Grant Resources

Driving Neurosurgical Research

Much neurosurgical research occurs in industry, which allows the advancement of our field to be driven by non-neurosurgeons. Peer-reviewed, extramural funding enables neurosurgeons to drive the process of innovation and understanding.

Funded scientific research within our field is scarce. Procuring funding as a neurosurgeon is challenging. Our dedication to clinical work leaves limited time to manage creative, basic science research. Also, traditional neurosurgical training does not teach us how to compose fundable grants.

What Is Grantsmanship?

Grantsmanship is the skill of writing grant applications so reviewers can easily understand and value them. This skill is important for neurosurgeons seeking National Institute of Health (NIH) funding, which is progressively more limited.

NIH Program Project Grants

NIH Program Project Grants exist to fund the development of collaborative research teams.

There are two important NIH funding programs:

  • R01 grants
  • K08 grants

R01 grants are aimed at projects with a high chance of success and high impact aims. These are intended for individuals capable of generating independent research with an established track record.

K08 grants are career awards designed to provide salary support and a supply budget to young clinician-investigators. This grant’s goal is to help secure protected, mentored basic science research. Additional K-type awards support clinician-investigators pursuing clinical-focused projects.

Reference Materials

Below are a number of resources to build your grantsmanship skills. These documents include:

  • Samples of funded NIH grants written by the principal investigators

  • Pink sheets that accompany some of grants with the:

    • Review process in the NIH study section

    • Scope of the proposed budgets

  • Revisions of initial grants that were ultimately funded


E Antonio Chiocca:

Herpes Amplicon Delivery of eNOS for Protection from Cerebral Ischemia: Initial ApplicationHerpes Amplicon Delivery of eNOS for Protection from Cerebral Ischemia: Revised Application

Robert M. Friedlander:

Mechanisms and Modulation of Disease Progression in ALSMechanisms and Modulation of Disease Progression in ALS: Pink SheetsMechanisms and Modulation of Disease Progression in ALS: Revised ApplicationMechanisms and Modulation of Disease Progression in ALS: Pink Sheets for the revised application

David M. Frim:

Cognitive Impact of Elevated ICP in Hydrocephalus: Revised Application

Julian T. Hoff:

20 year competitive renewal pink sheetsMechanisms of Brain Edema After Intracerebral Hemorrhage: 25 year competitive renewal25 year competitive renewal pink sheets

R. Loch Macdonald:

NO Mechanisms of Vasospasm:  Revised ApplicationNO Mechanisms of Vasospasm:  Pink Sheets for the Revised Application: Rejection

Nelson M. Oyesiku:

Molecular Targeting and Imaging of Pituitary AdenomasMolecular Targeting and Imaging of Pituitary Adenomas: Pink Sheets

Gary K. Steinberg:

Mild Hypothermic Neuroprotection for Cerebral Ischemia Part 1, Part 2, Part 3Mild Hypothermic Neuroprotection Pink Sheets


Nicholas M. Boulis:

Targeted Motor Neuron Gene Delivery for Spasticity: Initial ApplicationTargeted Motor Neuron Gene Delivery for Spasticity: Pink Sheets

Dong H. Kim:

The Genetic Basis of Cerebral Aneurysms: Application

Alexandra J. Golby:

Brain basis of memory studied by fMRI & intracranial EEG: Application

Nelson M. Oyesiku:

G Proteins in Pituitary Adenomas