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Brittney-Shea Herbert got an early start in grant writing during graduate school at the University of Texas, Austin, when a visiting lecturer from NASA encouraged her to apply for a fellowship, and she won it. Herbert says that applying for that first grant forced her to organize her thinking about the next steps in her research.

As a postdoc in the lab run by telomerase re-searchers Jerry Shay and Woody Wright at the UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Herbert put her graduate school lessons to work: Within the first year she had recorded her preliminary data and established a research project examining the role of telomeres in breast cancer. She used these preliminary results in subsequent proposals for funding. "That way I could write more effective grants," relates Herbert, now a fourth-year postdoc, supported by grants from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the US Army...

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