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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University
Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute
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Navigating the Research Enterprise

“Navigating the Research Enterprise” is an annual seminar series for early-career faculty and postdoctoral fellows at Northwestern University who have protected research time. It’s designed to provide them with the support they need to focus on developing the key skills young scientists require in order to progress beyond just doing good research. Attendees will be introduced to issues such as finding sources for research funds, writing effective grants and building a network of professional colleagues. 

Please contact NUCATS at with any questions.

Faculty directors and staff include Rick McGee, PhD, associate dean for Professional Development and professor of Medical Education; Bill Lowe, MD, vice dean for Academic Affairs and professor of Medicine-Endocrinology; and Jaime Ziegler, NUCATS Center for Education and Career Development program coordinator. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our fall seminar series will be held online via Zoom. The currrent schedule is listed below. Please sign up here to be invited to register via Zoom.






MATERIALS (most recent seminar materials available)




Online via Zoom

Introduction to the Series, Important Resources of NUCATS, & Constructing Your Individual Career Advancement Plan

•Access the research related resources available at Northwestern University for junior faculty

•Develop a strategy for a successful career in research

•Define the elements and value of an Individual Career Advancement Plan and learn how to use it to guide your professional development with guidance from mentors and senior faculty

Rick McGee, PhD, and Keith Herzog, MPPA

Seminar Zoom Recording from 10/5/20


Seminar Audio from 10/5/20


Seminar Slides from 10/5/20


Career Advancement Plan for Junior Faculty_July 2020


Online via Zoom


NIH Funding Opportunities

•Understand the abbreviations and acronyms of NIH jargon

•Access important information from the NIH website regarding currently funded grants and funding opportunities

•Utilize strategies for obtaining guidance from NIH Program and Review Officers in a grant submission and review process


Rick McGee, PhD, and Bill Lowe, MD

Seminar Zoom Recording from 10/12/20

Seminar Audio from 10/12/20

Seminar Slides from 10/12/20


Online via Zoom


The NIH Grant Review Process

•Utilize an understanding of the NIH grant review process to help guide grant writing strategies

•Incorporate review considerations in writing in response to specific requests in applications (RFAs)

Rick McGee, PhD, and Bill Lowe, MD

Seminar Zoom Recording from 10/19/20

Seminar Audio from 10/19/20

Seminar Slides from 10/19/20


Online via Zoom

Strategies for Writing an Effective NIH 'R' and 'K' Proposal:

Part 1

•Understand the critical flow of logic and writing styles of effective NIH Grants

•Begin to incorporate the patterns and strategies of grant writing video tools when writing NIH K or R proposals

•Write in a way that reviewers expect

•Become skilled in getting useful feedback

Rick McGee, PhD, and Bill Lowe, MD


Seminar Audio from 10/28/19

Seminar Slides from 10/28/19


Online via Zoom

Strategies for Writing an Effective NIH 'R' and 'K' Proposal:

Part 2



•Writing non-research sections of proposals

•Crafting an effective Biosketch

•Understanding the role of each part of K application and what has to be accomplished in them

Rick McGee, PhD, and Bill Lowe, MD

Seminar Audio from 11/11/19

Seminar Slides from 11/11/19


Online via Zoom

Clinical Research Resouces at Northwestern - The Center for Clinical Research (CCR)

NUCATS Resources for:

•Training and Equipping the Translational Research Workforce

•Career Development

•Clinical Research Support



Seminar Audio from 2/3/20


Seminar Slides from 2/3/20

11/16/20 Online via Zoom Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Office of Research Development (ORD) and The Enterprise Data Warehouse at Northwestern Medicine

•Access desired information from the Office of Research Development

•Utilize the Office of Research Development to enhance your research

•Describe how the EDW supports research at Northwestern University

•Utilize the process for accessing EDW


Seminar Audio from 10/7/19

Seminar Slides from 10/7/19

11/23/20 Online via Zoom Working with the Nortwestern Office of Sponsored Research (OSR)

•Recognize how to best work with the Office of Sponsored Research

•Discuss the OSR requirements for a successful grant submission

Bryan Runkel, Andrea Zakrzewski, and Kathy Mustea

Seminar Audio from 11/18/19


Seminar Slides from 11/18/19

11/30/20   No Seminar
12/7/20 Online via Zoom For Clinician Scientists: Deciding on and Designing a Strategy to Achieve the Level of Research That Fits Your Career - Consultant, Collaborator, Co-Investigator, or PI

•Articulate your desired mix of research and clinical care and devise a plan to accomplish it at Northwestern

•Consciously consider various roles in research from PI to Co-I to effective collaborator

•Re-assess what you have learned from the series into a revised ICDP

Rick McGee, PhD, and Bill Lowe, MD

Seminar Audio from 12/16/19


Seminar Slides from 12/16/19

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Participating Institutions: