Scientific Proposal Writer

About the Role

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent research center at the University of Washington. Its mission is to deliver to the world timely, relevant, and scientifically valid evidence to improve health policy and practice. IHME carries out its mission through a range of projects within different research areas including the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors; Future Health Scenarios; Cost Effectiveness and Efficiency; Resource Tracking; and Impact Evaluations. Our vision is to provide policymakers, donors, and researchers with the highest-quality quantitative evidence base so all people live long lives in full health.

IHME is committed to providing the evidence base necessary to help solve the world’s most important health problems. This requires creativity and innovation, which are cultivated by an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment that respects and appreciates differences, embraces collaboration, and invites the voices of all IHME team members.

IHME has an outstanding opportunity for a Scientific Proposal Writer to join the Proposal Development Team.


The primary purpose of this position is to support the development of high-quality proposals for a variety of scientific topics that broaden the quantitative evidence base for health. This individual will write and guide the development of proposals in collaboration with researchers and senior staff through a range of potential funding mechanisms including competitive grants, contracts, and services agreements.

This position is integral to IHME being able to sustain funding of existing projects and spur growth of new research areas aligned with IHME’s organizational goals to expand the quantitative evidence base in health. The Scientific Writer will possess a commanding knowledge of IHME’s interdisciplinary quantitative science in fields including epidemiology, biostatistics, survey methodology, health economics, demography, and social determinants. This role sits on IHME’s Organizational Development and Training Team in order to maximize the alignment between the individual’s work and the role that proposal development plays in the growth of the organization, its research streams, and in faculty development. This position is contingent upon project funding availability.


Proposal Development and Scientific Writing

Write high-quality interdisciplinary scientific proposals for funding in conjunction with faculty, staff, and project managers, including background statements, research approach descriptions, deliverable statements, management plans, letters of intent, briefs, concept pitches, acknowledgments, presentations, and other communications. This will include developing and ideating novel areas of research that IHME could and should pursue along with translating well-developed ideas from research teams.
Provide and incorporate constructive feedback into proposal materials in consultation with the Principal Investigator (PI) and other team leads for greater accuracy, clarity, grammar, and syntax. Draft revisions and responses to reviewers in consultation with faculty, team leads, and other senior IHME members.
Translate complex scientific concepts and data into novel scientific directions and approaches that highlight IHME’s competitive strengths and advantages through scientific proposals.
Demonstrate command of central research objectives and related activities at IHME in order to strategically identify, assess, and recommend potential funding opportunities, translate gaps in these objectives into written proposals, and frame content in a way that maximizes our past experience and successes.
Recommend funding sources and specific proposals to IHME’s senior leadership for final authorization to pursue them following regular reviews of open funding opportunities at a range of donors to identify matches with IHME’s funding needs.
Participate directly in scoping processes for new proposals – including determining the flow and dependencies of activities and resource considerations, working directly with IHME senior leadership, faculty, and the leadership of functional and research teams when doing so.

Project Management

Effectively delegate and implement development plans across multiple proposals to achieve demanding, dynamic, and time-sensitive proposal milestones.
Work with coordinators and specialists on the Proposal Development and Financial Planning teams to align on deadlines, responsibilities, timelines, and communication strategies across the technical and non-technical components of proposals.
Manage content creation, review, and revision, taking responsibility to ensure high-quality proposals for internal and external reviews.
Maintain familiarity with a range of funding mechanisms, including competitive grants, contracts, and work for hire. Work with grant and contract specialists to advise on how to fit the constraints of said mechanism with donor guidelines and parameters.
Prepare and present briefings for IHME faculty and leadership for consideration of different proposal opportunities. Recommend funding sources and specific proposals to IHME’s senior leadership for final authorization for pursuit following reviews of open funding opportunities at a range of donors to identify matches with IHME’s funding needs.
Develop and manage relationships with external partners who could collaborate in proposal development, such as partnering research institutions, government actors, foundations, and other potential research and engagement partners.

Research Learning and Command

Maintain a commanding knowledge of the intellectual material and key analytic concepts that relate to the interdisciplinary quantitative science behind proposal ideas in order to clearly and concisely write about their scientific relevance, impact, objectives, and key intellectual contributions. Stay up to date on IHME’s new and advancing research topics that span the fields of epidemiology, biostatistics, survey methodology, health economics, health system performance, demography, social determinants, computational algorithms, and others.
Maintain awareness of organization and team-level goals, as well as institutional strategic plans, annual plan of work, and annual reports.
Maintain a functional understanding of how to use IHME’s visualization and data download tools, publications, reports, presentations, and other materials to access and interpret high-volume data produced by IHME as supporting material for proposal scoping or background.
Maintain familiarity with and contribute suggestions for expanding IHME’s institutional partners, including academic research institutions, think tanks, clinical facilities, government organizations, and non-governmental organizations. Must demonstrate cultural competency and an ability to collaborate and work with a wide range of project team members.
Maintain familiarity and expand landscape of potential funding organizations including private foundations, individual philanthropists, and government and inter-governmental agencies.
As needed, perform literature reviews and background searches, collect and interpret data and information, read and understand complex scientific material, support proposal development, and develop funder insights.


Develop and implement trainings for faculty and fellows at IHME in proposal development best practices; advise faculty, investigators, and administrators on preparation of grant and contract proposals.
Provide constructive critique to faculty and other research team members suitable to strengthen proposal content. Recommend improvements in writing/editing policies, processes, and tools.
When needed, contribute to development of templates and general guidelines for grants management and workflow procedures. Maintain a library of materials needed during the grant writing process.
Support team development and strengthening by creating and implementing systems and opportunities to promote effective communication, skills development, and navigation of organizational complexities among all team members with attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Other duties as assigned.


Bachelor’s degree in a science or social science discipline or related and five years of related experience, or equivalent combination of education/experience.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


Minimum of 5 years’ experience in research preparing and managing competitive proposals in higher education, research settings, and/or public/private organizations, with a proven record of accomplishment in securing institutional funding from foundation, government, and/or corporate sources and/or demonstrated ability to write about technical content in a clear, cogent, and concise manner to diverse audiences.
Ability to understand highly complex scientific material and translate this information clearly to a range of technical and general audiences.
Ability to successfully seek grant opportunities and target funding streams consistent with institutional mission and priorities.
Outstanding intellectual capability, proactive problem-solving abilities, and ability to learn complex content quickly and apply it to grant seeking and development. Excels in situations with fluid timelines and where the path forward may not be evident.
Must possess excellent interpersonal, verbal, writing, and time management skills, and the ability to develop positive relationships with external constituents as well as IHME colleagues.
Ability to work in a fast-paced and collaborative environment to manage multiple priorities while coordinating resources needed to meet deadlines. Weekend or evening hours may be required in order to meet these deadlines.
A commitment to working to alongside others at IHME to illuminate the health impacts of systemic racism and to work within IHME to make our organization more diverse and inclusive. See IHME’s DEI statement here:


Master’s or PhD degree in social sciences, health sciences, data sciences, or other related degree with a writing and critical thinking emphasis.
Working knowledge of global health and development issues is optimal.


Weekend and evening work sometimes required.
This position is open to anyone authorized to work in the US. The UW is not able to sponsor visas for staff positions.
Office is located in Seattle, Washington. This position is eligible to work fully remote in the US.

Application Process:

The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

Applicants considered for this position will be required to disclose if they are the subject of any substantiated findings or current investigations related to sexual misconduct at their current employment and past employment. Disclosure is required under Washington state law.

Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral.

The University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 or


Governor Inslee's Proclamation 21-14.2 requires employees of higher education and healthcare institutions to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless a medical or religious exemption is approved. Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. As a condition of employment, newly hired employees will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination. View the Final candidate guide to COVID-19 vaccination requirement webpage for information about the medical or religious exemption process for final candidates.