It's money! Real-world grant experience through a student-run, peer-reviewed program

CBE Life Sci Educ. Fall 2013;12(3):419-28. doi: 10.1187/cbe.12-05-0058.


Grantsmanship is an integral component of surviving and thriving in academic science, especially in the current funding climate. Therefore, any additional opportunities to write, read, and review grants during graduate school may have lasting benefits on one's career. We present here our experience with a small, student-run grant program at Georgetown University Medical Center. Founded in 2010, this program has several goals: 1) to give graduate students an opportunity to conduct small, independent research projects; 2) to encourage graduate students to write grants early and often; and 3) to give graduate students an opportunity to review grants. In the 3 yr since the program's start, 28 applications have been submitted, 13 of which were funded for a total of $40,000. From funded grants, students have produced abstracts and manuscripts, generated data to support subsequent grant proposals, and made new professional contacts with collaborators. Above and beyond financial support, this program provided both applicants and reviewers an opportunity to improve their writing skills, professional development, and understanding of the grants process, as reflected in the outcome measures presented. With a small commitment of time and funding, other institutions could implement a program like this to the benefit of their graduate students.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Graduate / methods*
  • Financing, Organized* / economics
  • Financing, Organized* / organization & administration
  • Peer Review, Research*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Research Personnel / education*
  • Research Support as Topic* / economics
  • Research Support as Topic* / organization & administration
  • Students*