers. Emphasis will also be given on how to build an academic career, including writing a career development proposal.

“This is the second year we have offered this seminar to graduate students,” said Jerilyn Hansen, director of proposal development. “But because there is a cap on the number of participants, as soon as those seats fill up, registration closes. Students and postdoctoral research fellows are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to build a strong foundation in grant writing and be ahead of the pack.”

Registration for the seminar initially opened on January 15. Within 24 hours, all 100 available seats were taken. As the waiting list rapidly grew, it was decided to contact the training company and quickly arrange for a second seminar to address the incredible demand experienced. As a result, two identical, back-to-back seminars have been scheduled for February 26 and 27. Registration for the second seminar opened on January 17 and again all 100 seats were filled in a little over 24 hours.

“Grant Writers’ Seminars & Workshops has shown extraordinary success in helping researchers improve their grant writing skills,” said Mark McLellan, vice president for research and dean of the School of Graduate Studies. “As a research institution, we are always looking for ways to provide excellent resources for our graduate researchers that are tailored to their needs. We are confident that they will find this seminar useful in helping them prepare for their future academic careers.”

Going forward, due to the incredible demand shown by graduate students for this training opportunity, it will be offered twice per year, once in fall semester and again in spring semester. “We have been blown away by the response to this seminar,” said Hansen. “Obviously, it is addressing a need in our graduate student population and we want to make sure we continue to help satisfy that need as much as possible.”