Grant Academy is a grant writing professional development 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.
Grant Academy is open to all faculty, in any discipline, from across the university. This multifaceted 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 as evidenced by publication record or past creative work and (3) have identified an opportunity due in the next 18 months that will have a transformative impact on their career if awarded. 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 Division of Sponsored Programs, Research Integrity and Ethics, Export Control and Compliance, Team Science, working with VCU Libraries, Research Subjects Protections 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.
Grant Academy is offered twice per year. Each cohort will consist of 12-15 faculty participants. Applicants need to be available to consistently attend all cohort workshop sessions.
Applications for the Fall 2023 Grant Academy are due by 5:00 pm on Friday, November 3, 2023.
The Grant Academy offers training and support that aims to build understanding and skills in competitive grant writing.
- Cohort meetings and workshops: Content workshops will focus on aspects of proposal development, including step-by-step guidance on 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 or individual reviewers before submission.
- Individualized support and technical assistance: Each cohort member receives one-on-one assistance with strategy, content and copyediting from our research development staff until the proposal is submitted and beyond.
The Fall 2023 Grant Academy formal workshop sessions will take place from November 2023 to August 2024 (with continued proposal support through individual funding deadlines). Cohort workshops will meet for approximately two hours (usually Tuesdays from 3 to 5 p.m.), 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, meet individually with instructors and facilitators, and attend other related workshops to supplement their training. A fully detailed schedule will be distributed to faculty cohort participants.
Fall 2023 Grant Academy schedule
(tentative and may be subject to change)
Please note: All workshop sessions will take place virtually via Zoom.
November 3, 2023
Deadline for completed Grant Academy online applications and submission of all required documents
Week of November 13, 2023
Notify selected Grant Academy participants and faculty mentors
November 28, 2023
Cohort Workshop I: 3-5 p.m.
January 30, 2024
Cohort Workshop II: 3-5 p.m.
February 27, 2024
Cohort Workshop III: 3-5 p.m.
March 26, 2024
Cohort Workshop IV: 3-5 p.m.
April 30, 2024
Cohort Workshop V: 3-5 p.m.
May 28, 2024
Cohort Workshop VI: 3-5 p.m.
June 25, 2024
Cohort Workshop VII: 3-5 p.m.
August 27, 2024
Cohort Workshop VIII: 3-5 p.m.
Continued proposal development work until individual PI deadlines
Spring 2024 and Fall 2024
Program officer visits to VCU
To participate in Grant Academy, faculty must meet the eligibility criteria below:
- Possess a concrete research project idea with identified research questions
- Be positioned to submit a full grant proposal in the next 18 months, including the identification of a funding opportunity
- Have identified a funding opportunity that will have a transformative impact on their career if awarded (e.g. NIH R- or K-series grant, NSF CAREER or other NSF grant, NEH grant, other federal grant, or significant foundation grant)
- Have a publication history or history of past creative work that is appropriate for the scholar’s career stage and the funding opportunity
- 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 in the next 18 months
- Provide feedback for the Grant Academy program evaluation
Applications for the Fall 2023 Grant Academy are due by 5:00 pm on Friday, November 3.
The application consists of five brief parts:
- Faculty applicant information
- Faculty research and proposed project information
- Proposal submission information (including identified funder, title of funding opportunity and any collaborators)
- Senior faculty mentor information
- Required support documents (upload all documents as a single PDF file labeled "lastname_YYYY-SemesterApplied" (i.e., Smith_2023-Fall):
- Full faculty applicant CV – The application must include the proposed faculty participant’s full CV (do not upload agency biosketch).
- One-page research project abstract – The application must include a one-page abstract of your proposed research project (Arial, 11-point font, single-spaced).
- Co-PI, Co-I, and/or collaborating partner CV(s), if appropriate – The application must include full CV for any proposed faculty collaborators (do not upload agency biosketches).
- Full senior faculty mentor CV – The application must include a full CV for the participant’s senior faculty mentor (do not upload agency biosketch).
- Grant Academy attestations and endorsements form
Docusign option – 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 included in your full application package PDF.