Before You Apply

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.   The full policy may be found here
  • 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.
  • Obtain your PI account for the VCUeRA, our electronic research administration system, by completing the form found here. Forward to Rashmi Pershad, who will complete the security section and provide departmental signatory approval.
  • Enroll in “NIH Submissions to using the VCUeRA”.  This course is offered at least monthly.  To view the course offering schedule or enrollment may be done at (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 (Rashmi Pershad) 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 (Rashmi Pershad) to discuss this further.