The C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR) proudly hosted Carmen Sato-Bigbee, Ph.D., associate professor for the VCU Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, and NIH NRSA Fellowship reviewer, who recently led an informal discussion on submitting Individual Research Fellowships (F) grant applications.
The event, titled “F Grant F.A.Q.,” took place Tuesday, March 8 in the Richmond Academy of Medicine’s main conference room. With over nine years experience as an F grant reviewer, Sato-Bigbee spoke to a room full of mixed-level students on the importance of identifying relevant sponsors, collaborators and consultants, and indicating clear career goals.
“Dr. Sato-Bigbee brings the reviewer perspective in order to demystify the F30/F31 grant application for the student,” said Teraya Donaldson, Ph.D., assistant director of education programs for the CCTR’s Education Core, who organized the event. “Tips from this perspective are extremely valuable in helping the student craft a stronger proposal.”
Sato-Bigbee not only gave the students the opportunity to hear from a grant reviewer’s perspective, but she also provided participants with copies of the very same forms used by reviewers during proposal evaluations.
“Each reviewer will read through one to two grant proposals a day, so it’s important to stand out and make it easier for them to select you,” said Sato-Bigbee to her student audience. “One way to do this is by telling the reviewer what to write. You already know what the score sheets ask, so make sure your answers tell the reviewer exactly what they need to know to give you good marks.”
The event was open to all students interested in submitting an F grant or currently in the writing process for one. Due to the informal nature of the discussion, students were encourage to bring in their own questions and receive answers tailored to their specific proposal or research area.
First image up top: Carmen Sato-Bigbee (far left), Ph.D., associate professor for the VCU Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology