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Norris Cotton Cancer Center
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A Seminar Series by Christopher Dant, PhD

In addition to being available on demand in recorded format below, these seminars are also offered live periodically. Check our Calendar of Events for upcoming offerings, or contact Andrea L. Tillotson at (603) 653-3626 for more information.

For information about obtaining copies of these presentations, contact Christopher Dant.

The A to Z of Research (R) Grants - What You Need to Know Before Writing Your R Grant

57 minutes. Originally presented on May 19, 2015

Watch "The A to Z of Research Grants"

Speakers: Audrey Steeter, CPC, Grant/Budget Administrator, Norris Cotton Cancer Center; and Heather Arnold, M.Ed, Assistant Director, Office of Sponsored Projects, Geisel School of Medicine

For especially new and early-stage PIs and Postdocs! In this 1-hour seminar, two experienced Grant Managers at Dartmouth will tell you everything that goes into an Research (or R) grant--what documents you need for a typical R01, R21, and R03 grant, section by section. In particular, we will examine the forms required for the NIH, the format for each, and briefly discuss budgets. Discussion will include how the new upgrade of Rapport will be used for all grant applications and what this means to the PI and Grant administrators. This class is a MUST for anyone preparing an R grant!

The New NIH Biosketch Format

59 minutes. Originally presented on April 15, 2015.

Watch "The New NIH Biosketch Format"

Speaker: Christopher Dant, PhD, Faculty Instructor, Norris Cotton Cancer Center

NIH and ARHQ research grant applications due on or after May 25, 2015 must use the new NIH Biosketch format. In this 1-hour seminar, we will examine the new format in detail, including:

  • An overview of the new Biosketch format changes, including how to describe and frame significance of the researcher’s accomplishments, discoveries, and contributions.
  • How the new structure allow both early-stage and established PIs to better highlight their research accomplishments in a way that help Peer Reviewers evaluate your background and experience, and highlight why you and your team have the unique experience to carry out the research successfully.

Writing a winning NIH grant proposal

59 minutes. Originally presented on April 15, 2013.

Watch "Writing a winning NIH grant proposal"

Speaker: Christopher Dant, PhD; Faculty Instructor, Norris Cotton Cancer Center

With flatlined budgets and increasing restrictions on federal spending, winning an NIH grant is harder than it has been in the past. Writing a competitive and winning grant proposal requires that investigators produce a highly polished, cohesive grant that really knocks it out of the park for its significance, innovation, and approach while showing that it will have a major impact on their field. Many investigators, especially new investigators, don't know how to do this or understand what pitfalls to avoid. In this seminar, we will present a systematic approach to writing a winning grant by explaining what NIH expects to see in the research/R grant. We will show some common mistakes investigators often make in writing their grant that causes it to immediately fail. We will discuss the optimum grant organization, aesthetics, and aspects of writing that are vital to a competitive presentation. We present advise on grant writing that is taken from the NIH as well as from faculty who have written successful grants and served as peer reviewers. To be competitive today, new and inexperienced grant writers must learn the essentials of strong grantsmanship that is rarely taught today in academia. This seminar will apply to anyone writing a proposal to NIH, NSF, or a nonfederal medical foundation and is open to graduate students, postdocs, and basic/clinical researcher investigators.

The Biomedical Manuscript: Strategies for Getting Your Paper in Print from the Journal Editor's and the Writer's Perspectives

121 minutes. Originally presented on May 13, 2011.

Watch "The Biomedical Manuscript: Strategies for Getting Your Paper in Print from the Journal Editor's and the Writer's Perspectives"

Speakers: Harold Sox, MD; Former Editor, Annals Internal Medicine; Professor of Medicine, Dartmouth; and Christopher Dant, PhD; Faculty Instructor, Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Dr. Harold Sox, the former Medical Editor of Annals Internal Medicine, one of the most prestigious and cited medical journals in the world, joins Dr. Christopher Dant, a former investigator, writer, and editor, to examine the essentials of creating the peer-reviewed biomedical manuscript from the point of view of the journal editor and the writer.

Writing the Biomedical Manuscript: A Systematic Approach

46 minutes. Originally presented on September 2, 2009.

Watch "Writing the Biomedical Manuscript: A Systematic Approach"

In this seminar, we examine the essentials of creating the peer-reviewed biomedical manuscript from the point of view of the journal editor. We look at what constitutes a good and bad manuscript and how scientists and physicians can improve their manuscript-construction skills. We also examine several aspects of English usage and abusage.

Writing the New NIH Research Grant: A Systematic Approach

76 minutes. Originally presented on March 8, 2010.

Watch "Writing the New NIH Research Grant: A Systematic Approach"

In September 2009, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released the new "Enhancing Peer Review" guidelines for research grant structure and content. Beginning in 2010, most R, K, and F grant types must be restructured to fit within half the space previously allotted for the research plan. While streamlining peer review, the newly redesigned grant structure requires a different approach to grant writing. In this seminar, we explore the NIH research grant with its restructured content, and present a strategy for writing the grant. We specifically dissect the new research section and discuss many common mistakes investigators make in writing this section of the grant. We also address grant organization, aesthetics, and aspects of language and writing important to presentation. Overall, we present a strategy of grant writing that will improve investigator grantsmanship.

Basics of Clear Writing

86 minutes. Originally presented February 23, 2010.

Watch "Basics of Clear Writing"

Many scientists struggle with their writing. Learning to write clearly is one of the most important aspects of a scientist's career and yet research shows that many manuscripts and grants are unsuccessful partly because of a lack of clarity. In this 1.5-hour seminar, we will examine the basis for unclear writing and offer ways scientists can improve their writing.

Communicating Your Science to Your Peers

67 minutes. Originally presented April 19, 2010.

Watch "Communicating Your Science to Your Peers"

Key communications from scientist include not only grants and manuscripts, but powerpoint presentations. At all levels, scientists must learn how to prepare their presentations and deliver them at major medical congresses and within their own instutions. Some of these presentations are poorly designed and delivered, and the key scientific messages get lost or are misunderstood. This is like a poorly written paper or grant, but a poorly delivered talk also reflects poorly on the presenter. In this one-hour seminar, we will examine the key elements in how to best prepare scientific content as well as optimize design and delivery for clear communion to your audience. We will also examine posters—how to best design and deliver them.

Writing the NIH Career Award for Success

4 hours, presented July 24, 2012 by Christopher Dant, PhD

Watch NIH Career Awards

Career Development Awards (K awards) are one of the most successful NIH programs that have helped launched many productive investigator careers. Over the past 5 years, K award funding has steadily increased NIH-wide, and in 2011, overall K award success rates were 35% across all institutes. However, many investigators often miss funding opportunities because they are not aware of the kinds of career awards available to them and what's expected of the trainee in securing an award. In this 4-hour seminar, Dr. Christopher Dant examines different NIH training and career development programs, discuss what programs are tailored to specific individuals during their career, and provide an overview of how to write a competitive K award. Presenting will be five K award holders representing a K01, K08, K23, K07, and K99/R00—they tell what went into their application and some application tips. Also presenting is an NIH Peer Reviewer, Dr. Jack Hoopes, who has reviewed hundreds of K and T applications at the NIH.