In support of various aspects of research, the Office of Strategic Research Initiatives (OSRI) plans occasional workshops and webinars in coordination with faculty and other offices in the Division of Research. Please see links below for upcoming and past workshops, and reach out to OSRI staff with any workshop suggestions you may have.

Upcoming  Workshops and Webinars

  • The Proposer's Toolbox Workshop Series (Oct. to Nov. 2022)
  • NSF Writing Circle (Fall Semester 2022)
  • NSF CAREER Commit-to-Submit Program (January through June 2023)
  • NEH Writing Circle (January through April 2023)
  • NSF Writing Circle (Spring semester, TBD)
  • NIH Writing Circle (Spring semester, TBD)

Proposers Toolbox Workshop Series

When: Wednesdays in October and November, 2022

Where: Center of Excellence Multipurpose Room (CE 2011)


If you’re just getting started writing funding proposals – or if you’re looking to improve the impact of your writing – the Proposer’s Toolbox series will equip you with tried-and-true strategies for envisioning, planning, and writing successful proposals. Designed for early-career faculty from across the academic spectrum, these short, in-person workshops will provide straightforward guidance and hands-on activities to help you tackle the critical elements of a standard research proposal for most major funders. ProTools sessions are independent of one another, so feel free to attend as your schedule permits (though you’ll get the most out of these offerings by attending all four). All workshops will be held in the Center of Excellence building in the Innovative Technologies Complex off Murray Hill Road at the Main Campus.

-----> REGISTER HERE <-----

Space is limited for these events, so please register early if you are planning to attend. Detailed information on each workshop can be found below. 

Build Your Track Record
Wednesday, October 12, 1-2 p.m.
Reviewers and funding agencies like projects that can point to preliminary results, prior grant support, forthcoming publications, or other signs that your project is already well on its way. So, how do you get started…when you’re just getting started? In this workshop, we’ll walk you through strategies for building a track record. You’ll learn about internal grant programs and external funding opportunities specifically for pre-tenure faculty, as well as the various offices and entities on campus that can help support your work.
Write Great Objectives
Wednesday, October 26, 1-2 p.m.
Great proposals need great objectives (or aims, or hypotheses, or whatever else you may call them). But it can be surprisingly difficult to describe – in brief, compelling language – what you plan to achieve with a research project. We’ll look at examples of effective specific aims and objective statements from a range of disciplines and examine what makes them work. Importantly, you’ll learn by doing: attendees will develop their own objectives for current or future projects, using a simple template that can be adapted for multiple audiences and funding agencies.

Sharpen Your Message
Wednesday, November 2, 1-2 p.m.
As a proposal writer, your most important job is to engage and maintain your reader’s attention. True, you need to have a great idea or project, but if you want to stand out in the pile of applications sitting on your reviewers’ (virtual) desks, your documents need to be clear, compelling, and memorable. In this workshop, we’ll share insights on how to make your proposal both purposeful and easy to read. You’ll learn how to clarify the larger purpose of your work, mirror language from the solicitation, and cultivate strong document design.

Plan to Win
Wednesday, November 16, 1-2 p.m.
Research proposals are complicated, and first-time proposal writers are often surprised by the amount of time and effort it takes to get a grant application submitted. This session will break down the various tasks that often get lumped together as “proposal writing” and help you plan out a timeline for preparing a competitive proposal. In particular, we’ll discuss the best ways to leverage campus resources, to build collaborations with external partners, and to solicit feedback from peers, mentors, and other experts to improve your overall submission.

NSF Writing Circle

When: Fridays in October, November, and December

Where: Online (Zoom)

Deadline to Apply: Friday, October 14

-----> APPLY HERE <-----

Overview: The NSF Writing Circle provides expert-guided peer feedback for faculty – especially junior faculty and/or first-time submitters – working on any kind of NSF proposal. Participants should have a complete or mostly complete draft proposal before joining the group and should be planning to submit within the next few months. This program will be run jointly between Binghamton University and the University at Albany.

Approach: Each week, we will review two draft project descriptions from group members, providing them with detailed suggestions, new ideas, and – perhaps most importantly – encouragement. The writing circle is designed to be interdisciplinary, with conversations focusing less on the specific content or underlying science and more on the overall presentation of the research being proposed. In our experience, this approach yields stronger, clearer, and more persuasive proposals than only receiving feedback from domain experts. The organizers will provide some brief guidance on best practices for proposal feedback, but otherwise sessions will be faculty-led. All discussions are confidential, and participants will be asked to keep all materials within the group.

We will meet weekly on Fridays via Zoom, usually for 90 minutes per session. There will be a brief planning meeting in mid-October, followed by weekly meetings through early December (depending on the size of our group). Writing circle members will be expected to:

  1. Attend all meetings (roughly 7-8 total meetings for the group), 
  2. Share a full project description with the group at least once,
  3. Read two drafts per week, and
  4. Serve as lead discussant at least once. 

This fall’s group will be led by Dr. Kevin Boettcher and Dr. Beau DiNapoli from the Office of Strategic Research Initiatives at Binghamton University, who are experts on all things NSF and who have extensive experience running workshops, peer-support groups, and proposal reviews.

Application & Eligibility: The deadline to apply is Friday, October 14. Please be aware that space is limited (between 10-12 members), though we will do our best to support as many participants as possible.

We strongly suggest that participants have at least a partial draft of their NSF proposal when applying (resubmissions welcome), and that they plan to submit in the next six months. Faculty planning to apply for the NSF CAREER program are encouraged to participate in our dedicated CAREER Commit-to-Submit program starting in January. Additional writing circles (for NSF, NIH, and NEH) are tentatively planned for early 2023, as well as a dedicated NSF CAREER program.

Past Webinars and Workshops:

SPA360 (Sponsored Programs Administration 360), Fall 2021

Organizer: Mike Jacobson

The SPA360 workshop series will provide information to help navigate the sponsored programs landscape from proposal development through managing research awards. Every other Friday at Noon. 

September 24- Introduction to Using the Research Foundation Report Center (Video)

October 8- Introduction to Broader Impacts. (Slides) (Video)

October 22- Research Communication (Slides)

November 5- How to become an NSF or NIH Reviewer.  (Video)

November 19- Transdisciplinary Seed Grants. (Video)

February 11- Managing and Leveraging Intellectual Property in Grants and Contracts (Video)

February 25- The Research Foundation Electronic Workflow System (slides)

April 22- Research Impacts Panel (Video)

NSF CAREER Seminar Series, 2022

Organizer: Michael Jacobson | TBA


Early Stage and Quick Turnaround Programs (e.g., RAPID, EAGER, R03, R21)

Organizer: Robert Lawrence | August 11, 2021 - noon - 12pm |Slides

Campus Core Facilities and Shared Resources for Research

Organizer: Robert Lawrence | June 30, 2021 | Slides

NSF CAREER Seminar Series, 2021

Organizer: Michael Jacobson | Spring Semester, 2021

Making an Impact from Page One (Video / Slides)

Organizer: Kevin Boettcher | May 6, 2020

Broader Impacts Refresher (Video / Slides)

Organizer: Michael Jacobson | April 29, 2020

SUNY NSF CAREER Workshop (Slides)

Organizer: Michael Jacobson | March 18-20, 2020  

DoD Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (Slides)

Organizer: Robert Lawrence | February 6, 2020

Biosketch/CV Workshop (Slides)

Organizer: Robert Lawrence | September 26, 2019

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Workshop (Slides)

Organizer: Michael Jacobson | April 8, 2019