Virtual Grant-Writing Workshop

Beginning November 1, 2021, a group of faculty and staff from the UAB School of Public Health (SOPH) hosted a research grant-writing workshop with colleagues at the Aga Khan University in both Karachi, Pakistan and Nairobi, Kenya. This virtual workshop occurred over eight mornings, from 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. CST, and welcomed 34 AKU participants in total, including 22 early career faculty. In addition to participants from Karachi and Nairobi, the event also welcomed individuals from Kabul, Afghanistan, and Tanzania. The workshop featured lesson topics including a review of various types of grant announcements, assembling a research team, preparing an NIH biosketch, considerations for non-NIH funders, ethics and human subjects, and many more.

The SOPH Office of Research, Associate Dean for Research Dr. Paul Muntner and his team, Ms. Madeline Gibson and Ms. Ananya Bandyopadhyay, and the Sparkman Center for Global Health, Director Dr. Janet Turan and her team, Dr. Anna Helova and Ms. Camryn Durham, were instrumental in the planning and execution of this collaboration that spanned three international time zones. UAB SOPH faculty from all departments as well as staff from the SOPH Office of Research and Sparkman Center for Global Health delivered presentations, held virtual office hours, and provided feedback on draft grant documents. Contributing presenters included Ms. Ananya Bandyopadhyay, Dr. Henna Budhwani, Dr. Kevin Fontaine, Ms. Madeline Gibson, Dr. Anna Helova, Dr. Cora (Beth) Lewis, Dr. Paul Muntner, Dr. David Redden, Dr. Sadeep Shrestha, Ms. Allison Spensley, Dr. Janet Turan, and Dr. Jeffrey Wickliffe. At AKU, Drs. Romaina Iqbal, Sameen Siddiqi, and Mansor Saleh led the planning and implementation activities. Faculty from AKU also provided in-country perspectives and participated as paired partners with the UAB faculty/staff presenters.

The workshop concluded with a review of participants’ NIH-style biosketches and Specific Aims as well as a Question/Answer session led by SOPH Dean Paul Erwin and Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta, founding director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health and the Institute for Global Health and Development at AKU, where Dr. Bhutta shared his four decades of experience in research and grant writing as well as lessons learned from a long and productive research career.

Next steps for this collaboration between UAB SOPH and AKU are underway. “My deep thanks go to all of our UAB colleagues for their generosity in both time and knowledge sharing, as well as to our AKU colleagues. This was the result of several months of planning with our partners at AKU, setting the stage for new collaborations,” said Dean Erwin, who also participated in the workshop every morning. “It was inspiring to see and hear the engagement on research across the globe!”

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