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American Association for Thoracic Surgery Grant Writing Workshop Bethesda MD March 8, 2013. Hypothesis and Specific Aims The Importance of Clarity. Y. Joseph Woo, M.D. Professor of Surgery Director of Cardiac Transplantation and VAD Surgery

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hypothesis and specific aims the importance of clarity

American Association for Thoracic Surgery

Grant Writing Workshop

Bethesda MD

March 8, 2013

Hypothesis and Specific AimsThe Importance of Clarity

Y. Joseph Woo, M.D.

Professor of Surgery

Director of Cardiac Transplantation and VAD Surgery

Director of Minimally Invasive and Robotic Cardiac Surgery

Division of Cardiovascular Surgery

Department of Surgery

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Philadelphia, PA

topics
Topics

NIH Instructions

Abstract or Executive Summary

Five NIH Criteria

Hypotheses

Specific Aims

Sequence/Formatting

Avoid

abstract
Abstract

Abstract Grading for Society Meetings

NIH Grant Abstract ≠ Manuscript Abstract

Specific Aims Page = Manuscript Abstract

Executive Summary

If they don’t understand this,

They will not be excited to read

points
Points

Significance √ √

Investigator√

Innovation √ √ √

Approach √ √ √

Environment √

first impression
First Impression

Job interview ------

Two Minute Preview

Movie Trailer

Reality—Reviewer Has

Incredible Time Constraints

hypotheses
Hypotheses

“Hypothesis-Driven Research”

Clearly Stated, Concise, Scientifically Sound Questions

Demonstrate that this is not a fishing expedition or that you are using a shotgun approach

one two punch
One-Two Punch

Ask a Question

Propose a Method to Answer the Question

audience
Audience

Administrators

Study Section Scientists

Administrators

number of aims
Number of Aims

1 Year Grant (Student) 1 Aim

2 Year Grant (Fellowship, Foundation) 2 Aims

4-5 Year Grant (K, R) 3 Aims

sub hypotheses and sub aims
Sub-Hypotheses and Sub-Aims

Avoid Excessive Subdivisions

One Level is Reasonable, more are unwieldy

Sub-Aims are probably more logical

Problem 1

Solution 1

Solution 2

Solution 3

Serves as Scientific Table of Contents for Body of the Grant

sequence
Sequence

Scientifically Logical

Chronologic

Model System Size

formatting
Formatting

Use all forms of formatting possible in an elegant manner

Bold

Italics

Underline

Capitals

Font Face

Font Size

Avoid Roman Numerals and Lower Case Letters

symmetry
Symmetry

Human Eye Responds to Symmetry

Asymmetry is immediately noticeable

Facial examples

Avoid Verbal Repetition

Scientific Symmetry

Visual Symmetry

personalizing
Personalizing

Develop relationship/bond with reader

An Identity

Use “We” sparingly

Never use “I”

excessive methodolgy
Excessive Methodolgy

Avoid invoking too many tools

old does not equal bad
Old Does Not Equal Bad

Historical Value

Time Tested Methods

Proven Reliable

common does not equal bad
Common Does Not Equal Bad

Logo Recognition

Pattern Recognition

Methodology Recognition

Familiarity Variety

conditionality
Conditionality

Avoid Excessive Interdependence of Aims

Avoid Aim 2 is conditional upon completion of Aim 1

proofreading
Proofreading

Obviously entire grant

Quadruple Effort on Aims Page

Do Not Rely on MS Word

Thesaurus.com

Never use the word

“Streamline”

summary
Summary
  • Abstract or Executive Summary
  • Five NIH Criteria
  • Hypotheses
  • Specific Aims
  • Sequence/Formatting
  • Avoid
acknowledgements
Acknowledgements

Pavan Atluri MD

Mark F. Berry, MD

Vasant Jayasankar, MD

Astrid Moise, MD

Steven Kolakowski, MD

Corinna M. Panlilio BA

Vivian M. Hsu BA

George P. Liao MB

Jeffrey E. Cohen BA

Erik E. Suarez MD

Maximilian J. Smith

Ryan McCormick BS

Carinne Laporte BS

John Frederick, MD

Ray Fitzpatrick, MD

Rebecca Levit MD

Eliott Nacke BS

Kevin Southerland BS

Eliott Kozin BS

William Hiessinger MD

Todd Grand, BS

Omar Fisher, BS

H. Lee Sweeney PhD

Timothy J Gardner, MD

Clinical CT Surgery Fellows

  • Grant Support:
  • NIH R01 HL089315 (YJW)
  • NIH TSFRE K08 HL072812 (YJW)
  • AHA 0465519U (YJW)
  • AHA 0665441U (YJW)
  • NIH F32 HL79769-01 (PA)
  • ISHLT Research Fellowship (JRF)
  • ACS Research Fellowship (JRF)

Laboratory:

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