Q. How can The Science Scribe actually help me get funded?

A. I can read your proposal, or part of your proposal, and tell you where the weaknesses are and how to address them, and what reviewers are likely to think. I can also help make your proposal easier on a reviewer's eyes, which is important for people reading dozens of proposals in a day. My science writing experience and grantsmanship expertise can make a profound difference in the effectiveness of your proposal. I can help you present your science in the strongest, most effective way possible. For example:

  • Are your aims effective or not? Are they dependent?

  • Is the project presented in the most effective way?

  • Do you have enough preliminary data ?

  • Do you have enough publications?

  • Do you have the right collaborators?

I have the scientific expertise needed to ensure the science writing is as clear and concise as possible.


Q. How early do I need to get my drafts to you?

A. The earlier the better! I generate a queue on a first-come first-served basis, so the earlier you let me know you want to work with me, the better. ​ If you can provide me with a draft of at least your specific aims page 6 weeks before the deadline, then that would be ideal. This first contact with me is critical and will get you in my queue. Once you are in my queue you have priority. Also at this time, let me know to which agency and deadline you will be submitting. For an example of a good detailed timeline of grant preparation, click here.


Q. What if I miss the suggested timeline? Will you still work with me if I don't provide anything until say, 1 or 2 weeks before the deadline?
A. Yes, I can still work with you. I would love to help you at any time but my available time will be determined by how many grants are already in my queue. At the very least I will be able to provide basic editing and proofreading for grammar, spelling, punctuation, noun-verb agreement, verb tense, and formatting to ensure compliance with the solicitation. Email me and let's discuss it!


Q. Does my draft need to be "near final" when I give it to you? 
A. NO! In fact, I actually like rough drafts.


Q. What if I don't like the changes you made, or you simply don't understand my science? 
A. I do everything with track changes so you can see what I've done and accept/reject the changes as you like. I save all drafts by date with my initials, so your original will never disappear. I work in close contact with you to make your proposal more effective and highly competitive. If I am struggling to understand the science, then a reviewer likely will too. I will discuss this with you so that you can help me understand your science better so I can most effectively edit the proposal for improved clarity.


Q. Is my proposed research too ambitious? Not ambitious enough? 
A. The best places for this kind of feedback are Chalk Talks and Research Concepts meetings at your university or organization. As a general rule of thumb, one Specific Aim for an R01 should be close to what one graduate student can complete in 4 years (or a post-doc in 2).


Q. Can you help with the budget or budget justification: PI effort? Amount allocated for travel, supplies, etc? 
A. Yes!! This is one of the areas in which my experience can really benefit you. Select my Budget Planning service and I can help work with you to develop a budget and justification that will not only help your proposal get funded but also significantly reduce the risk of getting your budget cut once it is funded.


Q. Can you help me find funding opportunities suited to my research? 
A. Absolutely! I have experience with many funding agencies besides NIH and can help you find new funding opportunities. Select my Find Funding Opportunity Service and we can get started today!

Heather Lander, PhD

© 2019 by Heather Lander