Research Quest Fund
The VCU Presidential Research Quest Fund (PeRQ) is grounded in the president's commitment to develop and enhance faculty scholarship across the institution. PeRQ’s goal is to afford all faculty an internal funding opportunity to support new, emerging or continuing research.
Proposed research should align with the goals and key strategies presented in VCU’s Quest 2025: Together We Transform strategic plan.
All VCU faculty whose appointments are approved by the dean of their college or school are eligible to apply to the Presidential Research Quest Fund, regardless of their current research support. Research proposals that advance any discipline and area of research focus are appropriate for consideration. Requests for grant support may be based on a broad array of needs, from restarting an inactive research program to pilot studies that would produce preliminary results on which external grant applications could be based. Proposed work that helps advance interdisciplinary research and inter-campus collaboration as well as research that has the potential for translation to practice or market is especially encouraged.
All full-time VCU faculty regardless of rank or tenure status are eligible to apply.
Faculty receiving a grant from the VCU Presidential Research Quest Fund as either a principal investigator, co-principal investigator, or co-investigator must delay subsequent applications to the Research Fund for a specified time depending on their rank. Junior faculty may submit a second proposal three years from the termination date of their first award. Senior faculty are required to wait four years from the termination date of their first award. No faculty member may receive more than two PeRQ awards in a 10-year period. In addition, those applicants who have previously received internal university funding from any source, including PeRQ, must provide a summary of how those funds were leveraged to obtain extramural grant awards and/or other demonstrable measures of successful return on investment or impact.
|Total budget requested||Research fund contribution||Department/school contribution|
The application must have guaranteed unit-level cost-sharing. These must be unit-contributed dollars, and cannot be reallocated dollars from another of the investigator's extramural or intramural research funding sources.
The total budget may be for any amount up to $50,000, but must always reflect the 60/40 percent contribution scheme.
PeRQ funds will only pay direct costs. Allowable costs include those typically appropriate for grant budgets to federal agencies, including investigator salary. Where justified, a major portion of the budget can be used to offset faculty time and effort in order to allow significant effort to be applied to scholarly activities. Renovation costs are not allowable.
Proposals must be submitted online via RAMS-SPOT under internal opportunities by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Applications that do not adhere to the required formatting requirements or applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.
For specific questions or concerns about your proposal, including eligibility, budget and signatures, please contact your associate dean for research.
For general questions about the Presidential Research Quest Fund, questions about application submission, or questions concerning faculty who are not in a specific academic unit, please contact Melissa Throckmorton in the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation at email@example.com.
Incomplete applications or those submitted after the deadline will not be reviewed. Incomplete applications include those from ineligible faculty and any applications deviating from the submission instructions.
The submission, review, and funding process is coordinated by the vice president for research and innovation who will recommend proposals to the president for final approval. There are two levels of review. First, the school/college will make recommendations. Then, the PeRQ Review Committee will review and approve those recommendations. Multi-investigator proposals will undergo initial review in all units from which matching funds are requested.
The number of proposals recommended for funding is dependent upon available funds.
Unit-level review: All applications are first reviewed at the unit level. While each school/college/relevant unit will establish its own review process, every application within the school/college/relevant unit must be reviewed using a common format and scoring criteria. Applications must be assessed in the following areas:
- Scholarly merit of the project
- Potential for extramural funding stemming from the project
- Contribution of the project to the scholarly trajectory/line of inquiry of the investigator
- Extent of interdisciplinary and cross-campus collaborations
- Potential for translation to practice or market
- Additional school/college criteria as relevant to unit priorities
The unit-level review committees forward recommendations to the Research Fund Review Committee (RFRC) within 6 weeks of the application deadline. Applications forwarded to the RFRC must be scored (using the criteria and weights noted above), and, if there is more than one application forwarded from a unit, the applications should be ranked based on an assessment of recommended funding priority. The school/college process for reviewing will also be presented to the RFRC for review.
The Research Fund Review Committee: The Research Fund Review Committee will consist of the members of the Research Development Advisory Council. The RFRC makes recommendations for funding to the vice president for research and innovation.
Only applications with assured matching funds from the unit(s) will be considered for funding by the RFRC. Applications will be ranked to allow for final decisions based on funding available. In its ranking, the RFRC will consider such factors as distribution of awards across units and the alignment with VCU Quest for Distinction. If it is a multi-investigator project reviewed by more than one unit, rankings from all units will be presented to the RFRC.
Within four weeks of receipt of unit recommendations, the RFRC will make their final recommendations for funding to the vice president for research and innovation who will communicate the recommendations to the president.
The Research Fund award is 18 months, from July 1 to December 31 of the following year. Awards are made on July 1.
IRB and IACUC approval (if needed) are required prior to release of funds.
Principal Investigators will be required to present the results and outcomes of the funded project at the end of the project period. In addition, researchers will be required to participate in an annual survey of results and outcomes (e.g. grants submitted, papers published, presentations made, etc.) associated with their Fund-sponsored research.
All publications, presentations, etc., resulting from the project must acknowledge financial support from the VCU Presidential Research Quest Fund.
VCU Presidential Research Quest Fund applications should be submitted electronically via RAMS-SPOT internal opportunities no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Please apply via RAMS-SPOT under internal opportunities. The internal opportunity number and title are: OP00000245 – Presidential Research Quest Fund (PeRQ).
The principal investigator should log into RAMS-SPOT under the internal opportunities section and create an internal application in response to the Presidential Research Quest Fund opportunity. Please be sure to fully complete all requested information.
Complete the following proposal documents and save, in the order listed below, as a single PDF named PILastnameFirstname_perqYear.pdf (e.g., SmithJane_perq2020.pdf).
Minimum format specifications: These criteria apply to the narrative sections of your application described in Step 2: response to prior critique, project abstract and alignment with Quest for Distinction, research plan narrative, references cited, bibliography and timeline.
- The application should be single spaced. Use Arial, 11-point (minimum) font and half-inch margins on all sides.
- All pages (including forms) should be consecutively numbered as a footer on each page.
Research Fund application packages must be saved as a single PDF named PILastnameFirstname_perqYear.pdf (e.g., SmithJane_perq2020.pdf) and uploaded into your internal RAMS-SPOT application. Applications that do not adhere to the required formatting specifications will not be accepted.
Submit electronically no later than 5pm on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
Please confirm you press the send button in RAMS-SPOT to ensure your application is received by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline.
Specific questions or concerns about your proposal, including eligibility, cost-share commitments, mentoring plan exemptions and endorsement signatures:
- Contact your dean's office and/or your associate dean for research
General questions about the Presidential Research Quest Fund and review process:
- Melissa Throckmorton, coordinator of research development services, firstname.lastname@example.org