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Regardless of your career stage, we know that writing a scientific proposal can be difficult and intimidating. The Children’s Research Institute is available to provide guidance to all researchers writing proposals related to pediatric health. Investigators needing input on specific grants or projects are invited to contact us via email.

Below are a few resources we also recommend.

National Institute of Health

  • NIH Guide to Writing Your Application: This guide from the NIH teaches how to write a strong application, provides insight into the criteria used by reviewers, and reviews various section of an NIH application. It also includes information on developing a budget, formatting attachments, and preparing a biosketch.


  • Funding Information Portal: The Funding Information Portal is a shared resource maintained by the Graduate Funding Information Center and the Office of Research Development. Resources are arranged by category, including funding opportunities, applying for opportunities and implementing research.
  • Health Sciences Library Research Hub: Librarians at UNC’s Health Sciences Library can provide data management support, guidance, and referrals. They can also provide in-person consultations about your research, instruction or training for teams and classes, and consultation in research-related workshops or events.
  • Office of Research Development: UNC’s Office of Research Development links out to multiple resources focused on research and proposal development, including general grant writing tips and resources for assembling federal grants.
  • NCTraCS Proposal Development: NCTraCS staff are available to assist investigators in each phase of the grant writing process, including identifying funding sources, providing editorial support, proposal review and grant application training.
  • TraCSTAR (TraCS Template Application Resource): TraCSTAR is a searchable database containing examples of successful grant applications from UNC investigators for multiple mechanisms and funding agencies. The database is searchable by funding agency, NIH Institute/Center, grant mechanism and keyword.

Other Resources

  • The Anatomy of a Specifics Aims Page: The Specific Aims section is the most important part of any NIH grant application. This article provides tips on structure, content and organization of a Specific Aims page to help you grab the attention of your reviewer.
  • How to Write a Specific Aims Page: This presentation by Stephanie Davis, MD was part of a virtual panel hosted by the Pediatric Scientist Development Program (PSDP). It reviews tips and tricks for writing a specific aims page, especially for early career and junior investigators.