Grant Writing

Grant Writing Course

HPA 591 “Grant Writing for New Investigators” is a three credit course offered during both the Fall and Spring semesters. The major objectives of this course are to foster grant writing skills, learn the mechanics of an NIH grant application, particularly K series career development awards, and to learn how to peer review applications.  Experience with the grant writing process and opportunities to receive on-going feedback and participate in “mock” study sections can lead to increased comfort with grant writing and also increased productivity.

The course is structured as a seminar and class time is used to talk about different mechanisms (e.g. Career Development Awards, R21, R01), different components of a proposal, and to present and review each other’s work. Participants first decide on the appropriate grant mechanism to which they will apply. They are then expected to make progress on their grant proposal and are required to present on their progress during class.

During the mock review sessions, reviewers chosen by the students (primary, secondary, and tertiary) prepare written critiques, which are discussed in a session similar to an NIH study section.

Students enrolled in this course are expected to have a draft proposal completed by the end of the semester.

HPA 591 Grant Writing is a required course for those enrolled in the MS in Clinical and Translational Science, but is open to other qualified candidates on a credit non-degree basis with permission from the instructor or MS CTS Program Director, Jack Zwanziger. 

If you are interested in taking this grant writing course as a credit non-degree student, please contact Jaclyn Jackson at or (312) 413-5429.

Workshop on Effective Communication in Grantwriting

In this two-session workshop at UIC, participants analyze how common writing challenges are tackled in funded grant proposals and other successful scientific writing. Successful samples are examined as models for writing techniques that can be applied.

Session one: Clarity and focus

As a writer, you may feel that you are often forced to choose between clarity and precision. If you include the details that your argument needs, your writing may seem overstuffed and cumbersome. But if you omit details, the keys to your argument disappear. In this session, participants learn how to focus arguments without sacrificing complexity. The true origin of the problem lies not in the complexity of the data, but in the structure of the sentences. Students in this workshop learn concrete techniques to build sentences and paragraphs that can adequately house ideas and data, without leaving readers behind.

Session two: Communicating the value of your work

During the course of your career you will write many documents that boil down to some version of one of the following sentences: "Give me money because " or "Read this article because." This session will focus on what comes after the "because." How can you make sure readers understand how your work contributes to the body of knowledge in your field? How can you do this without claiming too much about your work -- or too little? Participants will practice writing techniques that make clear why the work is valuable and that help to focus proposals on the most important aspects of one’s research.

Dates for the next workshop: TBA

This workshop is designed for UIC junior faculty (assistant and associate professors). Space for the workshop is limited. Please contact Jaclyn Jackson ( with questions.