Fall 2020 Grant Academy

Please direct all questions about the Grant Academy:

Melissa Throckmorton
Coordinator of Research Development Services, Office of Research and Innovation
throckmortms@vcu.edu; 827-1443

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation is pleased to announce the Fall 2020 Grant Academy, a grantsmanship program providing training and support for a select cohort of faculty investigators working with senior faculty, research development experts, and research administrators, with the goal of submitting a successful funding proposal.

The Fall 2020 Grant Academy is open to all faculty, in any discipline, from across the University. This multi-faceted training will offer assistance to a selected cohort of faculty who: 1) currently have a concrete research project idea; 2) are ready to develop a proposal, and 3) have identified a competitive funding opportunity with a submission deadline during 2021. Faculty participants will receive step-by-step guidance on proposal strategy, development and project management; scaffolded proposal preparation with intensive individual support from research development staff, and three-tiered review, including cohort peer partner feedback, internal VCU review by a participant-identified senior faculty mentor, and access to an external review committee before submission.

Cohort workshops will include topics such as how to communicate your research project effectively, working with the Offices of Sponsored Programs, Research Integrity and Ethics, Export Control and Compliance, Team Science, the VCU Libraries, as well as the Office of Research Subjects Protections and the Animal Care and Use Program (ACUP) (depending on the topic of your research) and others. In addition, there will be sessions on individual funding agency requirements and tips for submission, requirements regarding clinical trials, and how to strategize for future funding.

The Fall 2020 cohort will consist of 12-15 faculty participants. Applicants need to be available to consistently attend all cohort workshop sessions (dates are detailed under the schedule tab below).

Online applications to participate in the 2020 Grant Academy are due by 5:00PM on Wednesday, September 30, 2020


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The Grant Academy offers training and support that, when combined over a period of time, aim to steadily build understanding and skills in competitive grantsmanship.

  • Cohort meetings and workshops: Content workshops will focus on aspects of proposal development, including step-by-step guidance developing competitive extramural proposals, research and project design, persuasive communication and writing, grant submission, and building and maintaining relationships with the funder. Additional topics will focus on compliance and clinical trials.
  • Intensive Proposal Review: All Grant Academy faculty participants will have their proposals reviewed by an external panel/individual reviewers before submission.
  • Individualized Support & Technical Assistance: Each cohort member receives one-on-one assistance with strategy, content and copy-editing from our Research Development staff until their proposal is submitted and beyond.

The Fall 2020 Grant Academy formal workshop sessions will take place from  October 2020 - June 2021 (with continued proposal support through individual funding deadlines). Cohort workshops will meet for approximately two hours (usually Tuesdays from 3 pm – 5 pm), with additional individual support meetings with research development staff. Participants are expected to attend all scheduled cohort meetings. Participants are also encouraged to meet with each other, instructors and facilitators, or attend other related workshops at other times to supplement their training. A fully detailed schedule will be distributed to faculty cohort participants.

Fall 2020 Grant Academy Schedule
(tentative and may be subject to change)

Please note: that all workshop sessions will take place virtually over Zoom.

September 30, 2020

Deadline for completed Fall 2020 Grant Academy online applications and submission of all required documents

October 9, 2020

Notify selected Grant Academy Participants and Faculty Mentors

October 20, 2020

Cohort Workshop I: 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
2020 Grant Academy Kick-Off!

November 10, 2020

Cohort Workshop II: 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

January 12, 2021

Cohort Workshop III: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Individual Project/Proposal Meetings Begin 

February 22 and 23, 2021

Cohort Workshop IV: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Agency-Specific Presentations

March 16, 2021

Cohort Workshop V: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

April 20, 2021

Cohort Workshop VI: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

May 19, 2021

Cohort Workshop VII: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

June 22, 2021

Cohort Workshop VIII: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Continued Proposal Development Work until Individual PI Deadlines

  • Individual Project/Proposal Meetings
  • Proposals reviewed by senior faculty mentors based on individual proposal deadlines
  • External reviews based on individual proposal deadlines
  • Proposal Submissions

Fall and Spring

Program Officer Visits to VCU

In order to participate in the Fall 2020 Grant Academy, faculty must meet the eligibility criteria below:

  1. Possess a concrete research project idea, with identified research questions.
  2. Be positioned to submit a full grant proposal in 2021, including the identification of a funding opportunity.
  3. Identify a VCU senior faculty mentor.

Grant Academy faculty participation in cohort workshops, individual meetings with the Research Development team, as well as out-of-class proposal preparation is estimated at 10 hours per month (for 11 months). Therefore, all applicants will have to secure a departmental endorsement. This endorsement assures that the investigator will receive the necessary time to participate.

Grant Academy cohort members will be expected to:

  • Participate in all Grant Academy cohort workshops and sessions.
  • Complete all assignments and meet milestones.
  • Actively engage with cohort peers, including providing oral and written proposal feedback to Peer Partners.
  • Complete internal review with senior faculty mentor.
  • Submit proposal for external review.
  • Submit a completed proposal to their identified funding opportunity during 2019.
  • Provide feedback for the Grant Academy program evaluation.

Application Deadline

Grant Academy Application Link
Applications are due by 5:00 pm on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. Selected applicants and faculty mentors will be notified of selection decisions via email by October 9, 2020.

The application consists of 5 brief parts:

  1. Faculty applicant information.
  2. Faculty research and proposed project information.
  3. Proposal submission information (including identified funder, title of funding opportunity and any collaborators).
  4. Senior faculty mentor information.
  5. Required support documents (Please upload all documents as a single PDF file labeled "lastname_YYYY-SemesterApplied" (i.e., Smith_2020-Fall):
    1. Full Faculty Applicant CV. The application must include the proposed faculty participant’s full CV (please do not upload agency biosketch).
    2. One-Page Research Project Abstract. The application must include a one-page abstract of your proposed research project (Arial 11-point font, single-spaced).
    3. Co-PI, Co-I, and/or Collaborating partner CV(s), if appropriate. The application must include full CV(s) for any proposed faculty collaborators (Please do not upload agency biosketches).
    4. Full Senior Faculty Mentor CV. The application must include a full CV for the participant’s senior faculty mentor (please do not upload agency biosketch).
    5. Grant Academy Attestations and Endorsements Form. A form outlining the terms and conditions of participation in the Grant Academy must be signed by both the proposed faculty participant and the designated faculty mentor/reviewer. It must also be endorsed by the department, by way of the department chair/designee’s signature. Once all signatures are secured, the document must be scanned and saved as a PDF and included in your full application package PDF.
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