Grant Writing

CLRES 2076: Introduction to Grant Writing for
Postdoctoral Trainees (1 credit)


Clear and precise writing is an essential part of effectively communicating scientific discoveries and successfully competing for external research training support. At the conclusion of this course, participants will have learned the:

    (1) process of applying for external funding and the types of federal
         and foundation funding mechanisms available;
    (2) skills necessary to effectively communicate a hypothesis; and

    (3) skills necessary to construct a grant application.

In addition, through active participation in the course, participants will complete a draft of their own application. This course is targeted to post-graduate PhD and MD level scientists interested in applying for F and K series grants, or nonfederal foundations grants. In addition, this course will satisfy the professional development requirements of T32-supported trainees.

Please note:

  • US citizenship or permanent residency status is required to apply for NIH T and F-series fellowship awards.
  • Only one NIH K award mechanism accepts applications from foreign nationals: K99/R00
  • Some foundation fellowships may accept applications from foreign nationals depending upon the sponsor


March 6 through 27, 2017; Break; April 10 through May 1, 2017 (8 weeks)
Mondays, 6:00-8:00pm


3/6/17    Introduction to Funding Mechanisms (F series, K series, and Foundation)
3/13/17   How to Write a Specific Aims Page
3/20/17   How to Write a Significance and Innovation Section
3/27/17   How to Write a Research Plan
4/3/17     Break
4/10/17   How to Write a Training Plan
4/17/17   How to Write a Letter of Recommendation
4/24/17   Mock Study Section
5/1/17     How to Write a Re-Submission


Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology
UPCI Associate Director for Training and Education

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


University policy requires that graduate students who are non-native English speakers demonstrate English language proficiency either by

    (1) providing TOEFL scores with their admission application, or

    (2) taking a proficiency test administered by the University’s English Language
        Institute (at no cost to the prospective student).

NOTE: Individuals who completed a graduate or residency program at an English-speaking institution are exempt from English language proficiency testing.


Faculty mentors will be expected to provide guidance and constructive feedback on course assignments; therefore, a letter of support is required from your faculty mentor. You will need the support and encouragement of your faculty mentor to successfully compete for a research training award. Consequently, enrollment in this course will be limited to only those applicants who provide a letter of support from their faculty mentor that:

    (1) affirms your scientific readiness to compete for a research training grant,
    (2) clearly articulates your faculty mentor’s understanding of the importance
         for you to attend every session, and

    (3) demonstrates your faculty mentor’s overall commitment to your
         career success.


Complete the Non-Degree Graduate Student Admission Application and submit it to

Download the Application Form >

You will be contacted by an advisor to determine if you may register in the Grant Writing course or if you need to complete English language proficiency testing.

Learn More about Language Proficiency Testing >


  • Non-native English speakers: Friday, January 6, 2017
    (Allows sufficient time to complete English language proficiency testing)
  • Native English speakers, individuals who completed a graduate or residency program at an English speaking institution,
    or individuals who can provide TOEFL scores:
    Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Registration is by special permit only. Those postdocs who do not require English language proficiency testing will be contacted by an advisor to complete the registration process. Those postdocs who need to complete English language proficiency testing will be contacted by an advisor immediately following their testing date to discuss their results. 

Financial responsibility is incurred upon registration.


Description of Postdoctoral Educational Benefits. View Benefits >

Illustration of financial responsibility for a 1-credit graduate course after tuition benefits are applied. View Illustration >


If you have any questions, email or call (412) 648-8486 to talk with an advisor.

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