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Trainings & Workshops

The Research Strategy Group offers a series of workshops to introduce both the SLU St. Louis and SLU Madrid research communities to the skills needed to develop an effective research plan or proposal. These skills include various tools that clarify and de-mystify the process of writing a successful research plan or proposal for funding. The workshops combine presentations from RSG staff with peer discussion, in-class exercises, and diverse assignments. We strive to keep group sizes small to maximize interaction and discussion.

A short description of each of the different workshops offered follows. There currently is no fixed schedule for workshops. We offer 1-2 workshops each semester and can accommodate additional workshops if interest or need exists. Workshops range in duration from 4 hours to 3 days and at flexible times to meet different needs and time zones.

In addition to these regularly offered workshops, versions can be adapted for specific groups. The RSG recently offered a workshop tailored to the Clinical Research Scholars Program in the AHEAD Institute.

Building Integrated Learning and Coaching Networks for Research (BILCN)

This new approach advances development of research capacity and mentor networks through an extended (6-9 months) cohort-based program that integrates monthly 2-hour presentations with small coaching sessions. All participants meet together to participate in program presentations and meet separately in small groups (or cohorts) to discuss proposal practices and content. As a cohort-based program, all participants’ success is dependent on the active and ongoing participation of other members of the cohort. 
To date, the BILCN program has consisted of several ‘modules,’ each of which is followed by biweekly cohort meetings led by a faculty coach or mentor. Example modules are proposal development, the review process, building networks, finding funding agencies, writing and reviewing draft proposals.

The RSG in conjunction with the Applied Health Research Council offered the first program in Spring 2021. We anticipate offering a BILCN program each year, with the goal of including researchers from diverse disciplines across SLU.

Proposal Development I

An intensive, 1-day, introductory-level workshop that provides an overview of the basic strategies and skills needed to develop a competitive research plan. It targets faculty who have not yet identified a research question and may not have submitted a research proposal. Content includes a) concept mapping, b) developing a logic argument, and c) understanding funders’ missions. 

Proposal Development II

An intensive, one-day workshop for faculty and researchers who are ready to begin drafting a proposal. Topics include a) identifying an appropriate funding agency or program, b) reviewing and revising a research summary, c) understanding proposal components, and d) understanding and evaluating review criteria.

Proposal Development II for National Institutes of Health (NIH)

This workshop mirrors Proposal Development II (above) but is specific to NIH programs, proposal criteria, and review.

Proposal Development III

A 1-day workshop that encompasses proposal review and revision. It targets researchers who have prepared a draft proposal for submission or who have received reviews of a proposal that was declined for funding. The workshop’s goal is to provide internal, peer review of draft proposals allowing for revision before a pending deadline or target date.

Early Career Funding Opportunities

Are you a faculty member in the early stages of developing a research program and looking for funding opportunities? This half-day workshop introduces you to diverse funding sources across various disciplines, demonstrates search engines that can help you find more sources, and discusses the major requirements of the funding opportunities identified.

Early Career Proposal Development

Several major funding agencies offer research programs specifically for early-career investigators. These programs often have requirements that differ from programs open to all investigators. We offer separate 1-1.5 day intensive workshops that target NIH and NSF early career programs. Each a) examines specific program criteria, b) introduces tools to develop a convincing research summary, c) examines key proposal components, and d) evaluates key proposal flaws and mistakes.

Graduate Student Workshop: Developing an Effective Research Plan

A 1-day workshop that examines the process of formulating a new research plan. The morning session is appropriate for graduate students at all levels. The afternoon session targets participants who are currently writing proposals (dissertation, fellowship, internal) but is relevant to all levels of graduate study.

Graduate Student and Post-Doctoral Researcher Workshops: Introduction to writing effective proposals

A 0.5 – 1 day workshop introducing the skills and tools essential to developing convincing research proposals. These include developing a concept map; expanding this map into a logic map that forms the basis for a proposal, publication, or presentation; understanding funders and their missions and finding appropriate funding sources; and evaluating basic review criteria.

For more information on RSG workshops, contact:

Saran Twombly (

For more information on the BILCN program, contact:

Saran Twombly ( or David Borgmeyer (