Program Details

Proposal Writing Program: Writing Successful Grant Proposals

Effective grant proposal writing begins here. Maybe you have had difficulty in the past getting funding for your research. Maybe you have yet to write any at all. It is a difficult – and vital – aspect of success within STEM fields, and experts at AAAS have first-hand, in-depth knowledge of common pitfalls and weaknesses seen by many reviewers, and how to avoid rejection before a proposal is sent to review.

AAAS has created this program with the express purpose of helping participants develop strategies for effectively communicating their goals and how they plan to achieve them. Specific funding opportunities and major grant organizations will also be covered through our new Best Practices for NSF Grant Proposals and Best Practices for Writing NIH Grant proposal courses. Learn how to interact with NSF divisions, directorates and program officers, become fluent in NIH’s organization and structure, and understand both NSF’s and NIH merit review processes and review criteria.

This program will help students learn how to:

  • Gain knowledge in writing strong, competitive grant proposals
  • Navigate NSF’s organizational structure and governance
  • Understand the organization of NIH and the proposal review process
  • Understand the five standard review criteria and NIH specific aims
  • Place research goals in the context of funding agency priorities and intentions
  • Learn the types of funding and how to locate funding opportunities
  • Understand what research ethics encompasses
  • Learn what to do when you discover ethical misconduct

The Program includes the following components:

Five Courses:

  • Avoiding Common Errors in Proposal Writing
  • Best Practices for Writing NSF Grant Proposals
  • Best Practices for Writing NIH Grant Proposals
  • Overview of Ethics in Scientific Research
  • Broader Impacts for NSF Proposals

Quiz: Comprehensive Quiz and Program Completion Certificate

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Course Authors

Instructor: Charles Dunlap, Program Director, AAAS

Dr. Dunlap has worked for nearly two decades leading the design and implementation of programs to strengthen and support research competitiveness in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the United States and 23 countries. His work includes designing and leading career skills competitiveness workshops for more than 4,200 scientists, engineers, and their graduate students in 17 countries. He received his Ph.D. in geology/geochemistry in 1996 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he received a U.C. Regents Graduate Fellowship and an IGPP Fellowship for research at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Instructor: Shaaretha Pelly, Senior Program Associate, AAAS

Shaaretha Pelly works with the Research Competitiveness Program at AAAS. She provides guidance to government, state, university and research agencies in building scientific and research capacity, largely through peer review. This involves providing advice on funding announcements, analyzing proposals for scientific content, assembling scientific review panels, and managing the independent peer review process and development of consensus. She has facilitated the peer-review process for multiple state-funded grant competitions with diverse funding objectives, and taught workshops on proposal writing to researchers. Prior to joining AAAS, Shaaretha was a science officer at Johns Hopkins University, where she wrote and managed NIH grants and awards at a center.

Instructor: Michael Kalichman, Founding Director, UC San Diego Research Ethics Program

Dr. Kalichman is the founding director of the UC San Diego Research Ethics Program. Since 1988, he has taught multiple seminars and courses to help UCSD Training Grant Program Directors comply with NIH requirements for training in the responsible conduct of research.  Dr. Kalichman has been a consultant or speaker on the topic of research ethics for both national and international workshops and advisory groups, including panels and conferences for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Academy of Sciences, National Institutes of Health and the Office of Research Integrity. With Francis Macrina of Virginia Commonwealth University, he has taught numerous courses for instructors of research ethics courses.  He is project director for a web-based resource for instructors of courses in the responsible conduct of research and directs NIH-funded projects to assess the effectiveness of teaching research ethics and the standards of conduct in research.  Dr. Kalichman is also the founding and past president for the Responsible Conduct of Research Education Consortium (RCREC), which is now part of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.  He is a co-founder and co-director of the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology for the San Diego region and founding director of the San Diego Research Ethics Consortium.

Instructor: Susan Renoe, Director, University of Missouri

Dr. Susan Renoe is Director of the Broader Impacts Network at the University of Missouri and Principal Investigator of the NSF-funded National Alliance for Broader Impacts. She received her BA and MA in Anthropology and her PhD in Education. Before beginning her work with the Broader Impacts Network, Dr. Renoe served as the Assistant Director of the MU Office of Undergraduate Research and served as program coordinator for the Exposure to Research for Science Students (EXPRESS) Program, which provides laboratory experiences for underrepresented groups in the life sciences.

Program Overview

Duration: 5 hours


  • Five core courses
  • Broader Impacts Guidesheet


Comprehensive quiz


  • Certificate of completion
  • Earn up to 5 PDHs

$199 for Members!



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