R01 for Tenure Program

Can you get your R01 before your tenure clock runs out?

Join the R01-for-Tenure program before it’s too late.

Are you lost and alone in writing your R01? Are your mentors too busy to help because they’re worried about their own grants? Do you wonder how you’ll win before it’s too late?

I’ve been a grant consultant since 2003 and have helped dozens of professors win R01s. I have a proven system to help professors get the scores they need from study sections to win R01 funding. If you meet my conditions for joining my R01-for-Tenure Program, I’ll give you a guarantee you’ll win a grant that will help you win tenure — or your money back.


IF you meet my criteria for accepting you as a client (see the “FINE PRINT”), and IF you follow my instructions for preparing your R01 application and do at least 85% of what you’ve agreed to, THEN I GUARANTEE you will win within submitting your R01 application 3 times, OR ELSE I will give you 100% of your money back.


  • This is for tenure-track professors only.
  • It’s only for R01s or equivalent grants large enough to get you tenure — U01s, DP2s and R35s, and also NSF CAREER grants. It’s not for R21s.
  • You must convince me you have a fundable research project and enough preliminary data to make your project look highly likely to succeed.
  • You must have enough startup money to produce any additional preliminary data NIH reviewers may require.
  • You must be publishing regularly in your field.
  • You must be willing to submit your grant up to 3 times in order to win.
  • You must work with me, do the homework I give you, and follow my instructions in writing your research plan, Specific Aims, abstract, biosketch and Introduction.
  • If you do not meet these conditions, check whether you quality for the “R01 Accelerator Program”, which has a different money-back guarantee.


Am I being stupid and reckless in guaranteeing you’ll win?

Not really.  First, my guarantee requires you to do you part of the work. If you don’t follow my advice and instructions, the guarantee is void. Second, I’ve helped professors win dozens of grants, so I know I can do my part in helping you win.

  • I’ve helped professors win all sorts of NIH grants — R01s, Katz R01s, U01s, R21s, R03s, R24s, R25s, R35 MIRA grants, K01s, K08s, R61/R33s and SBIR Phase I grants.
  • I’ve also helped win NSF Career grants and grants from NIFA, CDMRC, DOJ, and DoED.
  • I’ve helped win foundation grants from the Lupus Society, PhRMA, the American Heart Association, the March of Dimes, Burroughs Wellcome, and the American Association for Cancer Research.
  • I’ve worked on grants for Michigan State, Vanderbilt, the University of Tennessee, Boston University, Georgetown, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Rush Medical Center, Stanford, the University of Minnesota, the University of Pittsburg, and the University of Oklahoma, the University of Nebraska, and the Cleveland Clinic.
  • With my help professors have won NIH grants from NCI, NIAID, NIGMS, NIEHS, NIDA, NIBIB, NHLBI, NIDDK, NICHD, NIA, NEI, NIMH, NLM, NIDCR, NIDCD, and NINDS.
  • I’ve had 1-on-1 consultations with professors more than 1000 times to advise them on how to win grants.
  • Because I have a PhD in science (microbiology) and worked in academic labs for 20 years, I can talk to you scientist-to-scientist. I will understand your strategy to test your project’s central hypothesis, and can help you describe your experiments in the way reviewers expect.
  • I have plenty of experience helping professors in bad situations. I know what publish-or-perish is like. I know what it’s like to have little or no guidance from your department or so-called mentors. And I know that being on tenure track can leave you feeling entirely alone, with your career and your family’s happiness on the line. If you’re in a tough spot, talk to me. See if I can help.

R01 Success Story: “Daddy, will we have to leave town if you don’t get a grant?”

Maybe you know someone who lost tenure in part because they didn’t win a grant. After losing, they were given maybe 18 months or two years to clear out and find work elsewhere. 

I’ve seen the look on someone’s face who’s just been denied tenure. It’s not just pain. There’s also humiliation. 

Because, while they probably want to exit their department immediately, they can’t: They need an income while they search for another job.

So they endure months of humiliation by having to attend faculty meetings and seminars where they know they’re not wanted, surrounded by people they know voted against them.

Aside from the personal cost of losing tenure because they couldn’t win a R01, there’s the cost to your family. 

An assistant professor at Michigan State taught me this.

He said that most evenings he and his wife would discuss their day around the dinner table. Often he complained of not having a R01 despite multiple tries.

It wasn’t the sort of dinner talk you think kids pay attention to.

But they did. One day his little girl asked, “Daddy, will we have to leave town if you don’t get a grant?”

Would you want to tell your daughter the answer is yes?

But this story had a happy ending.

I gave him personal coaching about his grant problems. He took my webinar course on advanced NIH grant writing. I gave him copies of funded R01 grants in his field to study.  And I edited his research plan to highlight why his studies were exciting and guaranteed to advance his field.

All of this helped him win the R01 that helped him win tenure  — and keep his family in town.

Making your dream of being a tenured professor a reality is what R01 for Tenure is all about.

R01 Success Story: Rescuing a R01 held hostage by two reviewers

To learn how reviewers think I’ve studied hundreds of Summary Statements.  I’ve read hundreds of funded NIH grants in all kinds of fields. I’ve consulted on grant problems more than 1000 times.

R01 for Tenure will give you monthly access to me to help solve your thorniest grant problems.

Here’s an example. 

A Michigan State professor whose R01 application had been turned down three times asked me for help.

At our first meeting we discussed his troubles and analyzed his latest Summary Statement.

It turned out that his failed third try stemmed from his failed second try, when two reviewers had recommended that he do two conflicting experiments.

Why was there a conflict? First, because there wasn’t room in the professor’s research plan to thoroughly describe both experiments. Second, the R01 wouldn’t last long enough to do both. Third, the R01 wouldn’t have enough money for both.

Yet the reviewers wanted both experiments done.

And so the professor resubmitted his grant, this time including both experiments, despite inadequate space, time and money. The result was predictable: He lost. That’s when he came to see me.

After thinking about his problem of experiments in conflict, I suggested a solution:

The two experiments were not of equal value, I said.  One experiment could quickly advance the professor’s field. The other probably wouldn’t be necessary to the field for at least 5 years.

The thing to do was to conduct only the best experiment, and find an acceptable excuse not to conduct the experiment far less likely to have an immediate impact.

So for his fourth try to win, I told the professor to revise his R01 research plan to describe only the best experiment in detail.

Then, to explain that we were not going to do the other experiment, we did two things.

First, we praised that experiment in a Future Directions paragraph that we added to the Approach section. In a sentence or two we said we recognized the need for the experiment, and said we would do it in a future grant, after this R01 ended.

Second, in the Introduction to the revised R01 I helped the professor explain that he agreed with both reviewers’ experiment suggestions. And then he explained why it was scientifically justified to do one experiment during the R01 and delay the other experiment until another grant could be found in the future.

Without exceeding space, money and time limits, my solution diplomatically acknowledged both reviewers’ advice without promising to follow all of it right away.

And it worked!  He resubmitted and won, overcoming two reviewers holding his R01 hostage.

Solving grant problems is what R01 for Tenure is all about.

Here’s how we’ll work together to help you win

  • I’ll help you make a plan to get funded that takes into consideration how much time you have left as an Early-Stage Investigator (ESI), and how much time you have until you go up for tenure.
  • I’ll show you how to find the best NIH institutes and study sections for your project.
  • I’ll help you find NIH program officers to talk to about your R01. If you have trouble getting them to talk to you, I’ll tell you what to do about it.
  • I’ll give you action steps for getting funded and hold you accountable for getting things done.
  • If I think your research plan isn’t ready to win, I’ll tell you to skip the upcoming deadline and work to submit at the next one. Not being ready is usually due to insufficient preliminary data, not justifying key steps in your studies, or not answering all the objections in your Summary Statement.
  • We will pursue a multiple-submission strategy. I really wish I could guarantee one submission is all you’ll need. Unfortunately, though, no one can predict every excuse NIH reviewers will use to prevent you from winning. What we will do, however, is eliminate every predictable excuse from your research plan so you’ll win as soon as possible.
  • I’ll get you copies of funded R01 grants in your field that you can study in order to write a winning R01 of your own.
  • I’ll advise you on how to write each part of your research plan.
  • I will edit your abstract, Specific Aims, research plan, Introduction, and Biosketch to make it easy for reviewers to see why your project is exciting and guaranteed to work. Every page will sell.
  • If you can get your research plan done at least a month before your submission deadline, we’ll get it critiqued by experts in your field prior to submission. This will give you time to fix weaknesses in your research plan before it’s too late.
  • And if after all this work your scores are still a bit below payline, I’ll help you appeal to your institute’s Advisory Council to fund your R01 anyway. I’ve helped several professors win R01s by making carefully written, scientifically justified appeals.

With the R01-for-Tenure program there is…

  • No more feeling lost and all alone in trying to win a R01
  • No more not having a strategy to win
  • No more not knowing what a winning grant in your field looks like
  • No more submitting a grant with no chance to be competitive

With R01-for-Tenure here’s what you get:

  • I will help and advise you through multiple submissions to NIH until you win. Unfortunately, almost everybody has to apply more than once. Even though I know how NIH reviewers think and can help you avoid many of their likely objections to your project, NIH reviewers are notorious for giving research projects low scores for unpredictable reasons. So it’s very likely you won’t win on your first try. But with my help you can overcome their objections as fast as possible so you get funded as fast as possible.
  • I will help you to find NIH program officers to talk to and Study Sections capable of understanding your work.
  • Six 1-hour Zoom calls a year to talk grant strategy.
  • Copies of 5 R01 funded grants of your choice to study obtained with my FOIA service.
  • Access to grants relevant to your work from my library of more than 1000 NIH grants.
  • I will edit your research plan, Specific Aims, Introduction, and biosketch to highlight why your project will make a major impact on your field and is guaranteed to work. I’ll remove unnecessary words and sentences to help you fit the page limit and make room for any last-minute additions to your research plan. And I’ll flag any problems I see in your proposal that reviewers could use as excuses to kill your grant. My edits are almost always filled with comments and suggestions.
  • If you are resubmitting, I’ll edit the one-page Introduction to your revised research plan.
  • I will compare your abstract, research Plan, Introduction and biosketch against my proprietary checklist of avoidable mistakes that reviewers use routinely to kill grants.
  • If you lose, I will help your analyze your Summary Statement and plan a way to win on the next try.
  • If you score only a little below payline, I will help you appeal to your institute’s Advisory Council to fund your grant anyway.

Is R01-for-Tenure for you? Maybe not, if…

  • If you have a mentor with plenty of time to guide you in writing a winning grant
  • You took a NIH grant writing course and learned everything you need to know
  • You have copies of winning R01s in your field and study section to study
  • You’re up-to-date on NIH’s latest new rules for R01 applications
  • Your tenure decision is still way down the road, and your Early-Stage Investigator (ESI) status won’t end for years
  • Winning a R01 sooner rather than later doesn’t matter much to your career or your family

But if you’re not happy with your progress toward winning a R01 — especially if you’re nervous about winning before your tenure and ESI clocks runn out, check out below how I can help you.

What R01-for-Tenure Costs:

There are two fees: First, $999 per month until NIH notifies you your R01 will be awarded, or until we have submitted your R01 for the 3rd time. Whichever comes first. Second, a success fee if you win. The success fee will be a percentage of your total grant (direct plus indirect costs for all years of the grant) as follows:

• 1.5% if we win on the first try

• 1.25% if we win on the second try

• 1% if we win on the third try

Note: NIH does not permit you to include my fees in your R01 budget. You’ll have to pay me from non-NIH funds.



Why does the guarantee depend on submitting my R01 up to 3 times?

Some of the reasons reviewers give for scoring R01s poorly are so unpredictable (or even cryptic or weird) that even senior professors with years of grant writing experience get turned down at least once before they win. Almost none of my clients fail to win by the third try.

I’m not on tenure track. Can you still help me win a R01?

For those not on tenure track I offer the R01 Accelerator program, which has a different guarantee.

My R01 deadline is only a couple weeks away. Can you help me?

I’m usually completely booked within a month of a major R01 deadline. Go ahead and apply, but you may have to get on my waiting list for R01 help for a later deadline.

Can I work with you on 2 R01 projects at the same time?

Yes, but you will be charged separate fees for each project.

What if I decide to switch to a different R01 research project before we’ve tried 3 times with the project I hired you for?

If you decide you have a better chance to win by switching projects, the money-back guarantee for the R01 project you’re abandoning will be void and you will not get your money back.  But if your new R01 project meets my conditions above in the Fine Print, then this new project would be eligible for a 100% money-back guarantee.

What if I want a grant that’s not a R01?

I may be able to give you a money-back guarantee for a similar NIH grant, as long as it will pay enough to help you win tenure and meets my other conditions in the Fine Print above. For example, a U01 or R35. But R01 for Tenure is not for R21s and R03s.

What if I disagree with your advice?

You are always the final decision maker about what to include in your grant. So you’re always free to disregard my advice. But if I feel strongly that not taking my advice will seriously hurt your chances to win, I’ll explain to you why, and I will probably withdraw my guarantee.

What if I want to quit working with you before I win my R01?

You can quit at any time, but the money-back guarantee will be void. Also, while you will no longer pay a monthly fee, the success fee will still be payable, even if I am no longer working with you.

Final thoughts…

In how many ways can winning a R01 change your life?  I doubt you’re happy with the results of your efforts so far, or you wouldn’t be reading this. So take action.  Apply today. Soon thereafter I’ll evaluate your application and let you know if we should talk about how I can help. Let’s get you funded! Tom Hollon, PhD