ORS/OREF/AAOS New Investigator Workshop

__1 TEMPLATE_Partner-AAOS Lockup

Clinical, Translational, and Basic Science Research

Deadline for Applications Extended to Tuesday, April 28, 2015

May 15-16, 2015
Westin O’Hare, Rosemont, IL


Through this workshop, new investigators have developed the skills and learned the strategies to successfully secure funding for clinical, translational, and basic science research. All attendees will meet senior investigators who manage highly successful research programs funded by the NIH, DOD, VA, and private foundations, and who have served on NIH study sections.  Attendees who elect to submit a draft research plan have the opportunity to work one-on-one with an experienced musculoskeletal researcher who provides mentoring, discusses funding strategies and offers recommendations so essential for a successful academic career.

Attendees will learn about what impact is, the definition of NIH innovation, elements of good grants, how to write foundation and federal grants, and differences in NIH R03, R21, F32, K08/K01/K23, and R01 grants in terms of success rate and payline. This workshop will also cover clinical trials. Most importantly, provisional grants by the participants will be reviewed by faculty members at the Mock Study Section that will be chaired by Dr. James Iatridis who served as Study Section Chair at the Skeletal Biology, Structure, and Regeneration Study Section.

The program is open to junior faculty, post-doctoral researchers, clinical fellows, and residents with a commitment to pursuing an academic research career.  Basic science and clinical investigators (PhD, MD, MS) with or without training awards are also invited to attend.

To date, participants of the ORS/OREF Grant Writing Workshop and ORS/OREF/AAOS New Investigator Workshop have received 71 NIH Grants totaling $55,825,033.

Educational Goals:

  • Essential & Practical Information for Early Career Development
  • Grant Writing Strategy & Skills
  • Networking for Collaboration
  • Real Time Feedback at the Mock Study Section
  • Face-to-Face Meetings with Faculty Reviewers & NIH Officers

Program Agenda

Special Guest Lectures

Aruna K. Behera, PhD, Scientific Review Officer
Skeletal Biology Development and Disease Study Section
Musculoskeletal, Oral and Skin Sciences IRG
Division of Translational and Clinical Sciences
Center for Scientific Review, NIH

The Skeletal Biology Development and Disease [SBDD] study section reviews grant applications dealing with basic and translational aspects of normal and abnormal skeletal development. Dr. Behera organizes and administer peer review processes for NIH R01, R21, and other NIH grants related to basic, translational, and clinical musculoskeletal research. Attendees will have opportunities of meeting Dr. Behera and listening to lectures on ‘NIH Study Section Grant Review Process’. She will give an overview on elements of the best grants that are secrets of succss. In general, it is a rare opportunity to have face-to-face meetings with NIH Scientific Review Officers. AAOS/ORS/OREF express special thanks to Dr. Behera for participating in our AAOS/ORS/OREF signature workshop.


Gayle Lester, PhD Program Director 
Clinical Osteoarthritis & Diagnostic Imaging Program 
Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases 
One Democracy Plaza 
6701 Democracy Blvd. Ste. 800 
Bethesda, MD 20892-4872 
Email: lester1@mail.nih.gov

Dr. Lester supervises major clinical research portfolio on osteoarthritis. Dr. Lester will guide all participants how to navigate NIH grant opportunities. He will explain numerous grant opportunities such as NIAMS R03 New Investigator Grants, K01/K08/K23 Career Development Awards (Success Rate up to 35-45%), R21 Exploratory Grants, R01 Research Grants, and F32 Postdoctoral Training Grants. After listening to his lecture, attendees will have clear ideas on target grants.

Research Areas

  • Clinical osteoarthritis and the osteoarthritis initiative
    • Epidemiology and pathogenesis of osteoarthritis
    • Environmental and genetic risk factors of osteoarthritis
    • Treatment, prevention, and diagnosis of osteoarthritis
    • Novel methods for cartilage and joint imaging
  • Bone Quality and Skeletal Imaging
    • In vivo methods for macro and micro scale imaging of bone
    • Skeletal architecture and mechanical properties of bone
    • Bone quality assessment
    • Clinical studies related to bone strength and density


M. Hicham Drissi, PhD, Associate Professor of Orthopaedics, Director of Orthopaedic Research
University of Connecticut Health Center
Bone Biology, Genetics, Fracture Healing (NIH, Connecticut Stem Cell Foundation)
Dr. Drissi is a hardcore genetic molecular biologist. His research is highly mechanistic and involves generation of specific transgenic or knockout mice. He has been conducting osteoblast and chondrocyte molecular biology research in the context of fracture healing and arthritis. His research has been funded by NIH and other federal agents.

James latridis, PhD, Professor & Vice Chair for Research, Director of Spine Research
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Spine Biomechanics, Spine Tissue Engineering
Dr. Iatridis is a biomechanical and biomedical engineer. He has served on NIH Skeletal Biology Structure and Regeneration Study Section that used to Orthopaedic Study Section. He served as Chair of the Study Section and knows what make the most fundable grants after hearing positive and negative comments on hundreds of grants.

Hee-Jeong Im Sampen, PhD, Professor
Rush University Medical Center, Department of Biochemistry, Orthopaedic Surgery & Internal Medicine (Section of Rheumatology)
Cartilage Biology, Osteoarthritis & Pain (NIH)
Dr. Im-Sampen is a cartilage biologist with expertise in osteoarthritis translational research. Her research includes pain mediation in osteoarthris, which has very high clinical relevance. She has been NIH-funded more than 10 years. She will share what makes good grants.

Francis Y. Lee, MD, PhD, Professor with Tenure,
Robert Carroll and Jane Chace Carroll Laboratories Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Vice Chair of Research, Orthopaedic Surgery, Columbia University
Inflammation, Osteoclast Biology, Fracture Healing (NIH, MTF, DOD)
Dr. Lee is an orthopaedic tumor surgeon who has been advocating high impact research by orthopaedic surgeons. His first grant was OREF Resident Research Grant that evolved to major grants such as NIH R01, DOD, MTF, and OREF grants. He has been participating in AAOS/OREF/ORS Clinician Scholar Program and ORS/OREF/AAOS New Investigator (Grant Writing) Workshop. His testimonial clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of the New Investigator Workshop. He has been serving as panel members for NIH Study Sections (MTE, SBSR SBDD, P30/50 SEP, NICHD/NCI SEP), and DOD Panel (Chair).

Richard Lieber, PhD, Former Professor of Orthopaedics and Bioengineering, UCSD
Senior Vice President & Chief Scientific Officer
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Dr. Lieber is the former Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UCSD. He has received numerous grants from VA and NIH. In addition to his NIH R01 grants, he was the PI of the NIAMS P30 Musculoskeletal Center Grant. He recently moved to Chicago and is now serving as a Senior Vice President & Chief Scientific Officer at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.  He will share his business-minded grantsmanship to do the best science and to catch reviewers’ eyes.

Kurt Spindler, MD, Vice Chair & Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Cleveland Clinic
NIH Multi-Center Clinical Trial Grants
Clinical Trials, ACL National Multi-Center Clinical Trials, Ligament and Tendon Biology (NIH)
Dr. Spindler is a paradigm-shifting orthopaedic surgeon scholar who changed the landscape of sports medicine research. He initiated and expanded Multicenter Orthopaedic Outcome Network (MOON). Results are filing and MOON will have sustained influence on the field and change the way orthopaedic surgeons practice sports medicine. He will introduce prospective cohort, cross-sectional, and randomized clinical trial study designs. He has numerous NIH research grants for his clinical trials and is currently a standing member of the NIAMS Clinical Trial Standing Committee.

Stavros Thomopoulos, PhD, Associate Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery,
Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science Washington University
Biology & Biomedical Engineering, Rotator Cuff & Tendon (NIH)
Dr. Thomopoulos is a biomedical engineer with expertise in shoulder rotator cuff translational research. He received a K01 award and then has received 5 NIH R01 grants as a single investigator or as one of multiple PIs. His multiple PI grants are through collaboration with orthopaedic surgeons, material scientists, and molecular developmental biologists. He will share how to prepare strong grants and secrets of fruitful collaboration.

Kurt Weiss, M.D. (TBD), Associate Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Weiss is an orthopaedic oncology specialist. He recently received a NIH K08 Award that is an ideal grant mechanism for junior faculty who wants to develop into an independent investigator. His research interest is osteosarcoma. He was diagnosed to have an osteosarcoma as a teenager. He will share detailed information on ‘How to prepare K grants?’ and ‘What are the hurdles before, during, and after receiving a K08 Award?’.


“I did not know anything about NIH Grants. I attended the ORS/OREF/AAOS Grant Writing Workshop in 2006. I received my first NIH R01 Grant in 2007 and second NIH R01 in 2009, both of which were renewed. I just received another NIH R01 award notice in 2015. I attribute all credits to the faculty members of the ORS/OREF/AAOS Grant Writing Workshop.”- Francis Lee, M.D., Columbia University.

“I attended the ORS/OREF/AAOS Grant Writing Workshop in 2012. I received my first R01 Grant in 2013! My provisional R01 grant was reviewed and discussed at the Mock Study Section. Real-time feedback was pivotal in improving my grant.”- Danielle Benoit, Ph.D., University of Rochester, New York.

“I attended the Workshop in 2013. My grant was discussed and revised at the Real-Time Revision Session. I received the OREF Grant in 2014”- Cynthia Emory, M.D., Wake Forest University Health Service.

Sample Grants and Resources

NIH R01 Sample Grants:  http://www.niaid.nih.gov/researchfunding/grant/Documents/Ratnerfull.pdf

(There are best samples of NIH-funded grants with perfect scores!)

NIH K08 Sample Grant:   http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/edumedia/edufiles/research/center_translational_medicine/funding/k08-summary-3.pdf

NIH Grant Strategy:           http://www.niaid.nih.gov/researchfunding/grant/strategy/pages/default.aspx

Department of Defense:    http://cdmrp.army.mil/funding/prorp.shtml

OREF Grants:                      http://www.oref.org/site/PageServer?pagename=grants_homepage

MTF Grant Page:                http://www.mtf.org/research_grant_programs.html

Clinical Trials Tutorial:    http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01631669

NIH RePORTER:               http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=8261682&icde=15320957

(You can search abstracts of NIH-funded research projects and PI profiles.)

NIH Statistics:                   http://report.nih.gov/success_rates/index.aspx

NIH Grant Reviewers:     http://public.csr.nih.gov/StudySections/Standing/Pages/default.aspx

(You can find out members of the NIH Grant Review Panels. Example: SBSR, SBDD, Others)

NIAMS Paylines:              http://www.niams.nih.gov/about_us/budget/funding_plan_fy2013.asp

NIH Grant Types:             http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/funding_program.htm

NIH Grant Forms:           http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm

NIH Success Rate:           http://report.nih.gov/success_rates/index.aspx

NIH Grant Gossips:        http://writedit.wordpress.com

VA System Grants:          http://www.research.va.gov/funding/

Academic Promotion:    http://sites.jhu.edu/council/transit




(List of Academic Titles & Promotion Tracks for PhDs and MDs)

Others Societies:             http://www.rjos.org/web/awards/index.htm





NIH Review Criteria:     http://grants.nih.gov/grants/peer/critiques/rpg.htm

Impact Score:                   https://grants.nih.gov/grants/peer/guidelines_general/impact_significance.pdf

Grant Forms:                   http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html

Biosketches Forms:       http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-15-032.html








  1. Junior faculty
  2. Clinical fellows, residents, or post-doctoral researchers who are doing research and have a confirmed faculty appointment, or
  3. Basic and clinical investigators (MD, PhD, MS) with or without  training awards


  1. Completed Application
  2. Letter of nomination from division or department chair to include description of the candidate’s work and research interest
  3. NIH Biosketch of the applicant

NIH Biosketch Template

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Potential for success as an independent investigator in musculoskeletal research
  2. Ability to benefit from the ORS/OREF/AAOS New Investigator Workshop
  3. Evidence of commitment in pursuing an academic research career in musculoskeletal research

For more information please contact Jola Lewsza at lewsza@ors.org.