Institutional Strategic Planning


To succeed in today’s highly competitive research environment, institutions must develop effective, coordinated strategies that maximize their strengths and capitalize on diverse opportunities. With decades of experience at all levels of leadership, GWM’s mentors help colleges, universities, and other institutions develop a formal strategy for an effective research enterprise. GWM’s intensive process of assessment and planning helps build the correct infrastructure, target the right funding, and develop the best collaborations for success at the laboratory, departmental, or institutional level. This GWM service area usually involves deans, top administrators, or other leaders with the authority to develop, change, or promote broader strategy and resources. GWM works to:

  • Identify strengths and weaknesses in an institution’s research capability.

  • Develop a plan to exploit the strengths and fix the flaws.

  • Create a plan to link current and planned research capability to the right funding opportunities.

  • Identify and gather data to create a competitive research infrastructure.

  • Identify relevant funders and the researchers they seek to fund.

  • Develop strategy for collaborations between institutions and individual researchers.

  • Identify relevant public and private research data resources to enhance research proposals and identify more global sources of funding.

  • Train researchers, departments, and institutions on how to find funding opportunities.

Sample Seminars

  • Strategic Research Enterprise Planning for a Competitive Edge

  • How to Use Public and Private Research Data Resources to Develop Collaborations at the National and International Level

  • “Universe of Opportunities” - How to Use Big Data Resources to Improve your Competitive Edge

  • Best Practices for Utilizing Program Data for Individual Researchers

  • How to Triage Potential Funding Opportunities

  • How to Find Best Funders for your Science

  • Using Bibliometric Information to “Sell” Research Ideas to Funding Agencies

  • Collaborations in an Era of Team Science

GWM Specialist

Sherry Mills


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 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 Institutional Strategic Planning

David Armstrong

Professor; Successful grantee (NIH, private foundations); Frequent review service for grants and journals; Published numerous peer review articles, book chapters, abstracts; Frequent invited lecturer related to peer review and navigating the NIH grant process. Learn More.

Ann Hardy

Senior health science policy analyst; Captain, US Public Health Service (Retired); Extensive experience in federal clinical research, grants policy development and implementation, research ethics and human subjects compliance. Learn More.

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.