writing a strategic research plan

saturday, June 9, 2018 | 4:30 PM - 5:45 PM | Monadnock Room

A well thought out research plan is the key to designing a successful career in academic research.  Postdocs and early career researchers can benefit particularly from considering their research plan prior to applying for grants and entering the job market. Early and iterative preparation will provide additional time to refine and improve innovative approaches and well-articulated significance.  In this workshop, participants will learn strategies on designing a research strategy including significance, innovation and approaches and how to integrate these sections into a robust grant application including specific aims. To be provided specific feedback on your research plan from our panel, please upload your 1-3 page document here.

To download documents on scientific writing click here.


Micah Altman, PhD


Micah conducts work primarily in the fields of social science, information privacy, information science and research methods, and statistical computation -- focusing on the intersections of information, technology, privacy, and politics; and on the dissemination, preservation, reliability and governance of scientific knowledge. Previously Micah served as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution, and at Harvard University as the Associate Director of the Harvard-MIT Data Center, Archival Director of the Henry A. Murray Archive, and Senior Research Scientist in the Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences. Micah earned a Ph.D. in Social Science from the California Institute of Technology, and conducted his postdoctoral research at Harvard University. Prior to studying social science, Micah worked as a software engineer in "Silicon Valley" developing software, courses, teaching and consulting on the subject of high-performance computing.


Andrew Henderson, PhD

Associate Professor and Assistant Dean at Boston University School of Medicine

Research in the Henderson laboratory focuses on cellular mechanisms that regulate HIV replication and transcription. Current projects include employing chimeric antigen receptors as a tunable system to explore how T cell receptor signaling influences HIV infection and latency, exploring whether Crispr/Cas9 can be engineered for long-term repression of HIV provirus and characterizing the transcriptional status of HIV provirus in T cell and macrophage subsets. I have served on over 30 NIH study sections and special emphasis panels and was a member and chair for the NIH AIDS Molecular and Cellular Biology Study Section.  In addition to my research, I have always been proactive in undergraduate and graduate training having supervised the research of 7 post-docs, 13 PhD students, 10 Masters Students, 23 undergraduate students (including 7 Honor’s theses) and sat on over 70 PhD thesis committees. Furthermore, I have organized and participated in programs for international students including a summer program with University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia, a short course at Makerere University in Uganda and a Fogarty planning grant with the University of Liberia. I received my PhD from the University of California, Riverside, my post-doctoral training was at Columbia University and I have had faculty positions at Penn State and Boston University School of Medicine.


Sonal Jhaveri, PhD

Director of Science Programming at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dr. Jhaveri is an MIT alumna (BS, MS). She received her PhD from Harvard University, has been Principal Investigator on a number of grants from NIH, NSF and other private foundations, has co-authored 60 professional articles, and has consulted on a number of science and medical writing projects. She teaches Science Communication and Language Skills to graduate and medical students as well as to postdocs at MIT and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.



Roslyn's professional career spans that of basic research (cell and developmental biology of the extracellular matrix), teaching, and academic administration. After PhD training with Elizabeth Hay at HMS, she spent ~2 postdoctoral years at the NIH in George R. Martin’s laboratory. A second postdoctoral period with Bryan Toole in the Developmental Biology Lab (MGH) broadened her studies on the extracellular matrix and it was there that she was appointed initially Assistant and then Associate Professor at HMS. Subsequently, she shifted her laboratory to the Dept. of Surgery (MGH), where she co-directed the Vascular Surgery Research Lab. From the mid-70s, when she began her career at the MGH until the late 90s, she was continually supported by independent funding (both federal and private). From 1999 through 2004, she transitioned to academic administration, serving as Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs at HMS. After that, she first served as a consultant to the Department of Pediatric Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital Boston (BCH), and in 2009 was appointed to her current position (part time) as Associate Chief for Faculty Development in the Division of Hematology/Oncology (BCH, DFCI). She mentors trainees/junior faculty and provides guidance relating to issues of faculty development. These include working one-on-one with trainees and junior faculty to provide detailed and specific mentorship to prepare grant applications (both federal and private). Additionally, she plays an integral role in the preparation of division-wide training grants, and related programmatic entities, and works with senior faculty to prepare nomination packages for prestigious national and international awards and election to academic societies.