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AgBioResearch Grant Writing Workshop Continues to Receive Rave Reviews

MAES Grant Writing Workshop, attended by 134 people and representing over 60 departments across the university, continues to receive positive review.

February 8, 2010

"Best continuing education session I have attended in five years!"

"Bravo! Please come back!"

"Attending this seminar, I am now able to identify problems in a grant that I never could have without such a lecture."

"It saved me a lot of time, as I am on the verge of putting together a National Institutes of Health application as a principal investigator."

Very engaging and enthusiastic speaker. Excellent use of common examples to illustrate concepts."

These were just a few of the enthusiastic evaluations of the third MAES Preawards Office-sponsored "Write Winning Grants" workshop on Jan. 6. The workshop -- attended by 134 people representing more than 60 departments across the university -- featured presenter David Morrison of Grant Writers? Seminars and Workshops, who addressed both the practical and conceptual aspects of successful proposal writing.

"Dr. Morrison is an outstanding presenter," said John Baker, MAES associate director. "He talked about some of the nuanced things that professors need to consider when writing grants but don?t always think about, as well as grant-writing basics. Though the seminar is extremely valuable for new faculty members, senior faculty members that have participated find it very useful."

Morrison, who received a doctorate in molecular biology and biophysics from Yale and served as associate director of research at the University of Kansas Medical Cancer Center and director of medical research at St. Luke?s Hospital in Kansas City, is a member of multiple national review panels and advisory groups and has a long history of writing successful grant proposals. He discussed how to write proposals aimed at reviewers and how to identify the most appropriate granting agency. Workshop attendees had the option of purchasing workbooks devoted to the grant subtleties of specific federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the National Institutes of Health.

First-time and novice grant writers weren?t the only participants who found value in the workshop.

"I've had some success in writing grants," said Stephen Gasteyer, MAES sociology researcher, "but I found Dr. Morrison's emphasis on how to construct the opening page of an application from the title all the way through those first sets of paragraphs to be very helpful. Knowing how to put together an effective opening page can really draw in the reviewers so they can immediately see the importance of what you are trying to do."

"Although I am an experienced grant writer and teach grant writing, the program had a lot of very useful concepts and advice that reinforced some of my own ideas," said Nigel Paneth, university distinguished professor of epidemiology and pediatrics. "For example, the concept of precisely where in the innovation cycle your best position is rang very true to me, because you can be a little too innovative and you can be insufficiently innovative; hitting the innovation 'sweet spot' is key. I?ll definitely be incorporating some of these ideas into my teaching."

The next seminar is scheduled for Jan. 6, 2011. For more information, contact Candace Ebbinghaus at candy@msu.edu or 517-355-0123, ext. 112.

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