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NSF CAREER Writing Workouts

gym with cardio and strength training equipment

You have a CAREER project in mind, and you know what the NSF reviewers will be looking for, but you’re staring at a blank screen! How do you get started? It’s time for some Writing Workouts. You can choose to complete Writing Workout A or Writing Workout B as standalone exercises, but both is better!

Writing Workout A: Cardio in a Writing Accountability Group [WAG] Heading link

What It’s For: Carving out a dedicated time to just…write! Peers hold each other mutually accountable for reaching proposal section writing goals between and during weekly 1-hour sessions.

Time Commitment: 11.5 hours between March 18th and June 3rd

  • Attend or view the recording of the March 18th kickstart session (1 hour)
  • Choose a WAG group/schedule by March 25th (0.5 hour)
    [Make your selection here. Be sure to use the correct tab(s) of the spreadsheet for the day(s) you’d like to choose.]
  • Attend and actively participate in your WAG (1 hour per week for 10 weeks)

Writing Workout B: Strength Training at The Narrative Gym Heading link

What It’s For: Bulking up, sculpting, and toning your Project Summary – the most important section of your application. Your Project Summary will be strong and svelte after this workout.

Time Commitment: 7 hours between March 18th and May 13th

  • Attend or view the recording of the March 18th kickstart session (1 hour)
  • Read The Narrative Gym book by Randy Olson (1 hour – really!)
    [View UIC library copy availability here.]
  • Compose and submit (by April 29th) your Project Summary paragraph for round-robin peer review (2-3 hours, less if you’ve already written a draft!)
  • Review your peers’ Project Summary paragraph by May 10th (1 hour)
  • Attend the wrap-up session on May 13th (1 hour – live is best, but it will also be recorded)