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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.

The current series started on September 20 and will go through December 13, 2021. All sessions will be held online via Zoom. The schedule is listed below. Please register here.

DATE/TIME TITLE OBJECTIVES PRESENTER(S) MATERIALS (most recent seminar materials available)


noon-1 p.m. CST



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 9/20/21


Seminar Audio from 9/20/21


Seminar Slides from 9/20/21


Career Advancement Plan for Junior Faculty_July 2020


noon-1 p.m. CST

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 9/27/21

Seminar Audio from 9/27/21

Seminar Slides from 9/27/21


noon-1 p.m. CST

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

NUCATS Resources for:

•Training and Equipping the Translational Research Workforce

•Career Development

•Clinical Research Support

Michael G. Ison, MD, MS

Zoom Recording from 10/4/21

Seminar Audio from 10/4/21

Seminar Slides from 10/4/21


noon-1 p.m. CST

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 for applications (RFAs)

Rick McGee, PhD, and Bill Lowe, MD

Seminar Zoom Recording from 10/11/21

Seminar Audio from 10/11/21

Seminar Slides from 10/11/21


noon-1 p.m. CST

Strategies for Writing Effective NIH Proposals:

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

Zoom Recording from 10/18/21

Seminar Slides from 10/18/21

Seminar Audio from 10/18/21


noon-1 p.m. CST

Strategies for Writing Effective NIH Proposals:

Part 2 - R and K Proposals

•Writing non-research sections of proposals

•Crafting an effective Biosketch

•Understanding the role of each part of K applications and what must be accomplished in them

Rick McGee, PhD, and Bill Lowe, MD

Zoom Recording from 11/2/20

Seminar Audio from 11/2/20

Seminar Slides from 11/2/20


noon-1 p.m. CST

Preparing a Resubmission to an NIH Proposal

•The complicated art and science of reading Summary Statements

•Deciding on whether to resubmit, submit a new proposal, or think carefully about research direction

•Crafting the Introduction to a resubmission – as important as Specific Aims in an initial submission

•Other topics – e.g. changing study sections, communicating with the Program Official, etc.

•The dreaded Not Discussed – Not necessarily as bad as it sounds

•Q & A – anything you are wondering about…

Rick McGee, PhD, and Bill Lowe, MD

Zoom Recording from 12/14/20

Seminar Audio from 12/14/20

Seminar Slides from 12/14/20


noon-1 p.m. CST

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Enterprise Data Warehouse at Northwestern Medicine

•Describe how the EDW supports research at Northwestern University

•Utilize the process for accessing EDW

Prasanth Nannapaneni, Data Architect

Zoom Recording from 11/16/20

Seminar Audio from 11/16/20

Seminar Slides from 11/16/20


noon-1 p.m. CST

Working with the Northwestern 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

Andrea Zakrzewski,

Bryan Runkel,

and Kathy Mustea

Zoom Recording from 11/23/20

Seminar Audio from 11/23/20

Seminar Slides from 11/23/20



(No Seminars)


noon-1 p.m. CST

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

Rick McGee, PhD, and Bill Lowe, MD

Zoom Recording from 12/7/20

Seminar Audio from 12/7/20

Seminar Slides from 12/7/20

Participating Institutions: