November 17th, 2010

Early Career Day: Review from the Epi Breakout Session

Several Cardiology Fellows who are attending this week’s AHA meeting are blogging together on CardioExchange. The Fellows include Susan Cheng, Madhavi Reddy, John Ryan, and Amit Shah. Check back often to learn about the biggest buzz in Chicago this week — whether it’s a poster, a presentation, or the word in the hallways. You can read the preceding post here.

At Early Career Day, I found a session on applying for training grants to be particularly interesting and useful. The presenters discussed not only that K Awards are quite competitive, but also that only about one third of those who win a K award go on to win an R01, and then obtaining a second R01 is still quite difficult. Given the pressures that academics face to obtain tenure and protected time, the whole process seems quite daunting, especially in light of possible future cuts in research funding.

On the flip side, I have often seen good work get rewarded, and many hard-working people become successful with perseverance. At the session, I learned some important keys to success:

1) Have innovative and clear specific aims that are related to, but do not depend on, each other.

2) Be concise and use diagrams that clearly state important concepts. Diagrams additionally break up the text and are a nice break on the eyes for the reviewers.

3) Discuss your grant proposal with the program officer, as she or he may give you helpful information.

The list goes on…for anyone applying for a training grant, I highly recommend watching the talks online if/when they become available. Look for the Epi breakout session for Early Career Day.

I think that applying for a training grant will be quite challenging, but it is my hope that in the end, if the science is excellent — and if the proposal is  submitted to the right place — it will get funded. Perhaps this belief is too naive, but I find it more motivational than the other way around!

4 Responses to “Early Career Day: Review from the Epi Breakout Session”

  1. Saurav Chatterjee, MD says:

    when are the online versions/meeting recordings coming out?any idea?

  2. Susan, John, Madhavi and Amit…..glad to hear the session was helpful. You’re “take home” messages are terrific. Thanks. I’ll send our fellows to the online talks.

  3. The reference is:
    Jagsi R, Motomura AR, Griffith KA, Rangarajan S, Ubel PA. Sex differences in attainment of independent funding by career development awardees. Ann Intern Med 2009 December 1;151(11):804-11.
    “At 10 years, the rate was 42.5% overall, 36.2% among women, and 45.6% among men. Sex persisted as an independent significant predictor of R01 award attainment (hazard ratio, 0.79 [95% CI, 0.68 to 0.92]; P = 0.002)…”

  4. Regarding the gender difference that Emelia points out, is this a mentoring issue or something else?