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Research Services Office
Welcome to the VCU Department of Internal Medicine Research Services Office (RSO). Our team members have diverse backgrounds and interests and share a common commitment to supporting and improving the research process. We are trained to provide services to a standard of excellence for our faculty and other researchers, including:
The Department is dedicated to providing training and building teamwork to ensure that our administrators are skilled and knowledgeable in all aspects of research administration. In addition, we provide support for professional development with opportunities to stay current in issues relevant to our field. We believe that quality research administration is achieved through a network of collaboration and the sharing of expertise.
Rashmi Pershad, MPhil, CCRP
Associate Administrator for Research
Phone: (804) 828-0404
Alanda Perry Jones
Pre Award Grant and Fiscal Manager
Phone: (804) 828-5939
Post Award Grant and Fiscal Manager
VCU provides training to educate investigators about the administrative systems used to conduct research as well as policies governing responsible conduct of research.
There is no one definitive source to use in locating funding information. So we have compiled a list what we think are the most helpful to basic and clinical science researchers. If you have one to recommend, please let us know and we will add it.
Note: For sponsors limiting the number of submissions for the institution, VCU will follow the Limited Submissions Policy, which may be found here.
Before submitting your first application, here is a quick list of items you will need to complete beforehand.
Again, faculty are always welcome to request an appointment with the Research Services Office (DOIMResearch@vcuhealth.org) to discuss this further.
Faculty who wish to apply for research and training grants or provide research and training services to external organizations - including the federal, state and local governments, private industry, public and private foundations or other entities - are to submit proposals for institutional review and approval PRIOR to submission to any agency or organization.
For VCU, the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is authorized to submit research proposals and receive awards from outside sources on behalf of Virginia Commonwealth University. OSP is also the official contact for the University on administrative award-related matters.
As part of the approval process, faculty grant applications are submitted first through the Department and Dean’s office for signatory approval before submission to OSP for institutional approval.
While the information provided below may be a bit overwhelming, particularly to a new investigator, there are a number of VCU resources to assist you with demystifying the process. Faculty are always welcome to request an appointment with the DOIM Research Services Office (DOIMResearch@vcuhealth.org) to discuss their research plans in advance of a planned submission as well as obtain advice and guidance about the proposal submission process and receive assistance with administrative aspects of the submission (e.g. budget development, VCU policy, etc.).
Once you have selected a grant program to which to apply and met all the university requirements for serving as a Principal Investigator, the next step is to assemble the materials and information you will need to begin preparing your application.
If matching or cost sharing will be required, it is important for the PI to begin the process of securing those cost-sharing/matching commitments in writing well in advance of the proposal submission.
Post Award Administration involves a broad set of activities regarding the management of sponsored funds, compliance with federal regulations and adherence to VCU policies and procedures. At VCU, these processes are overseen by Grants and Contracts Accounting (G&CA). Specifically, G&CA provides financial reports to sponsors, interprets rules and regulations of the financial operation for the research community, acts as a depositor of federal and nonfederal funds and operates VCU’s Effort Reporting System.
The Grants and Contracts Accounting is responsible for maintaining the official accounting records of all sponsored programs held by VCU and for preparing all financial reports for submission to the sponsor. The VCU Banner System constitutes the official accounting records of the University. However, it is the PI’s responsibility to review the appropriate monthly financial reports and work with the appropriate department/division personnel to ensure appropriate use of funds, as well as identify and correct any errors or omissions in the award expenditures.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of responsibilities but rather an overview of the most important aspects of managing a newly awarded grant or contract.
Of paramount importance is the Principal Investigator’s (PI) freedom to choose the nature and direction of research program and to disseminate the results of that research to the public, within any constraints placed by the funding agency. To ensure compliance with many complex federal and VCU policies and responsible conduct in research, it is important for the PI to understand his/her role in managing the research project and the roles and responsibilities for all personnel working on the project.
Postdocs and graduate students are to:
Any individual who holds one of the following positions on a full-time basis (unless otherwise specified), or has accepted, in writing, an offer of full-time employment, can be identified as a PI for a sponsored program and submit proposals to external sponsors. This may include:
For more information, see the Office of Sponsored Programs PI Eligibility Policy.
You may begin routing your proposal for institutional review while still if a draft format if you require additional time to refine the contents of your research plan. However, it is necessary to submit enough of the application to judge what overall techniques are being proposed, what experimental subjects will be used and what general idea is being addressed.
At a minimum, the proposal should include:
Primarily the reviewer is looking to see that you are proposing to do something that meets all ethical research standards and complies with VCU policies with regard to sponsored programs as well as sponsor requirements. The reviewer may make suggestions but will not make a judgment as to the scientific quality of the proposed research.
The term “investigator describes any individual, regardless of title, role or position, who is responsible for the design, conduct or reporting of research. Individuals with such research responsibilities may be, but are not limited to, senior/key personnel, sub/co-investigator or sub-recipient investigator, medical investigator, collaborator, consultant, student, trainee or research coordinator. Exceptions include those personnel whose research activities are directly supervised. By considering an individual’s degree of independence relative to the research, the Principal Investigator (PI) on the proposal or protocol designates the individuals who meet the definition of “Investigator” for the purposes of conflict of interest reporting.
All organizations that receive PHS funding must have a financial conflict of interest policy that fully complies with the PHS Final Rule – Responsibility of Applicants for Promoting Objectivity in Research for which Public Health Service Funding is Sought.
The Federal Demonstration Partnership’s Clearinghouse maintains a list of educational institutions and other entities to document that they are in compliance with the PHS Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) rules and regulations. This site is expected to be used by PHS recipients to verify the compliance of their potential sub-recipients with these regulations. As the regulation went into effect on August 24, 2012, some institutions may still be entering their certification data.
When including a sub-award, the following documents should be assembled, submitted as a package, and included as part of the primary grant application package:
Because of the information required before submitting a proposal for institutional review, PIs are advised to contact their sub-recipient collaborators well in advance of the proposal submission deadline.