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F-Troop: A Proven Method for Trainee Grantsmanship Success

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A Focus on F-Troop: the fellowship grant writing workshop designed by Dr. Linda McManus

Category: Around Campus | August 18, 2014

Dr. Linda McManus and her innovative fellowship grant writing workshop, F-Troop, continue to provide our trainees with a launching pad to NIH grantsmanship success. Since the inception of F-Troop here in 2010, the number of National Research Service Awards (NRSA) or F grants funded by the NIH has more than doubled. Presently, there are 22 active F grants at our institution (that garner a whopping $768,216 in trainee support!) as compared to 9 in 2010. This increase is testament to the power of F-Troop to provide trainees with the tools they need to build competitive applications. These same skills will launch them into successful careers as well-trained scientists.

At the most recent Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego, I participated in the second national F-Troop event as a guest reviewer on a mock review committee. Dr. McManus lead an F-Troop session that showed trainees the ins and outs of the NIH grantsmanship process as well as provided them with tips of the trade in submitting an effective application. This program was part of the American Society for Investigative Pathology’s (ASIP) career development series and is sure to grow in popularity in the years to come.

As a fellow F-Troop success story and F31 recipient myself, I am thankful for Dr. McManus and my fellow trainees for their support and guidance through my grant writing process. Peer-mentoring is powerful!

A recent F30 recipient and F-Trooper, Audrey Rakian, DDS/PhD student, stated that “without guidance and direction of the F-Troop class and the feedback of Dr. McManus, I know I would not have succeeded. Thanks to Dr. McManus’ ability to help trainees stay on track and keep them moving forward in the right direction, trainees are able to meet the goal of submission with a great product. She truly has a good and selfless heart as she puts the trainees success above her own.”

David Melton, MD/PhD student, F30 recipient and F-Trooper states, "F-Troop provided a collaborative environment to strengthen grant-writing skills and nurture professional development. The diversity of experience that typically composed F-Troop meetings allows the blending of multiple perceptions that are focused on the success of every applicant. Coupled with the invaluable mentorship of Dr. Linda McManus, F-Troop has and will continue to measure success by grants awarded and careers advanced."

A postdoctoral fellow, Sonya Bierbower, PhD, and F32 recipient states that “Recently, I submitted my first NIH F32 Postdoctoral fellowship. I am indebted to Dr. McManus for the help and review of each and every piece of my fellowship application. She critiqued my writing time and again to better my application. I could not have been successful with this application without her. She was supportive and encouraging every step of the way. And most importantly, the F-Troop meetings that she holds each and every Wednesday evening from 5-7pm were vital in the progression of my fellowship application. I cannot stress how amazing she is as a teacher and a leader.”

F-Troop is aligned with NIH grant submission deadlines and will begin for the next cycle very soon. Note that F grant applications for the NIH are similar to that of other funding agencies. All are welcomed and encouraged to attend. It’s informal. Completely voluntary. Snacks are provided. Please check the F-Troop webpage and watch for announcements from the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs for more details.

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