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) launched an R01 Learning Initiative for Faculty in Training (LIFT) Academy in the summer of 2023. 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.


Now accepting applications for the Summer of 2024

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 eleven sessions over four months. Please review the abbreviated timeline.
(Summer 2024 Timeline)



LIFT Scholar Eligibility and Selection Criteria

The LIFT Academy Leadership will review scholar applications 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 who are applying for their first NIH Research Project (R01) grant and/or R01 equivalent.
  • Applicants should be ready to submit an R01 application for the October 5, 2024 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 application and submit: 1) an NIH biosketch; 2) a research project summary (30 lines of text); and 3) a draft specific aims page.  All applicants will be notified by April 10, 2024 and the program will kick off in May 2024.

Application Deadline

Applications are being accepted February 15 through March 15, 2024 by 3:00 p.m.


Contact Us

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