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Scientific Communication and Grant Writing

Course Numbers:  BCOR - 5570, OCMB 8500, MEVS 5300, and CZMT 0688

A good proposal stems from a good concept. This course is designed to provide tools, resources, and approaches to improve a student's ability to write in a scientifically precise and accurate manner and to interrelate complex conceptual issues in a coherent manner. The skills acquired while learning to write a grant proposal are very similar to the skills needed to write a project plan or scientific paper. Thus, by building grant-writing skills, general scientific writing skills are improved in equal measure. This course is an intensive introduction of how to prepare,write, edit, and review a standard grant proposal.

Proposal writing is essential in the competitive scientific job market, but it can be intimidating for the novice. There is nothing worse than staring at a blank piece of paper or computer screen with the sinking feeling that so much is riding on the prose you must create. This course will provide the tools and procedures to write and submit a competitive grant proposal.

Participants in this course will be expected to be motivated and willing to improve their written and verbal communication skills. There will be an abundant writing load and outside class assignments.

Learning Objectives

Participants in this course will be expected to write a grant proposal in their field of interest as a class project. The following topic areas will be presented and developed:

  • how to identify viable research topics
  • how to assemble relevant information and data into an outline
  • identifying funding sources
  • writing abstracts and summaries
  • identifying funding sources
  • writing abstracts and summaries
  • different writing styles for various audiences
  • targeting proposals to specific funding agencies
  • editing and reviewing for scientific content
  • improving both oral and written presentations of research projects
  • understanding the peer review process, role-playing

Winter 2014 Syllabus

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