Launch to Success

Launch to Success Grant-Writing Workshop

The Center for Clinical and Translational Science designed the Launch to Success workshop to facilitate the transition of biomedical researchers funded by career development awards to independent scholars funded with R01 grants. Since the program started in 2016, 94% of participants have submitted for R01 or equivalent grants; of those one or more years out of the program, 46% have been funded at the R level.

The workshop is open to researchers from Ohio State and Nationwide Children's Hospital who are prepared to write a competitive R01 application. It is especially targeted to researchers on mentored career development grants such as NIH K grants and equivalent foundation grants (such as those from the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and others). Applications are solicited in the autumn.

The program provides a structured, interactive experience to facilitate the preparation of an initial R01 grant. Meeting every two weeks over the course of spring semester, 6 to 8 participants write their R grant applications and submit each part to peer-to-peer reviews and discussion. Three senior faculty also comment on the grants and present short didactic sessions on grant components and the NIH review process. The program culminates in a Mock Study Section with trainees in attendance to see how an NIH Study Section works.

The Launch to Success group meets every two weeks for 2 ½ hours, typically in the afternoon. During the pandemic, the program has been held on zoom. Usually, the workshop is held at the CCTS office in Prior Hall.

The schedule typically looks like this:

Session 1: RO1 Grants overview; Supportive data; Writing good Specific Aims;
Session 2: Data Visualizations
Session 3: Specific Aims
Session 4: Writing Rigor & Reproducibility; Review of Revised Specific Aims
Session 5: Approach Outline
Session 6: Approach
Session 7: Significance & Innovation
Session 8: Budget, Biosketch, and Facilities/Resources
Session 9: Mock Study Section
Session 10: Debrief

Participants upload their assignment for the coming session into a common file a few days before the next meeting and an assigned peer reviewer from among the participants reads the material and provides a peer critique at the workshop. Review assignments rotate among the group so that everyone reads and comments on some portion of everyone else's grant.

For questions about Launch to Success, please contact:

John Christman, MD
Professor, Pulmonary, Critical Care, & Sleep
614-247-7804  /


Stuart D. Hobbs, MBA, PhD
Program Manager
Research Education, Training, and Career Development
Center for Clinical & Translational Science
614-685-5972 /