Close up Stanford Biosciences student working on a fellowship application

Grant Writing Academy

The Grant Writing Academy was honored with a 2016 Innovations in Research Education Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)! The award highlights innovations in PhD, MD-PhD, and postdoctoral education and training, or early career development that enhance the institutional research mission.

We coach graduate and postdoctoral trainees in developing and articulating research strategies to tackle important scientific questions.

We help you STEP into success with grant writing by:

  • Supporting you in creating proposals and productive writing practice
  • Training you to write and edit efficiently
  • Empowering you to elicit and provide effective feedback
  • Providing you with coaching, editing and review of proposals and scientific writings

Why you should submit a proposal:

  • Writing rigorously clarifies and deepens your thinking
  • Articulating research priorities increases productivity and impact
  • Developing and communicating ideas is critical in all career paths
  • Eliciting and providing feedback strengthens mentoring relationships
  • Reviewing feedback improves your writing
  • Securing funding is an accomplishment and has positive career benefits



Specific Aims Lecture and Peer Review Workshops

Specific Aims Lecture

Learn techniques for developing a one-page executive summary of your research plan, e.g. Specific Aims page.

February 1, 2017 at 2:00-4:00pm

Register online


Specific Aims Peer Review Workshops

Receive feedback on your 1-page Specific Aims draft document. Our approach to eliciting feedback will help you clarify and deepen your thinking. Plus providing feedback to your peers will improve your writing.

You must bring 4 copies of a draft of your Specific Aims (1 page) to the workshop. An early draft is OK!

  • Feb 9, 2017 at 10:30 am -12:30 pm
  • Feb 17, 2017 at 9:30-11:30 am
  • Feb 21, 2017 at 1:30-3:30 pm
  • Feb 28, 2017 at 3:30-5:30 pm

Register online


Grant Coach Office Hours

Have a question about your fellowship or career development award? Meet one-on-one with our trained Grant Coaches to answer questions, find resources, obtain advice or evaluate draft documents (1 page or less).

  • Feb 7, 2017 at 3:30-5:30 pm
  • Feb 13, 2017 at 9:30-11:30 am
  • Feb 22, 2017 at 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • March 3, 2017 at 1:30-3:30 pm

Register online


Watch a video about how to write a compelling 1-page Specific Aims (SUNEt ID required)

Download a Specific Aims Outline to help you write a compelling 1-page Specific Aims (SUNet ID required)

Grant Writing Retreat

Co-sponsored by the GWA and SBSA

March 11, 2017 at 10:00am - 5:00 pm

This all-day retreat provides a time and place to write plus lunch and snacks. Also, join short lightening talks about writing grants, receive feedback at peer review workshops and one-on-one coaching from the GWA's Grant Coaches.

Sign-up form for Graduate Students

Sign-up form for Postdocs

Transform Your Writing With Elements of Scientific Storytelling

April 2017

Learn techniques for implementing elements of scientific storytelling to transform your writing. The principles of storytelling can strengthen your NIH Biosketch (e.g. Personal Statement & Contributions to Science sections), biography (bio) and more. Also, receive feedback on your NIH Biosketch or other document at our Peer Review Workshops. Our approach to generating feedback will clarify and deepen your thinking, while providing feedback to your peers will improve your writing and expand your creativity.

Writing Compelling Fellowships and Career Development Awards

Proposal Bootcamp Course — BIOS 242 — Weekly 2-hour meetings
September to November, 2017

Participants develop proposals through guided exercises with an emphasis on establishing writing practice, in-class peer review and focused faculty feedback.

Comments from previous participants:

"The schedule forced me to write"

"One of the best things... I wasn't the only one going through the grant writing process"

"This course helped improve the quality of my proposal"

"Thanks to you... I actually got a K99 on the first round. Your [course] was invaluable!"

If you are interested in the 2016 Proposal Bootcamp, please participate in our Specific Aims Lecture and Peer Review Workshops. During the first week of the Proposal Bootcamp course your 1-page Specific Aims document will be peer reviewed.

Register online
Course registration closes Sept 19, 2016

NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Program (GRFP) Info Session

Sponsored by the Stanford Biosciences Student Association

September 2017

The NSF GRFP is a prestigious, nationally competitive fellowship and provides three years of support for beginning graduate study.

Helpful Resources:

Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Fellowship or Career Development Award

Ten simple rules to consider when writing a fellowship or career development award by Crystal Botham, director of the Grant Writing Academy, and Stanford Postdocs.

Read the article

  1. Start Early and Gather Critical Information
  2. Create a Game Plan and Write Regularly
  3. Find Your Research Niche
  4. Use your Specific Aims Document as Your Roadmap
  5. Build a First-Rate Team of Mentors
  6. Develop a Complete Career Development Training Plan
  7. Stop! Get Feedback
  8. Tell a Consistent and Cohesive Story
  9. Follow Specific Requirements and Proofread for Errors and Readability
  10. Recycle and Resubmit

The Science and Art of Grant Writing: Developing a Research Strategy

This symposium addressed both practical and conceptual aspects of the proposal writing process. Participants learned how to develop research strategies to tackle important scientific questions and gained tips for writing more effective proposals. Dynamic presenters shared insights about the grant writing and review process. Speakers included Russ Altman, Crystal Botham, John Boothroyd, Nobel Laureate Michael Levitt, Kristin Sainani, and a panel discussion of NIH Fellowship and K Award study section members moderated by Miriam Goodman.

Comments from previous participants:

"It was inspiring to be there"

"I walked away feeling like this was such a productive use of my time"

"Fantastic event"

"Very motivating to go ahead and start writing"

Watch the videos! (SUNet ID required)

Grant Coaches Discuss Various Aspects of Writing Proposals

Videos relevant to most proposals (SUNet ID required)


NIH Fellowship Specific Videos (e.g. F31, F32) (SUNet ID required)


NIH K Award Specific Videos (e.g. K99/R00, K08, K23) (SUNet ID required)

Stanford's Jump Start Awards for Excellence in Research

Supports postdoctoral scholars / fellows conducting biomedical research and / or participating in career development activities that enhance fellowship or career development proposals. Additionally, the Grant Writing Academy's Grant Coaches provide feedback and advice to the awardees as they prepare their proposals.

We are excited to announce our 2016 Jump Start Awardees:

Shiva Abbaszadeh, PhD A new generation small animal PET system technology to drive future molecular imaging discoveries
Julia Co, PhD Gastrointestinal organoids as a model for human-adapted bacterial pathogens
Laura Marie Davison, PhD Harnessing Dendritic Cells for the Development of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Immunotherapies
Daniel DiRenzo, PhD Efferocytosis Signaling Regulates Phenotypic Switching in Atherosclerosis
Eni Halilaj, PhD Multivariate Pattern Analysis of Physical Activity and Osteoarthritis Progression
Jennifer Haruko Kong, PhD Genetic and proteomic analysis of Hedgehog signaling in the developing central nervous system
Zhipeng Lu, PhD Decoding the RNA structurome
Brooks Taylor, PhD Predicting and controlling fat cell differentiation using dynamic signals
Adam White, PhD Leveraging spectrally encoded beads to enable highly multiplexed profiling of proteolytic signatures from maternal blood

Jump Start Advisory Committee:

Next Request for Applications: March 2017 ( here are the 2016 instructions)

Teach! Write! Learn! Become a Grant Coach

For Postdoctoral Scholars/Fellows

The Grant Writing Academy in collaboration with the Hume Center for Writing and Speaking and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs trains postdocs as Grant Coaches.

Our Coaches assist graduate students and postdocs in creating strong proposals, and lead peer and faculty review workshops.

We pay for coaching time. No experience necessary but we are looking for enthusiastic and committed individuals.

Application Deadline: Spring 2017

Writing for the Sciences

Sponsored by: Lagunita; also available on Youtube

This course teaches scientists to become more effective writers, using practical examples and exercises. Topics include: principles of good writing, tricks for writing faster and with less anxiety, the format of a scientific manuscript, and issues in publication and peer review. In the first four weeks, we will review principles of effective writing, examples of good and bad writing, and tips for making the writing process easier. In the second four weeks, we will examine issues specific to scientific writing, including: authorship, peer review, the format of an original manuscript, and communicating science for lay audiences.


NRSA Computer Lab Training Sessions

Required training for all pre-doctoral and postdoctoral fellows who are submitting NIH NRSA F series applications.

Session registration

K Computer Lab Training Sessions

Required training for all postdoctoral fellows and optional for Instructors and faculty who are submitting NIH K series applications.

Session registration

Postdoctoral Funding Opportunities

A comprehensive list of postdoctoral funding opportunities that can be searched by deadline or research topic. Download list here.

Graduate Funding Opportunities

A comprehensive list of graduate funding opportunities that can be searched by deadline or research topic. Download list here.

Stanford Policy

Stanford policy requires that all applications for outside Pre-Doctoral & Postdoctoral Fellowships must be routed through your Institutional Representative at least 5 working days prior to the sponsor's deadline. Please see the Research Management Group's website for guidelines and proposal checklists.

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