Lessons for Success Program

Applying to Lessons for Success


Lessons for Success aims to provide intensive training to early career scientists in the areas of (a) grant preparation and funding opportunities, (b) development and management of a successful research program, and (c) advancement of professional competencies. With participants completing assignments prior to and during the conference, this grant-writing "boot camp" provides invaluable advice and guidance from senior faculty with strong histories of research funding.

Lessons for Success is part of ASHA's Academic & Research Mentoring (ARM) Network. The ARM Network offers programs for those who are considering, launching, and advancing academic-research careers in communication sciences and disorders (CSD). ASHA measures the impact of these programs by collecting participant outcomes data.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements by the time of application:

  • PhD students at the level of candidacy who have been awarded F31 (or equivalent) funding, or
  • Postdoctoral fellows or faculty below the rank of associate professor who (a) hold a research doctoral degree (PhD or equivalent) and (b) have applied for extramural research funding. You must be the principal investigator (PI) or co-PI of a research grant proposal, which must include —at a minimum—an abstract, the specific aims, and the research strategy. (Funding success is not required. Individuals funded at the R01 or equivalent level are no longer eligible.)
    • Eligible funding includes a research grant from an agency outside your university/institution such as
      • a foundation (e.g., ASHFoundation)
      • a state funding agency, or
      • a federal agency (e.g., National Institutes of Health, Institute of Education Sciences, and Department of Veterans Affairs). This includes a small research grant, fellowship, career-development award, or minority supplement.
    • The following funding types are not eligible: intramural awards, ASHA's Advancing Academic-Research Careers (AARC) award and Multicultural Activities Grant, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) awards, loan repayment awards, scholarships, personnel preparation grants, small business innovation research grants (e.g., SBIR), community service grants, or any proposal for which your role is co-investigator, or any role other than PI or co-PI. 
  • If you have previously participated in Lessons for Success, you must be in a different career stage than past participation (e.g., you were originally a PhD student and are now an assistant professor). When selecting participants, ASHA will give preference to those who have not previously participated.

Questions about eligibility? Contact research@asha.org.

View past participants of Lessons for Success.

Not eligible for Lessons for Success? Consider these other ARM Network options that provide guidance on grant writing:


Lessons for Success consists of a combination of lectures, mock reviews, and small-group sessions. Attendance is limited to approximately 30 participants who show promise for a productive research career and who are selected through an application process. Each participant is assigned a Lessons for Success faculty member. This is a working conference in which each participant prepares materials in advance and then refines those materials on site with guidance from the assigned faculty member.

View a typical agenda.

ASHA will seek periodic updates on the scholarly achievements of Lessons for Success participants in the years following the program (e.g., publications, grant submissions). Participants are expected to provide these data because such information is critical to ensuring the continuation of this program.

How to Attend

The Lessons for Success application period opens in October and closes in December. Applicants will be notified by the end of February.

Applicants must complete the online application form, upload several PDF documents through the online application system, and submit the entire application package by the established deadline. See the application instructions for details, including deadlines and conference dates. Senior investigators in communication sciences and disorders review each application.

There is no registration fee. Funds are provided to offset the cost of travel, hotel, and meals with onsite participation, in accordance with ASHA travel policies.

Should I apply for Pathways, Lessons for Success, or both?

Both programs provide mentoring to early-career scientists. The Pathways program provides guidance on developing a strong foundation for an independent clinical research career. Lessons for Success provides intensive training in the areas of grant preparation and management of a successful research program and career.  Below we offer “good fit” descriptions for each program to help you decide.

  • You are a good fit for Pathways if you are seeking broad research career guidance with extended mentoring to support you in (a) strengthening your publication record, (b) crafting a 5-year plan, and (c) articulating a programmatic line of research. If you are a current PhD student or postdoc with F31/F32 funding, Lessons for Success might be a better fit.
  • You are a good fit for Lessons for Success if you are planning to submit an extramural grant proposal in the near future and are ready for intense grant-writing training in that you have a strong publication record for your career stage and have previously submitted a research grant.

Still can’t decide? You can apply to both Lessons for Success and Pathways in the same year; however, you can only be selected to participate in one program. Selection will be based on best fit as determined by ASHA. Since Lessons for Success offers more advanced grant writing training than does Pathways, those who participate in Lessons for Success are no longer eligible to apply for Pathways. However, Lessons for Success alumni are eligible to apply to LfS again when they are in a different career stage than past participation (e.g., originally a PhD student and now an assistant professor). 

Questions? Contact research@asha.org.

Lessons for Success is supported by an R13 grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) and is co-sponsored by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation (ASHFoundation). It is planned and coordinated by the Research and Scientific Affairs Committee, the Lessons for Success Advisory Committee, and ASHA's Academic Affairs and Research Education team. ASHA's Financial Conflict of Interest policy for PHS-funded Activities and Programs [PDF]

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