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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 Scientific Grant Peer Review Board is a cohort of fellows who are focused on improving their grantsmanship 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 grantsmanship 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 grantsmanship 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 Tammy R. Collins, 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 Tammy R. Collins, 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.


Saniya Rattan, Ph.D.

Saniya Rattan, Ph.D., Co-chair, 2019 - Present, IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow

In 2019, Saniya joined NIEHS and immediately recognized the benefits of a Fellow’s Scientific Grant Peer Review Board. With the help of Cassandra, Saniya helps organize the formalized workshops.


Cassandra Hayne

Cassandra Hayne, Ph.D., Founder and Chair, 2017 - 2020, IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow

When Cassandra arrived at NIEHS in 2017, she was writing a grant and recognized a need for a cohort of fellows who wanted to help each other improve their grant writing skills through peer review and workshops. To fill this need, Cassandra started the Fellow’s Scientific Grant Peer Review Board which she evolved from an organized peer-pairing review process into a more formal workshop series.

Hear From Program Participants

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