Research Development offers workshops and classes throughout the year on proposal development, how to search for grants, current funding initiatives, junior faculty award programs, and other topics relevant to successfully competing for grants.

Annual Workshops

The P.I. Academy

The PI Academy is an annual program designed to orient new and junior faculty across all disciplines to UC Santa Barbara's research community and resources. Through the PI Academy, presenters and facilitators actively engage faculty on a number of core research topics to ensure early investigators are well-positioned to apply for and secure external funding for their research and creative endeavors.

There is no requirement for participation. Faculty may attend any topic of interest. While geared towards new and junior faculty, any faculty member may attend. The FY20 schedule is below. RSVP early!

Proposal Writing for Success (PROWESS)

Designed for entry-level faculty and new appointees in science and engineering. Spread over nine half-day sessions, it covers a broad range of topics, including proposal writing techniques, a review of prominent funding sources, and proposal preparation practice. Like most of our workshops, PROWESS features presentations from RD staff and faculty, as well as panels of faculty with particularly relevant experience. Applications are solicited in February and PROWESS is held in June and July.

Commit to Submit

Commit to Submit is a professional development program designed to coach Humanities, Arts, Education, and Social Sciences faculty through the process of submitting a grant proposal to a federal agency, from conception to completion. Successful grant-seeking requires understanding the priorities of funders, communicating and building relationships at agencies, and advocating for your research to audiences outside of your area of expertise. The Office of Research will provide resources – including travel to Washington, DC – to faculty members who are motivated to improve their abilities in these areas, and to pursue extramural funding. In return, selected faculty members must commit to the program of activities that will conclude with the submission of a grant proposal.

2020/21 Workshops & Events

*All events will be virtual until further notice*

Winter Quarter

PI Academy: NSF CAREER Workshop
This session will include an overview of the NSF CAREER Program, a Q&A with a panel of UCSB’s past CAREER recipients, and advice on best practices for developing your Education & Outreach component.
Contact: Danielle Chandler
February 2, 3pm
Register for a Zoom invitation

Funding for Hispanic Serving Institutions
As an Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), UCSB faculty are eligible to apply for a variety of federal grants.  In this workshop you will learn about the available funding opportunities and tips for writing competitive proposals.
Contact: Barbara Walker
March 10, 12pm
Register for a Zoom invitation

DOD Multidisciplinary University Initiative (MURI) Workshop
The Department of Defense's Multidisciplinary University Initiative (MURI) program supports teams of researchers investigating high priority topics and opportunities that intersect more than one traditional technical discipline.  This workshop will give an overview of the MURI program and will host a panel of previous MURI awardees to share their advice and experience.
Contact: Danielle Chandler
March TBD


*All events will be virtual until further notice*

Spring Quarter

PI Academy: Designing Your Research Portfolio
This workshop will help you create a strategic plan for your research career towards meeting tenure, promotion, and other professional goals.  You will create a mental map of your research interests, as well as a chronological plan for how and when to fit a variety of research funding opportunities into the arc of your career.
Contact: Barbara Walker
April TBD

PI Academy: Data Management and the DMPTool
Developed in collaboration with the UCSB Library, this workshop will go over the essential elements of a data management plan and discuss data management best practices. Come learn about the DMPTool, an online tool for crafting funder-specific data management plans, as well as other resources available through the Library, including ORCID and the Dryad repository.
Contact: Maria Napoli
May 24, 2021, 12pm


*All events will be virtual until further notice*

Fall Quarter

PI Academy: Proposal Submission 101
Contact: Maria Napoli, Danielle Chandler
October 16, 2020
Learn the ins and outs of submitting a proposal at UCSB. Meet the Research Development staff and kickstart your research career!

Finding Funding with the Pivot Search Engine
Contact: Kelly Pillsbury
November 6, 2020
Learn how to enroll in and use our campus subscription search engine PIVOT.

NEH Fellowships Proposals: Reviewer’s Perspectives
Contact: Barbara Walker
Thursday, November 12
10 – 11:30 am

Learn how NEH evaluates and scores your application by three faculty members who have served as reviewers for NEH:

  • Jenni Sorkin, Associate Professor, History of Art and Architecture
  • Ross Melnick, Associate professor, Film and Media Studies
  • Vesna Wallace, Professor, Religious Studies

In this workshop, our experts will address the following types of questions, and there will be time for your individual questions:

  • How many proposals are reviewers assigned and how much time do they spend on each one?
  • How does NEH instruct reviewers to evaluate proposals?  What is the scoring system?
  • What are the most important things they look for when reading each proposal?
  • What are the hallmarks of an excellent proposal?
  • What are the common mistakes applicants make?
  • How are proposals discussed and ranked in the panel setting?

DOD Research Funding for Biological Sciences and Engineering: Directors and Program Officers Virtual Panel
Contact: Maria Napoli
Friday, November 20, 2020
12:00 - 1:00pm

Research Development is hosting a virtual panel of DoD Directors and Program Officers this Friday, November 20, 12:00pm - 1:00pm as part of a mini-series of webinars on the topic of "DoD Research Funding for Biological Sciences and Engineering."

Collaborative Team Grants / Center Grants Virtual Panel
Contact: Danielle Chandler
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
10:00am - 11:00am

Collaborative team grants and center grants offer rewarding opportunities for supporting long-term collaborative and multidisciplinary research.  However, the processes of visioning, planning, organizing, managing, and writing proposals for these grants present unique challenges. In this panel, we will discuss those challenges with UCSB faculty members who can share their perspectives on their recent team grant successes.

NEH Fellowships Proposals: Awardee’s Perspectives
Contact: Barbara Walker
Thursday, December 10
1:00 – 2:30 pm

Learn tips from successful NEH fellowship applicants:

  • Kate McDonald, Associate Professor, History
  • Mona Damluji, Assistant Professor, Global and International Studies
  • Cecilia Méndez Gastelumendi, Professor, Associate professor, History
  • Swati Rana, Assistant Professor, English

In this workshop, our NEH awardees will talk about their experience writing a winning NEH proposal, and will address questions such as:

  • How did you determine that NEH was a good fit for your project?
  • How many times did you apply before receiving an award?
  • How did you hone all of your ideas and work into a focused project?
  • How far before the deadline did you start working on the proposal?  
  • What was your process for developing and refining the proposal?
  • How do you fit proposal writing into your schedule?  
  • What were your challenges in writing an NEH proposal?

PI Academy: Early Career Research Programs
Contact: Andrea Stith
December 11, 2020

There are a number of science and engineering funding opportunities exclusively open to young researchers. Attend this workshop to plan your submission calendar, and to learn how our campus handles STEM junior faculty awards that limit the number of campus submissions.