In conjunction with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) Office for Faculty Affairs and Development, the UW Department of Medicine is partnering with Grant Writers’ Seminars and Workshops (GWSW) to provide virtual seminars on grant writing. 

The seminar is held the second Thursday and Friday of February. The topic alternates each year:

  1. Early Career Grant Writing
  2. Write Winning NIH Grant Proposals

If you have questions about either offering, please contact Monica Jefcoat, office manager for the DOM Office of Research Services, at

Write Winning NIH Grant Proposals

February 8 and 9, 2024
9:00 am to 12:30 pm

Focusing on NIH grants, this acclaimed two-day seminar addresses both practical and conceptual aspects that are important to the proposal-writing process. Professors, scientists, research administrators, fellows, students or others with grant writing exposure and are interested in NIH proposal submission will find it beneficial.

Topics and Agenda

  • Methods for idea generation and development
  • Identify appropriate granting agencies
  • Write with a linear progression of logic for both assigned and non-assigned reviewers
  • How to merit a fundable priority score

View the 2024 agenda.


Now open. Registration closes at 11:59 pm on January 12, 2024.


The seminar and lecture handout are at no cost to all participants and the required textbook is at no cost to SMPH faculty. Faculty who are not part of SMPH and all non-faculty who didn’t attend the February 2023 “Early Career Grant Writing” seminar or did not receive a new textbook then will be assessed a $100 fee that covers the required newest edition textbook and direct shipping fees.

If applicable, a funding string for the nonrefundable textbook fee must be provided when registering following this format: Dept ID (6 digits); Program (1 digit); Fund (3 digits); Project Number (7 characters)

What Past Participants Say

“Very informative. Provided a great detailed description on how to write a proposal. I became very enthusiastic about working on my grant proposal.”

“Incredibly detailed, thorough consideration of strategies and best practices for writing successful NIH grant proposals. I definitely will be referring to these slides and the handbook as I craft a current application, and likely future ones as well.”

“The presentation and the material provided were helpful and increased my knowledge of grant writing.”

"This was an amazing seminar. Extremely useful and comprehensive. Dr. Robertson is a very effective speaker, spoke and presented the material at the perfect pace, and was very inviting and willing to take and answer questions."

"Very helpful points were provided. [The presenter] motivated me to work hard and put my passion for research into writing the grant and enjoying the process…I have a lot of experience with writing grants and this seminar will improve my skills for sure."

Early Career Grant Writing

February 13 and 14, 2025
9:00 am to 12:30 pm

This seminar is designed to demystify the National Institutes of Health (NIH) K and, to a lesser extent, F32 grant writing process for early-career faculty, researchers/scientists (MD/PhD level), research administrators, postdocs primarily involved in research-oriented study, and fellows on T32s or in the Physician-Scientist Training Program (PSTP).

Topics and Agenda

  • How the partnership between applicant, mentor and institution leads to funding and protected time for research training/career development
  • Identifying appropriate proposal types
  • Using review criteria to inform your grant application
  • Understanding the kinds of training and research to propose
  • Establishing and getting the most from your mentoring team
  • Preparing the Candidate and Research Plan sections
  • Obtaining reference letters
  • Tips and content ideas for Statements of Mentors and Co-Mentors

View the agenda from 2023.


Coming in November 2024.

What Past Participants Say

"The book provided is FANTASTIC. The best one that I have seen. Really appreciate the step by step, practical advice for things that other grant-writing groups gloss over (e.g. picking a title)."

"Absolutely outstanding presenter and seminar."

"Highly useful content and that was well presented. Having examples of components of a completed application is particularly helpful."

"Seminar was well done. Lots of great information, the format of the presentation was great. Tools provided were helpful."

"Thoroughly enjoyed the seminar! I had a course during my PhD program that followed a previous version of this book so some large percentage of this was familiar, but the review was appreciated—especially happy to have received updated info. I feel far more prepared to submit a successful grant application today than I did before this seminar."

About the Presenter

Dr. John Robertson is the managing member of GWSW. He holds a PhD in pharmacology/toxicology and has been the recipient of competitive extramural funding from both the NIH and non-federal sources. He has presented more than 400 grant proposal writing trainings and consulted on over 750 grant applications since joining GWSW, authored 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and three book chapters, served on editorial boards and grant review panels, and is routinely recognized for excellence in teaching.

John D. Robertson, PhD