Early-Career Investigators Workshop (2021)

October 7, 2021 to October 9, 2021

The Early-Career Investigators Workshop (ECIW) is held annually to foster career development in urologic research by providing participants with a solid foundation for successful grant writing. Activities include one-on-one mentoring sessions with scientific advisors; presentations on navigating federally-funded grant programs; mock peer review session; presentations on developing a fundable research program; and career development presentations. Approximately 30 nominees are selected to participate in the workshop. 

Course Registration Fees

AUA Member$400

No cancellation permitted without prior written permission from the AUA Office of Research. Please contact Julia Gumminger, Research Education and Events Manager at jgumminger@auanet.org with any questions.

Target Audience

  • By invitation-only following a nomination and review process
  • MD or MD, PhD urology researchers preparing to submit a major grant application
  • PhD urology researchers preparing to submit a major grant application

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of the workshop, participating early career investigators will be able to:

  1. Describe the cutting-edge and developing areas in basic and translational research, and identify components of their research efforts that intersect with or expand upon these;
  2. Develop and refine a compelling, innovative, and testable hypothesis;
  3. Develop a reasonable and ‘do-able’ experimental plan that adequately tests the stated hypothesis;
  4. Identify potential limitations of the proposed experimental plan and alternative experimental outcomes, and develop responsive alternative experimental approaches;
  5. Expand the initial concepts presented in the application to optimally project future directions, concepts, and studies;
  6. Avoid common pitfalls that typically dampen the enthusiasm of grant reviewers; and
  7. Describe the necessary administrative (nuts-and-bolts) components of NIH grant applications.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 13.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 13.50 Non-Physician Participation
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
10/07/2021 - 12:00pm EDT
Event ends: 
10/09/2021 - 2:30pm EDT

Minor changes to the agenda may occur leading up to the meeting.

Online Pre-Recorded Presentations

Welcome, Introductions, Program Overview

Carolyn J.M. Best, PhD
Director of Research, American Urological Association

Setting the Stage: An Overview of the State of Urology Research and Funding

Carolyn J.M. Best, PhD
Director of Research, American Urological Association

NIDDK Grant Mechanisms

Tracy Rankin, PhD, MPH
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH

NCI Career Development Grant Mechanisms

Susan Lim, PhD or Sergey Radaev, PhD
National Cancer Institute, NIH

VA Research Funding Opportunities

Kenute A. Myrie, PhD or Michael Burgio, PhD
US Department of Veterans Affairs

NIA Urologic Research Portfolio

Candace L. Kerr, PhD
National Institute on Aging, NIH

DoD Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs: Funding Opportunities and Application Review

Theresa Miller, PhD
DoD Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs

American Cancer Society Research Programs

Ellie Daniels, MD, MPH
American Cancer Society

AUA, Urology Care Foundation, and Other Grant Mechanisms

W. Taylor Monson, MA
Research Grants Program Manager, American Urological Association

Identifying & Composing the Pieces of a Successful Research Grant Proposal

Erika Wolff, PhD
University of Washington

Thursday, October 7, 2021

12:00 PMWelcome, Introduction of Funding Agency Speakers

Carolyn Best, PhD
American Urological Association

12:15 PMLive Q&A with Funding Agency Speakers

Moderator: Carolyn Best, PhD
American Urological Association

1:00 PMGoal Setting and Introductions of Faculty and Participants

Carolyn Best, PhD
American Urological Association

1:45 PMSpecific Aims Workshop

Erika Wolff, PhD
University of Washington

2:30 PMQ&A 
2:35 PMBreak 
2:50 PMEstablishing Effective Career Development Goals and Translation to Your Training Plan

Peter Clark, MD
Atrium Health and Levine Cancer Institute

3:05 PMQ&A 
3:10 PMBuilding a Team of Mentors

Trinity Bivalacqua, MD, PhD
University of Pennsylvania

3:25 PMQ&A 
3:30 PMCommon Grant Writing Pitfalls

Dolores Lamb, PhD, HCLD (ABB)
Weill Cornell Medical College

3:45 PMQ&A 
3:50 PMBreak 
4:05 PM

Importance of Social Networks and Serendipity in Scientific Discovery

Michael Hsieh, MD. PhD
Children’s National Hospital

4:20 PMQ&A 
4:25 PMThe Importance of Translating Research into Clinical Impact

Margot Damaser, PhD
The Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland VA Medical Center

4:40 PMQ&A 
4:45 PMHow to Start a Lab as a Junior Faculty

Ranjith Ramasamy, MD
University of Miami Health System

5:00 PMQ&A 
5:05 PMDiscussion, Wrap Up, and Day 2 Sneak Peek 
5:30 PMAdjourn for the Day 

Friday, October 8, 2021

12:00 PMDay 2 Goal Setting and Introduction to Peer Review

Carolyn Best, PhD
American Urological Association

12:25 AMMock Peer Review Study Section

Faculty Panel - Chairperson:
Dolores J. Lamb, PhD, HCLD (ABB)
Weill Cornell Medical College

 1) Funded K08 Application (PI redacted):
“A Patient-Centered Approach to Integration of Life Expectancy into Treatment Decision-Making for Patients with Genitourinary Malignancy”
Primary Reviewer:John Gore, MD, MS
Secondary Reviewer: Rosalyn Adam, PhD
 2) NOT Funded K01 Application (PI redacted): “Mechanisms of Fatty Acid Metabolism in Prostate Differentiation and Disease”Primary Reviewer: Trinity Bivalacqua, MD, PhD
Secondary Reviewer: Peter Clark, MD
 3) Funded R01 Application (PI redacted): “Improving Diagnosis of Congenital Genitourinary Anomalies”Primary Reviewer: J. Todd Purves, MD, PhD
Secondary Reviewer: Michael Hsieh, MD, PhD
2:15 PMQ&A and Discussion - Briefing for Breakout Sessions and Plan for TomorrowSee sticker on back of nametag for table assignment
2:45 PMBreak and Transition to Breakout Groups (Early Group Members have a break until 4:15 PM) 
3:00 PMADVANCED Grant Development Group: Individual Meetings with Faculty Mentors 

Mentor  |  Advanced Group Mentee

Dr. Gore  |  Dr. Nseyo

Dr. Lamb  |  Dr. Shafi

Dr. Wei  |  Dr. Giannitrapani

Dr. Damaser  |  Dr. Sack

Dr. Clark  |  Dr. Kregel

Dr. Purves  |  Dr. Rowe

Dr. Adam  |  Dr. Steadman

Dr. Bivalacqua  |  Dr. Dondossola

Dr. Hsieh  |  Dr. Ruthig

Dr. Gore  |  Dr. Ristau (see below at 4:30 PM)

4:15 PMBreak and Transition to Breakout Groups (Advanced Group Members have personal work time) 
4:30 PMEARLY Grant Development Group: Small Group Meetings with Faculty Mentors

Virtual Breakout Groups


Mentor  |  Early Group Mentee

Dr. Gore  |  Dr. Ristau (Advanced)

Dr. Lamb  |  Dr. Fernandez

Dr. Adam  |  Dr. Montalbetti

Dr. Damaser  |  Dr. Waisanen

Dr. Purves  |  Dr. Hill

Dr. Wei  |  Dr. Bajic

Dr. Bivalacqua  |  Dr. Matulay

Dr. Clark  |  Dr. Lenis

Dr. Hsieh  |  Dr. Weaver

Dr. Chai  |  Dr. Propst and Dr. Wallace

Dr. Ramasamy  |  Dr. Kang

5:30 PMAdjourn for the day 

Saturday, October 9, 2021

12:00 PMDay 3 Goal SettingCarolyn Best, PhD
12:10 PMInterpreting and Responding to Study Section Summary

J. Todd Purves, MD, PhD
Duke University

12:25 PMQ&A 
12:30 PMSelling Yourself Through Your NIH BiosketchRosalyn Adam, PhD
Boston Children's Hospital
12:45 PMQ&A


12:50 PMProject Management Techniques for ResearchErika Wolff, PhD
University of Washington
1:05 PMQ&A 
1:10 PMFaculty Round Table Discussion: Virtual Breakouts for Faculty Feedback and Q&AFaculty assigned to different breakout rooms, participants can self-select
1:50 PMBreak and Transition to Main Session 
2:00 PMAdvanced Grant Development Group: Presentations of Research Proposals (5 minutes per presentation)Carolyn Best, PhD
2:04 PM Dr. Nseyo
2:10 PM Dr. Shafi
2:16 PM Dr. Giannitrapani
2:22 PM Dr. Sack
2:28 PM Dr. Kregel
2:34 PM Dr. Rowe
2:40 PM Dr. Steadman
2:46 PM Dr. Dondossola
2:52 PM Dr. Ruthig
2:58 PM Dr. Ristau
3:04 PMFaculty Feedback, Q&A, Closing RemarksCarolyn Best, PhD and All Faculty
3:45 PMAdjourn 

Planner and Speaker Disclosures

PDF icon Planner & Speaker Disclosures for ECIW 2021.pdf

COI Review Work Group Disclosures

PDF icon COI Review Work Group Disclosures_2021_18.pdf

All relevant financial relationships have been mitigated. 

AUA Staff has nothing to disclose.


The American Urological Association (AUA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


The American Urological Association designates this live activity for a maximum of 13.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


The AUA is not accredited to offer credit to participants who are not MDs or DOs. However, the AUA will issue documentation of participation that states that the activity was certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.


It is the policy of the AUA to ensure that the content contained in this CME activity is valid, fair, balanced, scientifically rigorous, and free of commercial bias.


All persons in a position to control the content of an educational activity (i.e., activity planners, presenters, authors) are required to disclose to the provider any relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest. The AUA must determine if the individual’s relationships may influence the educational content and resolve any conflicts of interest prior to the commencement of the educational activity. The intent of this disclosure is not to prevent individuals with relevant financial relationships from participating, but rather to provide learners information with which they can make their own judgments.


All disclosures will be reviewed by the program/course directors or editors for identification of conflicts of interest. Peer reviewers, working with the program directors and/or editors, will document the mechanism(s) for management and resolution of the conflict of interest and final approval of the activity will be documented prior to implementation. Any of the mechanisms below can/will be used to resolve conflict of interest:

  • Peer review for valid, evidence-based content of all materials associated with an educational activity by the course/program director, editor, and/or Education Conflict of Interest Review Work Group or its subgroup.
  • Limit content to evidence with no recommendations
  • Introduction of a debate format with an unbiased moderator (point-counterpoint)
  • Inclusion of moderated panel discussion
  • Publication of a parallel or rebuttal article for an article that is felt to be biased
  • Limit equipment representatives to providing logistics and operation support only in procedural demonstrations
  • Divestiture of the relationship by faculty


The audience is advised that this continuing medical education activity may contain reference(s) to off-label or unapproved uses of drugs or devices. Please consult the prescribing information for full disclosure of approved uses.



The opinions and recommendations expressed by faculty, authors and other experts whose input is included in this program are their own and do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of the AUA.


Attendance at or participation in AUA meetings and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to AUA's use and distribution (both now and in the future) of the attendee's image or voice in photographs and electronic reproductions of such meetings and activities.


Reproduction of written materials developed for this AUA course is prohibited without the written permission from individual authors and the American Urological Association.


The AUA complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act §12112(a). If any participant is in need of special assistance, please contact Julia Gumminger at jgumminger@auanet.org.

Available Credit

  • 13.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 13.50 Non-Physician Participation


Please login or register to take this course.

Course Registration Fees

AUA Member$400

No cancellation permitted without prior written permission from the AUA Office of Research. Please contact Julia Gumminger, Research Education and Events Manager at jgumminger@auanet.org with any questions.