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Bioscience. 2017 Jul 1;67(7):638-645. doi: 10.1093/biosci/bix050. Epub 2017 Jun 7.

Grant-Writing Bootcamp: An Intervention to Enhance the Research Capacity of Academic Women in STEM.

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Jessi L. Smith ( is a professor in the Department of Psychology, Chatanika Stoop is a grant training coordinator with the Center for Faculty Excellence of the Office of the Provost, Micaela Young is a pre-award specialist with the Office of Sponsored Programs, Rebecca Belou is an equity-data analyst with the Office of Planning and Analysis, and Suzanne Held is a professor in the Department of Health and Human Development at Montana State University, in Bozeman.


Broadening the participation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) fields is more than a social-justice issue; diversity is paramount to a thriving national research agenda. However, women face several obstacles to fully actualizing their research potential. Enhancing the research capacity and opportunity of women faculty requires purposeful changes in university practice. Therefore, we designed an intervention, a grant-writing bootcamp informed by self-determination theory (Deci and Ryan 2012), to support the participants' feelings of relatedness, autonomy, and competence. Three grant-writing bootcamps were run over an 18-month period. Using a pre- and post-test design over the span of 1 year (and contrasting results with a comparison sample who were not part of the intervention) showed that the women participating in the grant-writing bootcamp significantly increased the number of external grants submitted, the number of proposals led as principal investigator, the number of external grants awarded, and the amount of external funding dollars awarded.


behavioral science; grant writing; intervention; self-determination theory; women in STEM

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