2021 Winter Intensive

January 14-15, 2021
via Zoom

RI C-AIM Career Development Program

Photo of several women raising their hands in a classroom
Photo: Zak Kerrigan for Metcalf Institute

Would you like to gain essential job readiness skills to prepare for or advance your research career? How prepared are you to apply inclusive strategies as a mentor or prepare a research grant proposal?

Metcalf Institute held a virtual Career Development Program Winter Intensive on Thursday and Friday, January 14-15, 2021, in partnership with the RI Consortium for Coastal Ecology Assessment, Innovation & Modeling (RI C-AIM) to help participants:

  • Understand issues of inequity in the research sciences
  • Assess inclusive practices in labs
  • Learn how to be an inclusive mentor
  • Write effective research proposals
  • Develop financially sound budgets for research projects
  • Learn how to navigate the National Science Foundation’s grant proposal review process

The Career Development Program is designed for senior-level undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral scholars from the eight RI C-AIM member institutions. 


9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Groundwork for Inclusive Mentoring in Research Settings*
Bryan Dewsbury, URI Biological Sciences
Michelle Fontes, URI Diversity, Retention & Student Success Initiatives
Samantha Meenach, URI Chemical Engineering

Working in a research lab offers unique opportunities for students to both contribute to the generation of new knowledge and cultivate the scientist within themselves. In order for this to happen, lab PIs must be positioned to support and nurture this process. Workshop presenters will review findings on graduate student mentorship in U.S. higher education, illuminating long-standing trends and identifying opportunities for effective inclusive mentoring and helping participants to consider strategies for sustaining equitable lab climates. Participants in this workshop will be able to: (1) Describe inequity within the research sciences; (2) Identify their role in creating inclusion; (3) Assess the degree to which inclusive practices have been enacted in their labs.
*Attendance at this session satisfies a CDP Certificate requirement.

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Job Readiness for Career Success
Cara Mitnick, URI Graduate School
Peg Lamere, Toray Plastics Human Resources

Following an introduction to the principles of job readiness, participants will break into consecutive sessions to build specific skills including developing a compelling CV and job application cover letter, preparing for job interviews, and salary negotiation.

9:00 – 11:45 a.m.
Research Grant Proposals 101*
Christopher Lane, URI Biological Sciences
Geoff Bothun, URI Engineering and RI C-AIM

The Big Picture (9:00-10:00)
In this segment, participants will learn about the proposal process, from finding relevant opportunities to submitting via the university, to the review process at NSF. How are proposals planned? What’s the timeline from start to finish? What are the types of NSF grants and what do they look like?

Break (10-10:15 )

Grant Finances and Grant Writing (10:15-11:45)
In the second segment of the workshop, participants will get an insider view of grant budget preparation and a chance to assemble a budget for a sample project. Lane will walk participants through the key components of all grant proposals and introduce a rhetoric-informed approach to writing, with particular focus on creative ways to make a proposal “stand out in a crowd.” Lastly, participants will get an insider view of the peer review process at NSF.
*This session is a CDP Certificate elective.


This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under EPSCoR Cooperative Agreement #OIA-1655221. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.