MAS.S72. How to Write Academic Grant Proposals and Research Manuscripts


Pratik Shah

Pratik Shah

MAS.S72 How to Write Academic Grant Proposals and Research Manuscripts

Dates: April 8- May 20

Format: ZOOM

When: Thursdays 3-4 30 pm ET

MIT course numbers MAS.S72     Units: G (1-0-5)

Description: Designed for grant proposal and research publication student writers, this course presents a general overview as well as the level of detail for creating well-written scientific documents. Each component of the grant and research publication writing process will be addressed, including: documenting your laboratory research data and observations in LaTeX; writing measurable objectives; making high quality figures in Python and MatLab. Developing testable hypotheses and an empiric research plan to test them.

Course Goals: Prepare a complete grant proposal (computation + any field you are working in) to an agency of choice with the instructor. This includes a 1 page significance and specific aims section, 5 page research plan and a minimum 2 year $80,000 budget with multiple categories. Peer review (with the instructor) several examples of publicly posted prototype grant proposals. Participate in a mock online study section as reviewers of proposals from other students in the course and assign scores and prepare summary statements. Learn transferable skills for writing high-quality research papers.

Topics include:

- Hypothesis generation and testing

- Literature review for establishing significance, innovation and rigor of prior research

- Scientific writing

- Research design and data analyses

- Scientific peer-review process and response to reviewers

Learning outcomes:

• The grant review process at funding agencies: Scientific program officer, Study sections and Council reviews.

• How to find, understand and navigate NIH, NSF and other government and non-profit funding announcements and eligibility criteria

• Biosketch vs. Curriculum vitae vs. Resume

• Demystification of codes R01, R21, K99, R00, T32, etc.

• How to read and understand grant guidelines and requests for proposals/applications (RFP/RFA) to match your research interests and projects

• Impact scores and percentiles and resubmissions

• Identifying specific topics from your research or course material and lectures to design a strategy for implementation of scientific writing and statistical methods, algorithms.

• Test, validate, and interpret results to be included in grant proposals or scientific publication.

Strategies for developing proposal outline: Abstract, Summary, Significance, Innovation, Approach and Bibliography

• Detailed research plan with power of statistical analyses and rigor of prior research


Pratik Shah

Instructor: Dr. Pratik

Dr. Pratik Shah. Ph.D.  is a Principal Investigator and Principal Research Scientist at The MIT Media Lab. Pratik's research lab creates real-world evaluation of emerging technologies in genomic engineering, machine learning, and medicine to improve health and diagnose and cure diseases. Recent work from his lab has been published in Nature Digital Medicine, Cell press, Journal of American Medical Association, and workshops at Proceedings of National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine. Pratik serves on the grant reviewer board and health informatics study sections of non-profit foundations and the Center for Scientific Review at National Institutes of Health. He is also a peer reviewer and associate editor for leading data science, emerging technology and basic science journals such as Nature Medicine. Pratik has BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in biological sciences and completed fellowship training at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Harvard Medical School.

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