Grant writing mentors and mentees gather in California

FRED program participants
2022 FRED II grant writing workshop participants, staff, and leadership.

Funding drives research. To that end, the American Society for Cell Biology seeks to develop scientists with superior grant writing skills. The most recent cohort of trainees for the Society’s Minorities Affairs Committee (MAC) guided mentoring program for grant funding success, known as FRED, met in late July at the Oceano Hotel and Spa in Half Moon Bay, CA.  

The leadership team for the ASCB MAC FRED II Program welcomed seven new FRED mentees and their mentors to the FRED Career Development Workshop kick-off activity. FRED stands for Faculty Research and Education Development (FRED) Mentoring Program and is designed to promote grant funding success for senior postdocs and junior faculty from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in STEM. The training opportunity also serves senior postdocs and junior faculty at minority-serving institutions and other institutions with a strong commitment to recruiting students from backgrounds underrepresented in STEM.

As part of the training, FRED mentees obtain a mentor who agrees to participate in the program for a year-long mentorship opportunity. Mentors provide grant feedback and much more to contribute to successful grant submissions.  In addition to refining the specific aims section of their proposals under development, the mentees and mentors received intensive training on preparing proposals targeted to National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health and participated in sessions that covered NSF (directorates of Biological Sciences and Education and Human Resources) and NIH funding opportunities, advice on navigating tenure and promotion, and grant writing tips and challenges.  ASCB 2023 President, ASCB Fellow, and member of the Minorities Affairs Committee Sandra Murray discussed goal setting and time management with the workshop attendees.

Ashanti Edwards, ASCB’s Director of Professional Development, and Blake Riggs, Professor and Associate Department Chair in the Department of Biology at San Francisco State University, serve as FRED co-PIs. Renato Aguilera, an ASCB Fellow, former MAC co-Chair and Professor from the University of Texas El Paso, and Latanya Hammonds-Odie, Professor from Georgia Gwinnett College, are the program’s co-investigators. FRED began in 2014, and this is the seventh cohort of participants to go through the training.

The FRED II Program is funded by the NSF BIO Directorate. Additional information is available on the ASCB website at

Photo caption:

Front row: Ashanti Edwards FRED PI and ASCB staff, Cherisa Martin ASCB staff, Erica Sanchez 2022-2023 FRED mentee, Vivian Gama 2022-2023 FRED mentor, Zer Vue 2022-2023 FRED mentee, Latanya Hammonds-Odie FRED co-PI

Middle row: Maria Fernanda Forni 2022-2023 FRED mentee, Bonnie Green 2022-2023 FRED mentor, Renato Aguilera FRED co-PI, Ozlem Dilek 2022-2023 FRED mentee, Andrea Marshall 2022-2023 FRED mentee, Erik Snapp 2022-2023 FRED mentor​

Back row: Jonathan Kelber 2022-2023 FRED mentor, Nyasha Chambwe 2022-2023 FRED mentee, Rochelle Nelson 2022-2023 FRED mentee, Moshe Levi 2022-2023 FRED mentor, Blake Riggs FRED co-PI

About the Author:

Latanya P. Hammonds-Odie is a Professor of Biology at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, GA. She is also an ASCB Fellow.