I am ready to write my first R01, but I am not sure how to get started. One of my colleagues said to start with the Methods, but another said that he always starts with the Budget. Who is right?
My response to this question is- if it is working for them, and they are successfully obtaining funding, then they are both right. For you, however, my suggestion is to do neither. As a new investigator, your primary concern should be developing a viable hypothesis and clear, measurable Specific Aims. Your proposal will not be strong if it is not built on strong aims. When you have your aims drafted, show them to these
experienced researchers and solicit comments and feedback. Be prepared for some harsh criticism- you are better off hearing it now than in the peer review comments. Once your aims are narrowed down and finalized, you can begin to draft your methods and then budget. I suggest saving the abstract for last- it will be much easier to write when the rest of the proposal is already complete! Good luck!