Prelim Exam Resources

Greetings!  This page is devoted to resources for students writing documents for MET 699, preparing presentations for MET 800 (or national conferences), and ultimately, their Preliminary B exams.

You have likely been directed here because you are participating in the MET SROP or MET 699 tutorials, meeting Thursdays, 12:00 noon-1:30. (Syllabus for MET SROP and MET 699 Below is a listing of resources that the Teaching Team would like you to have available to you:

Information Referenced in Class: Grammarly is a web-based, correction software.  In addition to checking spelling and grammar, it also can search for redundant / repeated words (phrases) and plagiarism.
NIH Sample R01 Proposals: From NIAID, these proposals were discussed by Dr. Bradfield in-class on 6/15/2017.
The Anatomy of a Specific Aims Page: This article, put out by, uses two pages to talk about what all should be included when writing your one-page Specific Aims.


NIH Tips: This five minute video discusses the do’s and dont’s of writing grant applications. Reviewers at NIH provide insight into how scientists can improve their likelihood of getting an NIH grant.

Scientific Writing: Thirty-minute series of videos that . . .
Video 1: illustrates the structure of a research paper and the order in which each section of the paper should be written.
Video 2: discusses the importance of figures in a research paper and how to make good figures, offers tips on how to include references, and provides advice on finalizing and submitting a paper.
Video 3: offers advice on how to survive peer review and suggestions on things to do before, during, and after you write.

Publishing Research: Another series of videos, these three (estimated thirty-minutes) discuss . . .
Video 1: what editors need from reviewers (concise description of the quality and importance of the science and how it will benefit the field; a paper that is understandable and of interest to the general readership).
Video 2: what authors need from reviewers (detailed critiques to improve the quality of the paper; outline of the specific edits made).
Video 3: how to submit your manuscript (tutorial on how to submit an article; advice on how to speed up the process when an editor asks for revisions).

McConnell Video: This forty-five minute video provides instructions on how to make an effective PowerPoint for a scientific presentation and how to organize a talk in order to keep the audience’s attention.

How to be a Successful Scientist: This fifteen minute tutorial outlines the 10 Commandments of being a successful scientist.

NIH Peer Review Revealed: This fifteen minute video showed a (smaller) version of an NIH Study Section, where various experts met to discuss the merits (and pitfalls) of proposals and the rigors involved in ultimately funding scientific research.

Further Resources:

We have asked our students to provide us with the best resources they had for preparing for preliminary exams. Below are their recommendations:

Government Resources

University Resources

Private Foundations

Other Sources