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Grant Development Programs

CCSS has several programs to support Cornell social scientists pursuing external funding opportunities. 

Grant Writing Support Program

One of the biggest challenges when writing grant proposals is finding time to organize research ideas, preliminary findings, and proposed research into the format required by the grant agency. To help researchers with this process, CCSS and OVPRI have partnered to provide past CCSS grantees and fellows with funding for grant writing services to assist with ambitious external grant applications. These funds can be used to hire grant writers, content editors, or proofreaders. If these services would be helpful, CCSS can help connect you with relevant grant-writing experts. 

To be eligible to receive these funds, the PI must have received grant or fellowship funding from CCSS within the past three years, and the proposed project should build upon your CCSS grant or research in some way. Interested CCSS grantees can apply here

Questions? Email socialsciences@cornell.edu

Accelerated Grant Research Fellows Program

To promote research that influences societal-level changes at a rapid pace, funding opportunities increasingly follow a two-phased approach. After a “phase one” award, research teams have a short window to complete the proposed research and compete for an even more ambitious “phase two” of the project. The CCSS Accelerated Research Fellows program supports Cornell faculty applying to multi-phase social science research grants. To support their phase one research and to help maximize the opportunities for a successful phase two proposal, fellows receive one course buyout (contingent on department and college approval) during their phase one year and up to $10,000 (per team) to support unanticipated costs during this year. Learn more here.

NIH Grant Writing Program

The National Institutes of Health funds research connected to many areas of social science including psychology, sociology, communication, human development, policy, government, demography, and economics. In partnership with Cornell Center for Health Equity (CCHEq) and the Cornell Population Center (CPC), this program offers mentoring and resources to Cornell social scientists interested in pursuing an NIH grant. Learn more below.

How does the NIH Grant Writing Program work?

The workshop series is open to all faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and researchers oriented toward learning about the NIH grants process and developing strategies for crafting a competitive proposal. To view the content of the workshops, visit the "Workshop Series" tab at the top of the page. Please contact Meg Cole if you have questions or would like access to any of the workshop recordings.

  • Program Overview

    Applications for the 2022 NIH Grant Writing Cohort are not being accepted at this time. Please check back in the fall for the 2023 cohort deadline. 

    In partnership with Cornell Center for Health Equity (CCHEq) and the Cornell Population Center (CPC), this program focuses on mentoring social science faculty through the process of writing an NIH grant from concept to submission.

    Cornell researchers across colleges and departments have a long record of securing NIH funding, and NIH offers RFPs that fit with many areas of social science including (but not limited to) psychology, sociology, communication, human development, policy, government, demography, and economics. NIH topics of interest extend broadly into the social sciences and include social determinants of health and well-being such as (but not limited to) incarceration, racial discrimination, and social justice, along with population science on topics such as climate migration, aging, and mortality differentials.

      1. Incentivize and support high-quality NIH (K, R01 or R21) grant submissions from social science faculty across Cornell’s campuses

      2. Directly respond to requests from junior faculty members of several Cornell centers for greater institutional support for their health-related research

      3. Build inter-campus collaborations by leveraging NIH expertise at Weill Cornell Medical College and social science expertise across Cornell’s campuses but particularly in Ithaca.

    • This program is open to PI-eligible social scientists across Cornell University. 

      The program consisted of a workshop series of 4 hour-long sessions (from February and through early April) in which participants selected for the 2022 NIH Grant Writing Cohort will work toward developing a well-considered Specific Aims page. Faculty selected for the cohort attended each workshop, completed short “homework” assignments for each session, and drafted a Specific Aims page. From there, they were eligible to apply for one of two funding tracks in late spring and summer.

  • Tracks and Timeline

    • Timeline for NIH Grant Development Fellowship Track

      1. By June 15th – decisions were made on successful applicants, money distributed.
      2. June – each cohort member paired with a grants support specialist.
      3. July/August – cohort member prepares Approach section of the grant.
      4. August/September – mock study section for grants with October deadline.
      5. November/December – mock study section for grants with February deadline.
      6. Spring/Summer 2022 – teams who submit and receive competitive scores, but are not funded, have option to apply to CCSS for additional grant development funds in pursuit of resubmission.

      Cohort members who completed this process, including specific aims - and did not apply for one of the two tracks - received $3,000 in discretionary funds to pursue their research to pilot a new idea.

    • Track One: Pilot Research Grant 

      This track is for those eligible faculty from the cohort who do not yet have preliminary data and are on a grant submission timeline that is after February 2023.

      Upon completion of the workshop series, cohort members submitted a revised Specific Aims page, a one-page “response to reviewers,” a description of what preliminary data would be needed to enhance the competitiveness of the proposal, and a brief budget. Successful proposals received up to $6,000 for data collection or other research-related costs associated with enhancing the project. Funds may not be used for hardware purchasing or faculty salary.

      Proposals were evaluated by a review panel and program leadership, and scored based on (a) likelihood of success (using scores from the specific aims review and proposed revisions) and (b) center priorities.

      Track Two: Grant Development Fellowship 

      This track is for cohort members who have identified a grant submission timeline that is on or before February 2023 (typical NIH timeline would be October and February/March).

      Upon completion of the workshop series, cohort members submitted (a) a revised Specific Aims page and a brief, one-page response to reviews from the original submission, (b) PI and team (including a mentor who has agreed to the role), (c) a targeted mechanism and rationale for why the proposal is a good fit for that mechanism/call, (d) timeline for submission of proposal, and (e) budget for proposal.

      Proposals were evaluated by a review panel and program leadership, and scored based on (a) likelihood of success (using scores from the specific aims review and proposed revisions) and (b) center priorities.

      Mentors are selected by the PIs. Participating centers can provide assistance in helping their members identify relevant mentors. The mentor’s job is to (a) engage additional experts as needed to make the project competitive; (b) read and edit drafts of the proposal; and (c) assist with identifying institutional resources to support the proposal.

      Successful proposals received up to $13,000 for up to 1-month of summer salary to use on grant preparation (RA, pilot data, or travel for proposal planning at researcher’s discretion). Please note that summary salary will need to be disclosed on a PI’s current and pending when submitting a proposal to NIH.

      Successful proposals received up to $3,000 for a commitment to mentor applicant through the grant submission process. The mentor may or may not serve as a co-PI.

      Fellows are expected to submit a grant proposal to NIH by February 2022 (a one-grant cycle extension is permitted – from October 2021 proposed to February 2022, for example). Upon submission, fellows receive an additional $2,000 in a discretionary or research account.

  • Workshop Series

    NIH Grant Development Workshop Series

    CCSS, in partnership with Cornell Center for Health Equity (CCHEq) and the Cornell Population Center (CPC), hosted four, hour-long workshops open to all Cornell faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and researchers oriented toward learning about the NIH grants process and developing strategies for crafting a competitive proposal.

    Contact Meg Cole if you would like access to any of the workshop recordings.

    Read more about the topics of the workshop series in the tabs below:

    • The Grant Review Process at NIH, Recorded Session

      This session is planned to focus on the grant review process at NIH and covered four general themes:

      • An overview of the National Cancer Institute
      • Steps in the NIH Review Process
      • Best practices for Working with Program Officers
      • Strategies for Effective Social Science Grants from an NIH Insider's Perspective

      Presentations by Kelly Blake and Rebecca Clark

      Kelly Blake, Program Director at the National Cancer Institute 

      Rebecca Clark, Chief of Population Dynamics Branch at the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development

Awardees & Their Projects

The NIH Grant Development Program (GWDP) features three components: a four-part workshop series, pilot grants, and a grant development fellowship. The program, launched Spring 2021, has awarded grants and fellowships to program participants. Learn more below about the awardees and their projects.

2021 Track One Awards: Pilot Research Grants

This track is for eligible faculty from the 2021 cohort who will gather data and submit their NIH grant proposal after February 2022.

  • Katherine Dickin

    Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences

    Katherine Dickin
  • Sasha Fahme

    Internal Medicine

    Cornell Center for Health Equity Fellow, Weill Cornell Medicine

    Sasha Fahme
  • Roger Figueroa

    Division of Nutritional Sciences

    Cornell Center for Health Equity and Cornell Population Center Fellow, Division of Nutritional Sciences

    Roger Figueroa
  • Christopher Gonzalez

    Internal Medicine

    Cornell Center for Health Equity Fellow, Weill Cornell Medicine

    Christopher Gonzalez
  • Tashara Leak

    Division of Nutritional Sciences

    Cornell Center for Health Equity and Cornell Population Center Fellow, Division of Nutritional Sciences

    Tashara Leak
  • Neil Lewis, Jr.

    Communication

    Cornell Center for Health Equity Fellow, Department of Communication

    Neil Lewis, Jr.
  • Adriana Reyes

    Policy Analysis and Management

    Adriana Reyes
  • David Scales

    Internal Medicine

    David Scales
  • Landon Schnabel

    Sociology

    Cornell Population Center Fellow, Department of Sociology

    Landon Schnabel
  • Qi Wang

    Human Development

    Cornell Population Center Fellow, Department of Human Development

    Qi Wang

Track Two Awards: Grant Development Fellowships

This track is for 2021 cohort members who will submit their NIH grant proposal on or before February 2022.

  • Jerel Ezell

    Africana Studies and Research Center

    Cornell Center for Health Equity and Cornell Population Center Fellow, Department of Africana Studies

    Jerel Ezell
  • Tristan Ivory

    International and Comparative Labor

    Cornell Population Center Fellow, Department of International and Comparative Labor

    Tristan Ivory
  • Vida Maralani

    Sociology

    Cornell Center for Health Equity and Cornell Population Center Fellow, Department of Sociology

    Vida Maralani
  • Jane Mendle

    Human Development

    Cornell Population Center Fellow, Department of Human Development

    Jane Mendle
  • Adriana Reyes

    Policy Analysis and Management

    Adriana Reyes
  • David Scales

    Internal Medicine

    David Scales
  • Andrea Stevenson Won

    Communication

    Cornell Center for Social Sciences Fellow, Department of Communication

    Andrea Stevenson Won
  • Mildred Warner

    City and Regional Planning

    Cornell Center for Health Equity and Cornell Population Center Fellow, Department of City and Regional Planning

    Mildred Warner
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