Montana State Research Projects Shows Grant-Writing Seminars for Women Can Make a Difference

New research by a group of women scholars at Montana State University found that a six-week grant writing boot camp conducted by the university’s ADVANCE Project TRACS program resulted in a four-fold positive effect on women winning grants.

The authors stated that although the number of women in STEM faculty positions at Montana State had increased significantly, only 26 percent of all research grants at the university were won by women. And women were the principal investigators on only 21 percent of all grants.

In an effort to boost the number of women winning grants the university held a grant-writing seminar series developed by Suzanne Held, a professor in the university’s College of Education. New faculty, most of whom were women, met once a week for six weeks. They were taught successful techniques for writing grant proposals.

The authors compared the success of the participants in winning grants before and after they took the course and also compared the results to women who did not take the grant-writing seminar. Although the sample was small, the results showed that taking the course was highly beneficial in achieving success in winning grant funding.

Jessi L. Smith, the lead author of the study and a professor of psychology at the university, stated that the program “successfully enhanced the research capacity and opportunity of women faculty. This is important because success by women seeking grants is vital to enhancing the research capacity of a university, just as increasing the amount of research conducted by women is paramount to a thriving national research agenda.”

The study, “Grant-Writing Bootcamp: An Intervention to Enhance the Research Capacity of Academic Women in STEM,” was published in the journal BioScience. It may be accessed here.


Filed Under: Research/StudySTEM Fields


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