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Get Your Grant in Tip-Top Shape

University College London's Thomas Mrsic-Flogel spent a year preparing for his $2.7 million Wellcome Trust fellowship application, and this week shares with Nature his tips for grant success.

Mrsic-Flogel "sought input from dozens of people, from UCL grant advisers to colleagues in neuroscience and other fields, in effect creating an informal peer-review panel," Nature's Karen Kaplan writes. "He revised the document several times, once deleting an entire section, and when something stumped him, Mrsic-Flogel called grant recipients he knew to find out how they had dealt with similar problems."

Much like Mrsic-Flogel did, Kaplan says it's best to "get editing and streamlining recommendations from as many senior colleagues as possible, both in and outside the research field." Clarity, she adds, is also important. Overall, Kaplan says "applicants need to communicate the pay-offs of the research straight away."

The Scan

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Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

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Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.