I have written and edited multiple hundreds of grant applications, from small pilot studies, Post-Doc and PhD research support proposals, to grants that support multi-center trials with budgets exceeding $45 million.
My work centers on creating trust between the reader and the writer. Reviewers need to trust the PI in order to give her or him money. Trust starts with excellent writing and organization. A well written proposal (or any other research document) allows the reviewer to relax and focus on the story—why is this work important and how is the applicant qualified and prepared to conduct it? Reviewers shouldn’t have to fight their way through tangled and unclear prose to understand the urgency of the work, what is actually being proposed in the research plan, or why they should fund you. All successful academic writing has two things in common: it tells a compelling story about the work, and it is aimed at the correct audience. Perfecting these elements forms the core of my work as an editor and writer.
MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION AND EDITING
Clients work with me on papers for multiple reasons. For some, papers are at the bottom of their to do list and keep getting put off. As a thought partner, I can help clients get a polished, interesting paper out the door and avoid that cycle of rejection/resubmission/revisions that can delay your publications by months or even years. Every paper I have ever worked on for a client has been accepted (usually immediately or with revisions) by a peer-reviewed journal. I have clients that publish in Nature, Science, PNAS, PloS journals, and in top-notch journals specific to their fields. A well-written paper with a strong argument and interesting ideas (and yes, sometimes editing involves critiquing ideas) will find a home in short order, even if the data are preliminary or underwhelming.
PRESENTATIONS, ABSTRACTS, AND REPORTS
C3 can help put together presentations and abstracts for conferences and funders that highlight your work and are easy to view and understand. I can also help write progress reports to fulfill reporting requirements and show clearly what you have been doing with funders’ money.
I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to writing. Instead of delivering the same message to hundreds of researchers, as most people who give grant writing workshops do, I go to university campuses and meet individually, or in small groups or departments, to work with you on proposals, papers, or any writing projects. My expertise can decrease the drain on universities by helping early-career investigators get published and boost their proposal hit rates. Increasing proposal hit rates brings money directly back to the department.
I also give on-site workshops and seminars on proposal writing and revising. I have given Aims workshops, revision workshops, soup-to-nuts granstmanship workshops and my favorite workshop, How to Make Reviewers Not Hate You.
I have retainer agreements with several large research universities and with individual labs. For example, one prominent research university allows every investigator in certain departments to use 40 hours of my time per year. It’s difficult to calculate an exact return on investment for my services, because I can’t say exactly who would not have been funded if she or he hadn’t worked with me. I do know that university departments are convinced by their bottom line, and hiring me helps them bring in money or they wouldn’t do it. Contact me if you are interested in learning more about this type of contract.