Enhancing PI Knowledge About Grant Elements (EPIKAGE)

Applying for funding can be a complicated process given the ever-changing policy requirements and the ever-increasing number of required components in an application.

The goals of the Enhancing Principal Investigator Knowledge About Grant Elements (EPIKAGE) seminar series are to provide grantsmanship tips that are applicable to all applications as well as provide an overview of NIH grant opportunities that are specific to ESI faculty and trainees.

The info sessions will also cover best practices for working with your administrators and will guide participants to resources for preparing an application and managing an award. Each session is typically held once a year.

EPIKAGE Sessions

Event Description: “Writing Specific Aims” is held three times a year and designed for all researchers who plan to submit a K or R NIH grant in time for the three major NIH due date cycles (February, June, October). Applicants submitting resubmission applications (March, July, November) are also welcome to attend.

Please see the Writing Specific Aims Workshop page for more details. This event is co-hosted by the VP&S Office for Research and the CUIMC Office of Faculty Professional Development, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Event Description: This is Part I of a two part session. Do you ever wonder what happens to your application after you hit the submit button? This 1-hour info session will cover the NIH Review Process including application assignment, who reviews it and when, key players at NIH, and how your application is scored. The target audience for this session is ESI investigators but all are welcome to attend. 

Speaker: Daichi Shimbo, MD (Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean for Research Career Development)

To view slides and a video recording of the September 3rd, 2020 session, please visit the NIH Review Process Info Session page.

This info session will be held once a year in September and is co-hosted by the VP&S Office for Research and the CUIMC Office of Faculty Professional Development, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Event Description:  This is Part II of a two-part session. The first info session (NIH Review Process) described how the review process occurs but why do reviewers choose to score an application well? This moderated panel discussion will cover insights into what reviewers look for in a strong application and tips that make it easier for reviewers who scoring your grant.

Moderator: Daichi Shimbo, MD (Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean for Research Career Development)

Panelists:

  • Cory Abate-Shen, PhD (Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology)
  • Jeanine Genkinger, PhD (Associate Professor of Epidemiology)
  • Ian Kronish, MD (Florence Irving Associate Professor of Medicine)
  • Jonathan Javitch, MD, PhD (Lieber Professor of Experimental Therapeutics)
  • Steven Marx, MD (Herbert and Florence Irving Professor of Cardiology)

To view slides and a video recording of the September 9th, 2020 session, please visit the NIH Reviewer Panel Discussion page.

This info session will be held once a year in September and is co-hosted by the VP&S Office for Research and the CUIMC Office of Faculty Professional Development, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Event Description: The competitiveness of a grant application can be significantly improved through effective writing and presenting content in a way that is easily digestible for reviewers. This one-hour info session will explore the impact that word choice, word placement, sentence structure, and overall organization of a grant has on one’s ability to convey a message in a concise, clear and compelling manner. This session will also cover how to develop a “pitch” of the scientific problem and the proposed solution in order to demonstrate to reviewers why a project should be considered for funding.

Speaker: Mimi Shirasu-Hiza, PhD (Associate Professor of Genetics and Development)

Date: Thursday, October 29th, 2020 from 12 PM – 1 PM

To view slides and a video recording of the session, please visit the Grant Writing Tips webpage.

This info session will be held once a year in October.

Event Description: Part of a being a good mentor is assisting and supporting trainees as they navigate their careers. One aspect of this process is encouraging trainees to apply for their own funding to increase their competitiveness on the job market and for future grant opportunities. An added bonus for the mentor is that if funded, the award often covers the trainee’s salary and may come with additional research funds. This one-hour info session will explore the types of funding available to trainees (e.g., supplements, fellowships, career development awards etc.), at what point in the training period mentors should encourage trainees to apply, and what reviewers look for in a good mentor. This session is intended for junior faculty and other early stage investigators but all faculty are welcome to attend.

Date: Monday, December 14, 2020 from 1 - 2 PM

Speakers:

  • Daichi Shimbo, MD (Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean of Research Career Development)
  • Arthur Palmer, PhD (Robert Wood Johnson Jr. Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Associate Dean of VP&S Graduate Affairs)
  • Mimi Shirasu-Hiza, PhD (Associate Professor of Genetics and Development)
  • Anna Cetnerowski, MPA (Senior Director of Grants Management Service, VP&S Office for Research)

To view slides and a video recording of the session, please visit the How to Help Your Lab Members Obtain Funding webpage.

This event will be held yearly in the month of December.

Event Description: Are you a clinical fellow or junior faculty interested in positioning yourself to be a strong candidate for a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Career Development Award? This session will provide a guide to understanding the different NIH Career Development Awards, the review process, and the steps that one may take now for submitting a compelling application. 

Speaker: Daichi Shimbo, MD (Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean of Research Career Development)

Date: March 25, 2022 (11:00 AM to 12:30 PM)

To view slides and a video recording of the session, please visit the K Award Info Session for Clinicians webpage.

This info session will be held once a year in March.

Event Description: The Office for Research in the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons hosted a virtual info session for Early Stage Investigators (ESI) preparing applications for the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award (DP2) under RFA-RM-22-019 (submission date August 19th, 2022). The DP2 supports ESI of exceptional creativity who propose highly innovative research projects with the potential to produce a major impact on broad, important areas relevant to the mission of NIH. The info session covers what is required in the application, resources for assembling the application, and tips that we’ve learned from assisting previous applicants. Additionally, we will go over some examples of DP2 applications and review best practices that they exemplify.

Speakers:

  • Stefanie Makinson, PhD (Senior Grant and Research Development Associate)
  • Anna Cetnerowski, MPA (Senior Director of Grant Management Services)

Date: Friday, May 20th, 2022 from 12 PM – 1 PM (virtual)

This is followed by a DP2 Panel Discussion. This session is the second part of the two-part series and consists of a moderated panel discussion comprised of four faculty members who are either current DP2 awardees or DP2 reviewers. This panel discusses different strategies for preparing your proposal, including how to frame your science for this specialized proposal to underscore how it is distinct from an R01 and highlight its suitability for the DP2 award mechanism.

Panelists:

  • Marisa Spann, PhD - Associate Professor of Medical Psychology, formerly on DP2 review panel
  • Kelley Yan, MD - Warner-Lambert Assistant Professor of Medicine, Assistant Professor of Genetics and Development, funded DP2 applicant
  • Xuebing Wu, PhD - Assistant Professor of Medical Sciences, funded DP2 applicant
  • Samuel Sternberg, PhD - Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, funded DP2 applicant

Date: Friday, July 8th, 2022 from 11 AM – 12 PM (virtual)

To view slides and a video recording of these sessions, please visit the DP2 Info Session and Panel Discussion webpage.

This info session will be held once a year in the beginning of July.

Event Description: The Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons Office for Research will host a virtual info session for Early Stage Investigators (ESI) preparing applications for the NIGMS Maximizing Investigator’s Research Award for ESI (R35 for ESI) under PAR-20-117 (submission date 10/3/2022). For this particular funding opportunity, the MIRA R35 provides support for a program of research in an ESI’s laboratory that falls within the mission of NIGMS. It also provides flexibility from traditional R01s since it allows the ESI to move into research areas as opportunities arise rather than being bound by specific aims. The info session will cover what is required in the application, resources for assembling the application, and tips that we’ve learned from assisting previous ESI applicants. The last 30-minutes of the info session will be a panel discussion on what constitutes a strong application with current awardees.

Speaker and Moderator:

  • Stefanie Makinson, PhD (Senior Grant and Research Development Associate)

Panel of Awardees:

  • Eunhee Choi, PhD (Assistant Professor of Pathology & Cell Biology)
  • Chao Lu, PhD (Assistant Professor of Genetics and Development)

Date: Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022 from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (virtual)

To see a video and slides of the most recent session please go to the NIH R35 MIRA ESI Info Session page.

This info session will be held once a year in the beginning of August.

Event Description: Securing extramural funding is a primary goal for researchers, with most researchers obtaining funding from NIH. Program Officers (POs), also known as Program Directors (PDs) or Scientific/Research Contacts (SRCs), are key staff scientists at NIH who administer grant portfolios on behalf of their Institutes’ extramural programs, and they can help address questions related to scientific, funding, and programmatic matters. At multiple points in your career, you will be interacting with your PO(s) to obtain funding and report on the progress of your funding. Here, we provide an overview for how to find a PO whose portfolio is relevant to your work and tips for developing a professional relationship with the PO. We will host a moderated panel discussion comprised of senior VP&S faculty from a variety of disciplines and POs from multiple NIH Institutes/Centers who will share their perspectives on how to optimize the extramural scientist-PO relationship. This session is intended for junior faculty and other Early Stage Investigators (ESI), but all researchers are welcome to attend.

Moderator: Daichi Shimbo, MD (Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean of Research Career Development)

Panelists:

  • Michael Bender, PhD (PD with NIGMS)
  • Paula Einhorn, MD, MS (PO with NHLBI)
  • Timothy Gondre-Lewis, PhD (PO with NIAID)
  • Cory Abate-Shen, PhD (Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, funding from NCI)
  • Anthony Ferrante, MD, PhD (Professor of Preventative Medicine, funding from NIDDK)
  • Jennifer Manly, PhD (Professor of Neuropsychology in Neurology, funding from NIA)

This info session will be held at least once a year to provide guidance for our faculty and researchers. To review a recording of the info session and moderated panel discussion from August 11, 2021, please visit the Navigating Interactions with your Program Officer resource page

Event Description: NIH research project (R01) grants with “regular-sized” budgets are considered the bread-and-butter needed to sustain an individual laboratory. However, what do you apply for when you are ready for the next funding stage in your career? Complex grants consist of multiple projects and/or cores acting in synergy to answer a larger research objective and big R01s may request budgets over the $500k direct cost limit if scientifically justified, but how does one go about obtaining one? This session will demystify the application process for large and complex NIH grants (e.g., program project grant (PPG), center grant, above-the-cap R01 grants, etc.). In partnership with the Office of Faculty Professional Development, Diversity and Inclusion and the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, the VP&S Office for Research will host a moderated panel discussion comprised of senior VP&S faculty and Program Officers (PO) from multiple NIH Institutes who will share their perspectives on how best to secure these types of awards. This session is intended for mid-career investigators ready to take the next step in their careers, but all researchers are welcome to attend.

Moderator: Daichi Shimbo, MD (Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean of Research Career Development, Director of Irving Institute’s TRANSFORM (Training And Nurturing Scholars For Research that is Multidisciplinary)

Panelists:

  • Beth-Anne Sieber, PhD (PO with NINDS)
  • Halonna Kelly, PhD (PO with NIAID)
  • Cory Abate-Shen, PhD (Professor and Chair of Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Robert Sonneborn Professor of Medicine, funding from NCI)
  • Angela Christiano, PhD (Richard and Mildred Rhodebeck Professor of Dermatology, Professor of Genetics & Development, funding from NIAMS)
  • Ian Kronish, MD, MPH (Associate Professor of Medicine, funding from NHLBI and NIA)

To review a recording of the info session and moderated panel discussion from April 13, 2022, please visit the Demystifying Large and Complex Grants resource page.

Best Practices for Creating Medical and Scientific Illustrations


Join us for a workshop about ideas, opportunities, benefits, and techniques for creating scientific and medical visuals that have an impact.

Topics discussed will be:

  • Developing Scientific Figures & Journal Covers
  • The Medical-Science Illustrator, Client Relationship: Communication Strategies for Efficient Workflow
  • Working and Collaborating with a Medical illustrator

Followed by a Q&A session.

Open to Columbia faculty, graduate students, postdocs, and WeConnect communicators. 

The latest event was on August 11th, 2022. Please see the video on the Visualizing Science: Getting Under Your Skin resource page.

Event Description: The time to start planning for a competing renewal is on Day One of the award. Renewing an R01 or equivalent grant requires consideration of many details, such as productivity, projected budget, and research trajectory. In this interactive workshop, we will walk through the decision tree, writing the Progress Report, and other elements of NIH Type 2 (renewal) submissions. Because most proposals are more likely to succeed on resubmission than initial submission, we discuss how to respond to review and how to decide whether to resubmit or change.

This session is targeted for those have more than a year to write their competing renewal for an NIH R01 (or equivalent grant) and/or those interested in resubmitting a declined NIH proposal. Participants work through a “game plan” including plans for publication, preliminary data, and potential collaborations to advance the current project and prepare for competitiveness in renewal. Each participant will get a Handbook for Planning and Writing Successful Grant Proposals.

Speaker: Peg AtKisson, PhD (Founder and President AtKisson Training Group)

Date: Monday, September 12th, 2022 from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM (virtual)

Event Description:

Event Description: In this session, Dr. Shimbo walks participants through several summary statements from unsuccessful grants and discuss how to:

  1. Assess the critiques
  2. Create a plan to address comments
  3. Write a compelling introduction
  4. Update the application.

Speaker: Daichi Shimbo, MD (Professor of Medicine, Co-Director of the TRANSFORM in the Irving Institute, and Associate Dean of Research Career Development)

To review a recording of the session from September 22, 2022 as well as additional material, please visit the Applied Session for Resubmission Applications with Dr. Daichi Shimbo page.