Funding Opportunities

School of Medicine and UVA Programs

Bridge funding

VPR with co-support by SOM and department: also known as interim support, may be obtained to support a previously-funded project that is not re-funded at competitive renewal. Awards of up to $100,000 are co-supported by the VPR, SOM, and the PI’s Department/Center in a 2:1:1 ratio. Before applying, review the VPR program guidelines and application form and the SOM implementation of this program. Proposals are due at the Office for Research on March 5, July 5, or November 5.  Over the past five years, ~65% of proposals to this program were funded; of the requests that received bridge awards, 100% have been re-funded by NIH.

Shared equipment/Equipment Trust Fund

The Dean’s Office annually solicits requests from faculty for shared equipment. Requests for proposals are sent to all faculty in early March and require the continued availability of Commonwealth of Virginia Equipment Trust Fund monies. The current solicitation (see application form) deadline is March 31, 2015. Contact:  Dr. Steven Wasserman. The following equipment has been purchased or co-purchased recently for groups of investigators.  They are available for use by others, as available.

Umesh Deshmukh (Medicine):  Cellometer automated cell counter
Carol Gilchrist (Medicine):  Typhoon Trio variable image analyzer
Kyle Hoehn (Pharmacology):  Seahorse extracellular flux analyzer
Alexander Klibanov (Medicine):  Pulsed tunable laser
Todd Stukenberg (Biochemistry):  AKTAmicro for liquid chromatography
Vic Laubach (Surgery):  FastPrep-24 tissue homogenizer
Dan Engel (Microbiology):  Automated liquid handler
Max Wintermark (Radiology):  MR-guided therapy/imaging probe system for 7T MRI
Howard Goodkin (Neurology):  rodent EEG monitoring system
Jiang He (Radiology):  qNano detection system
David Brautigan (Microbiology):  Odyssey CLx imaging system
Timothy Bullock (Pathology):  Seahorse XFe96 analyzer

The Research and Development Program

This program provides a limited number of small ($10K – $30K) research awards as seed money for new projects, development of new methods or reagents, or to enter a new area of research.  Announcements are made to all faculty; there are usually two grant cycles per year.  See both the application form and instructions for completing the application (current deadline:  March 18, 2016).

SOM Department and Center funding programs

Pilot or feasibility grants are available to members of the following programs:

Cancer Center
UVA Children’s Hospital (Contact Dr. Karen Fairchild: 924-5496, kdf2n@virginia.edu)
Center for Global Health

LaunchPad Fund for Biomedical Innovation in Diabetes (SOM)

This program supports collaborative, translational research projects that propose innovative and viable solutions to curing, treating or diagnosing diabetes.  The program seeks research projects holding exceptional promise for achieving translational outcomes (such as clinical testing, creation of meaningful, licensable IP, or formation of a start-up company).  At least one investigator from each submitting team of faculty must be full-time, tenure-track faculty at professorial rank (assistant, associate, full) with a primary appointment in the School of Medicine or School of Nursing. The most recent deadline (see request for proposals) was April 6, 2015.  Program contact: David Chen.

Thelma R. Swortzel Collaborative Research Award

This program, initiated in 2004, provides support for innovative research collaborations in the areas of ear, eye, heart, or cancer. Its goal is to support collaborative research that is translational, addresses unmet clinical needs, and leads to improvements in health care.  Most recent deadline (see RFP):  May 4, 2015; the next call for proposals will be in Spring 2016.  Program contact: Dr. Steven Wasserman (243-7088).

Recent awardees:

  • 2012:  Stephen Culp (Urology), Shayn Peirce-Cottler (BME) – TNF and NFkB signaling in targeted therapy resistance in renal cell carcinoma.
  • 2013:  Paula Fracasso (Medicine), Anindya Dutta (Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics), and Gina Petroni (Public Health Sciences) – Tip60 as a predictor of relapse-free survival in breast cancer.
  • 2014:  Jeffrey Saucerman (BME), Zhen Yan (Medicine) – MitoTimer reporter in human fibroblasts for diagnosis of mitochondrial diseases.
  • 2015:  Luke Wilkins (Radiology and Medical Imaging), David Brautigan (Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology) – Inhibition of monocarboxylate transporters as a novel therapy for liver cancer
  • 2015: Coleen McNamara (Medicine), Peter Hallowell (Surgery), Steven Malin (Kinesiology) – Role of pre-operative exercise and nutrition therapy on immunometabolism in patients undergoing bariatric surgery

Annette Lightner Research Award in Rheumatology, Autoimmune Diseases, and Arthritis

This program supports medical research in rheumatology, autoimmune diseases, and rheumatoid arthritis (with particular interest in dermatomyositis).  Research on diabetes is not funded by this program. Most recent deadline (see previous RFP):  June 6, 2014. Program contact: Dr. Steven Wasserman.

The most recent awardees were:

  • 2012:  Brant Isakson (Molecular Physiology) – Loss of pannexin-mediated contraction of lymph vessels during rheumatoid arthritis.
  • 2013:  Owen Pornillos (Molecular Physiology) – Muscle RING finger 1 protein and muscle wasting:  structural characterization and inhibitor development
  • 2014:  Kenneth Tung (Pathology/Carter Center) – T-cell mechanism of lupus nephritis: study on genetically related autoimmune orchitis

Henry Rose Carter Research Award in Malaria or Public Health

This program, whose competitions are conducted intermittently, provides support for innovative research related to malaria or other public health problems. Proposals must have a clear link to human populations. Most recent deadline (see previous RFP):  July 31, 2013. Due its modest endowment, this award is offered every 2 – 4 years.  Program contact: Dr. Steven Wasserman.

The recent awardees were:

  • 2011: Joel Hockensmith (Biochemistry) – ADAADi: Novel antimalarials with broad implications for treatment of protozoans
  • 2013:  Christopher Moore (Medicine/ID) – Prevalence of non-Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Southwestern Uganda using PCR analysis of blood slides: a community epidemiology study

Academy of Distinguished Educators grants in undergraduate medical education research

These awards are designed to stimulate medical education research by SOM faculty. Quantitative and qualitative research projects are appropriate, as are meta-analyses of the medical education research literature.

Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Translational Research Partnership

The Coulter Foundation award supports collaborative research projects that address unmet clinical needs and lead to improvements in health care and commercial products. The program requires that one collborating investigator be on BME faculty, the other a clinician. Examples of desirable outcomes include improved diagnosis and treatment of disease through inventions and patents, commercial products, commercial partnerships, licenses and start-up companies. Awarded project teams benefit from the participation of a Project Director and board of advisors. Both short-term and long-term projects are eligible. Announcements of new funding cycle (current deadline:  April 19, 2016) are made to all faculty and via From the Dean’s Office.  Program contact: David Chen.

Ivy Biomedical Innovation Fund

The Biomedical Innovation Fund was created by The Ivy Foundation to support biomedical innovation and translational research projects at the University of Virginia. The program expects to make 4-7 awards averaging $50,000 – $75,000 each for 12 months, although the award size is flexible and will be commensurate with the project stage and goals and may range from $30,000 to $100,000. To generate especially novel and compelling ideas, we encourage projects that involve faculty co-investigators from multiple departments, schools, or specialties at UVA. Proposals also are welcomed from individual investigators or teams from single departments that are appropriate for a given innovation project.

UVA Cancer Center – American Cancer Society Institutional Award program

The American Cancer Society has awarded the University of Virginia Cancer Center an Institutional Research Award whose major objective is to support the development of newly independent investigators to conduct cancer research including basic, translational and psychosocial and behavioral research, and cancer care in the economically disadvantaged.

Grants of up to $30,000 are awarded to junior faculty members who are citizens or noncitizen nationals of the U.S. or have been admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence.  Investigators must be within 6 years of their first independent research or faculty appointment (Please contact Dr. Timothy Bender if there is any question about this point or your eligibility:  tpb3e@virginia.edu ).  Senior investigators or postdoctoral fellows are not eligible.  Investigators currently supported with national research awards are not eligible.  However, investigators whose initial national grant was not renewed and are still at level of assistant professor and within 6 years of their first appointment may apply.

Most recent deadline:  November 5, 2015.  Contact Dr. Tim Bender (tpb3e@virginia.edu) before applying.  Program description, application form, and application instructions are posted as a single document on this web site.

Private funding sources

The Thomas F. and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust

provides one-year pilot funding up to $100,000 for studies that encourage the development of innovative interdisciplinary strategies that integrate computational and quantitative scientific methodologies across a broad range of scientific disciplines.  Medical school faculty may not serve as PI, but may serve as co-investigators on Jeffress grants.  (Supported areas for the PI include astronomy, biosciences, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, environmental sciences, material science, mathematics, and physics.)  Most recent submission deadline:  January 15, 2015.

Foundation Directory Online

The Health System Development Office has subscribed to The Foundation Directory Online, which contains funding opportunities from thousands of foundations. Searching requires the assistance of a librarian. Please speak with Dr. Steven Wasserman (ssw3an@virginia.edu, 924-7088) to request a search.

Commonwealth of Virginia funding sources

Commonwealth Health Research Board

The CHRB funds “research to advance the understanding of biological systems, to improve the treatment and control of human disease, and to improve human health services and the delivery of human health care.” Awards of up to $200,000 ($100,000 per year) may be funded. Program guidelines usually are released in August, with concept papers due at the end of September. Investigators whose pre-proposals that are accepted will be asked to submit full proposals the following February. Final decisions are made in May. There is a limit of 15 applications per institution. Please notify Dr. Jeff Fox, Director, Research Development Office of the Vice President for Research (297-6093; jeff.fox@virginia.edu) of your desire to submit a CHRB proposal.

Most recent CHRB awards to UVA faculty:

  • Stuart Berr (Radiology):  Development of biomarkers that target tumor associated macrophages.
  • Dongfeng Pan (Radiology):  Tumor-targeted delivery of fernesy/thiosaliclic acid

Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation

The VTSF was created after the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between 46 state Attorneys General and the four largest U.S. tobacco manufacturers. The Commonwealth of Virginia allocated 10% of these funds to the VTSF, which awards collaborative grants for research on and prevention of tobacco use.

Federal funding sources

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)

funds investigator-initiated research projects, coordinated program projects, multi-center basic, clinical, and translational research projects, training grants, research contracts, and other programs. The following links are useful in negotiating the funding opportunities at NIH Institutes and Centers:

  • NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER) is the central site for information on NIH grant funding opportunities, application procedures, and research policies.
  • NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts contains grant and contract funding opportunities and notices affecting research. The site offers a search engine, e-mail
    delivery of the Guide
    , and a list of currently active Program Announcements, Requests for Proposals, and Requests for Applications (RFAs).
  • Grants.gov is the federal government’s repository for finding and applying for most grants and contracts.
  • NIH Shared Instrumentation Grants (SIGs) are awarded by the National Center for Research Resources. Proposed equipment ($100,000 to $600,000) must be used by no fewer than three NIH-funded investigators, who together will utilize at least 75% of available use time. Applications are due in March. The High-End Instrumentation Grant Program funds items costing $750,000 to $2,000,000.
  • NIH training and career development programs (F-, T-, and K-series awards) support students, fellows, and junior to senior faculty, fostering the development of skills as independent investigators or a change in one’s area of research.
    • Individual National Research Service Awards fund postdoctoral training (F32) and senior fellowships (F33). The latter support individuals with at least 7 years of relevant research or professional experience since receiving their doctoral degree, who have established an independent research career, and who are seeking support for retraining or additional career development. F30 (for minority students) and F31 awards (for students with disabilities) support pre-doctoral studies.
    • Career Development Awards provide multi-year support for faculty in various stages of their careers. NIH provides a Career Award Wizard that helps investigators select among the various career development opportunities. Not all NIH Institutes support each career development program: please contact the appropriate individual at your target Institute before applying. The Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) provides up to two years of postdoctoral support followed by up to three years of early faculty support, with the aim of bringing the recipient to the point of the submission of competitive grant proposals to support his/her research career.
    • Institutional National Research Service Awards (T-series) provide short- and long-term support for pre- or post-doctoral trainees in a defined didactic or research-based program. The Graduate Programs Office can provide data required in such applications.
  • NIH small business opportunities. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program represents a defined percentage of each federal agency’s extramural research budget; the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program is somewhat smaller. See our guidance document on SBIR and STTR awards.
  • NIH loan repayment program. This program is designed to attract health professionals into clinical research by providing up to $35K annually in repayment of educational loans for individuals who expend at least 50% effort for two years. For additional information, consult NIH web sites providing general information and eligibility requirements.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

This agency awards grants and contracts to expand and improve primary health care for medically underserved people, health services for people with HIV/AIDS, maternal/child health, health professions training and education, rural health, telemedicine, and organ donation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC awards grants and contracts in public health, epidemiology, immunization, and related areas.

National Science Foundation

The NSF awards grants and contracts in science and engineering, accounting for about 20 percent of federal support to academic institutions for basic research.

Department of Defense

The Army ( U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity) publishes annual Broad Agency Announcement and Program Assistance Announcements (PAAs), funding grants and contracts. Certain areas are funded under Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, including ovarian, breast, and prostate cancer, multiple sclerosis, and bone marrow failure. The Navy (Office of Naval Research) offers University Research Initiative programs that include remote sensing, human performance, vaccines, etc. DOD maintains a forms web site.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

NASA occasionally has funded UVA projects in the areas of regenerative medicine, protein crystallography, and cell culture.

Department of Homeland Security

DHS provides funding for a wide variety of projects such as threat detection, development of community preparedness models, and so on.