K/R Club

This is one of my most popular training models and, I believe, the optimal model for grantsmanship training for a cohort of grantees actively working on their own K- or R-series application.

Like all my trainings and consulting work, the goal is to improve not just a single submission, but the overall skill of the researcher as a grantee, mentor, and reviewer going forward. I feel that this is an outstanding way to impart grantsmanship training, and I am excited to offer this new and popular training to my clients.

First, I will work with you to select prepared grantees based on draft Specific Aims and biosketches. Then, the Club combines three distinct training sections.


This half-day training typically consists of how to prepare to write an NIH submission (contacting the PO, obtaining feedback on the Aims before writing, selecting the optimal study section and reviewing the roster, etc); and detailed writing instructions and recent samples of successful Aims, Significance, Innovation, and Approach (plus Candidate Section and Mentoring Plan if a K submission). While the format is designed for a small cohort of grantees, this portion of the Club can be useful for a broader audience (perhaps 30+ people).


During a relaxed lunch with just the 8-12 selected grantees, I answer questions and chat about issues pertaining to K vs. R, or ESI, or whatever is on their minds. In the afternoon, we do hands-on editing. Typically, I project draft sections of their grant applications from my laptop to a screen (with grantee permission), and we edit together. As the afternoon progresses, I shift discussion to the group—What do you think of this opening sentence for the Aims—why do you find it compelling, or not? Do you understand the Significance of the project? How would you suggest the grantee change it? Why? Is there an adequate competitive analysis in the Innovation? What headers are missing in the Approach? How might you suggest the grantee beef up the all-important Rigor and Reproducibility section? The tone of the discussion is collegial and often quite fun, and by the end of the day not only has the group bonded, but they feel more empowered, and the group’s grantsmanship skill level has noticeably risen.

3. VIRTUAL CONSULTING, SELF-PACED LEARNING (leading up to submission):

After I leave, I work virtually with the grantees on their individual drafts, providing detailed edits and comments in Track Changes to their Word documents. With their permission, these drafts are uploaded to a cloud-based server provided by their institution, and made available to their fellow attendees of the training/workshop. In this way, the group benefits from seeing my edits and feedback to all drafts—a huge benefit to their training, and one rarely afforded to a grantee due to issues of confidentiality.

Let’s have a conversation about how I can help your faculty improve their NIH grantsmanship skills. CONTACT ME contact me

Read what others are saying