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Grant Writing Resources


Federal and other extramural funding is becoming increasingly competitive. Any successful project requires planning, development, implementation, and follow-through. Obtaining funding for your research is no exception. The information below provides essential information and resources to help maximize your understanding of the grants process and help you submit a successful grant application.

Grant Writing Support

Blythe H. Devlin, PhD, provides overall guidance in format and organization as well as writing support for clarity of presentation to members of the Duke Department of Pediatrics. She also coordinates the internal peer reviews of grant applications. Blythe has a PhD in biology with experience in both basic and clinical research. Her contact information follows:

Blythe H. Devlin, PhD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Allergy and Immunology
Box 3352
T0903 Childrens Health Ctr
Durham, NC 27710
919.668.1546 (tel)
919.681.8676 (fax)

Internal Peer Reviews

To sustain and grow our existing research program, the Department of Pediatrics has implemented a set of intensive principles and processes for the internal peer review and submission of research grant applications including:

  • NIH R01 and K awards 
  • NIH R21, foundation grants, and smaller awards 

Read Concept Review Policy [PDF, 273KB], implemented July 24, 2013.

Grants Timeline

The Department of Pediatrics has developed the following general timelines to ensure submissions are complete and reviewed in a timely manner. The Department aims to submit the best possible proposals that have received internal review and comments prior to the first submission.

 R01 Resources

K Award Resources

Duke Resources

  • Path to Independence Program
    This program is designed to assist junior investigators in securing their first independent R01 funding. The program is coordinated by Mark Dewhirst, DVM, PhD, Associate Dean for Faculty Mentoring of the School of Medicine Office for Faculty Development. 
  • Statistical Support
    The Division of Quantitative Sciences in the Department of Pediatrics includes faculty with documented expertise in quantitative sciences such as biostatistics, epidemiology, econometrics, health services research, and pharmacology. These faculty members are board-certified pediatricians with clinical skills in diverse areas and have advanced degrees in quantitative methods. For additional information or to access resources within the Division, please contact P. Brian Smith, MD, MHS, Chief of the Division of Quantitative Sciences.
  • EndNote
    EndNote is powerful reference management software designed to keep track of citations and format bibliographies. Virginia (Ginger) Carden, MLS in the DUMC Library at or 919.660.1184 is an expert with EndNote. She can ensure you are using the latest version and provide additional information and support as needed.
  • Research Management Team [PDF, 406KB]
    The Duke Research Management Team provides expertise in study logistics, database creation, data management, regulatory oversight and guidance for research study operations. For additional information, please contact Denise Snyder, MS, RD, CSO, LDN, Director of Clinical Research Operations, Duke University School of Medicine.
  • Investigational Pharmacy [PDF, 370KB]
    The Investigational Pharmacy supports clinical drug trials throughout the Duke University Medical Center. The Investigational Pharmacy assures patient safety through adherence to protocol-specific drug treatment and monitoring parameters. Compliance with regulatory requirements for clinical drug trials is maintained through appropriate data collection and monitoring. An experienced staff provides expertise on drug study set-up and procedures, providing support from start-up to completion of the clinical trial. 
  • De-identification of Radiology Images
    The Multi-Dimensional Image Processing Laboratory provides the service of de-identification of medical imaging data for research protocols to comply with HIPAA requirements, Good Clinical Practice (GCP), and DICOM standards. If your research project requires sending imaging studies outside the institution (i.e., to a sponsor or an imaging CRO), please contact Scott White or Dan Leehr at:
  • Conducting Surveys
    The Qualtrics survey tool is available free for Duke users through a university-wide site license. Qualtrics users can send and track participation invitations and reminders; display survey results in real time, graphically and statistically; and export raw data in a variety of formats (to CSV, XML, HTML and SPSS, a popular statistical package available through OIT software license). If you need assistance logging in, sharing surveys, creating and managing groups, or changing survey ownership, please contact the OIT Service Desk at 919.684.2200.
  • Software Tutorials is a leading education provider whose online training library includes more than 73,000 videos in 1,291 + courses, with new titles added every week. Any Duke student, staff or faculty member can utilize these tutorials.
  • Community Health Involvement (Volunteers)
    Completion of the Community Health Activities Request Form and Community Health training modules covers volunteer work by Duke employees relative to health training or assessment under Duke liability.

NIH Resources

  • SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and Other PHS Agencies
    This page provides application guides for preparing electronic grant applications using the SF424 (R&R) application forms.
  • NIH Grant Writing Advice and Sample Applications (R01)
    This list of useful websites will help you plan, write, and apply for a research project grant.
  • Create a Cover Letter
    Your cover letter gives the NIH Center for Scientific Review key information such as your request of an institute and study section, the expertise needed to review your application, and a list of your competitors to exclude. Get advice about how to create a cover letter.
  • Guidelines for Reviewers (Center for Scientific Review)
    This resource informs reviewers of their roles in peer review and of steps to take throughout the process in order to perform the highest quality assessments of the scientific and technical merits of applications.
  • Identify Your Study Section
    The Center for Scientific Review assigns grant applications to study sections—groups of 20–40 scientists focused on a particular research field who are charged with reviewing applications.
  • Videos of NIH Peer Review Sessions
    The Center for Scientific Review has produced a series of videos to give you an inside look at how scientists from across the country review NIH grant applications for scientific and technical merit. 
  • eRA Commons Tutorials
    There are three new tutorial videos available for viewing to help you navigate the Status screen in eRA Commons. These videos are the first three in a series that will look at the Status option in detail.
    • Status Screen Overview (tutorial #1) goes through the steps of how to get to the Status search options if you are a Signing Official (SO) or a Principal Investigator (PI); it outlines the importance of the Status screen; it also highlights some of the critical actions that must be taken to manage a grant application from submission to award to closeout.
    • Signing Official: Finding Information (tutorial #2) is focused on the tools available to a Signing Official.  The video reviews the three ways an SO can search for a grant application, and the various other search options available to them.
    • Status Search Results (tutorial #3) covers the results of a search. The video highlights how search results are displayed and organized and the importance of checking the items listed in the Action column.

Funding Resources

  • Duke Funding Opportunities
    As a service for all researchers at Duke University and Duke University Medical Center, Duke’s Office of Research Support and Office of Research Administration provide this information on funding sources for research and other scholarly projects.
  • Duke Funding Alert Newsletter
    This online newsletter, produced by the Office of Research Support Funding Opportunities Team and published on the Duke Funding Opportunities website, brings you the latest funding news and information. See the Duke Funding Opportunities website for subscription information.
  • NC Biotechnology Center
    The NC Biotechnology Center offers funding programs, including loans and grants, to foster collaboration among researchers, educators and businesses. These are designed to leverage larger financial rewards and societal benefits, including jobs, across the state. For information, please contact Virginia DeLuca at or 919.549.8842.
  • NIH Grant Opportunities is your source to find and apply for federal grants. is a central storehouse for information on over 1,000 grant programs and provides access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards.
  • Weekly NIH Funding Opportunities and Announcements (Email)
    NIH Guide announcements (PAs, RFAs and Notices) are published daily. At the end of each work week, NIH transmits an email to NIH Guide LISTSERV subscribers with the Current Weekly Table of Contents (TOC), including links to announcements published during the week. An up-to-date lisitng of new announcements published during the week may be checked anytime on the Current Weekly TOC page.
  • Federal Business Opportunities is an excellent resource where federal agencies publicize solicitations seeking bids or proposals. You would be classified as a "Public User" and should register using the Vendor / Citizen link. Please review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for additional information.
  • Community of Science (COS)-PIVOT
    PIVOT gives research administrators, research development professionals, and their institutions with the ability to bring together the right research opportunities, funding, and people quickly and easily. It provides global and local connections that strengthen research by exploring new avenues for funding and collaboration for faculty, staff researchers, and graduate students. 

Career Development Resources

  • Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty
    A downloadable book from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute that focuses on all aspects of career management and laboratory management. It is applicable to basic scientists and physician scientists.
  • Keeping up with the Literature
    Set up a free account for email alerts by topic, authors, or articles you want to track.
  • Evaluate Your Project
    Evaluate your project and see if your program is on target. This guide was developed to evaluate NSF projects but is applicable to any project evaluation.

Resources for Medical Researchers

Train: The Research Acceleration and Innovation Network
The Research Acceleration and Innovation Network (TRAIN) was established to create opportunities for medical research innovators to discuss and tackle the challenges that cut across diseases. It is a group of unique nonprofit foundations that fund medical research across a spectrum of diseases, from breast cancer to Parkinson's disease.

Some of the resources available on this website include:

  • A list of nonprofit organizations that fund research through grants
  • A series of webinars focused on translational research and moving products to market.
  • "Innovation tools" that include articles on collaboration, Resource Building, Management and Accountability
  • A downloadable library on topics including Venture Philanthropy/Innovation in Disease Research, Global Health, Intellectual Property, Research and Development, and Research Resources