Research Services Office

Welcome to the VCU Department of Internal Medicine Research Services Office (RSO). Our team members have diverse backgrounds and interests and share a common commitment to supporting and improving the research process. We are trained to provide services to a standard of excellence for our faculty and other researchers, including:

  • identification of research funding opportunities
  • project budget development
  • assistance in the preparation and submission of research applications
  • review and monitoring of policy compliance issues
  • award set-up
  • pro-active financial management of sponsored projects
  • training, policy guidance and advice

The Department is dedicated to providing training and building teamwork to ensure that our administrators are skilled and knowledgeable in all aspects of research administration. In addition, we provide support for professional development with opportunities to stay current in issues relevant to our field. We believe that quality research administration is achieved through a network of collaboration and the sharing of expertise.

RSO Contacts

Rashmi Pershad, MPhil, CCRP
Associate Administrator for Research
Phone: (804) 828-0404
Email: rashmi.pershad@vcuhealth.org

Alanda Perry Jones
Pre Award Grant and Fiscal Manager
Phone: (804) 828-5939
Email: alanda.perryjones@vcuhealth.org

Brian Washington
Post Award Grant and Fiscal Manager
Phone: (804) 828-7781
Email: brian.washington@vcuhealth.org

VCU provides training to educate investigators about the administrative systems used to conduct research as well as policies governing responsible conduct of research.

There is no one definitive source to use in locating funding information. So we have compiled a list what we think are the most helpful to basic and clinical science researchers. If you have one to recommend, please let us know and we will add it.

Note:  For sponsors limiting the number of submissions for the institution, VCU will follow the Limited Submissions Policy, which may be found here.

Before submitting your first application, here is a quick list of items you will need to complete beforehand.

  • Complete “Medicine Required Training for Investigators”, which is accessed through VCU Blackboad using your eID.  This must be completed before a proposal may be submitted to VCU OSP for institutional review.
  • Complete/update the Financial Interest Report (FIR) through the VCU Activity and Interest Reporting System (AIRS). FIRs must be updated in accordance with university policy before a proposal may be submitted to VCU OSP for institutional review.
  • Obtain an NIH Commons account, NIH’s electronic research administration system, by completing VCU‘s on-line request form, providing your institutional contact information (DOIM falls under the OSP Green Team), providing both your department AND division name.   If you already have an NIH Commons account through another institution, you may update your institutional information by using the same link, providing information about prior NIH support received.
  • Enroll in “NIH Submissions to Grants.gov using the VCUeRA”.  This course is offered at least monthly.  To view the course offering schedule or enrollment may be done at training.vcu.edu (search on keyword “NIH”)  
  • Familiarize yourself with VCU policies regarding the responsible conduct of research that will apply to your project.
  • Familiarize yourself with VCU’s resources and facilities for researchers, such as the CCTR Research Incubator, that are potentially available to support your project.
  • First time proposal writers can also review “The Proposal Writer’s Guide”, published by the University of Michigan, for helpful advice.
  • Make an appointment the DOIM Research Services Office (DOIMResearch@vcuhealth.org) to discuss research plans as well as obtain advice and guidance about the proposal submission process and receive assistance with administrative aspects of the submission.

Again, faculty are always welcome to request an appointment with the Research Services Office (DOIMResearch@vcuhealth.org) to discuss this further.

Faculty who wish to apply for research and training grants or provide research and training services to external organizations -  including the federal, state and local governments, private industry, public and private foundations or other entities - are to submit proposals for institutional review and approval PRIOR to submission to any agency or organization.

For VCU, the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is authorized to submit research proposals and receive awards from outside sources on behalf of Virginia Commonwealth University. OSP is also the official contact for the University on administrative award-related matters.

As part of the approval process, faculty grant applications are submitted first through the Department and Dean’s office for signatory approval before submission to OSP for institutional approval.

While the information provided below may be a bit overwhelming, particularly to a new investigator, there are a number of VCU resources to assist you with demystifying the process.  Faculty are always welcome to request an appointment with the DOIM Research Services Office (DOIMResearch@vcuhealth.org) to discuss their research plans in advance of a planned submission as well as obtain advice and guidance about the proposal submission process and receive assistance with administrative aspects of the submission (e.g. budget development, VCU policy, etc.).

Post Award Administration involves a broad set of activities regarding the management of sponsored funds, compliance with federal regulations and adherence to VCU policies and procedures. At VCU, these processes are overseen by Grants and Contracts Accounting (G&CA). Specifically, G&CA provides financial reports to sponsors, interprets rules and regulations of the financial operation for the research community, acts as a depositor of federal and nonfederal funds and operates VCU’s Effort Reporting System.

The Grants and Contracts Accounting is responsible for maintaining the official accounting records of all sponsored programs held by VCU and for preparing all financial reports for submission to the sponsor. The VCU Banner System constitutes the official accounting records of the University. However, it is the PI’s responsibility to review the appropriate monthly financial reports and work with the appropriate department/division personnel to ensure appropriate use of funds, as well as identify and correct any errors or omissions in the award expenditures.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of responsibilities but rather an overview of the most important aspects of managing a newly awarded grant or contract.

  • Research Compliance Matrix Policies
    Resource developed to facilitate the responsible conduct of research at VCU by providing VCU investigators with a single point of access for policy information, education & training programs, forms & submission processes, and more.

Of paramount importance is the Principal Investigator’s (PI) freedom to choose the nature and direction of research program and to disseminate the results of that research to the public, within any constraints placed by the funding agency. To ensure compliance with many complex federal and VCU policies and responsible conduct in research, it is important for the PI to understand his/her role in managing the research project and the roles and responsibilities for all personnel working on the project.

Any individual who holds one of the following positions on a full-time basis (unless otherwise specified), or has accepted, in writing, an offer of full-time employment, can be identified as a PI for a sponsored program and submit proposals to external sponsors. This may include:

  • President
  • Provost or Vice president
  • Teaching and research faculty o Term (non-tenure track) faculty o Administrative and professional faculty (through 6/30/2018)
  • University and academic professional (with the support of their chair and dean OR divisional head when there is not an academic home)
  • Predoctoral trainee, postdoctoral scholar, or postdoctoral trainee on a training or fellowship opportunity when required by the sponsor
  • Teaching and research faculty (who hold a paid VCU appointment that is less than full time) with an active dual appointment

For more information, see the Office of Sponsored Programs PI Eligibility Policy.