Building a Competitive Research Program

This two part webinar series walks you through building a competitive research program for NIH funding. Our expert panel includes invididuals with decades of experience as program officers and serving as NIH reviewers.

Click on the following titles to access the event recordings for the Building a Competitive Research Program: What They Never Told You but Really Need to Know webinar series.

Part A: Understanding the grant application process: From Idea to Submission

In this webinar, strategies for early career researchers to build a competitive research program will be presented. A framework for a research program development plan for building your research ideas into successful grant applications will be discussed. Based on your level of experience, research infrastructure and resources, there are many tools and strategies for successful research career development. Federal funding opportunities from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be highlighted as a model for successful grant writing across various levels of career development and institutional/organizational settings. Dr. Cheryl Anne Boyce will lead the webinar and has over fifteen years of experience as a federal project officer at the NIH. The webinar will also include a discussion panel of experienced federal staff from various agencies and including those who oversee research grant program areas, grant reviews and budget management.

Part B: Understanding Grant Review, Resubmission and Implementing Your Grant

The process of grant review will be explained in this webinar to unlock the myths about how scientific review groups yield priority scores and comments. Although, it is not uncommon that a grant has to be resubmitted based on the feedback from scientific reviewers, recent data suggest that new investigators from underrepresented groups may not resubmit to NIH at the same rates of other groups (Ginther et al, 2011). The strategies for addressing resubmission of a grant will be outlined. Managing the successful implementation of your grant project aims and achieving successful progress will also be discussed.


Cheryl Ann Boyce, PhD
Cheryl Anne Boyce, PhD, is the Chief of the Behavioral and Brain Development Branch and Associate Director for Child and Adolescent Research within the Division of Clinical Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Dr. Boyce has over fifteen years of experience as a federal project officer at the NIH and will lead the webinar.

LeShawndra Price, PhD
LeShawndra Price, PhD, serves as the Program Official for the Research Scientist Development Program and the Minority Research Infrastructure Support Program at NIMH.

Karen Gavin-Evans, PhD
Karen Gavin-Evans, PhD, is a Scientific Review Officer in the Division of Extramural Activities at the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Gavin-Evans is responsible for organizing and moderating scientific panel review meetings for the NIMH.

Karen Sirocco, PhD
Karen Sirroco, PhD is the Deputy Branch Chief and Program Official of the Behavioral and Brain Development Branch National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Sirocco came to NIDA from the National Institute of Health (NIH), Center for Scientific Review (CSR). She has spent the last 25 years working at various Institutes and Centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health.

“How to write a successful research grant application: A guide for social and behavioral scientists (2nd edition)” (Pequegnat, Stover, & Boyce, 2011;

NIH Grant Writing Tips:

NIH Grants on YouTube: