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At the VCU Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, our mission is to foster transformative research, discovery and innovation at Virginia Commonwealth University through excellence in service.

We partner with faculty in all schools and departments as they seek funding, plan studies, establish collaborations, calculate budgets, submit grant applications, negotiate industry contracts, and secure patents and licensing agreements. 

Our commitment to supporting and elevating the research community at VCU has resulted in record levels of sponsored research and has placed VCU among the nation’s premier public research universities. 

Through our passion for discovery and willingness to take on challenges, we continue to advance the work that matters most and position the university as a national leader in research, innovation, creativity and scholarship.

Vice President
Meet P. Srirama Rao, Ph.D., VCU's Vice President for Research and Innovation.
Our leadership team is committed to strengthening VCU’s research infrastructure.
Staff directory
Our skilled staff looks forward to helping you in all aspects of the research process.

Key research areas

At VCU, we conduct groundbreaking research that enhances the human experience and creates an impact in the sciences, arts, humanities and professional disciplines. 

Our core research strengths include:

  • Addiction studies
  • Pharmaceutical engineering
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Neuroscience
  • Cancer 
  • Women's and children's health

VCU by the numbers

Research excellence

  • $363 million in combined awards for sponsored programs for research
  • $158 million total federal funding
  • 58th in R&D expenditures among public institutions
  • 1 of 67 public institutions designated “Community Engaged” and “Very High Research Activity”

Clinical research FY21

  • $34 million
  • 5,732 total active participants enrolled in clinical research
  • 1,015 active clinical studies
  • 650 active clinical trials at VCU/VCUHS
  • 133 investigator-initiated trials
  • 36 VCU faculty-held FDA applications for new drugs/ devices

Sponsored program awards FY17-FY21

  • 2021: $363 million
  • 2020: $335 million
  • 2019: $308 million
  • 2018: $271 million
  • 2017: $275 million

VCU FY21 commercialization efforts

  • 160 invention disclosures
  • 168 patents filed
  • 29 patents issued
  • 24 licenses/options
  • 7 licenses to start-ups
  • 50 industry engagements
  • 15 proof of concept grants
  • $3.75 million licensing revenue
  • 29 faculty advised on start-up creation

Contact us

Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation
BioTech One
800 East Leigh Street
Third Floor, Suite 3000
Richmond, VA


One VCU Research Strategic Priorities Plan

On July 1, 2021, VCU entered the first two-year phase of a university-wide, six-year One VCU Research Strategic Priorities Plan, with an initial investment of $10 million to advance public impact research priorities, including expanding our infrastructure. VCU is uniquely positioned to make transdisciplinary breakthroughs by engaging with our surrounding innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem, leading to profound impacts that reverberate across the region, state, nation and globe.

Learn more about One VCU Research Strategic Priorities Plan