NINDS's Building Up the Nerve

Episode 4: Preparing the Application

November 29, 2019 NINDS Season 1 Episode 4
NINDS's Building Up the Nerve
Episode 4: Preparing the Application
Chapters
00:00:00
Intro
00:01:34
Introductions
00:05:25
Questions
00:27:54
Advice
00:33:53
Outro
NINDS's Building Up the Nerve
Episode 4: Preparing the Application
Nov 29, 2019 Season 1 Episode 4
NINDS

Get tips for putting together your application from Drs. Steve Korn and Tish Weigand of the Training Office and Dr. Michelle Jones-London of the OPEN Office.

Building Up the Nerve is a podcast from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for neuroscience trainees that takes you through the life cycle of a grant from idea to award at NINDS with the people who make it happen. We know that applying for NIH funding can be daunting, but we’re here to help—it’s our job!

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Get tips for putting together your application from Drs. Steve Korn and Tish Weigand of the Training Office and Dr. Michelle Jones-London of the OPEN Office.

Building Up the Nerve is a podcast from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for neuroscience trainees that takes you through the life cycle of a grant from idea to award at NINDS with the people who make it happen. We know that applying for NIH funding can be daunting, but we’re here to help—it’s our job!

Lauren Ullrich:

Welcome to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke's Building Up the Nerve, a podcast for neuroscience trainings that takes you through the life cycle of a grant from idea to award at NINDS with the people who make it happen. We know that applying for NIH funding can be daunting, but we're here to help. It's our job.

:

Hi, I'm Lauren Ullrich, scientific program manager at NINDS.

Marguerite M:

and I'm Marguerite Matthews , a health program specialist at NINDS and we're your hosts today.

:

So last week we discussed initiating your research idea, how to read a funding opportunity announcement and how to chat with your program official. Today we're going to talk about the next logical step, actually preparing your fellowship or career development application. We'll go through do's and don'ts and ways of thinking about your application that will help you establish a framework for success. So Marguerite, did you apply for an F31 or an F32? What was it like?

Marguerite M:

I did not apply for an F31, but I did prepare an application as part of my comprehensive exam. So I prepared the application and I presented it to a committee, but I did not actually end up submitting it. What about you?

:

I actually submitted an F31, I think three times--never got it. And mostly what I remember from the process was being overwhelmed by how much I had to prepare , um, and trying to figure out, you know, what exactly had to go in each part of the application. So hopefully today we can demystify that process a little bit.

Marguerite M:

All right . So today we are going to talk to three people at NINDS who have collectively seen thousands of training and career development award applications go through review and they're going to give us their perspectives on the process. So joining us are Dr Steve Korn , the director of training and workforce development. Dr Letitia Weigand , the scientific program officer in the training office and Dr. Michelle Jones-London, chief of the office of programs to enhance neuroscience workforce diversity.

Steve Korn:

So I'm Steve Korn , the director of the training--in the office of training and workforce development at NINDS. we handle all training mechanisms that are not targeted towards increasing workforce diversity. So we handle mechanisms for pre docs and postdocs and clinicians and institutional grants that are designed to train pre docs and postdocs and clinicians. And then we have a lot of research education programs that are very specialized , to accomplish a training goal. I have been here since 2006. Before that I was on the faculty at the University of Connecticut. I was an ion channel biophysicist doing all the usual things that faculty do, research, teaching, getting grants, writing papers, mentoring, all that sort of stuff. Wow, one of my hobbies or passions outside of work besides my dog, I guess I spend most of my time biking, doing some long bike trips, some easy bike trips, that sort of thing.

Tish Weigand:

Hi I'm Tish Weigand, I am also in the office of training and workforce development at NINDS. So, along with Steve, I help to manage the portfolio of all the training, the non diversity targeted training awards for NINDS. I'm specifically very heavily involved in managing the institutional T32 programs, if that's a familiar mechanism. As well as the loan repayment program for NINDs. Um, I've been here for about six years now. And prior to that I did a postdoctoral fellowship at George Washington University. Um, and then in terms of how, what I do outside of work, my biggest passion of course is my daughter, my family, but I spend lots of time outdoors. So camping, hiking , trail running, stuff like that.

Michelle J-L:

So I guess that leaves me. So I'm Michelle Jones-London. I'm the chief of the office of programs to enhance workforce diversity. We call it OPEN and open really captures what we're trying to do. We're trying to open access and opportunities to increase workforce diversity. And when we talk about diversity, we're talking about racial, ethnic under-representation , but also persons with disabilities, for some categories, disadvantage. And for some mechanisms that we have now, especially for the senior levels, also trying to increase the representation of women in our programs. And so the mechanisms that I have, they go all the way from, in some cases, high school and Lauren oversees that program, high school all the way up to junior faculty. So we really cover the whole landscape when we're talking about diversity for individual and institutional programs. Um, how long have I worked here? Steve and I came probably about a week apart.

Steve Korn:

Wow did we really I don't remember that?

Michelle J-L:

Yeah. Which is really funny. And before I started here, I was a postdoc at Penn where I was looking at animal models of depression, especially focused on sex differences, which probably tells you that there's been a thread in terms of my life and looking at , um, underrepresented groups. One of my hobbies and passions outside of work, very similar to Tish, I have a 10 year old daughter who works me pretty hard. But when I do have time reading is something that I enjoy and I'm part of a book club.

Lauren Ullrich:

All right . Thank you guys for being here. We want to just start with sort of the big picture. So what is the point of a fellowship or career development award? What are the benefits for applying for one besides the obvious of getting money?

Steve Korn:

I guess I'll start. I think it's hard to lump all those things together. The--obviously the point of all the training mechanisms to prepare people to be good scientists either as independent scientists or as collaborative scientists. Um, and that may be in academia, that could be in industry or that could be using their scientific training somewhere else. But the goal of training is to create good scientists. Really in my view, I think all of these mechanisms have different purposes. For example, for a pre doc fellowship, in fact, the least important part of it is the funding. Any graduate student should have a source of funding throughout their graduate career that is guaranteed. And so the money's not really directly going to them. To me, there are two big values of a pre doc fellowship. One is when you have to write down your ideas, you find out that some of your ideas don't make sense. And to be able to write coherently and convincingly to get somebody to give you money for your ideas is not easy. And you find that out only when you write it. The other thing that I actually think is , is kind of an interesting benefit is that you often don't get your application and learn, maybe you can speak to that. Um , you don't get your award. And I think it's hugely important to be able to face rejection and get back on your feet and keep moving forward. And if you can't do that, then science is the wrong place for you because science is a place where you get papers rejected and you get grant applications rejected and , and you , it's part of the game and you need to be able to take the critiques and respond to the critiques, get the emotion out of it, and objectively look at what's written. And it improves your application. And it's , reviewers are almost always right. You just don't like to see it. That's about you.

Michelle J-L:

I agree with everything you said. I think another thing that it really does is I think as scientists, obviously what excites us is the doing, is the research. And so sometimes it can be very hard to set aside that time to just--to think and also to write. And so when you're preparing one of these applications, those are two things that you have to stop the doing and really set aside time to talk with your mentor to have conversations that maybe you never thought about having, but that this application requires you have in terms of timelines, in terms of milestones. Um, especially for some of our career development awards. There's also conversations about institutional commitment. So it really makes some of the assumptions that are going on. Especially if you don't have an individual development plan, it makes them more concrete and written. It also helps you to see as a trainee maybe how much support you have around you. I often hear that when people are going through the process of developing an application and you know, they're asking for feedback on the application, they realize, you know, what a support network , um, they actually have that, that's out there. So that's a positive. And then if you don't have that as you're developing it, it gives you an opportunity to have a reason to go and ask someone to perhaps join your mentoring team. So there's a lot of other things besides the dollars.

Steve Korn:

And I think just to keep going with that theme, it forces clarity of thought and clarity of planning. Um, as an example, I just spoke to somebody yesterday about a career development award. They got their summary statement back and the reviewers were in complete disagreement. The person didn't know how to respond because half the reviewers loved A and half the reviewers hated A and half the reviewers loved B and half the reviewers hated B and on and on and on. Throughout the summary statement. And in having the conversation, it became clear that the reviewers who didn't like things, didn't like them because they didn't understand what was being proposed because of the way it was written. And in fact, neither set of reviewers was right or wrong. There was a lack of clarity in the writing that wasn't really recognized until we had a conversation about "what do you mean to say and what did you actually write?" And so it really to me, you know, people think of grants as an adversarial system where they're trying to get money and people are trying to prevent you from getting money or something like that. But really all reviewers want is to know that you have thought clearly about what you're doing both scientifically and in your career development plans. And also of course that you have something important that you're doing and that you're going to do it well.

Michelle J-L:

Yeah . And I think it's never a waste of time. You often hear that people will say, well, my advisor has enough funding, I shouldn't waste my time putting this together. It really is the benefit that it confers to the trainee. It is worth the time and the energy to once again to sit down and think about your research goals, your training goals, and to have your mentor explicitly write out what is their commitment to you, what is their support to you and what are your long term visions? Because otherwise you may not, you may , you may have a bunch of assumptions and never see it in black and white.

Marguerite M:

And in order to do that , um, we often recommend doing a gap analysis approach. So, Michelle, can you talk a little bit more about what that means as it relates to people thinking about putting their application together and addressing all of these points that you all just made?

Michelle J-L:

Yeah. It's you and your mentor taking a step back and looking at the strengths and the weaknesses and looking for areas that when we talk about the gap , um, things that are remaining even in terms of timeline for the project, but also in terms of career development, or professional development for you, the applicant , um, if you're putting certain research goals or specific aims in the project, does that match up with the training goals that you have or are the courses that you need to take are the development of techniques that you need. So taking a step back and saying what needs to be done, what is the training? Um, and I know Steve will talk a lot about this. This is really something that we harp on a lot in terms of the training mechanisms, is that you're actually talking about what training will occur. Once again, it's not just about the dollars of the , the research, but the training.

Steve Korn:

And in terms of the application, reviewers want to know what is it that you already know, what has your training been and what do you need that you don't have to get where you're going? And so that's why we talk about it in terms of a gap discussion. And it should be explicitly like that and just lay it out for the reviewers. Here's what I'm good at and here's what I need to know. And don't worry about weaknesses. You know, it's not, it's not weaknesses, it's what you don't know and nobody expects you to know what you don't know. What reviewers will object to is if you don't recognize that you need something and you're not proposing to get it, then it makes it sound like you don't know what you're doing. And that's what reviewers care about is that you know what you're doing.

Tish Weigand:

Yeah, and I'd , I'd add too , I'm just going to study sections and listening in on reviews. A lot of times a comment that will come through as reviewers will say, well, this is a generic training plan. Um , and I think as Michelle alluded to this, this application isn't just about the research, but it's about your career development and your plans for getting where you're trying to go. Um, so a generic plan would be someone saying, well, I'm going to do my research, but then I'll, you know, I'll go to journal club and I'll go to seminar and I'll go to some conferences and maybe present some posters. But that's not really a personalized training plan. It should be not generic. It should be personalized. It should be, you know, like we've been talking about looking at what you need to get where you're trying to go and coming up with a plan in writing it down for how you're going to get those, those, those needs met.

Steve Korn:

And I just, I just wanted to get one word in there. A specific word that just came to my mind while we're having this discussion is that word overambitious . That is probably the most common critique and it's misinterpreted by lots of applicants. Everybody wants you to be ambitious. Nobody minds you being ambitious. The what the word means is that you are proposing way too much work for the amount of time you've got. And what that's an indication of is that you don't understand how much time everything is going to take, which means you don't really understand what you're doing. And again, it all comes back to reviewers want to know that you know where you're trying to get to and how you're going to get there. And so, you know, nobody minds him.

Michelle J-L:

Yeah, no. And that, and especially in that both statements match, right? That what you're saying and what your mentor is saying is aligned. One of the kiss of deaths is, you know, a comment of, you know, did they even talk to each other? Did the mentor read this? Um, so having that, that awareness and that conversation, that, that gap analysis is knowing you internally, talking about your goals and your path, but also having that conversation with the mentor so that the whole application reads like a coherent story.

Lauren Ullrich:

So what about things that you know, might actually be weaknesses either in the situation or past productivity? So let's say I have a junior mentor that doesn't have his R01 yet. Or , um, I had a child and so I , I didn't , um, publish as much as I wanted to in my postdoc . So are you saying that I should really put those things upfront and or should I try to mitigate them somehow?

Michelle J-L:

Yeah, I think you do both, right? You put them up front and then you also talk about the things that you're going to do to mitigate the concerns, right? We often talk about, you know, people trying to hide the elephant in the room. Um, if you have a biosketch that has, has gaps or if you're showing productivity that seems a little less than it should be given your, your number of years, then you want to address that. And there's two different ways you can do that. There's explicit language for the biosketch that says in that personal statement, you can talk about , um, areas where there might be reasons for less than expected productivity. You can do that there . I mean, you don't spend a lot of time on it, you know, make a lot of excuses. You just put out the facts. The other way that I've seen people do this very well is having the mentors talk about that. To say , um , I , I like sort of Steve's wording in terms of, you know, we're using the word weakness, but maybe you don't even call it that, but you just call it explaining why, why life happened. And so the mentor could say, even though you know, this applicant had to take off our, my mentee had to take off for half a year. They still came back and were, were amazingly productive and went on to contribute to a specific aim in the R01. So they're , they're stating the facts about what happened, why the timeline looks like it does, but still reiterating the fact that you have the potential to be a great researcher.

Steve Korn:

And just to, just to amplify on that a little bit, and I agree with everything. You don't want to make excuses and you don't want to be defensive. You want to state the facts as Michelle said, and, and you stayed at all in the positive, you know, you were, and then maybe you took time off or you did whatever and you just state it. Here are the facts. And the reviewers can interpret the facts as they'll interpret them and , and they're not going to expect you to have been productive when you weren't working.

Michelle J-L:

Yeah, I mean, and I think reviewers, especially in this day and age, they recognize the fact that , um , those very things and those attributes make you more resilient. Um, and really show that you have a commitment to this. There are humans who are reviewers and they know life life happens. What comes in the way sometimes is when people make up their own stories about why there are gaps or why this timeline looks a little weird, they'll, they'll start to make stuff up and you don't want to have them do that. You want to take control of your story.

Steve Korn:

And I think another thing that Lauren brought up that I want to get back to is you talked about a junior mentor. We absolutely encourage people, trainees to work with mentors that don't have a lot of training experience, but it is absolutely required that you have a real, a more senior or established mentor with training experience in your program for you. And it has to be real, not just name somebody who's famous. Um , reviewers can read through, their reviewers, can read through everything that you've written. It's hard for people to believe that they can pick out the real from the imaginary and--but they do. And there's a good reason. Sometimes people wonder, well , why I'm a perfectly good mentor even though I have no experience. And that may be true. You may be a junior mentor, may be the best mentor on the planet, there's just no track record to prove it. And there are lots of issues that come up for junior faculty that can interfere with good mentorship even if they're wonderful people. And so you need to make sure you just have an experienced voice on there too , to guide things if they go off the rails a little bit.

Marguerite M:

So mentorship is clearly a very important component of this application. How much should a applicant be working with their mentor on the application itself in terms of writing it or putting it together?

Tish Weigand:

So I mean, I think at every step of the way in the process you should be talking to your mentor on , you know, because certainly as Michelle was seeing earlier on, you know , one important component of this application is that the mentor him or herself has to write a statement about mentorship and the plan for guiding you through the, the time that you'll be spending in the lab doing the project. So you want to be talking with them frequently and running things by them and having them read drafts of stuff that you've written as you go through the process and working together, formulating this plan for that's gonna you know, propel you forward with success. Not only because this, you know, is going to be important for your relationship with your mentor and for your career success, but also because what you're going to put down on the paper and in the actual application needs to match up and it needs to reflect throughout the application that you've been talking to the mentor and that the mentor has read and given input and is on the same page with you in terms of what your plans are. So I think it's critical to be engaging with your mentor or mentors, right ? Every step of the way and not just the primary mentor on the project, but co-mentors people that, you know, other collaborators, folks who've written these applications before, people who really, you know, are going to give a critical eye and maybe aren't your best friends in your department and people that are going to look at what you did, what you are presenting sort of with skepticism. Maybe those are the, probably some of the best people to get feedback from because they're going to give you, give you really critical , um, feedback that that could help you craft a better application. So, certainly talking to mentors and , and folks with experience and other folks in the department , um, and getting their input on what , what you're putting together I think is critical all, all throughout.

Steve Korn:

And you know, mentorship is a huge discussion , um, that we can't possibly do in this one session.

Tish Weigand:

That's an episode in and off itself.

Steve Korn:

But I guess I want to make another point. Getting back to the application is your mentor should be writing the mentor statement and you can give the mentor bullet points that say, would you please hit these topics? But think about it, if your mentor will not spend the time to write a statement on your behalf to bring in money, how good a mentor is that and how much is that person going to be there for you? And the other part of it is there are some mentors who are very good mentors that don't understand the importance of their statement and they think to themselves, "Well, I'm a good mentor and everybody knows it. And so I'm just going to say, yeah, I'll do a great job." But reviewers want to hear what is the mentor specific plan for you? And you know, especially a mentor with a big lab, they may give more attention to one person than another. And the reviewers want to know that this person is paying attention to you and knows exactly what you need and how they're going to help you get it.

Michelle J-L:

Yeah, and I'll touch on what Tish said about mentor or mentors. I think the thing that we've seen a lot of now is people having a sense of more mentor teams. Um, but once again it should be real. Um, you don't want to just collect sort of your all star names and put them on there. There should be a reason, a purpose, a responsibility and a frequency that you're meeting with these other mentors. But having, you know, perhaps more than one mentor is beneficial to you. Um, when it comes time for your transition or as you're looking for your, your next steps in your careers, it just increases your networks. It increases the likelihood that you'll have more people out there who are really invested in you as a trainee. So that's a good idea to think about as well.

Steve Korn:

And , and just again, continuing that line of you only need the mentors you need, not more than you need and not less than you need. There's not the right number of mentors. And we can say that about absolutely everything in the grant. There's not the right amount of data.

Lauren Ullrich:

Well that was going to be my next question, Steve. How many papers do I need?

Steve Korn:

You need exactly the right amount, Lauren. But, but back to the mentor, you know the, you may only need one mentor who can do everything or you may need multiple mentors to handle different roles. And I guess I would just say also even if you have just one mentor or you have a couple of mentors, I would recommend having a real committee that meets with you and your mentor maybe a couple of times a year. And just to go over what you've done and where you're headed, what you need to do to finish up. And you need people on the committee that will disagree with your mentor. It's not, that should not be a rubber stamp committee that's of no value to you.

Michelle J-L:

Exactly. And we've even been seeing that for postdocs now. That's something very common for graduate school, these types of committees. But we've seen this successfully done with postdocs and even junior faculty as well. It's really, it's really nice to have those check-ins with people that don't have the same um , conflict of interest.

Marguerite M:

That's the real dream team . People who are gonna elevate you and encourage you to do, to do more and to do better.

Michelle J-L:

Exactly, Marguerite

Lauren Ullrich:

Yeah. So I mean, I think one of the things that we hear a lot from applicants are they're asking for some kind of secret formula, right? Like there is some right answer of number of mentors, number of papers, how many aims should I have and how do you, how do you answer those questions?

Michelle J-L:

The Goldilocks thought of a grant. There is just really, it really when we talked about that gap analysis, right. We talked a lot about--specific to you. Your, career goals, your area of science, what you're proposing. They're really, it's, it's the, right, what did you say, Steve? The right number of papers is the right number of papers for that field, for that project, for where you are at your stage of career; someone in their third year versus someone in their fifth year. Obviously you would have a different expectation maybe, but it also depends on the field. If you're doing something where the research is a fast turnaround for outcomes, people are going to look more. If there's something that maybe time and investment of doing the research , um, the specific aims, it just takes longer. Um, people will ask us, well, should it be one big paper in Neuron or Cell or should I publish a bunch of little papers. We, we can't tell you that answer. Um, and we can tell you that we've funded people with the one name journals, but we've also funded people that had highly significant projects and, and had great , um, productivity in maybe not the one name journals. So it really is about putting together the most competitive application you can put together for your research with a supportive mentor and with a plan that makes sense.

Steve Korn:

Yeah, I think you really need to keep that in mind that you know, it seems kind of silly to say it, but I'm going to say it. Reviewers are smart people and they recognize excellent work and they know what's appropriate. Again, the way Michelle said it in terms of time and amount and all of that stuff, but we've given very prestigious grants to somebody with one paper that a reviewer says, "This is only one paper, but it turned the whole field around" and other people can have 10 so - so papers and the reviewers will sit there and say, "Yeah, there are 10 papers, but they're not really, there's not much in them." And so there is no answer to any of those questions.

Marguerite M:

Well, I think this has been a great overview of how to approach fellowship and career development award applications. Thank you all for sharing your wisdom with us today. Can each of you share one last piece of parting advice for our future applicants?

Michelle J-L:

Yeah, I mean the biggest thing in terms of getting a grant, you can't get it unless you submit it . You could worry about the statistics or the right number or all of these other things. But it really is, you know, this is the business of science. And as a trainee, I think there we talked about in the very early parts of this, the benefit to doing and writing an application that has nothing to do with the money. And so I would say make sure you, you do it, it's worth it. The other thing that I would say is to contact us. We really don't want you out there guessing, have a conversation with us and hopefully this podcast has allowed you to see that we aren't too bad. Um, we're not the monsters that, that maybe you thought we were.

Marguerite M:

or aren't you? [laughter]

Steve Korn:

They just have to take your word for that. Yeah, I guess we often get asked for templates of successful applications. There's different mindsets as to whether that's worthwhile or not. I'm very much against it because of what Michelle said. It's about you and your project and you as an applicant and when you get a template of somebody else's grant, that's the tendency is to copy it. And not, not word for word obviously, but sort of the format and the structure and it won't fit you. And so reviewers are looking to know that you're doing something important and you know you need to do and that you have a plan for how to do it and that you have a good mentor.

Tish Weigand:

So I would say the advice that I often give people who are preparing applications is that even though your application is going to sort of be in the hands of the reviewers and sort of at their mercy, so to speak, you're really in a pretty powerful position. But you have the opportunity to sit down and write on paper and present yourself, your research, the environment that you're in and, and how that all is going to lead to your success. And so I always tell people it's important to remember that you have control of the narrative here and you can, you have control of the story that you get to tell. So make sure that you sort of spoonfeed the reviewers the details that you want them to see and you make the narrative something that you want them to, to read and understand. Don't leave room for questions because the sort of kiss of death is when you know, reviewers don't quite understand something or there's not quite enough detail where, or you haven't addressed a particular weakness or issue in your application. And then they sit around the table and they start saying, well what does this mean? Or what do you think about that? Or maybe this or maybe that if you leave space for them to ask questions, it usually doesn't turn out well for your score. So I would say just be empowered and control the narrative and , and present yourself in the best possible way, in the clearest possible way that you can in your application.

Steve Korn:

And if I get to say one more thing before Margaret shuts me off

Lauren Ullrich:

I guess you do then, Steve [laughter]

Steve Korn:

I saw her looking at me. Also, you have to keep in mind that if you do get a critical critique and not a great score, it is not about you. It is not a statement about you.

Michelle J-L:

Exactly.

Steve Korn:

It is a statement about what was written in that application. You should not take it personally. And as frustrated and angry and depressed and whatever else you might be, you should not take it personally. It is not a statement about your worth in science. It's a statement about what you wrote in that application.

Michelle J-L:

Yup. You get a three day pity party and then you come back and you revise.

Marguerite M:

All right Lauren, we'll you've done this three times. Surely you have some advice.

Lauren Ullrich:

Um , I guess just following up on what Tish said is: it really is a story that you're telling the reviewers and to make sure that every single piece of the application tells the same story and don't leave opportunities on the table. So , um, in your biosketch you have a chance to put a personal statement in there. You should take advantage of that opportunity and use that as a way to shape how the reviewers are going to see you by showing how you see yourself. But it's very important that whatever you write in there as you know, your your ultimate career goal, that has to match what your mentor writes as what they see as your ultimate career goal. Because reviewers will pick up on those discrepancies. Um, and I think one way to ensure that you're doing this is to give it to people that are not involved in your research, because reviewers will be familiar with your topic more or less depending on what you're applying for and what study section, but they don't know what's happening in your lab. And you want to make sure that like Steve said, that you've actually communicated your value, your story, your research, why it's exciting, why it's important. And it's really hard to see that when you're in it. Marguerite, what about you?

Marguerite M:

I would just expand on what you just said and also have your writers of your letters of recommendation also amplify what you have said about your goals and your plans for the future and what your mentor has said. They should know about that. And the best way to do that is to give them an outline, talk about the things that you want to do, even give them your personal statement, your candidate statement. They should be able to see that, your biosketch, give them everything they need to know. But also have a conversation with them to make sure that they get what it is that you want to showcase about yourself. And hopefully they are also in agreeance with you. And if they are not a person who can do that, you should find someone else who can speak to those things.

Lauren Ullrich:

Well, that's all we have time for today on Building Up the Nerve. Thank you to our guests this week for sharing their expertise. And also thank you to program director of Bob Riddle for our theme song and music, and we'll see you next time when we tackle what happens after you hit submit on that grant application. You can find past episodes of this podcast and many more grant application resources on the web at ninds.nih.gov.

Marguerite M:

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NINDS diversity and @NINDSfunding. You can email us questions nindsnervepod@nih .gov. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast on Apple podcasts or your favorite podcast app so you don't miss an episode. We'll see you next time.

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