How to Succeed in Research by Writing Killer Grants

A Pilot program for women by women

Past Program

Program Evaluation

Participants of the 2018 Grant Preparation Program were survey after the completion of the program. The evaluation report, which can be found here, considers how the program met our objectives.

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For men and women, a career in science stands on the stilts of grant funding. However, this integral part of research has a gender disparity. Data from NHMRC reveals that while certain types of grants are skewed one way or the other, the overall number of men applying for grants exceeds that of women.

To address this discrepancy, WiSPP has designed a grant preparation program inspired by the peer-support promotion program at Swinburne University of Technology. This is an opportunity for early to mid-career women to learn from other women who are established in their field. The program takes a step back in the grant writing process to prepare researchers before writing begins. Mentoring, networking, and skill development are key elements used to foster self-awareness in order to produce great ideas, a compelling story, and ultimately a strong grant proposal.

Program Structure

This six month program is free to participants and runs from May to October. It involves a combination of facilitated events and unstructured breakout sessions with a high ratio of senior scientists to mentees across Parkville Precinct. At the completion of the program, mentees will have written a two page document pitching their grant proposal, along with obtaining new skills, knowledge, and an expanded professional network.

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Program Breakdown and time COMMITMENTS

Mentee participants must commit to all components of the program series.

  • May 24: Workshop with Dr. Merryn McKinnon, an expert in science communication, addresses how to tell your personal story and why that is important in a grant application (time commitment: half day, either morning or afternoon sessions available).

  • Three panel discussions by experts in the precinct focusing on essential components of grant applications. These are followed by networking with mentors (time commitment: 3 x 2 hour sessions).

    1. July 17, 2pm-4pm: Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

    2. August 27, 2:30pm-4:30pm: Politics, Power, and Strategy

    3. October 11, 10:30am-12:30pm: No Loose Ends

  • Unstructured group sessions are to be self organized throughout the program. Groups should consist of five to ten people from across the institutes and across disciplines for maximum benefit (time commitment: up to you).


Apply to the grant preparation program as a mentee?

Applications are now closed.


Interested to learn more?

Contact your institute's representative:

Murdoch Children's Research Institute: Vera Ignjatovic

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research: Sarah Charnaud

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre: Sarah Russell

Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health: Lucy Palmer

The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity: Deborah Williamson