Spring 2017 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 Virginia Commonwealth University Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation has launched the Grant Academy, a new grantsmanship program beginning in January 2017. Held twice annually, in the Spring and Fall, the Academy will bring together interdisciplinary cohorts of up to 16 tenure-track and tenured faculty per session from across the University. Each Grant Academy will provide a portfolio of support and resources to faculty interested in applying to multiple types of agencies, such as NIH, NSF, US Department of Education, as well as other extramural funders.

The Spring 2017 Grant Academy is focused on supporting investigators who have crafted a research project idea, identified a specific funding program or opportunity for submission, and are well-positioned to submit in the Summer or Fall of 2017. 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 member, and access to an external review committee before submission.

Online applications to participate in the Spring 2017 Grant Academy are due by 5:00PM on Monday, December 12, 2016.

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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.
  • NSF and NIH program officer visits: Program officers from NSF and NIH will present, including specifics regarding submitting successful proposals.
  • Intensive Proposal Review: All Grant Academy faculty participants will have their proposals reviewed by an external panel before submission. The participants will also participate in cohort peer review and identify a senior faculty member for an internal review.
  • Individualized Support & Technical Assistance: Each cohort member receives one-on-one attention and assistance from our Research Development staff until their proposal is submitted.

The Spring 2017 Grant Academy will take place from January through May 2017 (with continued proposal support through individual funding deadlines). Cohort workshops will meet for approximately two hours, with additional individual meetings with research development staff once a month. 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.

Spring 2017 Grant Academy Schedule

(tentative, subject to possible change)

Date Activity
December 12, 2016 Deadline for completed Spring 2017 Grant Academy applications and all required documents
December 21, 2016 Selected Grant Academy Participants and Faculty Mentors/Reviewers notified by email
January 11, 2017 Cohort Workshop
  • How to “sell” your research idea
  • How to contact Program Officer
  • Information regarding funder expectations: Three Sessions (participant chooses depending on proposal)
    1. NIH (specific aims and significance)
    2. NSF (project summary, Intellectual Merit, Broader Impacts)
    3. Mission driven agencies and foundations (content, partnerships, goals/objectives)
January 16-20, 2017 First week of spring semester classes
January 23-27, 2017 1st round of individual participant meetings with RD team
TBA NIH Program Officer visit
February 1, 2017 Cohort workshop- IRB/IACUC Training
February 8, 2017 Cohort workshop- Sponsored Programs
Peer partner review meetings
February 13, 2017 NSF Program Officer visit
February 22, 2017 Cohort workshop- Clinical Trials
  • New NIH requirements, compliance
  • Requirements for sex/gender considerations in research
February 20-24, 2017 2nd round of individual participant meetings with RD team
March 1, 2017 Cohort workshop- What next? Positioning your research and funding future
  • Envisioning your extended research strategy
  • Creating a long-term research and funding timeline
March 6-10, 2017 Spring Break
March 13-17, 2017 3rd round of individual participant meetings with RD team
March 20-24, 2017 Internal review by designated senior VCU senior faculty mentor or reviewer
April 28, 2017 Proposal deadline for external review
May 1-19, 2017 External review

In order to participate in the Spring 2017 Grant Academy, faculty must meet the eligibility criteria below:

  1. Be tenure-track or tenured faculty.
  2. Be positioned to submit a full grant proposal in the Summer/Fall of 2017.
  3. Possess a concrete idea, with identified research questions.
  4. Have identified an agency, program and funding opportunity with a submission date in the Summer/Fall of 2017.
  5. Commit to participate in all Grant Academy cohort workshops, reviews and individually scheduled meetings with the RD team (as schedule permits).
  6. Identify a senior faculty mentor or reviewer.

The Spring 2017 Grant Academy cohort is limited to 16 participants.

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 4 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 (as schedule permits).
  • 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 or reviewer.
  • Submit proposal for VCU external review panel by April 28, 2017.
  • Submit a completed proposal to their identified funding opportunity.
  • Provide feedback for the Grant Academy program evaluation.

Click here to apply for the Spring 2017 Grant Academy.

The application consists of 4 brief parts:

  1. Faculty applicant information
  2. Proposal submission information (including short description of research idea/project, identified funder and specific funding mechanism)
  3. Senior faculty mentor/reviewer information
  4. Required support documents (upload in PDF format only):
    1. Full Participant CV. The application must include the proposed faculty participant’s full CV (please do not upload agency biosketches).
      Please use filename “lastname_s17gacv.pdf”.
    2. Funder Solicitation/RFP/RFA. The application must include a copy of the chosen funding mechanism requirements. Please use filename “lastname_s17garfp.pdf”.
    3. Collaborating partner CV(s), if appropriate. The application must include full CV(s) for any proposed faculty collaborators. Please compile all CV(s) into one document with the file name “lastname_s17gacollaboratorcv.pdf”.
    4. VCU Spring 2017 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 saved as a PDF and named “lastname_s17gaattest.pdf”.

Application Deadline

Spring 2017 Grant Academy applications are due by 5:00pm on Monday, December 12, 2017. All applications must be submitted online with the full proposed participant CV, the selected funder solicitation, proposed collaborator cv(s) if appropriate, and the signed Attestations and Endorsements Form attached. Selected applicants and faculty mentors/reviewers will be notified of selection decisions via email by December 21, 2016.