Strategic Research Initiatives (SRI) 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 Programs

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 SRI 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.

SRI-Affiliated Programs

Write to Unite creates new arenas in which to build faculty community at UCSB. This program provides spaces, resources, and tools to increase scholarly writing and research productivity; facilitates cross-disciplinary peer and informal mentoring relationships; and contributes to faculty retention through greater sense of belonging and success.

Open to faculty members of all ranks from the Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education (HASSE) disciplines, this Collaborative Grant Development Retreat Series is designed to help research teams identify appropriate funding agencies and submit major grant proposals for extramural funding within the next 18 months.

CAHSSA works to align social science research initiatives with the Hispanic-serving mission of the majority of institutions of higher education in California. Program activities include grant proposal writing webcasts, mentored proposal writing groups, and writing retreats for new collaborative teams.

SRI Events & Workshops

Upcoming Events

*Virtual events will be labeled*


Past Events

DOE/DARPA Early Career Funding Opportunities [Virtual] 
As part of an ongoing series showcasing funding opportunities for early career faculty, Research Development is having an information session on 9/14 on two early career funding opportunities expected to be released in early Fall 2022: the DARPA Young Faculty Award and the DOE Early Career Program. The DARPA YFA presentation will begin at 12:00, and the DOE Early Career presentation will begin at 12:30.

Proposal Submission 101 & Pivot Tutorial [Virtual]
Learn the ins and outs of submitting a proposal at UCSB and how to use the comprehensive Pivot database to find relevant funding opportunities. This workshop covers how to prepare and submit a grant proposal at UCSB, and how the Office of Research can help you along the way. This workshop also includes a walkthrough tutorial of the Pivot funding database. If you are new to UCSB or thinking of submitting your first proposal, attend this workshop to learn about finding relevant funding opportunities and submitting a proposal at UCSB.

Creating Connections: Communicating Research Workshop [Virtual]
Hosted by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science 

The Creating Connections program hosted by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University is a live, online workshop designed to help scientists and researchers learn to engage and inspire diverse audiences through effective communication, with a particular focus on virtual interactions. Participants will learn how to balance being prepared with responding in the moment to address questions. The program emphasizes universal communication strategies, including avoiding jargon, and technical skills for creating engagement online, including camera angles and sound levels.

Program Outcomes

  • Identify strategies to make a message memorable 
  • Recognize and begin to avoid using complex terminology and jargon
  • Use a three-step process to design a message strategically
  • Develop a personable and engaging online presence

Early Career Research Programs for STEM Faculty [*In Person*]
A number of private Foundations, and virtually all federal agencies, have funding programs exclusively open to junior faculty. Funding levels, eligibility requirements, submission cycles, and, importantly, research focus of these opportunities vary widely. Further, most of these programs are very competitive. As such, your success depends not only on a brilliant research idea, but also on careful planning and a strong application. In this workshop, we will review the main junior faculty awards, discuss proposal success, and start planning your research agenda. 

The New NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy [Virtual]

Beginning January 25 2023, NIH will require researchers to submit a Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMS Plan) with new proposals. This policy applies to all research, irrespective of award budget amount, that results in the generation of scientific data. In this workshop for faculty, we will go over the essential elements of the new policy, what you need to know to craft an effective DMS Plan, and resources available to you at UCSB and through NIH.

This workshop is a collaboration between Research Data Services, the Office of Research Integrity and Strategic Research Initiatives.

LEADR: 7 Secrets of a Project Manager: Practical Tools and Applications to Help You Thrive [Virtual]
Elizabeth "ZouZou" Chapman, PMP

This workshop provides practical project management tools that you can apply to help you achieve laser-focus on your goals, protect your valuable "maker" time, hack your Google Calendar to enrich all areas of your life, and take back tech control to make technology work better for you! 
These tools will help you: 
•    achieve a harmonious approach to your time management;
•    free you to be more present with your teams;
•    provide meaningful leadership;
•    and collaborate more effectively

LEADR: 7 Secrets of a Project Manager *Follow-up Office Hour Session [Virtual]*
Elizabeth "ZouZou" Chapman, PMP

This is an opportunity to bring any specific questions you have about how to better use various tools and techniques for managing your projects. The format of this follow-up meeting will be an open forum style, with Elizabeth "ZouZou" Chapman available to answer your questions and provide support on a first come first served basis. 

Highlights from the CHIPS and Science Act [Virtual Webinar]*
Phillip Harman, UC Director of Government Relations

Designed to boost US competitiveness, innovation, and national security, the CHIPS  and Science Act directs $280 billion in spending over the next ten years, with the bulk for scientific R&D. The law aims to promote domestic semiconductor manufacturing capacity, support leading-edge technologies (e.g., quantum computing, AI, clean energy, and nanotechnology), and substantially increase funding for various federal agencies (e.g., NSF, DoE, NIST, NASA). In this webinar, Phillip Harman, UC Director of Government Relations, will provide highlights of the law’s key provisions and of the omnibus funding billed recently signed into law. Join us!

The New NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy [Virtual]

As of January 25 2023, NIH now requires researchers to submit a Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMS Plan) with new proposals. This policy applies to all research, irrespective of award budget amount, that results in the generation of scientific data. In this workshop for faculty, we will go over the essential elements of the new policy, what you need to know to craft an effective DMS Plan, and resources available to you at UCSB and through NIH.
This workshop is a collaboration between UCSB Library Research Data Services, the Office of Research Integrity and Strategic Research Initiatives.

NSF CAREER Introductory Workshop
This workshop will cover the basics of the CAREER program and present helpful tips for writing a competitive proposal. (Coffee and refreshments provided.)

NSF CAREER Workshop: Education / Outreach / Evaluation
This session will dive into the Education and Outreach component of NSF CAREER proposals, and connect faculty with resources and programs on campus to help them develop their own education, outreach, and evaluation plans. (Coffee and refreshments provided.)

NSF CAREER Workshop: Contacting Program Officers [Virtual]
Are you working on an NSF CAREER proposal and looking for advice on contacting NSF program officers?  Join us for an informal Zoom session on 4/14 at 1:00pm.  The first 15-20 minutes will be a presentation on contacting NSF program officers; the remainder of the hour will be open time. Feel free to drop in and ask questions about anything CAREER related!

The New NSF Technology, Innovation and Partnerships Directorate and Convergence Accelerator Program (Cancelled) 

Dr. Aurali Dade, Program Director, National Science Foundation (NSF) will provide an overview of NSF's new Technology Innovation and Partnerships directorate and an in-depth overview of the Convergence Accelerator program including upcoming funding opportunities. This presentation will be followed by time for Q&A with attendees.

The mission of the Technology, Innovation and Partnerships directorate is to advance U.S. competitiveness through investments that accelerate the development of key technologies and address pressing societal and economic challenges. The Convergence Accelerator program funds teams to solve societal challenges through convergence research and innovation. 

A panel of prior NSF CAREER awardees will discuss their first-hand experience with the CAREER program and answer questions from the audience. (Lunch provided.)

NSF CAREER Series: Writing the Overview / Introduction / Background Sections
Working on an NSF CAREER proposal? Join us for an informal session on tips for writing your Overview, Introduction, and Background sections.