To improve competitiveness and increase success of research funding applications by junior faculty of the CRI, two programs have been instituted over the last several years--Grants Enhancement and Open Studio. These initiatives have two main goals, to:
- Create a community of interest in furthering faculty research development.
- Aid in refining individual faculty projects and proposals to optimize their chances of success in obtaining external funding.
Strengthening early formative scientific concepts and content of proposals (in Open Studio format) ideally complements current approaches more heavily focused on strengthening the written communication of applications (Grants Enhancement).
Driving the need for the Open Studio process is recognition that conceptualizing and formulating viable, realistic and promising research proposals requires not only from review and feedback of draft specific aims by an experienced senior faculty when requested, but also needs earlier exposure to the process of project formulation, the goal of Open Studio meetings.
To succeed in this goal, the Open Studio (a) engages senior faculty in proactively identifying and enlisting junior faculty primed for external funding but not yet on track and (b) assures the involvement and guidance of senior faculty knowledgeable in the specific subject matter and others having multidiscipline experience. With this input the applicant can then develop the specific aims page that becomes the material for one-on-one assistance by the GE members and peer critique.
Open Studio meetings center on critique of the concept proposed by the junior faculty member. Critique originates from a team of senior faculty, some experienced in the specific research and clinical areas of the project and others less content specific but highly experienced investigators. Before the meeting these faculty have reviewed a brief written summary of the concept that the applicant is proposing. The emphasis is on conceptual formulation and not on the writing itself.