Writing successful grant applications

The act of writing a proposal to win a grant is tough. It’s extremely competitive. Public and private funding agencies require different criteria for submission. And there is an art to writing grants that is different than writing a wholly data-driven article.

However, gaining grant funding is a necessity for researchers to either kick start a project or continue ongoing work on a concept. With a number of early career researchers and grant writers within OSF HealthCare partner institutions, Jump Simulation wanted to help.

Writing successful grant applications

As a result, Jump is offering novice and intermediate grant writers a series of interactive online courses, along with asynchronous self-study modules to improve grant writing and preparation skills.

The Grant Writing Workshop Series is a collaborative effort between OSF HealthCare, the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria and Bradley University.

The courses are specifically targeted toward OSF, UICOMP and Bradley faculty, physicians, fellows, residents, researchers, nurse researchers and program building (non-research) grant writers. 

What you will learn

The Grant Writing Workshop Series is led by research experts from OSF, UICOMP and Bradley. It covers every aspect of the grant writing process including how to tailor your objectives to various agencies. Participants will also learn how to write a better biosketch, the body of the grant, a budget and more.

“There will be a chance for learners to take part in simulated writing exercises where they can receive feedback from their peers and experienced faculty,” said Safura Sultana, a research coordinator with Jump. “The idea is to give attendees the opportunity to enhance their proposals for future consideration.”

As part of the workshop series, participants will be introduced to various funding mechanisms including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and the Jump Applied Research for Community Health through Engineering and Simulation (ARCHES) and Jump Community Health Advocacy (CHA) programs.

“Our learners will gain a deeper understanding of mentoring in the scientific process. They will also see examples of grant scoring criteria and hear from those who have served as reviewers,” said Sultana. “Our grant writing experts will also share the essentials of post-award grant management.”

Jump is offering eleven grant writing sessions with six of them being live and synchronous. The other five can be done on your own. Plans are in place to offer Continuing Education credits based on the number of sessions attended. 


Last year was the first Jump Grant Writing Workshop Series. More than 20 people attended and provided positive feedback as well as constructive suggestions for how to improve the experience. Peggy Jacques, a registered nurse with OSF HealthCare, took the course to refresh her grant writing skills. 

“I’m working to develop a community senior center for Peoria and I know I will need grants to make this happen,” Jacque said. “I’ve applied for three grants so far following this course. Even if I don’t get them, I feel like I have the necessary skills to continue applying.”

Kelvin Wynn, MD, chair of Family and Community Medicine at UICOMP, was part of the initial cohort as a novice grant writer.

“The diversity of levels of grant writing acumen among the participants, the expertise of the workshop faculty and the guest speakers and the ability of the workshop faculty to teach the grant writing process to learners at different levels was stimulating and promoted my understanding and retention of the material,” said Dr. Wynn. “My participation in the workshop has afforded me the confidence to seek out grant opportunities rather than avoid them.”

Whether you plan on applying to an intramural or a national funding agency, the workshop series will provide you with the tools to shape your ideas into a competitive proposal.

The 2022 workshop series consists of six one-hour, live noon sessions beginning on Wednesday, January 26.  The remaining workshop material will be asynchronous and include more details on completing the necessary forms, securing institutional approval and submitting a grant proposal. 

Registration preference will be given to learners from OSF, UICOMP and Bradley.

Get more information and register today!

Dr. Bond wrote this blog on behalf of the Grant Writing Workshop Series planning committee which includes:

Sarah Donohue, PhD
Director of Research Services
University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria

Colleen Klein, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC
Education & Research Scientist
OSF HealthCare Ministry Services for Advanced Practice

Brad Andersh, PhD
Director of Sponsored Programs; Professor Mund-Lagowski Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Bradley University

Categories: Applied Research, Bradley University (BU), Collaboration, Continuing Education (CE), Curriculum, Education, Education, Research, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria (UICOMP)