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Grant Peer Review Board

Fellows' Career Development

Grant Peer Review Board

Fellows' Career Development

group of young adults working together at a table

The Fellow’s Grant Peer Review Board is a cohort of fellows who are focused on improving their grantspersonship skills by participating in confidential peer-to-peer feedback on grants. Fellows can either participate as “writers” and/or “reviewers” in a formalized workshop setting, gaining important editing and grantspersonship skills. While reviewers make up the majority of the cohort, most reviewers use what they learn when they go on to write their own grants or fellowships. To round out their experience, writers are expected to participate as reviewers for at least two cohorts.

To balance the diverse scientific expertise of fellows, each cohort is unique to the needs of the writers and includes workshops and seminars presented by intramural and extramural speakers. Experienced participants can present “how-to’s” on grantspersonship topics to practice teaching skills. The majority of grants written by fellows include the NIGMS PRAT, K99/R00, and K22, but anyone and everyone is welcome, including those planning for R0-style grants.

Sample Agenda for a Cohort

Week Activity

  1. Cohort welcome, outline of group, assessment of cohort composition
  2. How to write a stellar Specific Aims page
  3. "Nuts and Bolts of Submitting an NIH Grant" with Mercedes Arana, Ph.D.
  4. Peer Workshop: FARE Awards (Spring Cohort)
  5. Round Table Review: specific aims, confidential review of successful grants
  6. No meeting, send your specific aims to your Program Officers
  7. No meeting
  8. Round Table Review: Aim 1
  9. No meeting
  10. Send your Research Plan to your reviewers
  11. Training Plan overview
  12. No meeting
  13. Send Research Plan to NCI fellows review board for grammar edits
  14. Round Table Review: Training Plan
  15. Workshop and review of other key documents
  16. No meeting
  17. Submit early! Schedule an appointment with Mercedes Arana, Ph.D. to submit your grant

Program Leaders

Laura Kammel

Laura Kammel, Ph.D., Co-chair, 2021 - Present, IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow

Laura joined NIEHS in March 2020, two weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic forced research at the institute to come to halt. As many researchers attempted to use this unexpected work-from-home time to focus more on grant writing and research program development, Laura realized how valuable it would be to have a sense of community to help motivate, answer questions, and provide feedback during this process. Grant writing can be overwhelming, but we hope this workshop provides NIEHS trainees a framework to put together their best applications in a supportive environment.

Danielle R. Stevens

Danielle Stevens, Ph.D., Co-Chair, 2022-Present, IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow

When Danielle joined NIEHS in 2021, she was interested in writing a grant and received crucial insight and support from the NIEHS Fellows Grant Peer Review Board. Realizing how valuable this resource was for grantsmanship and career development, Danielle now helps coordinate speakers and provides feedback and support for other fellows.

Mandy Goldberg, Ph.D.

Mandy Goldberg, Ph.D., Co-Chair, 2023-Present, IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow

Mandy had some experience helping others with grant applications during her graduate work when she joined NIEHS in September 2019, but she quickly realized that writing one herself is a whole different ballpark. Mandy appreciated the structure and support of the Grant Peer Review Board when she was writing, and looks forward to providing feedback, support, and tricks of the trade to other fellows.

Hear From Program Participants

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