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Newsletter | South Central MIRECC

Summer 2018, Volume 20, Issue 4 - In this Issue

2018 VA Operational Plan
2018 Grant Writing Scholars Evaluation Results
2018 TRIPS Awardees

Research to Practice: Incorporating Emotion-Regulation Skills in Couple- and Family-based PTSD Treatment
Recent Publications
Pilot Study Research Program Applications Due October 1
MIRECC Implementation, Design and Analysis Support Available for MIRECC Affiliates

2018 Grant Writing Scholars Evaluation Results

Collage of pictures from GWS

Top: Scholars and Leaders of the 2018 Grant Writing Scholars Workshop. Bottom left: Drs. Michael Cucciare and Geoff Curran listen as scholars introduce themselves. Bottom right: Drs. Michael Cucciare and Ellen Fischer share a laugh as Dr. Geoff Curran tells a joke during his lecture.

By Dr. Michael A. Cucciare, Associate Director for Research Training and Ashley McDaniel

In February, the 2018 class of SC MIRECC Grant Writing Scholars (GWS) participated in a grant writing workshop in Little Rock. The GWS program provides investigators with individual mentoring and didactic training in successful grant writing. The program prepares scholars for submitting grants to funding agencies such as SC MIRECC, VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Scholars from Jackson, New Orleans, and Houston participated in-person and virtually from meeting rooms in Houston, Jackson, and New Orleans.

Dr. Michael Cucciare, the SC MIRECC Associate Director for Research Training, directs the GWS program. Drs. Geoffrey Curran and Ellen Fischer led the workshop. Dr. Curran is the Director of the UAMS Center for Implementation Research, a Senior Research Health Scientist at the North Little Rock HSR&D Center of Innovation, and a SC MIRECC Affiliate. Dr. Fischer is the SC MIRECC Assistant Director for Research and a Senior Research Health Scientist at the HSR&D COIN.

Members of the 2018 GSW class are:

  • Muhammad Rais Baig, MD
  • Lisa-Ann Cuccurullo, PsyD
  • Srivalli Ganne, MD
  • Julianna Hogan, PhD
  • Joanna Lamkin, PhD
  • Amanda Raines, PhD
  • Korak Sarkar, MD
  • Elyse Thakur, PhD

Scholars submitted draft grant proposals ahead of the February workshop. They received feedback on their grants and one-on-one mentoring from senior VA researchers, including:

  • Jeffrey Cully, PhD
  • Karen Drummond, PhD
  • Ellen Fischer, PhD
  • Laurel Franklin, PhD
  • Teresa Hudson, PharmD, PhD
  • Natalie Hundt, PhD
  • Michael Kauth, PhD
  • JoAnn Kirchner, MD
  • Mark E. Kunik, MD
  • Sara Landes, PhD
  • Rick Owen, MD
  • Prasad Padala, MD
  • Jeffrey Pyne, MD
  • Melinda Stanley, PhD

Scholars completed a program evaluation at the end of GWS workshop. Here is a summary of the results:

Program Evaluation  Average (1-10) 
I can describe characteristics of well-written grant proposals  9.13
I recognize areas of improvement in grant proposals  9.38
I found writing a draft proposal for review motivating  8.63
I found writing a draft proposal for review useful  9.25
I found the provided book on successful grant writing motivating  7.38
I found the provided book on successful grant writing useful  8.25
I found receiving reviewer comments on my draft proposal motivating  9.57
I found receiving reviewer comments on my draft proposal useful  9.71
I found discussing comments with reviewer motivating  9.57
I found discussing comments with reviewer useful 9.57
I found the Little Rock presentation motivating 9.88
I found the Little Rock presentation useful 9.88

Scholars also provided feedback about using what they learned in the program and improving the program for future scholars. Below are a few responses:

To what extent will the GWS help you prepare future grant proposals:

  • This program was very useful in providing general information about the "do's and don'ts" of grant proposals and provided an excellent opportunity to get focused feedback from grant reviewers prior to submitting a proposal. It will help me address major concerns, and hone in on how to best articulate my idea. It will also help me identify how to best organize my material in a more effective way.
  • This was a great program which explicitly laid down the fundamentals of grant writing with actionable interventions.

Briefly describe most helpful aspects of the GWS:

  • Discussion with experts, direct phone meeting with reviewer, writing a proposal (full scale), and meet[ing] with peers at similar juncture in their career and discuss[ing] their experiences.
  • I appreciated the breakdown of the different sections and the insights about what reviewers are looking for from specific sections.

Briefly describe the least helpful aspects of the GWS:

  • Not sure. I almost wish I'd had a sneak peek of the seminar content before putting my draft together.
  • The models, conceptual and theoretical,...[were] difficult for me to grasp. More information/time on that subject would be helpful.

How we can improve future programs:

  • Include more examples of varying quality of different components of grant proposal, and have discussions on why is one style better than other in communicating the meaning.
  • I think it would be nice to have a second review w[ith] the readers after the meeting day. I know that my document will look much different after today.

After the workshop, scholars returned home to further refine their grant proposals. Scholars will submit their final proposals to a variety of funding agencies, including HSR&D, VISN 16, and SC MIRECC throughout the summer. Visit our website for more information about GWS.

GWS participants
Clockwise from top left: Drs. Muhammad Rais Baig, Julianna Hogan, Amanda Raines, Lisa-Ann Cuccurullo, Joanna Lamkin, Korak Sarkar, Srivalli Ganne, and Elyse Thakur.


Last updated: December 15, 2020