How To Write a Narrative Research Output for Grant Application


Recently, I was opportune to attend a training at the University of Oxford, UK, on how to write a narrative CV for a grant application. One of the highlights from the training emphasised having a great research output section in our grant application. The trainers advised that a research output creates an opportunity to have apt and appealing paragraphs, such that when the reviewers are reading the application, they will be glued to it and recommend us for the award. It is easy to associate narrativeresearch outputs and success measures with specific grant and fellowship applications, this is a new requirement from some funders. As I prepare to apply for international grants towards career development in scientific research, I decided to write this blog to narratively summarise my research outputs and success measures. I look forward to reading some of your comments and I hope this article will also aid writing of your research output for your grant applications.   

Research Highlight

My career in scientific research focuses on neuroscience and human genetics. I am passionate about understanding the pathophysiology of rare disorders and profiling various biological compounds for innovative treatments. I integrate computational, and functional assays and data analytics to make an informed decision on new findings. Between the years 2013 – 2016, I co-investigated nine interesting topics in neuroscience and biological activities. Typically, I used animal models and in vitro techniques. Since 2016 to date, I have co-investigated 13 interesting studies in human genetics and molecular science. Typically, I used molecular biology, bioinformatics, computational biology and data analytics techniques.   

Research output 1a: My first-authored paper and first scientific publication investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of the aqueous extract of Mangifera indica (MI) in a carrageenin-induced rat paw oedema model of acute inflammation. I devised a novel approach to directly extract a high-yield and pure product of Mangifirin which is the most bioactive in MI 1,2. This work was done at Delta State University, Nigeria.

Research output 1b: During my MSc programme, I investigated Jobelyn® (JB) a sorghum-based formulation for its efficacies against chronic inflammation. I used both animal models and invitro techniques for this study. The study was the first that showed the effects of JB in animal models of inflammation. Furthermore, JB was investigated for its anti-stress and memory improvement. The results showed that JB reversed memory impairment and suppressed corticosterone concentrations associated with elevated levels of stress3–6. These works were done at University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Research output 1c: As a lab supervisor, I investigated and mentored students on four spectacular topics. First, the effects of oral administration of low doses of monosodium glutamate (MSG) on behavioural phenotypes, biomarkers of oxidative stress in the brain and liver enzymes in mice were evaluated. The second pure compound that I co-investigated is Methyl Jasmonate (MJ). The anti-inflammatory and anti-stress properties of MJ and Gossypium barbadence L. were investigated. The third is the ameliorative abilities of Aspirin and Prednisolone investigated in a Parkinsonian-induced rat model 7–12. These works were done at University of Ibadan.

Measure of success: The research output 1a contributed immensely to the systemic search for a useful, less toxic and natural bioactive medicinal compound. Besides, then, it immediately positioned me as a serious candidate during my MSc degree programme, as the only candidate among my peers to have a published paper in a reputable journal. Later that year, I was invited by another journal for a research highlight on the published paper. The paper receives an average of 2 citations per year.  The research output 1b, the studies on JB offered a robust preclinical validation of JB. As JB is increasingly becoming one of the fastest-selling herbal medicines in Nigeria, it is being recommended for clinical trials to replicate and validate the prior insights gleaned from experimental studies. The research output 1c, as soon as I completed my MSc programme and was awarded the degree, I became one of the most passionate and reliable research staff in the department. I was later offered a laboratory supervisory role to nurture scientific research among students and staff. I co-supervised two undergraduate students and two postgraduate students. I managed data analyses for various students including year 1 PhD students. The papers that we published receive an average of 2 citations per year. The compounds that we investigated showed mostly antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that might confer protection against various disorders. Besides, we showed the toxicity thresholds for MSG which is a compound most people eat dietarily daily. The MSG study remains my most cited paper to date with 90 citations.

Research output 2a: Between 2016 and to date: I focus mostly on human genetics and computational biology to investigate the roles of mutations in some of the genes with various biological functions like anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, anti-ageing and DNA repair functions. During my PhD programme, I studied the genetics of Parkinson’s disease thoroughly in South African and Nigerian patients. The prevalence of PD is increasing in Africa. The study prompted our actions to investigate the coding and near-coding regions of 751 genes that have neurological effects. By using the targeted next-generation sequencing approach and an advanced bioinformatics technique, we detected novel candidate variants.  I acquired new insights and knowledge through this massive and in-depth study. It was the first time I experienced doing research that was well-funded and contractual. Apart from learning administratively, I built on my research excellence in biochemical and pharmacological findings to understand the roles of genes that code for glutathione, membrane stability, choline, serotonin and dopamine regulations13,14. These works were done at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

Research output 2b: My first postdoctoral position offered me fresh opportunities to handle some significant roles in multi-site genetics research in Africa. I pioneered the investigation of human-mouse ortholog gene screening for actionable mutations in non-syndromic hearing impairment. In the study, we used the whole exome sequencing technique and bioinformatics algorithms to screen candidate genes. The MCPHI gene was first reported in hearing impairment. All my engagements in the studies on the genetics of hearing impairment were phenomenal. For example, the detection of recurrent hearing impairment mutations in the GJB2 gene in Senegal. Hearing impairment is a major complex disorder in Africa. Through the project, I learnt biobanking solutions, and disease ontology database creation and started supervising students again. I supervised one postgraduate student and was a lab supervisor for two PhD students and visiting scientists15–17,17–23. These works were done at University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Research output 2c: Since 2022 to date, my career path has been advancing towards research associate transitioning to independence. I have formed new partnerships, conceptualised new ideas, assisted senior colleagues in ongoing projects and co-supervised students. For example, I joined a collaborative project on POIKTMP syndrome, where we investigated the causal mutation in FAM111B. Also, I joined a massive project on PD at the University of Oxford to investigate the 100000 Genomics England cohorts.  I brought my expertise on board to detect mutations and perform advanced algorithmic genetic approaches to underpin genetic diagnostics in unsolved cases. Furthermore, I now investigate the roles of DNA repair genes e.g. MCPH1 in various brain-related and metabolic disorders, computationally and functionally24–26. These works were done at University of Cape Town, South Africa, and University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

Measure of success: The research output 2a led to my first major presentation award at an international genomics conference. This project also took me to prestigious institutions like the Mayo Clinic and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA to foster collaboration on genomics projects. Furthermore, I was invited to train staff on molecular techniques and involved in public engagement activities at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. Also, the completion of the project and award of the PhD degree in Human Genetics positioned me as one of the frontiers of human genetics researchers in Africa. The papers from the study receive an average of 3 citations per year. The research output 2b led to another presentation award and a recognition award by the National Research Foundation (NRF). The NRF-Y-rated scientists are exceptionally promising to become leaders in their careers in the future. Also, offered more influence and access to African biological samples and genomics datasets through various consortiums. Furthermore, I was offered an editorial role for the leading Journal of Open Medicine in the year 2022.  I have been handling high-quality research papers and peer-reviewed submitted manuscripts to the journal. The research output 2c has led to strengthened collaborations and becoming a co-investigator of a funded project. Similarly, I was invited to participate in the research showcase on precision medicine organised by the University of Oxford in November 2023. Indeed, my research outputs, integrity and expertise are stepping stones to becoming relevant in my current endeavours at the University of Oxford where I recently featured in the Research Hub educational video.  Currently, I was awarded the GreGor education grant to exploit my previous or recent findings by engaging in advanced training or forming collaborations with established laboratories in rare genetic disorders. I am applying for specific research fellowships and big grants as a principal investigator to investigate sequence changes in the genome with plausible therapeutic targets in focused populations.  

You can read more about how I evolved to become an academic researcher, in my recent blog 27.

Thanks, and keep supporting scientific research.


1.         Oluwole OG, Esume C. Anti-inflammatory effects of aqueous extract of Mangifera indica in Wistar rats. Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology. 2015;26(3):313-315. doi:10.1515/jbcpp-2014-0019

2.         Gabriel OO. Bioactive compounds in Magnifera indica demonstrates dose-dependent anti- inflammatory effects. Inflammation and Cell Signaling. Published online 2015. Accessed May 25, 2024.

3.         Umukoro S, Omorogbe O, Aluko OM, Eduviere TA, Owoeye O, Oluwole OG. Jobelyn®, a Sorghum-Based Nutritional Supplement Attenuates Unpredictable Chronic Mild Stress-Induced Memory Deficits in Mice. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science. 2015;05(13):586. doi:10.4236/jbbs.2015.513056

4.         Umukoro S, Oluwole OG, Eduviere AT, Adrian OI, Ajayi AM. Jobelyn® exhibited anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and membrane-stabilizing activities in experimental models. Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology. 2015;26(5):501-508. doi:10.1515/jbcpp-2014-0113

5.         Adebesin A, Omogbiya A, Oluwole O, et al. An Evidence-based Systematic Review of Pleiotropic Potential Health Benefits of Sorghum bicolor Supplement: A Polyphenol-rich Derivative of the Leaf Sheaths of Sorghum Plant. Journal of Natural Remedies. Published online April 1, 2024:683-702. doi:10.18311/jnr/2024/33171

6.         Okubena O, Adebesin A, Omogbiya A, et al. Polyphenol Rich Nutritional Supplement Derived from the West African Sorghum Bicolor Leaf Sheaths Has Evidence-Based Efficacy and Health Promoting Effects. Published online August 1, 2022. doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0011.v1

7.         Umukoro S, Oluwole GO, Olamijowon HE, Omogbiya AI, Eduviere AT. Effect of Monosodium Glutamate on Behavioral Phenotypes, Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress in Brain Tissues and Liver Enzymes in Mice. World Journal of Neuroscience. 2015;5(5):339-349. doi:10.4236/wjns.2015.55033

8.         Umukoro S, Alabi AO, Eduviere AT, Ajayi AM, Oluwole OG. Anti-inflammatory and membrane stabilizing properties of methyl jasmonate in rats. Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines. 2017;15(3):202-209. doi:10.1016/S1875-5364(17)30036-5

9.         Adelaja AO, Oluwole OG, Aluko OM, Umukoro S. Methyl jasmonate delays the latency to anoxic convulsions by normalizing the brain levels of oxidative stress biomarkers and serum corticosterone contents in mice with repeated anoxic stress. Drug Metabolism and Personalized Therapy. 2020;35(4). doi:10.1515/dmpt-2020-0129

10.       Oluwafemi OG, Olajire OR. In Invivo model of Parkinson ’ s syndrome , concurrent administrations of anti-inflammatory drugs changed behavioral deficits. Published 2015. Accessed May 25, 2024.

11.       Oluwole OG, Ologe O, Alabi A, Yusuf GT, Umukoro S. Anti-inflammatory effects and anti-oxidant capacity of Myrathius arboreus (Cecropiaceae) in experimental models. Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology. 2017;28(6):521-529. doi:10.1515/jbcpp-2016-0114

12.       Ilechukwu C, Sonibare M, Oluwole O, Ajayi A, Solomon U. Antioxidant and in vitro membrane stabilization activities of leaf extract of Gossypium barbadense L. (Malvaceae). West African pharmacist. 2018;29:116-126.

13.       Oluwole OG, Kuivaniemi H, Carr JA, et al. Parkinson’s disease in Nigeria: A review of published studies and recommendations for future research. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders. 2019;62:36-43. doi:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2018.12.004

14.       Oluwole OG, Kuivaniemi H, Abrahams S, et al. Targeted next-generation sequencing identifies novel variants in candidate genes for Parkinson’s disease in Black South African and Nigerian patients. BMC Medical Genetics. 2020;21(1):23. doi:10.1186/s12881-020-0953-1

15.       Hotchkiss J, Manyisa N, Mawuli Adadey S, et al. The Hearing Impairment Ontology: A Tool for Unifying Hearing Impairment Knowledge to Enhance Collaborative Research. Genes. 2019;10(12):960. doi:10.3390/genes10120960

16.       Wonkam Tingang E, Noubiap JJ, F. Fokouo JV, et al. Hearing Impairment Overview in Africa: the Case of Cameroon. Genes. 2020;11(2):233. doi:10.3390/genes11020233

17.       Oluwole OG, James K, Yalcouye A, Wonkam A. Hearing loss and brain disorders: A review of multiple pathologies. Open Medicine. 2022;17(1):61-69. doi:10.1515/med-2021-0402

18.       Dia Y, Adadey SM, Diop JPD, et al. GJB2 Is a Major Cause of Non-Syndromic Hearing Impairment in Senegal. Biology. 2022;11(5):795. doi:10.3390/biology11050795

19.       Oluwole OG, James K, Wonkam A. Evolutionary Analyses and Identification of Rare Pathogenic Variant in The MCPH1 BRCT3 Domain Broaden Its Role in Non-Syndromic Hearing Impairment. In Review; 2022. doi:10.21203/

20.       Oluwole OG, Esoh KK, Wonkam-Tingang E, et al. Whole exome sequencing identifies rare coding variants in novel human-mouse ortholog genes in African individuals diagnosed with non-syndromic hearing impairment. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2021;246(2):197-206. doi:10.1177/1535370220960388

21.       Oluwole OG, Oosterwyk C, Anderson D, et al. The Implementation of Laboratory Information Management System in Multi-Site Genetics Study in Africa: The Challenges and Up-Scaling Opportunities. Journal of Molecular Pathology. 2022;3(4):262-272. doi:10.3390/jmp3040022

22.       Yalcouyé A, Traoré O, Taméga A, et al. Etiologies of Childhood Hearing Impairment in Schools for the Deaf in Mali. Frontiers in Pediatrics. 2021;9. Accessed October 29, 2023.

23.       Oluwole O, Yalcouye A, Wonkam E, et al. Elucidating Biological Roles of Novel Murine Genes in Hearing Impairment in Africa. Published online September 19, 2019. doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0222.v1

24.       Oluwole OG, Henry M. Genomic medicine in Africa: a need for molecular genetics and pharmacogenomics experts. Current Medical Research and Opinion. 2023;39(1):141-147. doi:10.1080/03007995.2022.2124072

25.       Oluwole GO. The analyses of human MCPH1 DNA repair machinery and genetic variation. Open Med(Wars). 2024;29(19):1. doi:doi: 10.1515/med-2024-0917

26.       Arowolo A, Rhoda C, Mbele M, Oluwole OG, Khumalo N. A cost-effective method for detecting mutations in the human FAM111B gene associated with POIKTMP syndrome. Egypt J Med Hum Genet. 2022;23(1):1-7. doi:10.1186/s43042-022-00380-z

27.       Oluwole O. How I Switched Fields Within Biomedical Sciences – Absolute Cedars. Accessed May 25, 2024.

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