Types of Projects Supported

Consistent with its mission, OGSP’s top priority is the development and preparation of grant applications for extramural funding, most often to the National Institutes of Health but also to private and other governmental funding agencies. The applications range from individual investigator-initiated grants (e.g., NIH R and K series) to multi-investigator program project (P01) and center grants (e.g., NIH P, M, and U series).

OGSP’s services also include

  • Editing and critiquing of
  • Competitive letters of intent
  • Annual progress reports for funded grants
  • Manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals or books
  • Support activities
  • Creating electronic templates according to specific guidelines (e.g., for large multi-investigator center grants)
  • Assisting investigators with identifying appropriate funding sources

Editorial Services

OGSP’s goal in the services it offers investigators is to produce effective and persuasive grant applications that have a competitive edge

Services range from simple grammatical assistance (e.g., for a scientist whose native language is not English) to substantive editing with suggestions for revision and reorganization of text.

OGSP editors

  • Help ensure that proposals (or manuscripts) adhere to application (or journal) guidelines and are responsive to the goals of the funding agency and/or award mechanism
  • Electronically format text and figures
  • Edit text for style, grammar, and content
  • Work collaboratively with investigators to produce compelling applications that highlight the strengths of their ideas and proposed research by
    • Editing substantively for clarity, persuasiveness, and logical flow, particularly in the scientific rationale and experimental design
    • Clarifying and refining the presentation and bases of hypotheses and specific aims, often with the suggestion for graphics to enhance understanding of complex processes and procedures
    • Evaluating document organization and suggesting revisions to improve clarity and logical flow

Working with OGSP editors, especially for new and early-stage investigators, can also offer a mentoring experience that can improve an investigator’s skills in using language, formatting, and visuals to effectively deliver a message to the target audience.

Project Management Services

Few aspiring program directors/principal investigators have the time and experience needed to undertake the writing and manage the assembly of large multi-investigator projects such as an NIH program project (P01) or center grant (P20, P30, U01). Project management services offered by OGSP include

  • Attending and contributing to early-stage project planning and development meetings
  • Creating electronic templates for projects, cores, and other primary components according to the specific guidelines for each component to ensure consistency throughout the application
  • Setting up, and maintaining adherence to, a schedule for the submission of projects and other primary components for a series of edits, and for the timely assembly of the project for internal deadlines
  • Organizing regular meetings, whether face-to-face or by teleconference, to establish lines of communication and coordination among a center or program project’s principals
  • Advising, on the basis of the editors’ knowledge of the guidelines and familiarity with the content of the projects and other primary components, on the development and coordination of a center or program project’s global theme throughout the application’s components, and on the interactions and integration of its projects and cores
  • Advising on and assisting in the management of forms and supporting documentation, entering budget information, and assembling the final document

Workshops and Presentations

“Putting Grantsmanship into Your Grant-Writing Efforts: Making an Impact at NIH.” This four-part lecture and interactive workshop (meeting once weekly for four consecutive weeks) is the centerpiece of OGSP’s educational and informational efforts and is offered yearly. It is tailored to both clinical and basic researchers who have started out on their research careers but are still somewhat inexperienced in planning and preparing NIH grant applications.

The lecture portion of the workshop focuses on the following topics:

  • Session 1 — Overview: Putting Grantsmanship into Your Grant-Writing Efforts
  • Session 2 — Aim High: Addressing the Review Criteria in the Specific Aims Page and Throughout
  • Session 3 — Significance and Innovation: Defining the Sustained, Powerful Influence of Your Proposal
  • Session 4 — A Logical Approach: Preparing the Approach and Preliminary Studies

For the interactive portion, OGSP editors work one-on-one with participants to offer guidance and critiques of hypotheses, specific aims, and other assigned materials. Examples taken from actual successful grant applications enable participating investigators to gain a new perspective on what NIH reviewers are looking for when judging proposals and how investigators can make their proposals more competitive. As a practical goal, participants are expected to produce a usable specific aims page that can be sent to potential funding sources to gauge interest.

The dates for the next workshop will be announced on our homepage and on UAMS Campus Announcements.

“Enhancing Your Peer Review.” Offered regularly but not quite yearly, OGSP’s “Enhancing Your Peer Review” is a panel discussion and Q&A forum that brings together a group of UAMS researchers who serve on NIH study sections with the goal of enriching campus investigators’ understanding of the NIH peer-review process. Panelists share their experiences of the process, answer questions from the audience, and provide helpful advice.

OGSP editors have also prepared and given presentations on

  • Resubmission applications to NIH
  • Preparation of budgets and forms for NIH applications
  • Preparation of manuscripts for peer-reviewed publication

Scheduling Priorities

All OGSP projects are prioritized on the following basis:

  • Type of project: grant proposals take priority over manuscripts for peer-reviewed publication
  • Type of grant: large center or program project grants have priority over individual investigators’ applications
  • Projects covered by annual retainers or service agreements: when projects compete for limited time, projects from groups with a service agreement will take precedence over projects from groups without a service agreement
  • Multiple projects from one scientist: investigators requesting assistance for more than one application within a short time frame (2 to 4 weeks) should assume that a maximum of one of the projects will be supported (subject to other OGSP priorities)