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Required and Offered Courses: Scientific Writing & Grant Proposal Preparation

Fall 2017 Class Schedule

Course Number: MICR 6255
Course Description

Time: Tuesdays, 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Room: MRB 4.145

Prerequisite: Must have declared Microbiology & Immunology as graduate program

Required Text: The Grant Application Writer's Workbook

Course Co-Director:
Jiaren Sun, MD, PhD | MRB Rm. 3.158 | Route 1070 | Ext. 70186

Course Co-Director:
Tian Wang, PhD | MRB Rm. 3.118B | Route 0609 | Ext. 23146

Course Coordinator:
Aneth Zertuche | MRB Rm. 4.102 | Route 1019 | Ext. 22322

Course Description:
This 16-week course will introduce the principles of scientific writing and grant proposal preparation in the NIH format. The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the individual parts of an NIH-style grant application, to help students in acquiring scientific writing skills, and to prepare students for the qualifying exam in the M&I graduate program.

The course will consist of weekly lectures and small-group sessions during which experienced faculty mentors present didactic instruction on planning, organizing, and writing a hypothesis-driven grant application. Students will also work individually and in small groups on an original grant proposal. Using examples from successful grants in the area of the students' specialization, the instructors in the course will discuss the individual parts of well-written grant proposals. The students will be required to write a grant proposal with precise deadlines for submission of individual parts. All submissions will be critiqued and graded.

Grading will be based on the assignments & class participation (30%), oral presentation of the hypothesis/ specific aims & research strategy (10%), the final grant application (40%), an oral defense of the proposal (20%).

The final course letter grade will be determined using the GSBS grading scale:

  • 90-100 = A
  • 80-89 = B
  • 70-79 = C
  • 69 or below = F

* Any appeals for grading changes must be submitted to the instructors responsible for the writing and grading of the question within 5 business days after the return of the graded assessment to the student. The instructors must report any grade changes to the course director.

Evaluation Form:
Students will be required to complete an evaluation form about the course. If the evaluation form is not received, an incomplete grade will be reported to the Office of Enrollment Services. If the course requirements are not completed within 30 days, the grade automatically converts to a grade of F.

Excused Absences:
The GSBS policy states that students taking a full-term graduate course offering are allowed up to three (3) excused absences from any required activity and is determined at the discretion of the course directors. If the course is offered as an 8-week course, only two (2) absences are permitted. If a student is absent during a session that contributes to the final grade (for example, during a quiz), it will be up to the Course Directors to determine if the student can perform a ‘make-up’ activity, provided that the reason for the absence is a legitimate one. Once a student exceeds and misses more than allowed for the length of the course, the course directors must notify the GSBS Student Affairs Dean, who will then contact the appropriate Program Director.

Course Schedule

1 Aug 29 The Principles of Scientific Writing Dennis Bente
2 Sep 5 Testing a Scientific Hypothesis Tian Wang
3 Sep 12 Forming and Writing Aims Page for R21 Application Alfredo Torres
 Sep 15 Specific Aims page due by 11 AM: Turn in electronic file to Aneth Zertuche  
4 Sep 19 Student Presentations: Hypothesis & Specific Aims
10 min. presentation & 10 min. Q&A per student
Jiaren Sun
5 Sep 26 Significance & Innovation Janice Endsley
6 Oct 3 Biostatistics and Power Analysis Heidi Spratt
7 Oct 10 Research Design & Expected Outcomes Lynn Soong
8 Oct 17 Potential Problems & Alternative Strategies; Justification & Feasibility Jiaren Sun
9 Oct 24 Final Critique & Discussion of Research Strategy
(Small group discussion I)
Jiaren Sun & David Beasley
10 Oct 31 Final Critique & Discussion of Research Strategy
(Small group discussion II)
Tian Wang & Shinji Makino
11 Nov 7 The Project Summary and Bibliography Linsey Yeager
12 Nov 14 Student Mini-lecture on Grant Proposal Writing MinKyung Yi, Corey Fulton & Brittany Ross
13 Nov 21 Student Presentations and Oral Defense of Proposals
20 min. presentation & 20 min. Q&A per student
Tian Wang (Facilitators: Yi, Makino, Tseng, Endsley)
14 Nov 28 Student Presentations and Oral Defense of Proposals (cont.)
20 min. presentation & 20 min. Q&A per student
Jiaren Sun (Facilitators: Aguilar, Freiberg, Hu, Comer)
 Dec 1 Complete Research Proposal due by 11 AM: Turn in electronic file to Aneth Zertuche  
15 Dec 5 Written Proposal Evaluation - Mock Study Section Wang, Yi, Makino, Tseng, Endsley
16 Dec 12 Written Proposal Evaluation - Mock Study Section Sun, Aguilar, Freiberg, Hu, Comer

Grades due December 20, 2017
Last revised August 2017