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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

Learn more about our accomplishments and see research highlights in our VCU 2019-20 annual research report (text only version)

VCU by the numbers

Research excellence

  • $335 million in combined awards for sponsored programs for research
  • $158 million total federal funding
  • 65th in R&D expenditures among public institutions
  • 1 of 28 public institutions that is both an NCI-designated center and has an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award
  • 1 of 67 public institutions designated “Community Engaged” and “Very High Research Activity”
  • 4,914 graduate research scholars
  • 330 undergraduate research scholars

Clinical research

  • 879 active clinical research studies across 11 units
  • 572 clinical trials
  • 4,527 active clinical research participants
  • 1,765 enrolled the past fiscal year
  • 326 VCU-designed clinical studies
  • 24 SARS-CoV-2 clinical research studies
  • 243 participants in 15 clinical trials
  • 2,327 participants in 9 laboratory studies
  • 36 faculty-held FDA applications for new drugs/devices

Sponsored program awards FY 2015-2020

  • 2015: $270 million
  • 2016: $271 million
  • 2017: $275 million
  • 2018: $271 million
  • 2019: $308 million
  • 2020: $335 million

VCU FY20 commercialization efforts

  • 133 invention disclosures
  • 166 patents filed
  • 19 patents issued
  • 22 licenses/options
  • 6 licenses to start-ups
  • 7 copyrights
  • 145 industry engagements
  • 10 proof of concept grants
  • $2.5 million licensing revenue
  • 51 technologies reviewed for start-up opportunities
  • 34 teams/technologies supported for venture creation
  • 14 total start-ups supported
  • 9 start-ups formed in FY20
  • 29 start-ups active in FY20
  • 3 Small Business Innovation Research grants submitted

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

ONE VCU Research, a key presidential priority, is a collaboration between VCU and VCU Health for the purpose of promoting and leveraging the value that clinical research adds to the delivery of enhanced health care and quality of life.

Learn more about ONE VCU Research