Resources for Trainees

Grants Specialist

The Division is actively involved in all levels of pre-doctoral and post-doctoral education within the Stanford School of Medicine.

Crystal Botham, PhD assists postdoctoral fellows and faculty in the Stanford Division of Cardiovascular Medicine with identifying and applying to funding opportunities as well as research administration. She teaches a course for postdocs and instructors who are submitting NIH Career Development Awards (K series) called Tackling Your K: A Step-by-Step Course to Strengthen Your NIH Career Development Award. She offers the following specific types of support:

Please email ( for more information or to arrange a meeting.

Fellowships / Career Development Awards

Finding and Applying for Postdoctoral Fellowships
The session will give an overview of the extensive resources that postdocs may search and find fellowships and funding opportunities, including NIH, NSF and other funding agencies and a description of the internal fellowship programs offered in the School of Medicine through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.  The discussion will address the necessary steps any postdoc at Stanford must take in order to submit fellowship applications, obtain institutional sign-off, and accept funding. 

List of Postdoctoral Funding Opportunities
Master List of over 200 Postdoctoral Funding Opportunities includes:

  1. links to sponsor webpages
  2. citizenship requirements
  3. deadlines
  4. institutional representative for each program

Writing Grant Applications for Foundations and Nonprofits
This session will focus on the specific and often highly specialized funding interests of the "other" grantmakers: foundations and nonprofits. Similarities and differences between the NIH and foundations/nonprofits will be described. We will discuss foundation-specific writing styles and highlight strategies for successful proposal development.

Improving Your Scientific Writing Skills
Learn 6 practical techniques that will greatly improve the clarity and conciseness of your journal manuscripts and/or grants, including "why" and "how" to use each technique. Improve your mastery of these techniques via short in-class writing exercises and identify when to apply these techniques.

MED / PEDS 253: Applied Grant-Writing Skills for Community and Clinical Research
Skill-building in writing scientific research proposals. Topics include: grant proposal preparation; scientific literature review; developing research aims; decision-making on study design & methodology; planning statistical analyses; determining research compliances, timelines and resources. Students develop drafts of potential projects, peer-review and critique writing samples, and receive detailed feedback from instructor on all aspects of research projects.

Successful NIH Career Development Award – Video Available
Dr. Mark Roltsch, a former NHLBI Program Officer and Scientific Review Officer, created this workshop to share his insight of years of career development awards review and program management as well as his knowledge of the internal workings of NIH grants for young investigators in an effort to enhance the attendees knowledge of what is need to write a successful career development grant and how to avoid some common pitfalls. 

Writing the NEW NIH Grant: A Systematic and Proven Approach to Grantsmanship – Video Available
Beginning 2010, the NIH released the new "Enhancing Peer Review" guidelines for grant structure and content. In this seminar, we will explore the NIH research grant with its newly restructured content, and present a proven and systematic strategy for writing an NIH grant - an approach that many seasoned NIH grant writers are now using to increase their chance of success. The strategy is also valuable to investigators writing grants for many of the private foundations that sponsor medical research. More specifically, we will: 1) dissect the new research section and discuss common mistakes investigators make in writing grants, and 2) address grant organization, aesthetics, and aspects of language and writing

Which K award is right for me? Am I eligible?
The NIH, AHRQ and NIOSH K career development award announcements are geared to individuals at various stages of their career (from postdoctoral fellow, to new and even established faculty). Therefore, you are encouraged to initially use the NIH Career Awards Wizard search tool on the NIH K award webpage for guidance. Special Note: the NIH has not updated the list of K Awards on the above webpage, so please refer to the RMG list of active K award (see below). Please read the program guidelines carefully and call the institute scientific contact for additional questions regarding eligibility before you begin your applications. If there are multiple participating institutes: see the NIH institute table of contacts for eligibility, institute-specific criteria, and contact persons.

NIH K Kiosk
Use the Career Award Wizard to help select the right NIH Career Development Award (K Award) for you.

RMG’s K Career Development Award Program Announcements
Jeanne Heschele, RMG’s Funding Opportunity Administrator, regularly updates this list of NIH K Awards

NIH K award Criteria
Review Criteria and Considerations provided to the Reviewers for NIH Career Development Awards (K Awards).

NIH Mock Study Section
NIH Peer Review Revealed Provides a front-row seat to a review peer review meeting.

Stanford PI Eligibility and Waiver Policy Guidelines
This webpage contains information on Principal Investigator (PI) eligibility, the criteria for obtaining PI waivers for those without PI eligibility, the various types of PI waiver exceptions (i.e., Career development, CE faculty waivers, Expanded Pilot PI waivers, etc.), and the procedures and checklists for preparing PI waiver memo requests. For questions, please contact your Research Process Manager (RPM) more


Stanford at The Tech
The Stanford Department of Genetics offers graduate students and post-docs in any biology department the chance to work at The Tech Museum of Innovation (The Tech) for one morning/week for two quarters. You'll get on the job training in presenting science to the public in person and in writing.

Office of Science Outreach
Stanford University's Office of Science Outreach (OSO) encourages and assists Stanford faculty and postdoctoral fellows to engage in science outreach -- organized activities targeted at our nation's youth, school teachers, and general public that will increase their interest, understanding, and involvement in math, science, and engineering.

Mentoring in Research
Want to improve your mentoring and managing skills? Want to work more effectively with undergraduates, graduate students and research assistants? Want to develop your mentoring skills in order to prepare for the academic job market? Come to this 2-day workshop!


IRITE/ISPEAK is a week-long short course for postdoctoral scholars that is designed to help them develop understandable, succinct and compelling oral and written accounts of the scope and relevance of their research for lay audiences. In this course, participants learn a range of techniques to enhance their listening, writing, speaking, and flexible thinking skills.  Course goals include facilitating successful job talks and grant requests or proposals, increasing ease during informal conversations with professional and personal contacts, and developing skill in adapting quickly to various audiences.

EARTHSCI 218: Communicating Science
(Formerly GES 218.) For undergraduate and graduate students interested in teaching science in local schools. Inquiry-based science teaching methods. How to communicate scientific knowledge and improve presentations. Six weeks of supervised teaching in a local school classroom. Prerequisite: course in introductory biology, geology, chemistry, or marine sciences.

English Skills for Non-Native Speakers
Non-native speakers of English are a majority of postdoctoral scholars at Stanford.  The Advanced English Skills for Non-Native Speakers is a year-long, 3-quarter, curriculum that is taught in small group, intensive 2-hour weekly class sessions.  The curriculum aims to refine the proficiency and fluency in speaking and writing in academic settings.  The curriculum is directed by Phil Hubbard, senior lecturer and director of English for Foreign Students Program at Stanford. 

Scientific Writing
Teaches students in the basic sciences how to write clearly, concisely, and effectively. Focuses on the process of writing and publishing a scientific manuscript.

Writing the Biomedical Manuscript
This seminar will examine the essentials of creating the peer-reviewed biomedical manuscript from the point of view of journal editor. We will look at what constitutes a good (and bad) manuscript and how scientists and physicians can significantly improve their manuscript-construction skills. We will utilize a structured, proven approach for writing manuscript sections and aspects of clear writing that often plague inexperienced and even experienced manuscript writers. By the end of this class, researchers will use a new approach to writing that will significantly improve their manuscripts.

Transition to Independence

Academic Chats
Academic Chats are monthly lunch-time seminars for graduate students and postdocs considering academic careers. Chats are an opportunity to learn from and share experiences with others who launching their career as a faculty member.

Future Faculty Seminar
The Future Faculty Seminar is a weekly seminar for Stanford PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and research/clinical trainees from all disciplines who are considering a faculty career. The typical graduate and postdoctoral training provides opportunities for learning about the research aspects of academe, such as: choosing a research problem or developing a particular theory, technique and/or process. Unfortunately, this often leaves little chance to learn about the non-research aspects of the academic sector, including teaching or lab management; this seminar is meant to fill that learning gap.

Scientific Management Series
This winter quarter course aims to introduce postdocs to laboratory or research management skills that are critical to launch productive independent careers in academic and other settings. This series discusses some of the most critical aspects in effectively directing and managing a research lab.  The series draws on a number of senior faculty and other prominent experts who draw on their own journey managing a research enterprise.  SMS hopes to offer their perspective.  The series is intended to complement the HHMI/BWF book, Making the Right Moves – A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty.

The Art of Asking Questions
Effective communication while presenting one’s research or teaching includes not only what you say and hear, but also the types of questions you ask, or encounter.  Regardless of your discipline, this workshop will give you tools to help your communication be more refined and engaging.

Research Agenda Workshop
The workshop aims to help postdoctoral scholars identify and consider the key questions in order to successfully develop an independent research agenda.  The workshop focuses on the process of selecting topics and directions for future research, and on the clear articulation of their ideas for an audience of non-specialists. 

SPARK Translational Research Program
SPARK was created as an innovative, cost-effective way to overcome the hurdles associated with translating academic discoveries into drugs or diagnostics that address real clinical needs.

Our mission is to train students, fellows and faculty in the Biodesign Process: a systematic approach to needs finding and the invention and implementation of new biomedical technologies.  Key components of the program include Biodesign Innovation Fellowships; classes in medtech innovation; mentoring of students and faculty in the technology transfer process; career services for students interested in medtech careers; and community educational events.

Stanford Ignite
This certificate program teaches innovators to formulate, develop, and commercialize their ideas. In this program, you will be exposed to both the fundamentals of business, and the practical aspects of identifying and evaluating business ideas and moving them forward.

AIMS Association of Industry Minded Stanford Professional
Our goal is to provide guidance and support for postdoctoral scholars who are interested in pursuing a career path in industry. Our main goal is to create a fertile networking environment for entrepreneurially minded postdocs and ease the transition between postdoc and industry.

Career Planning

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
Towards supporting Stanford’s research and educational mission, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs oversees, develops and manages policies related to postdoctoral scholars at Stanford; offers educational programs and services to postdoctoral scholars; and collaborates with university organizations, faculty, postdocs, their administrators and external entities in order to facilitate an experience that supports the personal growth and professional development of each postdoc as a trainee and in preparation for an independent research, professional and academic career.

School of Medicine Career Center
The School of Medicine Career Center provides critical support for the exploration of career options, development of professional skill sets, and connections to opportunities. We house career and professional development resources via in-house and online libraries. Further, as career counselors, we provide insight into the career development and job search process one on one. Finally, we partner with alumni, faculty, and experts in myriad fields around discussion groups and curricular efforts.

Stanford University Postdoctoral Association (SURPAS)
SURPAS, formerly known as SUPD, is the umbrella organization of all postdoctoral scholars at Stanford.  SURPAS' mission is to work with university administration in enriching the lives and the career development of postdocs.  SURPAS has an extensive website with resources for prospective as well as current postdocs, as well as useful information for international scholars.  SURPAS organizes social as well as academic events.

An individual development plan (IDP) helps you explore career possibilities and set goals to follow the career path that fits you best.

National Postdoctoral Association
Numerous career planning resources and tools to assist in defining your career goals and interests.


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