Grants Enhancement Program

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The Grants Enhancement Program (GEP) was founded by CTSI-CN in 2010 to improve grant applications submitted by junior investigators to maximize the probability of funding. Providing this support at both CNH and GW is designed to expand the base of successful, externally funded clinical and translational researchers at our partner institutions. Explore the program details below and email to learn more.

Visit the Virtual Organizer for more information on funding, including databases of current and prior funding opportunities!

Grants Enhancement Program

The GEP process involves the following elements:

Senior Level Proposal Review

The GEP review consists of a panel of six successful senior investigators whose collective expertise spans the translational research spectrum. These GEP advisors provide detailed review, feedback, and mentoring of proposals from developing early-stage concepts to draft specific aims through full proposals, in concert with the investigator’s primary mentor. Requests for consultation by the GEP should be made at least 12 weeks prior to the grant submission date. The GEP reviews both initial applications and revised (amended, or “A1”) applications that are in response to an NIH critique.

Open Studio Reviews

Open Studios meetings address the earliest stages of project formulation. The meetings invite critiques of an applicant's conceptual design by a team of GEP faculty, together with other senior faculty specifically experienced in the project area. With this input, applicants then develop a specific aims page that becomes the basis for 1-on-1 assistance by the GEP members and peer critique. 

K/R Group Meetings

The GEP hosts periodic meetings of two groups of peer investigators: those pursuing Mentored Career Development Awards, and those pursing Independent Research Awards (R Grants). At each meeting, the group reviews, discusses, and critiques the specific aims of a group member and provides peer review, guided by one or more senior faculty member of the GEP. 

GEP Library

This library contains a collection of successfully funded grant applications for both mentored and independent R level awards, as well as various guidance documents for grant preparation.

Access GEP Resources

Nuts and Bolts

How to have your grant application reviewed by the GEP:

  1. Request Assistance

    Applicants at CNH: Email GEP and Dr. Stephan Ladisch requesting an initial discussion or review of a draft proposal.  

    Applicants at GWUMC: Email GEP and Dr. Rong Li requesting an initial discussion or review of a draft proposal.

    Questions? Contact Valery Yankov, GEP Administrator.
  2. Initiate Proposal Registration
    The review requires proposal registration in the redcap system. Following an initial discussion with a member of the GEP that results in the applicant’s formulation of a draft specific aims page, the grant draft documents that have been prepared are submitted to the GEP through the redcap system. Valery Yankov will generate a redcap survey registration link and send to the investigator. 
  3. Complete REDCap Submission
    The redcap link permits the applicant to enter the proposal into the system for review. Simultaneous submission of a minimum of the draft specific aims page is required at this point. Completion of the redcap submission, including mandatory uploading of grant documents for review, creates an ongoing record of reviews in progress).
  4. Engage with GEP Reviewer
    Upon notification of the redcap entry, Valery Yankov extracts documents and sends the applicant to the GEP chair at Children's National (Dr. Stephan Ladisch) or at GW (Dr. Sanjay B. Maggirwar or Dr. Rong Li). One reviewer of the GEP faculty will become the primary reviewer for the proposal specific aims review and will be responsible for follow-through; other reviewers may also provide input. 
  5. Review Process
    The primary reviewer is identified by email with a cc or reply to Valery Yankov, who will keep the ongoing record of work in progress. All reviewer feedback/edits are sent directly to the applicant, with a copy to Dr. Stephan Ladisch to facilitate tracking or to Valery Yankov (to record as needed).
  6. Submission
    As the external due date approaches and the application is submitted to the PI’s GFA, the GFA certifies GEP review. This certification is a requirement of junior faculty external (NIH or equivalent) submissions.