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Grant and Manuscript Assistance

Specialized Proposal Assistance is Here

Karen Klein, MA, ELS, GPC, MWCTM, Director of Grant Development and Medical Editing, provides professional medical editing and writing services to all Wake Forest investigators. Ms. Klein has over 30 years of editing experience, and worked for three different medical journals before coming to Wake Forest. She is a board-certified Editor in the Life Sciences (ELS), a Grants Professional Certified (GPC), and among the first to receive the Medical Writer Certified (MWCTM) designation. Her experience includes service as a grant reviewer for several agencies, most notably PCORI and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. She was also the 2014-2015 President of the American Medical Writers Association.

Ms. Klein's collective experience and expertise provides investigators with informative feedback during the proposal process and in preparing manuscripts for publication. Below are specific areas where support is provided. To request assistance, please use the CTSI Service Request Form. For questions, contact Karen Klein at kklein@wakehealth.edu or 336-713-3299.

Applications that are Close to the Payline

NIH may ask PIs to supply additional information if a proposal’s score is “on the bubble”. This is so the Program Officer has information to advocate for making an award at the Council level. PIs are usually asked to respond to any remaining concerns that reviewers expressed in their critiques of a revised application. In such situations, Karen can draft and provide strategic feedback on those critically important, time-sensitive responses.

Grant Preparation

Biomedical Research Services & Administration (BRSA) provides comprehensive assistance with multiple aspects of proposal preparation. We augment the assistance available to proposal writers in their home departments, by providing writing and editing services for grant applications of all types. Our goal is to help investigators make their proposals more competitive for funding.


We provide the following services:

  • Searches for potential funders 
  • Editing text for clarity, funder/mechanism guidelines
  • Drafting or revising boilerplate text
  • Drafting letters of support
  • Training grant assistance
  • Interpreting reviewers’ comments
  • Assistance with revising and resubmitting an application


All services are free of charge to WFSM investigators.

Letters of Intent

This brief letter is required by many funders and is the basis for their invitation to submit a full application. The odds of funding improve exponentially once an application clears this first hurdle. Her experience and consultation can help investigators ensure that their idea is congruent with the funder’s interests and expectations, and can provide editorial assistance so that non-specialist reviewers (often involved at this stage) will still understand its key elements.

Making a Formal Appeal to NIH

If a PI wishes to formally appeal a score or funding decision, Karen can analyze the situation and advise the PI on overall approach and wording of the request. It is essential that such requests follow the NIH policy on appeals, meet the Program Officer’s suggestions, and are worded respectfully and objectively to make the best case for the application’s reconsideration.

Manuscript Editing and Guidance

Publishing scientific findings is an essential component of success in academia. To help WFSM’s investigators achieve that success, BRSA offers the following manuscript editing services.


  • Advice on which journals are the best fit for a given manuscript
  • Editing text for clarity, content and journal style guidelines
  • Drafting responses to reviewers
  • Assistance with revising and resubmitting a manuscript


All services are free of charge to WFSM investigators.

Resubmitting NIH Applications

Karen provides expert guidance on interpreting critiques, crafting a convincing and thorough one-page response to the reviewers, evaluating whether the new proposal is responsive to all reviewers’ comments, and in general helping to ensure that the revision is as competitive as possible. At the PI’s request, Karen can convene a “mini-study section” comprised of grant-savvy WFSM faculty who can meet, assess the critiques and the response, and then advise the PI on ways to create an effective revision.

Cite the CTSA

Publications and other documents resulting from utilization of WF CTSI resources are required to credit the CTSA grant. Learn how.

Access This Service

Access CTSI programs and request services or support through the CTSI Service Request Form.