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Health Sciences Grant Writing Course (GWC)

An intensive, in-person course for HS junior faculty

​The goal of UC San Diego Health Sciences Grant Writing Course (GWC) is to enhance junior faculty skills in NIH grantsmanship. Junior faculty will participate in a 9-week course based on structured formative assessment using The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook (NIH version) and develop a complete draft of an NIH grant proposal. The course is taught by experienced senior faculty and meets once per week.


  • Salaried faculty >50%
  • Writing K or R mechanism, or equivalent (i.e., Foundation grant)
  • Assistant Professor preferred
  • Never awarded R01
  • Actively engaged in research and, by the start of the course, able to draft a Specific Aims page

Please note: due to high demand, you may only take GWC once

In addition to the weekly sessions, the participants will complete homework assignments, participate in peer-to-peer group discussion, and meet with a content expert mentor of their choice for guidance. Content expert reviewers are identified by the junior faculty and can be internal or external to UC San Diego. Final grant proposals are reviewed by a mock study section comprised of senior professors in Health Sciences. Interested departments/divisions should identify senior faculty to participate as course instructors and facilitate GWC adoption within their units. The course is offered annually.

Submit a GWC Interest Form

GWC Curriculum

​​Class 1
Proposal topic
Hypothesis generation
Proposal Outline
Read NIH Grant Application Writer's Workbook Chapters 1-4, 6
​Class 2
​Specific Aims
Read Chapter 7-8
​Class 3
​Specific Aims
Significance & Innovation
Rigor & Reproducibility
​Read Chapter 9-10
​Class 4
​Significance & Innovation
​Read Chapter 11
​Class 5
Outcomes, Pitfalls  

​Class 6
Title, Narrative, Summary, Abstract
Read Chapter 18-19
​Class 7​BioSketch, Coverletter, Facilities, Equipment, Authentication, Human Subjects, Animals, Budget, Resource Sharing Plan
​Read Chapters 12-13, 15-17, 20
​Class 8​Mock Study Session​Final Proposals Due
​Class 9
Critique Review
​Read Chapter 5

This program and program material is supported by the Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences. 

Faculty Director:
JoAnn Trejo, PhD

Faculty Facilitators:
(GWC Cohort 1)
Tina Chambers, PhD
Andrea LaCroix, PhD
Davey Smith, MD

(GWC Cohort 2) 
Adriana Tremoulet, MD
Seema Aceves, MD PhD
Colin Depp, PhD

(GWC Cohort 3) 
Judith Varner, PhD
Robert Hevner, MD PhD
Emily Wang, PhD    Dong-Er Zhang, PhD

“The Grant Writing Course was focused and appropriately paced for a diverse group of junior faculty in basic science and clinical research fields… I look forward to this course becoming an essential part of training for all fellows and junior faculty across Health Sciences.”  -- Tina Chambers, PhD

“I loved the intensive structure of the course that allowed us to dig deep in how best to present ideas in the NIH grant form.” -- Davey Smith, MD