NIH Proposal Preparation Program

Dr. Matt Kushner, P3 Program Director, gives an overview and answers common questions about the program. 

The NIH Proposal Preparation Program (P3) is geared toward early-career, assistant professor faculty members from the Medical School and allied health programs. It is best suited for faculty as they prepare their first K- or R-series NIH grant proposal or VA equivalent. P3 is a highly interactive, peer grant-writing group of 10-12 members that meets 10 times during a four-month period.

During each session, participants share drafts of their proposal sections and critique one another’s written material. Writing begins immediately. This makes P3 best suited for faculty whose project aims and approaches are reasonably well conceptualized and who are truly “ready to write.” There are a limited number of slots available for faculty from outside of the Medical School, depending on the application pool for a given P3 cycle.

The program is held three times a year, in summer, fall and winter. The summer cycle begins in May, which is designed for October NIH submission. The fall cycle starts in September to align with February NIH submission. The winter cycle begins in January, which targets June NIH submission. 

P3 Criteria for Winter Cycle 2022

  • Assistant professor on any track; may consider early-career associate professor

  • Medical School faculty are considered higher priority but faculty from other schools and colleges are encouraged to apply and often are accepted

  • Preparing NIH K- or R-series proposal or comparable, or working with a mentor to develop a proposal

  • Planned submission date for June 2022 NIH deadline

  • Commit to attend most or all of the program’s 10 scheduled sessions

  • Attendance is required for the first and last sessions, conducted remotely through Zoom until further notice

  • Have not previously completed the P3 workshop

  • Previous K-participants may be included but will be assigned a lower priority for acceptance relative to first-time applicants

If you plan to apply:

  • Email to inform us that you plan to submit an application. Please do this even if you’re not certain you will apply. Your complete application can be submitted at a later date, as long as it is prior to the application deadline shown below. This heads-up allows OFA to monitor the likely volume of applications for a given cycle.

  • Complete the P3 application | Application due Nov. 29, 2021

  • Complete and submit with application the SF 424–specific aims page; see template below

  • Complete and submit with application the NIH-format biographical sketch; see template below

P3 meetings for the winter cycle will begin on Jan. 5, 2022 and continue weekly through Mar. 30. The final meeting, the NIH Mock Review, will be held on Apr. 20. All meetings are from 3-5:15 p.m. and will be held remotely via Zoom until further notice. Duluth faculty are welcome to attend sessions remotely as well. 

  • Upcoming Cycles
  • P3 Program Committee
  • P3 Resources
  • Upcoming Cycles

    Winter Cycle 2022
    Summer Cycle 2022
    Fall Cycle 2022
    Winter Cycle 2023
  • P3 Program Committee

    Faculty Director:

    P3 Co-Mentors:

  • P3 Resources

    • Training and educating qualified scientists without prior CSR review experience so that they may develop into critical and well-trained reviewers

    • Help emerging researchers advance their careers by exposing them to a peer review experience that may make them more competitive as applicants

    • Enrich the existing pool of NIH reviewers by including scientists from less research-intensive institutions, as well as those from traditionally research-intensive institutions

    Faculty members interested in gaining more experience in the preparation and process of academic publishing can apply to the Early Career Reviewer Program on the NIH website.