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K-to-R Workshop: Significance and Innovation


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UCLA CTSI K-to-R Workshop

"A tactical approach to writing your grant proposal"
Dr. Filler focuses on how to craft the Significance and Innovation sections of a grant application.

Scott G. Filler, MD
Professor-in-Residence of Medicine at UCLA and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

Published in: Education
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K-to-R Workshop: Significance and Innovation

  1. 1. Significance and Innovation (Basic Science) Scott G. Filler, M.D. Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
  2. 2. Review Criteria • Does the application address a problem of high importance in the field? • Will the results of the work have a broad, sustained impact?
  3. 3. Goals of Significance Section • Emphasize importance of the research o In the system under study o How knowledge gained can be applied to other systems • Provide essential background information for an uninformed reader • Get reviewer interested
  4. 4. Key Points • Don’t assume the reviewer will read every word • Try to describe broad overall impact • Do not directly criticize previous work Previous microarray studies were flawed by their inability to detect low abundance transcripts. While microarray studies have provided valuable insight into the transcriptional profile of ..., the frequency of low abundance transcripts remains unknown.
  5. 5. Innovation • One paragraph • Some use bullet points
  6. 6. Innovation • Two types of innovation: o Innovative technology—applying new tools to an old question o Innovative hypothesis—applying standard tools to a new question • Optimal to have new tools and innovative hypothesis
  7. 7. Caveats • Avoid using standard tools to answer old questions: o Does the calcineurin pathway govern stress response in organism X? o Which of the 3 known signaling pathways are active under these conditions?
  8. 8. Caveats • Grants focusing on a process have higher success rates than ones focusing on a single protein/gene o How does microorganism X adhere to host cells? (Good) o Is the phosphorylation of tyrosine 234 in protein X necessary for its function? (Bad)