- In this instructional course, participants will learn how to write a successful grant application.
13.1.1 - Getting Published - What You Need to Know
There are many reasons why surgeons want to publish their research. For some, it is a requirement of their position, or they wish to enhance their career and gain promotion. For others, there is a moral obligation to the study participants to disseminate the knowledge gained and improve the understanding of the orthopedic community. The best research approach is to choose a topic that you are passionate about and relevant to your clinical practice. Writing a manuscript is hard, and it is the last 10% of effort that makes the difference in producing a publishable paper. If the topic does not interest you, it is easy to let the manuscript preparation slide when you reach the final difficult stages. Don't be afraid of controversial issues to produce some of the most exciting papers. Several scientific articles can be made: Case reports, case series, case-control study, controlled study, systematic review or meta-analysis, and laboratory-based research. The goal of the manuscript is to present the importance of your research and your findings. Writing needs to be precise and compact, utilizing short, simple sentences while avoiding complex scientific jargon. You should be explicit and clear in describing the benefit of your paper. The paper's title should convey the impact of the results concisely. It should avoid reporting the results within the title. Writing a scientific manuscript requires a standardized construction, introduction, methods, results, and discussion (IMRAD). Although most scientific manuscripts are written in English, many readers will not have English as their primary language. It is imperative that the manuscript is easy to read and well organized and the language is simple.
1. Author Guidelines
Are the objectives clear?
Is the importance of the study adequately emphasized?
Is the subject matter of the study new?
Is previous work on the subject adequately cited?
Materials and methods
Is the study design straightforward?
Are statistical methods included?
Are ethical considerations provided?
Is the study population detailed adequately?
Are the methods described well enough to reproduce
Can the reader assess the results based on the data provided?
Is the information straightforward and not confusing?
Are there adequate controls?
Are statistical methods appropriate?
Have you commented adequately on all their results?
Have you explained why and how their study differs
from others already published?
Have you discussed the potential problems and limitations of their study?
Do the results support the conclusions?
2. Frequent Author’s mistakes in preparing manuscripts
Introduction and discussion too long.
Lack of coherence and fluency in text.
Overly long review of the literature.
The incorrect tense of methods.
Lack of approval from the institutional review board.
Not including a detailed description of statistical methods.
Poor quality figures, graphs, and photos.
Not discussing limitations.
Concluding results beyond the study design.
Choose an interesting research topic.
Structure your manuscript in the IMRAD method.
Write in a clear, concise manner conveying the critical information.
Revise to eradicate errors and repetition.
The abstract should stimulate the reader to read the paper.
Explain what your research adds to the current knowledge.
Discuss the limitations of your study to encourage further research.
Persevere until your manuscript is accepted from publication.
1- Musahl V, Karlsson J, Hirschmann MT, Ayeni OR, Marx RG, Koh JL, Nakamura N (2019) In: Musahl V, Karlsson J, Hirschmann MT, Ayeni OR, Marx RG, Koh JL, Nakamura N (eds) Basic Methods Handbook for Clinical Orthopaedic Research. Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, pp 1–570 ISBN: 978–3–662-58253-4
2- Karlsson J, Reider B, Wojtys EM, Zaffagnini S. Tips and tricks for building a good paper: what editors want. J Exp Orthop. 2020 Jul 28;7(1):57. doi: 10.1186/s40634-020-00273-3. PMID: 32720234; PMCID: PMC7385048.
13.1.2 - The Clinician - Scientist: Pearls for Success
13.1.3 - Nuts & Bolts of Grant Writing - What You Need to Know
Writing your first grant proposal can feel like throwing yourself in a shark tank; it is highly competitive, and you need a well written, scientifically sound with a founded budget proposal on an innovative idea to survive.
There are many different organisations and foundations where you can apply for grants and each of them have their own goals and vision, rules and application formats, but there are some common elements that will be discussed.
In general, you will always need to provide:
Abstract or summary:
Present the most important elements of each subchapter as short and as clear as possible. Always put in the problem statement, the aim of your proposal, the research questions and methodology, how to verify the success, why your project is important and why you or your consortium can do this.
Background and problem statement:
Particularly for academic proposals, a literature review on the topic can be very helpful. It states what is known and where the gap in knowledge is. It should show there is a need that must be filled. It should show the value of the proposal. in addition it should also clarify why the project will make an impact in stead of just answering a research question.
Project description or objectives and methodology:
Here you should describe the workplan of the project, answer questions as:
- what are the goals / what is the hypothesis?
- what are the research questions?
- what methods will be used to answer the research questions?
- what will the outcomes of the project be (SMART - specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely)?
- why are you sure the project will aid the problem statement?
- are there any risk minimizing measures and if so, which ones (sometimes this is a separate subchapter)?
- what is the timeline of the project? A Gantt chart can be very useful and helpful, also for the reviewers.
Here you need to clarify what budget you are asking for and why. You need to give an explanation or justification/specification of the materials, equipment and personell and why they are valid, reasonable and required.
whether it a personal grant or based on a consortium, it does need to show that the knowledge and experience is there to complete the project in a succesful way.
In addition to this, some grant application require letters of support or a cover letter.
Besides this, it is important to plan ahead and take plenty of time to write your proposal. Read through the call for proposals and make sure it is applicable for your project and it can help to add in specific topics found in the call to emphasize your proposal fits well. The writing must be very clear and in plain language, and be specific. Also use numbering as it provides a clear overview of a sommation and it can be used for easy cross-references. Make sure to always cite literature correctly and completely. Read through your proposal and ask someone else to do that too and also from the perspective of a reviewer. And do not fear rejection! All senior researchers have rejected proposals; even if your proposal is the best there is, it can be rejected due to other reasons. Always ask for feedback if it is not provided, read it through and learn from it.