Grant Writing


Having a good research idea is only the beginning of success in today’s highly competitive funding environment. Grant applicants not only must know the range of potential funders; they also must have the skill to craft a competitive application that matches the funder’s objectives. To succeed, applicants must know how to strategically use the tools available to them to obtain a global perspective of funders, collaborators, competitors, relevant research, past and present. They too must understand the peer-review process and how funders decide which applications to support.  Grant Writing Mentors offers decades of experience as successful grantees, peer review committee members, scientific review officers, program officers, and federal policy writers. Collectively, we have written, edited, or reviewed thousands of applications. In fact, not only do our mentors have intimate knowledge of the policies and practices that govern the NIH grant process, in many instances they wrote and implemented those policies. 

GWM works with colleges, universities, research organizations, and professional societies to develop customized workshops and seminars that vary from one- to two-hour overviews to intensive one- or two-day workshops, to multi-week grant writing courses.  GWM’s goal is to design a customized training program that meets the specific needs of your institution. We offer training in:

  • Using big data resources to identify potential funders nationally and globally.

  • Responding effectively to funding opportunity announcements.

  • Successfully understanding and navigating NIH grant  processes.

  • Writing  a competitive grant application.

Sample Seminars

  • How to Use Big Data to Think Globally About Your Research

  • The Best Responses to Funding Opportunity Announcements, WhetherFederal or Private

  • Navigating Grant (e.g., NIH) Processes

  • Understanding Peer Review and How Funding Decisions Are Made

  • Writing your Specific Aims

  • Writing a Compelling Project Summary (Abstract)

  • Writing an Effective Career (K) and Individual Research Fellowship (F) Application

  • Writing an Effective Research Project (R) Application

  • Strategies for Planning a Successful T32 Application

  • Planning an Effective Clinical Trial

  • Human Subjects Protection Regulation and Policies including the New Common Rule

  • NIH Requirements for Single IRB review for Multi-Site Studies

  • Developing Your Budget


Individual Help

In addition to group seminars/workshops, Grant Writing Mentors offers one-on-one training in Grant Writing as well as in Science Communication and Career Mentoring.  At GWM our mission is to provide researchers with a full complement of skills to meet current and future challenges.


GWM Specialists

David Armstrong, Ph.D.

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David Armstrong, Ph.D.  has more than 40 years of experience as a grantee, study section member, and Chief of Review, National Institutes of Health (NIH).  As an academic, Dr. Armstrong was the recipient of numerous grants from the NIH and private foundations.  For nearly twenty years he served on a wide variety of review panels and maintained positions on the editorial boards of many journals.  Dr. Armstrong is the author of nearly 200 peer reviewed articles, book chapters and abstracts.  At NIH, Dr. Armstrong served as Chief of the Brain Disorders and Clinical Neurosciences, Integrated Review Group, Center for Scientific Review and Chief of the Scientific Review Branch, National Institute of Mental Health.  For serval years, Dr. Armstrong Co-Chaired the NIH Review Policy Committee which works to maintain policies and best practices for review committees across all of NIH. He is frequently invited to speak on peer review and is Adjunct Professor at the Uniformed Services University where he teaches a graduate level course on Grant Writing.

Ann Hardy, Dr.P.H.


Dr. Ann Hardy received her M.S. degree in microbiology and her Dr.P.H. degree in infectious disease epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh.  She has over 30 years of experience as a federal public health scientist, health science administrator, research policy analyst and expert in human subjects protections.  She has served in leadership positions at the Centers for Disease Control, the National Center for Health Statistics and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  She started at NIH in 2001 as a Scientific Review Officer in the Center for Scientific Review and then joined the NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER) as the NIH Extramural Human Research Protections Officer.  In OER, she developed policies and procedures to ensure the regulatory compliance of NIH funded human subjects research and provided related training and resources to NIH staff and the extramural scientific community.  Dr. Hardy also served as the Coordinator of the NIH Certificates of Confidentiality (CoC) program where she established the first NIH-wide electronic application system and helped implement the 2017 NIH policy to automatically issue CoCs for NIH awardees. She is a Certified IRB Professional and is currently serving as a member of the IRB at George Washington University.   She and GWM member, Dr. Sherry Mills have teamed with d’Vinci Interactive in producing the popular interactive, web-based training on human subjects protection, Protecting Human Research Participants (PHRP) Online Training.

Sherry Mills, MD, MPH


Sherry Mills, MD, MPH has more than 30 years of experience serving in leadership positions at the NIH and private sector working with the biomedical research enterprise. Dr. Mills began her NIH career as a program director at the National Cancer Institute, guiding applicants and awardees from  hypotheses to a funded awards. She later served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Deputy Director for Extramural Research and ended her federal career as Director, Office of Extramural Programs where she was responsible for developing, implementing, and evaluating NIH policies related to biomedical research; policies that directed the multi-billion dollar NIH budget. Dr. Mills regularly led NIH working groups on significant biomedical research policy topics,  including the Physician Scientist Workforce, research training for MD students, measuring diversity of the NIH-funded workforce, sustaining and strengthening a robust and diverse physician-scientist workforce, and reframing the NIH clinical trial process. This vast experience makes Dr. Mills uniquely positioned to guide individuals or institutions to develop strategic approaches for a tailored biomedical research plan. 


Assisting in the Area of Grant Writing

Henry Khachaturian, Ph.D.

Henry Khachaturian Research Scientist; Teacher; Associate Director for Research Training and Career Development (National Institute of Mental Health & National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke); NIH Research Training Program Policy Officer (2006-2017). Learn more.

David Everett, M.S.

Teacher; Journalist; Communicator; Writer; Editor; Directed graduate programs in creative writing and science writing (Johns Hopkins University); Contributing editor of A Field Guide for Science Writers from the Association of Science Writers. Learn more.