Who We Are

Picture of M.S. (Peg) AtKisson

M. S. (Peg) AtKisson, Ph.D. earned her degree in neuroscience from Tufts University in 2001, after also working in cell biology and cancer biology. After completing her degree, she consulted for Cogniscent, Inc., on nanotechnology applications of short DNA sequences as chemical sensors. She began her research development career as a contract grant writer, with clients including the Association for Computing Machines, Wake Forest University, Hunter College, Tufts University among others. Tufts created a position for her, where she subsequently created and fully staffed one of the earliest formal research development offices. On her departure from the position of director of proposal development, she and her team had been involved in bringing in over $140,000,000 in funded grants. Funders included NIH, NSF, USAID, and the W. M. Keck Foundation. Most of these successful high-value proposals supported research centers and infrastructure. She also provided training for faculty and post-doctoral fellows in grant writing.

During her time at Tufts University she met the founders of Grant Writers’ Seminars and Workshops (GWSW). In 2008, they invited her to join the company, and she split her time between Tufts University and GWSW until 2010 when she joined the company full time. Dr. AtKisson was the first person that the founders hired and trusted to carry out the seminars and workshops provided by the company. In eight years with GWSW, she presented an average of 30 seminars per year, customized for many different funders, covering bench and social science as well as arts & humanities. She worked directly with over 200 individual researchers on proposals ranging from materials physics to humanities, with the goal of coaching investigators through the grant-writing process to leave investigators with a new skill set to be applied to every proposal going forward.

She left GWSW in January 2017 to create AtKisson Training Group to expand support for faculty research development beyond grant writing--placing the grant proposal in the context of the individual's larger research enterprise and career trajectory.  Dr. AtKisson is a highly acclaimed public speaker with a track record of helping faculty improve their competitiveness for funding. (See what clients say.)


Picture of Mary HenselMary Hensel, MBA, combines decades of fund raising for arts, environmental and health non-profits with university research and funding development. A development professional for 25 years, she has worked at every level of the fund raising ladder and is an expert in funding assessment, cultivation and solicitation. At the American Cancer Society and Trustees of Reservation she formed local networks to raise funds and sponsor educational events. As Director of Annual Giving at the New York Philharmonic, she was responsible for raising 20% of the orchestra’s budget. At the University of Washington, she led capital campaigns for both the newly established College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences and the largest College of Arts and Sciences which included the University’s gallery, performing arts hall and museum of natural history and culture. At UMass Dartmouth she handled federal submissions for faculty members in Arts and Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts, Nursing and Law, before establishing the University’s Office of Research Development to coordinate complex submissions and provide infrastructure support to the academic community. Co-owner of a tourism-based business in the Florida Keys for more than ten years, she holds an MBA from the University of Chicago.

With ATG, Ms. Hensel facilitates training for proposal planning and writing for the arts and humanities. She also brings her expertise in large proposal development--planning, writing, and editing--for groups embarking on high-value proposals. 


Bob O'Neil

Bob O’Neil is an experienced, professional and successful leadership development coach with more than 20 years of experience in leadership development, personal and professional coaching, employee relations and the development of high-potential employees. He is a Certified Professional Coach, and certified in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, The Predictive Index, Franklin Covey Time Management and Energy Leadership. He spent many years working for Bayer in executive leadership development and has taught leadership in the business school at Boston University. In his private coaching practice, he works with individuals who are inspired by their curiosity and need help in clarifying what matters most - and how to get there.

Mr. O'Neil works with ATG to translate his experience from the business world into tangible skills for academics who need focused leadership development to successfully head large, multi-investigator projects. He is an instrumental partner in research leadership development for faculty members ready to aquire the communication, facilitation, and management skills that promote effective team science for both competitive high-value proposals and successful running of a funded center or project. 


Rita TeutonicoRita Teutonico, PhD, has extensive experience both as a faculty member and as an analyst in the private sector. She was an associate professor in the Integrated Science & Technology (ISAT) Program, Biotechnology Concentration, at James Madison University where she developed a new active learning curriculum for the interdisciplinary program. Following that, she was at the National Science Foundation for 10 years, serving in many roles, including program officer and deputy director for the Divisions of Social & Economic Sciences and Molecular & Cellular Bioscience, among others. Most importantly, she had extensive responsibilities in several areas of NSF cross-disciplinary work, including the Climate Research Investment and the Human & Social Dynamics priority areas. She also served on several cross-agency initiatives, giving her familiarity with the culture and operations of many different federal funders. She has worked in research development at the institution and school level at both Utah State University and Florida International University. She was co-Investigator for Utah's inaugural NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvment award. In addition, her work in Utah as the State’s EPSCoR Director involved coordinating NSF, NASA, DOE, and USDA EPSCoR education, outreach, and communications programs across 16 universities.

Dr. Teutonico has extensive experience with large, high-value proposals as PI, as Program Officer and as consultant. With ATG, she can provide strategy, writing, and high-level editing. She also runs Tiger Teams and Red Team reviews for large, complex applications.


In addition, we have a network of research development professionals, including scientific and academic editors who can be called in for specific projects.