Loading Events
DMU Events
  • This event has passed.

Write Winning Grant Proposals Workshop

Friday, June 20 at 8:30 AM
Des Moines University, Olsen Center, Des Moines, IA, 50312 Show Map


Hosted by the Office of Research. Presented by Grant Writers Seminars & Workshops, LLC.

Register today!




Get on target: Improve your grant writing aims session


Questions about what grant reviewers are looking for? Check out the video below!

Target Audience

Des Moines University faculty and staff.


8 am Registration and Breakfast
8:30 am General Grant Writing Concepts

  • Introduction to the program
  • The concept of a grant/funding agency missions
  • Funding trends and success rates
  • Development of ideas for possible grant applications
  • Evaluation of ideas: program officers and programmatic relevance
  • Commitment to the process
  • The importance of good “grantspersonship”
  • Identifying possible funding agencies
  • Similarities among funding agencies
10:15 am Break
10:30 am The Reviewers and the Review Process

  • Peer review and the peer review process
  • Common assumptions about peer review
  • Mechanisms of review
  • Identifying your reviewers (if possible)
  • Including and excluding reviewers
  • Who exactly are your reviewers
  • Intrinsic review criteria (unwritten rules)
  • Making applications maximally “reviewer friendly”
  • Funding agency review criteria (funding agency specific)
12 pm Lunch
1 pm Development of a Competitive Application

  • The critical importance of first impressions
  • Development of a one-page overview/executive summary of your application
  • Things that need to be in place before writing the rest of the application
2:40 pm Break
2:55 pm Significance, Rationale, Broader Impacts, Innovation

  • Background and work done by others
  • Past productivity related to the proposed work, pilot data, and preliminary findings
  • Plan of work, activities proposed, and research plan
  • Application, graphical sketches, and letters of collaboration
  • Environment resources
  • Concepts behind budget preparation
  • How to create a compelling title
  • Abstracts
  • Critical review from colleagues
4:45 pm Wrap-Up and General Discussion
5 pm Adjourn


robertson_2John D. Robertson, Ph.D.

Associate Member, Grant Writers’ Seminars and Workshops, LLC

Dr. Robertson received his doctoral degree in 1999 from The University of Texas at Austin in pharmacology and toxicology. From 1999-2003 he served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. He then went to the University of Kansas Medical Center where he was a faculty member in the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics for seven years, and an associate member of the University of Kansas Cancer Center for six years. In 2010 he was recruited to teach grantsmanship by Grant Writers’ Seminars and Workshops.

Dr. Robertson has been the recipient of competitive extramural funding from the NIH and non-federal sources. He has authored 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and three book chapters. He’s been a member of grant review panels, a reviewer for biomedical journals, and served on editorial boards. While at KU Med he also served as a mentor to grant applicants who were subsequently successful in meriting their own NIH funding, and he was routinely recognized for excellence in teaching.

Dr. Robertson indicated he has no financial relationships to disclose relevant to the content of this CME activity.


The DMU Office of Research is pleased to offer a second grant writing workshop. Write Winning Grant Proposals is designed to help both basic scientists and clinical investigators convey their ideas convincingly so proposals will be favorably reviewed and funded. This workshop addresses both practical and conceptual aspects that are important to the proposal-writing process.  It is designed for faculty members and administrative staff who have had some exposure to writing grant applications, either through training/mentoring or personal experience.

The program has been designed to meet the needs of DMU, i.e., to emphasize the granting agencies that are of greatest interest to its members, including federal, private, and/or industrial sources.  Emphasis has been given to such things as idea development, identification of the most appropriate granting agency, how to write for reviewers, and tips and strategies that are of proven value in presenting an applicant’s case to reviewers. 

Participants will be taught to organize their presentations into a linear progression of logic, which leads reviewers through their applications. It is stressed that applicants are writing for two different audiences – the assigned reviewers, who have read the application in its entirety, and those who have read little, if anything, before the review meeting.  Strategies designed to develop advocacy and a fundable priority score from both audiences will be presented. Discussion periods, practical exercises, and an extensive handout ensure that there is maximal gain from the program.


Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Formulate a focused research plan that incorporates well-formulated hypotheses, rationale, specific objectives and long-range research goals and justify a budget for the proposed research activities
  • Maximize the use of existing resources in the development of a sound research plan
  • Identify potential funding sources to provide support for planned research activities
  • Organize and present a sound research plan that accurately reflects the ideas and directions of the proposed research activities
  • Describe how grant applications are reviewed, including who is involved in the review, so researchers present their ideas to the granting agency in a reviewer-friendly, maximally effective way
  • Comprehend the peer-review process in proposal evaluation and how to formulate a grant application that is maximally compatible with that process
  • List the reasons grant applications fail
  • Identify the basics of research grant applications: funding sources, grant construction, and successful submission to funding agencies
  • Describe ways to write a clear and logical grant proposal
  • Assess the NIH peer review process
  • Analyze reviewers’ comments and critiques


Continuing Education

MD: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with ACCME® Essential Areas and Elements and IMSLogoIowa Medical Society (IMS) policies. Des Moines University (DMU) is accredited by the IMS to provide continuing medical education for physicians. DMU designates this live activity for a maximum of 8.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

DO: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the essential areas and policies of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). Des Moines University is accredited by the AOA and approves this live activity for a maximum of 8.0 hours of AOA Category 2-A CME credits.

DPM: Des Moines University is approved by the Council of Podiatric Medical Education as a sponsor of continuing education in podiatric medicine. Des Moines University has approved this activity for a maximum of 8.0 continuing education contact hours.

Nursing: Des Moines University Continuing Medical Education is Iowa Board of Nursing approved provider #112. This live activity has been reviewed and approved for 9.6 continuing education contact hours. No partial credit awarded.

Other: This live activity is designated for 8.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.

Commercial Support

Educational grants from commercial interests were not received for this activity.

Disclosure statement

The information provided at this  activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. DMU CME adheres to ACCME Standards regarding industry support of continuing medical education. Disclosure of faculty and commercial sponsor relationships (if any) will be made known at the activity.

Des Moines University (DMU) prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preference. The University also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to University facilities. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend DMU sponsored activities. If you have questions/concerns, please contact the DMU CME office at 515-271-1596 or cme@dmu.edu.