Derish - 90The Department of Surgery's Scientific Publications Office, managed by Pamela Derish, M.A., provides trainees with editorial support that enables them to maximize their research productivity, publications, and grant applications. The Department’s editor and writing instructor is available to work closely with authors to prepare, produce, and submit documents that are of high quality with regard to organization and structure, accuracy and completeness, use of language, adherence to style and format requirements, and appearance. Grant proposals and full-length articles, brief observations, review papers, case studies, editorials, letters, revisions, and cover letters for revisions can be submitted for editorial review.

The Big Picture

A successfully funded grant proposal is far more than a piece of writing. It is often the culmination of months of preparation and requires a collaborative effort between you, your mentor(s), UCSF Research Administration, and others. Spend a few hours learning more about what’s involved in preparing a successful grant application. You will save yourself time and grief. 

If you need to start with a “research roadmap” that lays out how to find a research mentor, conceive of the research question, do the literature review, design the study, write the proposal, conduct the research, and report the results, then by all means download an example here of the "The Research Guide: A Primer for Residents, Other Healthcare Trainees, and Practitioners" (from The Royal College of Canadian Physicians and Surgeons). Please contact the Residency Education Office to obtain a complete copy.

Preparing a Grant Application

Lock Symbol Writing Successful Grant Proposals for Surgical Research During Residency (slide presentation from workshop given by Pamela Derish, the Department of Surgery’s editor and scientific writing instructor) 

Note: This document is solely for personal use and may not be reproduced, displayed, or distributed for any commercial purpose.

Tips for Writing Successful Grant Proposals During Surgical Residency (Pam’s text summarizing the slide presentation, including how to work with UCSF Grants Administration—essential information.) 

If you are preparing an NIH NRSA proposal, be sure to consult this handbook and this checklist. 

Funding Sources

  • Fellowship & Grant Opportunities
    This searchable table is sorted by deadline. 
  • Pivot™ Funding Opportunity Database 
    Get acquainted with Pivot, one of the most comprehensive searchable funding opportunities databases available, with approximately 40,000 opportunities that are private, federal and international in nature. Pivot allows researchers to search funding opportunities, save results, set automated funding alerts, and identify potential collaborators. Please see Pivot Training PowerPoint Slides for further details and then get started on tailoring your searches.

Once You Are Ready to Write (and Revise!) the Proposal

Lock Symbol Fundamentals of Writing a Successful Grant Proposal, J Hand Surg, 2008

Please Note: The document is solely for personal use and may not be reproduced, displayed, or distributed for any commercial purpose.

Lock Symbol Department of Surgery’s Resource Guide for Scientific Writing (Pam Derish’s writing guide for everything from writing papers to the peer review process to giving talks; for grants, see the sections on “Grant Proposals”, “Revising Your Prose” and “CVs and Personal Statements”

Please Note: The document is solely for personal use and may not be reproduced, displayed, or distributed for any commercial purpose.

Sample Grant Proposals

(generously provided by past research residents)

Ask for Help

Are you planning to submit a grant proposal for an upcoming deadline? Do you need help staying on track with regular feedback on your writing in order to prepare the best possible proposal? If so, it's a good idea to start at least 4 months before the grant is due. To make steady progress, it's important to set aside time each week to work on the proposal and to write. As the Department's scientific editor, Pamela Derish can set up a regular "tutorial" time to meet with you in order to break the writing task down into manageable chunks, give you editorial feedback, and help you prepare the research plan (and career development or training plan if you are seeking a mentored award) for review by your mentor(s) and others with time to spare before the deadline. 

Writing Manuscripts for Publication

  • View the PowerPoint Slides on the Structure and Content of Research Articlesand Achieving Clarity in Your Writingfrom the Department of Surgery’s Scientific Writing Workshops.
    Note: These documents are solely for personal use and may not be reproduced, displayed, or distributed for any commercial purpose.
  • Use the Checklist for Writing Research Reportsto ensure your manuscript has everything it needs before submission to a journal.
  • If you are writing about clinical cases, view the PowerPoint Slidesfrom the Department of Surgery’s Scientific Writing Course. Note: These documents are solely for personal use and may not be reproduced, displayed, or distributed for any commercial purpose.
  • To learn more about authorship requirements, publication ethics and peer review, please view the PowerPoint Slidesfrom the Department of Surgery’s Scientific Writing Course. Note: These documents are solely for personal use and may not be reproduced, displayed, or distributed for any commercial purpose.
  • Add to your library with this highly recommended guide to organizing and writing a scientific paper, dealing with the peer review process, and managing authorship issues.

Need help with a paper for publication, an abstract for a conference, or a personal statement for fellowship?

Please visit Editorial Consultation & Review at the Scientific Publication Office website. 

For other questions, contact pamela.derish@ucsf.edu or (415) 885-7686.