NRMN SETH at Morehouse School of Medicine Hosts Its Annual Kick-off Session Grant Writing Coaching Group Study

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By Kimberly Lawson, M.P.H., and Keith E. Green II, M.P.H.

The National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) Strategic Empowerment Tailored for Health Equity Investigators (SETH) kicked off its annual two-and-a-half-day grant writing Coaching Group study on Aug. 13 -14, 2020. This year, the kick-off was held virtually due to COVID-19. Participants met for the general session via Zoom and then in the Health Equity Learning Collaboratory (EQ-Collaboratory) virtual platform for coaching group sessions. They welcomed over 25 early stage investigators and six coaches were assigned to the coaching groups to assist them with their grant writing skills, career growth, and professional development.  

Thomas Pearson, MD, Ph.D., MPH, (Director of UF College of Medicine MD-PhD Program) kicked off the two-and-a-half-day event with a Coaches’ training session focused on writing K-awards. Then NRMN SETH Coaching Director Jeffrey Engler, Ph.D., provided a NRMN SETH coach refresher training titled, “NRMN-SETH Grant Writing Coaching Groups Coaches Training.” This training was adapted from a training created by Rick McGee, Ph.D., Medical Education Associate Dean for Professional Development  from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

screenshot of NRMN Seth participants
NRMN SETH participants and coaches engaged in the annual kick-off session

The first day began with a warm welcome from the NRMN SETH Multi-PI and Director Elizabeth Ofili, MD, MPH, FACC. There was time for study participants to introduce themselves and provide a brief overview of their research. This was followed by an introduction to the grant writing coaching group study led by Engler and Pearson, who led the K-writers workshop/mock study section introduction.

After the general session, the group separated into their pre-assigned coaching discipline-specific groups via the EQ-Collaboratory platform which consisted of one coach and three to four investigators. During the break-out sessions, the six research-based coaching groups initiated the peer-to-peer critique and coaching group discussions. Most of the second day was spent in the grant writing coaching sessions reviewing the specific aims of each investigator.

This virtual community was designed to support the professional development of investigators by providing accountability, constructive feedback, and access to peer networks. The groups will meet weekly over the next nine months in the EQ-Collaboratory. Investigators will use this distance technology to provide feedback on revised specific aims pages and other major components of the proposals. The NRMN community looks forward to future grant submissions and award outcomes of these early stage investigators participating in the grant writing coaching group study.

The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.
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