Learning Initiative for Faculty in Training (LIFT) Academy

LIFT Academy pilot program (image provided from stock).

Program Overview

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Office of Research Development (ORD) is launching the R01 Learning Initiative for Faculty in Training (LIFT) Academy as a pilot program in May of this year. The R01 LIFT Academy is a multifaceted program developed to support faculty who are applying for their first NIH Research Project (R01) grant. Investigators conducting hypothesis-driven research and have strong preliminary data are encouraged to apply. The R01 mechanism provides up to five years of support, with a budget that covers the costs required to complete the research project.

The ORD team, subject-matter experts, and MUSC established faculty mentors with a strong record of NIH funding and peer-review experience will guide LIFT Scholars through the process of developing an R01 research grant proposal.


The comprehensive LIFT Academy encourages peer support and feedback and is comprised of the following:


  • Group meetings and seminars designed to equip the LIFT Scholars with the knowledge needed to understand the grant writing process and available NIH and MUSC resources.
  • Peer-group review and writing sessions where LIFT Scholars will review their colleagues’ proposal sections and provide constructive feedback.
  • LIFT Mentors will assist the Scholars in navigating the application development process by reviewing proposal drafts and providing counsel when needed.
  • External review of the LIFT Scholar’s final proposal before the submission deadline.


There is no cost to attend the R01 LIFT Academy. However, LIFT Scholars are expected to attend all sessions as outlined in the timeline.


Program Timeline

The R01 LIFT Academy will utilize a hybrid learning platform consisting of in-person and virtual sessions via Teams. LIFT Scholars will participate in 12 sessions over the span of 4 months.

Download LIFT timeline.



LIFT Scholar Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Scholar applications will be reviewed by the LIFT Academy Leadership and selections will be made in collaboration with MUSC Leadership and LIFT Mentors as appropriate. The eligibility criteria is as follows:


  • Participation is limited to Early-Stage/New Investigators that are applying for their first NIH Research Project (R01) grant.
  • Applicants should be ready to submit an R01 application for the October 5th, 2023 deadline, i.e., should have a well-conceptualized specific aims page and preliminary data.
  • Investigators should have approval from their department chairs and primary/co-mentors, if applicable.

How to Apply

Investigators will be required to complete the REDCap survey and submit: 1) An NIH Biosketch and 2) A research project summary (30 lines of text).  All applicants will be notified by April 28, 2023 and the program will kick off in May 2023.

Application Deadline

Applications are being accepted now through April 17, 2023 by 3:00 pm.


Contact Us

For programmatic questions, contact Kimberly Cannady, Ph.D. (cannadyk@musc.edu) or Wanda Pierce (piercewh@musc.edu).