I just had an interaction that typifies my five years of experience working with people on getting grants funded. It was with someone who has the belief that if he just gets “one more piece of essential information about how to write a great proposal” that his grant success will suddenly turn around. While I’ve had a lot of stunning successes – the latest being a client who’d never had NIH funding before just getting notice of his R01 being funded ...(read more)



A few days ago, I got this email:


The very same day, I got an email from someone else, which I’ve excerpted parts of here

“I been a virtual attendee for a number of your past webinars, and have appreciated the insights you’ve shared. I have been looking for success in a new research area, and it has been elusive because it is novel, innovative and pushes the envelope…

“So, I did the best I could to incorporate your themes and messages and recently ...(read more)

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Should I self-publish my work? This is a question many academics and authors ask themselves these days. I had a discussion the other day on Facebook that started with this question, related to my upcoming book, Create or Die.

Let me first explain my own rationale, then get back to the topic of blowhards and peer review.

In 2010, I self-published Four Steps to Funding as a little book to share a framework for grant writing that I’d developed from my experiences ...(read more)



So I have it on reasonable authority that the pay line at the NSF/MCB is hovering at around the 10% mark (May, 2013). This is in contrast to their usual pay line, closer to high teens.

In a few areas at NIH, the paylines have dipped to around 6%.

Is it time for NIH and NSF to implement a pre-proposal mechanism (like the DOE already uses)?

When pay lines are so low, it is a big waste of time for everyone involved to ...(read more)



For years I’ve been teaching that grants aren’t a lottery. I’ve been teaching that if you write a sufficiently good grant, you can skew the odds enough in your favor to have a good chance of success. I’ve taught that because I’ve seen some people use the “grants as a lottery” attitude as a motivator to write a whole bunch of not-well-planned grants, submitting them almost willy nilly to “improve the odds.” This clogs the system, and rarely ...(read more)