Center For AIDS Research

Planning for Success
NIH R-level Grant Writing Course

Now Accepting Applications

The CFAR at Emory University is now accepting applications for our 2nd annual Planning for Success (PfS) NIH R-level Grant Writing course. APPLY HERE by October 25, 2019.

Who is the course targeting?

  • Individuals who:
    • Are interested in building a career as an NIH-funded independent investigator in HIV research, and
    • Have either never submitted an R-level application (R01, R03, R21) to the NIH or have not yet been successful in having a submitted R-level application be funded, and
    • Are developing an HIV application for Fall 2020 submission or resubmission to the NIH or the Emory CFAR Developmental Core.


What are the eligibility requirements?

  • Individuals are eligible for PfS if they:
    • Are eligible to submit an R01 application for funding by the NIH through their home institution, and
    • Are affiliated with an Historically Black College or University (HBCU) or with one of the NIH-funded Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR), and
    • Can identify a research question for funding that addresses one or more of the NIH/OAR High Priority topics of research for support using AIDS-designated funds and
    • Can commit to attending and actively participating in all online class meetings (see schedule below), and
    • Are able to – on their own or with help from PfS faculty – identify a grantsmanship mentor (defined here as a person with experience in writing R-level applications that have been successful in receiving NIH funding) who has agreed to provide comments on their mentee's application drafts.

What is the class format?

  • All course sessions are held online, via Zoom, on the second Tuesday of each month
    (2:00 - 4:00 ET). Each session involves three parts:
    • During the month before a given class session convenes, participants:
      • Watch a video covering the coming sessions' topic,
      • Develop an initial or second draft of an assigned application section and submit it for comments to their PfZ small group "zoommates" and their Grantsmanship Mentor,
      • Provide written comments, using a provided guide, on the section drafts submitted by 1-3 zoommates.
    • During the first 30 minutes of class, participants:
      • Engage in an online discussion about that month's video.
    • During the remaining 90 minutes of class, participants:
      • Work in small group 'zoom rooms' to workshop each other's submitted application draft sections.

What topics does the course cover?

  • In 2019-2020 the course will cover:
Nov 12     Orientation & Self-care during proposal writing
Jan 14 Analysing the FOA
Feb 11 Specific Aims page
Mar 10 Mock NIH review
Apr 14 Significance section
May 12 NIH-style Budgets
Jun 09 Innovation section
Jul 14 Non-narrative sections including Biosketches, Environment, and Human Subjects    
Aug 11 Approach section
Sep 08 Revising an NIH submission: Responding to Summary Statements
Oct 13 Tying up Loose Ends


What do I need to do to apply?

  1. Make the following decisions:

  2. By Friday, October 25, 2019, Fill out the application form at this link

  3. By Thursday, October 31, 2019*, identify a Grantsmanship Mentor (Defined here as a person who has written at least one successful NIH R01 grant application and is willing to provide review comments, on a monthly basis, on selected draft sections of the application you are writing as part of this course).

    *NOTE: If you need help identifying a Grantsmanship Mentor please indicate that in your Planning for Success application

  4. By Monday, November 4, 2019, email Laura Donnelly at the following information:
    • A recent copy of your Mentor's NIH biosketch (this does not need to be tailored to reflect their role as your Grantsmanship Mentor)
    • A letter of support from your Grantsmanship Mentor agreeing to, on a monthly basis, review and provide comments on selected sections of the application you are writing as part of this course.

Whom do I contact with Questions?