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Research Career Development

Research Career Development focuses on providing the necessary research and proposal development support to prepare and/or position faculty to achieve a key milestone in their research trajectory. The support offerings highlighted below are designed to encourage faculty to pursue catalytic funding opportunities, strengthen their proposals, and improve their success rates. 

Proposal Development and Management Services aim to facilitate the scientific and administrative development and enhance the competitiveness of complex, visible, and signature research and fellowship proposals from ideation to submission. Our Proposal Development Managers (PDMs) and Graphic Artist support Principal Investigators across the range of career stages: from early career faculty to senior investigators. Visit our PDM page to learn more about these services.

There are an increasing number of early career opportunities across the federal and foundation funding areas. Visit the Early Career Faculty Funding Opportunities page to find opportunities geared for early career faculty. 

NIH Seminar Series: In Fall 2021, we held a 3-session interactive seminar designed to answer questions and fill knowledge gaps regarding NIH proposal submissions. This program was specifically designed for faculty with minimal experience with NIH proposals who wanted to learn strategies for success at NIH, decode the “unwritten rules,” and strategically position themselves for an upcoming application. See the following resources below:

DOE Early Career Research Program: In December 2021, we hosted an information and discussion session for DOE Early Career Research Program applicants. A UMD faculty recipient of this award presented guidance on proposal content and pitch, insights on the review process, and answers to applicants’ questions.

NIH Writing Group: Interested participants from the NIH Seminar Series (above) opted into a 6-session, biweekly pilot writing group focused on preparing and reviewing key pieces of their NIH R01 proposals. Participants drafted and refined the Specific Aims page, Research Strategy and NIH Biosketch; provided feedback on the specific aims and research strategy of a peer; and received feedback from the group leader and peer reviewer. 

NIH R01/R21 Resubmissions Writing GroupThis group was specifically designed for faculty who had submitted an R01 or R21 to the NIH and were seeking support in revising or reworking their applications to best respond to critiques. The writing group structure was designed to guide applicants through the revisions process to set them up for the subsequent submission deadline.


A career and training development initiative launched by President Pines, the Research Leaders Fellows Program is targeted toward accelerating the research productivity and careers of recently tenured associate professors. Through an intensive cohort-based leadership program, the Research Leaders Fellows Program aims to elevate the research career, productivity, and impact of UMD’s most promising researchers. As part of the program, Fellows also engage in individual Strategy Discussions with the Research Development Office to discuss their research, identify potential early career funding opportunities and/or collaborators, and learn about other resources to help launch their research careers at UMD.  This program is specifically designed for recently tenured Associate Professors who have the potential to lead multidisciplinary research initiatives and/or direct future campus-wide centers or institutes. 

The NSF Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) is a prestigious award to early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Program officers held two NSF-wide webinars about the CAREER program in 2021. Materials from the webinars are available here.

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