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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Zhengui Xia
ENV H 590
Seattle Campus

Selected Topics

In-depth study of a current environmental health topic.

Class description

Class title: Research Proposal Preparation for Health Sciences

The goal of this course is to introduce graduate students in the health sciences to NIH grant proposal preparation. The course will focus on the preparation of grant proposals, the review process, and revision, with an emphasis on hypothesis-driven research following the NIH pre-doctoral (NRSA) fellowship format.

Student learning goals

1) Describe the fundamental principles of grant writing

3) Demonstrate skills in formulating a novel, highly focused, and testable hypothesis

4) Demonstrate skills in formulating specific aims

5) Demonstrate skills in designing state-of-the art, yet feasible methods to address the specific aims

6) Demonstrate an ability to revise a proposal based on critique.

10) Demonstrate an ability to present the critique in a mock “study section” panel made up of peer students

General method of instruction

Formal lectures will be given on the fundamental principles and processes of grant preparation and submission.

Guest lectures and panel discussions will be offered by 1) experienced PIs with outstanding track records at securing NIH funding; 2) UW faculty who serve on NIH study sections reviewing fellowships; 3) UW graduate students/postdoc who have successfully competed for NRSA fellowships.

Students will participate in writing proposals, critically reviewing fellow student’s proposals, and revising proposals in response to the critique.

Recommended preparation

PhD degree graduate students in the health and biological sciences, whose research focus on biochemical, molecular and cellular mechanisms of biological functions

Class assignments and grading

1) Participate in group presentation of the chosen common set of research articles that will be used as the basis for research proposal 2) Write a first submission of the proposal and present the proposal to the class. 3) Read and Critique fellow students’ proposals—both 1st and revised submissions. 4) Participate in class discussions and peer review. 5) Revise the proposal based on the critiques. 6) Present the revised proposal to the class.

Presentation of research articles that are the basis for research proposal 5 pts

1st submission of the research proposal 30 pts Grant review-participating discussion: 10 pts Revised proposal: 55 pts

Proposal grading will be based on student peer scoring (40%) and Instructor’s scoring (60%). For example, for the 1st draft proposal, the best score is 30 points; of which instructor can give a score of 0-18 and peer will give a score of 0-12.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Zhengui Xia
Date: 08/02/2013