Grantsmanship with a Pro

Writing a successful grant proposal for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) hasn’t gotten any easier – but the process is a whole lot more transparent than it used to be, says Rebecca German, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and neurobiology. From writing proposals resulting in over 30 years of NIH  funding for her own research  and as a reviewer of grants (officially termed a member of a study section) submitted by young and experienced researchers, she understands what reviewers are looking for.

Honored with the NEOMED Faculty Research Award in 2018, Dr. German is a mentor to younger researchers at the University. She has been sharing her expertise at a series of events on grant proposal writing at NEOMED, most recently at a session March 19.   

Page limits are your friends!

Dr. German’s trademark directness helps to cut through the morass of words and abbreviations that you’ll not find anywhere but in a grant application.

When the NIH says to write exactly one page, do not write one page and one line, or you will incur their wrath, Dr. German said – not exactly in those words.

Dr. German said she has never mentored anybody who did not complain about the page limits on grant applications, but “Page limits are your friends!”  (Write that in big block letters and post it over your computer, she added.)

Why? The parameters help researchers determine the right amount of information at the right level of detail.

More information

Watch The Pulse for announcements of upcoming sessions. For a handout from the March 19 session, contact Rebecca Hayes,

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