• Understand how to write and assemble a competitive grant application, specifically NIH K/R grants. 
  • Learn the skills and attributes of a competent independent researcher. 
  • Learn how to project manage milestones across the years of a K grant to prepare to apply for independent funding. 
  • Discover available funding opportunities and how to foster relationships with funding agencies.

GRASP logo

The Grant Review and Support Program (GRASP) is a longitudinal program that provides Career Development Award recipients grant-related guidance and support throughout the duration of their award so that they can successfully apply for R01 or equivalent funding. The curriculum is focused on providing participants with grant-writing skills, project management tools/strategies, and mentorship.

Since the program’s launch in July 2011, more than 700 participants have enrolled and 57% of GRASP participants have been successful in obtaining R01 or equivalent funding, as compared to the current NIH success rate of 21.4%.  Armed with the knowledge, tools, and longitudinal support provided by GRASP, participants have gone on to establish independent research careers, funded by diverse grant sources.

The program begins with a welcome orientation workshop that provides an overview of GRASP, including a review of tools and the types of longitudinal support offered through the program. Also covered are the skills and attributes of a competent independent researcher and an overview of the NIH grant review process. During the program, participants also attend sessions that discuss how to diversify their funding portfolios and receive in-depth training on R01-specific grant-writing techniques.

Throughout the duration of their career development award, participants receive ongoing support, which includes:

  • A customized work plan that outlines annual tasks required to acquire NIH R funding
  • Direct quarterly support and feedback from a GRASP work plan mentor (near-peer GRASP alumni) on their work plan
  • Targeted discussions related to grant preparation
  • One-on-one faculty and staff meetings

For a detailed summary, please review the GRASP Program Overview Guide [PDF].

Session dates

The GRASP orientation workshop will be held virtually via Zoom this fall. The workshop will be broken down into three, 2-3 hour, remote learning sessions (see dates below).

  • October 16, 2024 | 9:00am-12:00pm EST
  • October 23, 2024 | 9:00am-12:00pm EST
  • October 30, 2024 | 9:00am-12:00pm EST

Following these fall sessions, there will be a required four-part grant writing module on Zoom in the spring of 2025.  Note: Prior to this module, participants will be required to purchase an NIH grant-writing workbook

  • March 4, 2025 | 9:00-11:30am EST
  • March 11, 2025 | 9:00-11:30am EST
  • March 18, 2025 | 9:00-11:30am EST
  • March 25, 2025 | 9:00-11:30am EST

Attendance at these sessions is mandatory.


Applicants must:

  • Be a Harvard-affiliated junior faculty clinician/translational-investigator
  • Be a recipient of a 4 or 5 year Career Development Award (typically a NIH K grant such as a K23, K08, K07, K01, or K25 or equivalent Career Development Award from a grant-funding organization (such as the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, or U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs))
  • Be in the first or second year of their grant
  • Agree to actively participate in the mandatory components of the program
  • Receive an endorsement from a primary mentor supporting their participation in the program

Eligible investigators are required to complete a program application; however, all participants are accepted if they meet the eligibility requirements.  Please find information about the current GRASP participant cohort application cycle, including important dates, under the ‘Next Cohort Application Cycle’ section below.

K12/CMeRIT program participation

Recipients of Harvard Catalyst’s  K12/CMeRIT Award are required to participate in GRASP and will be automatically enrolled in the program. Like other GRASP participants, K12 receipts are required to participate in the mandatory components of the program and may also participate in the optional components. The program provides support for either award (Career Development or Independent Research) participants intend to apply for.

Time commitment

Accepted participants are eligible to remain in the program throughout the duration of their Career Development Award. They are required to participate in certain components of the program, while other components are optional. Therefore, the time commitment can vary between participants.

Mandatory components:

  • Participating in the GRASP orientation workshop
  • Participating in the seminar “Planning and Writing Successful Grant Proposals”
  • Completing a mentor/mentee expectations form
  • Utilizing a participant work plan
  • Utilizing work plan mentor support
  • Reviewing the Writing and Communication Center Grant Writing Tips

Optional components:

  • Participating in specific aims page critique modules
  • Participating in ‘hot topic’ modules
  • Utilizing faculty office hours
  • Utilizing staff office hours

See the GRASP Program Overview [PDF] for more details. The monthly time commitment for the first year averages to about two hours per month, which decreases to about one hour per month in subsequent years.

View a sample timeline [PDF] of program components and support throughout a participant’s five-year Career Development Award.

Diversity & inclusion statement

Harvard Catalyst Postgraduate Education is dedicated to addressing equity and intersectionality in medicine. We believe that the research community is strengthened by understanding how a number of factors including gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, culture, religion, national origin, language, disability, and age shape the environment in which we live and work, affect each of our personal identities, and impacts all areas of human health.

We know that individual differences enrich our understanding of one another and of the world around us, creating a better learning environment. GRASP welcomes—and celebrates— the perspectives of all backgrounds, and those who are at the intersections of different identities. Furthermore, we aim to create a program environment that supports a diversity of thoughts, perspectives and experiences.

Accreditation statement

The Harvard Catalyst Education Program is accredited by the Massachusetts Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The GRASP Orientation Workshop and Planning and Writing Successful Grant Proposals Seminar receive continuing medical education (CME) credit.

Harvard Catalyst Education Program’s policy requires full attendance and the completion of all activity surveys to be eligible for CME credit; no partial credit is allowed.

Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


The application will require an endorsement from a primary mentor supporting the applicant’s participation in this longitudinal program. Applications are due August 22, 2024.