In 2014 COBRE-PSF initiated a Writing Program to strengthen the academic and proposal writing skills of faculty, with the long-term goal of improving funding rates and supporting publication. The program provides workshops on grant writing and other science writing topics and works individually with participants on academic and professional documents. The program was launched in summer 2014 with eight faculty participants from four Kansas universities.
Grant Writing Series
Because COBRE-PSF aims to help faculty conduct research that will make them competitive for major funding, one of the primary writing tasks for participants is grant application writing. During Spring 2018, Winter 2017-18, Spring 2017, Winter 2016-17, Spring 2016, Winter 2015, and Fall 2014 the program has offered an organized grant writing program beginning with the seminar Writing NIH Proposals. This is followed by a working group in which junior faculty participants work with experienced faculty mentors to critique and improve each others Specific Aims pages. Finally, an NIH-style mock study section with experienced reviewers is held to review entire proposals. The faculty who participate in the reviews receive feedback on their proposals from at least four reviewers and use an NIH scoring template to critique other faculty proposals, thus increasing their understanding of the review process. The overall program has been well received by all participants and will be repeated approximately twice each year in the future; faculty at any level may participate.