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Research and Scholarship Storytelling Bootcamp

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This page contains information about the March 2023 – May 2023 program.

Plans for future iterations of this program are pending. Contact the Office of Research Development if you are seeking support for research narrative development.

Overview Heading link

Like it or not, reviewers are the gatekeepers for research funding, and reviewers (like all of us!) best understand and connect with proposals that have a clear and compelling story. Storytelling, however, is not a skill that is commonly taught in research training programs. Luckily, it is a skill that can be acquired with intention and practice. This bootcamp, organized by the UIC Office of Research Development in cooperation with the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), aims to address that training gap. The goal of this program is to equip principal investigators (PIs) with a simple yet elegant narrative framework to craft a research story that will resonate with reviewers.

The bootcamp content will be tailored for assistant professors who are preparing an application for either the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award (July 2023 deadline) or their first National Institutes of Health (NIH) R-Series proposal (e.g. R01, R21 – October 2023 deadline). Participants will get the most out of this program if they…

  1. already have a research project idea in mind.
  2. already have an activity code in mind (for NIH-targeting PIs).
  3. have most or all of the content for their Specific Aims/Project Summary page in mind.

The Spring 2023 session will be limited to 10 participants from each group (10 NIH-targeting and 10 NSF-targeting). Future iterations of this bootcamp may be offered for other faculty audiences.

Spring 2023 Meeting Dates Heading link

Bootcamp participants will be expected to attend 4 synchronous meetings (Zoom) on Wednesday afternoons throughout the Spring. Dates are shown below. Exact meeting times will be determined based on registration information and will be announced the week of February 27th.
March 8, 2023 (kickoff)
April 5, 2023 (discussion of Assignment #1)
April 26, 2023 (discussion of Assignment #2)
May 24, 2023 (discussion of Assignment #3)

Registration for the Spring 2023 bootcamp is now closed. Please contact Rebecca Milczarek at if you would like to be placed on the wait list.