Funding Opportunities

School of Medicine and UVA Funding Opportunities

Pinn Scholars

Named in honor of the extraordinary career of Dr. Vivian Pinn, a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the inaugural director of the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health, the Pinn Scholars Program seeks to recognize and reward research faculty whose scientific expertise and productivity, mentorship, and service have resulted in significant contributions to the School of Medicine and greater research community. Up to four scholars will be chosen each year.  Scholars will receive funds to elevate their science, will be mentored by senior faculty, and will participate in annual symposia.

Eligibility & Criteria for Selection

The program is limited to full-time faculty members who, at the date of nomination, hold the rank of Associate Professor (tenure optional) or have held the rank of Professor for not more than 3 years at the time of nomination.

To be considered, candidates will have a record of research accomplishment, and will have successfully renewed a competing R01 or equivalent grant, or will have demonstrated comparable success with investigator-initiated clinical research.  The candidate should also have documented evidence of collaboration within or outside the university, and demonstrated mentorship and service that have contributed to the UVA scientific community.  Scholars are also expected to model the ASPIRE values of the UVA Health System.

The Senior Associate Dean for Research will convene a committee that will meet annually to select the faculty members to join the cadre of existing Pinn scholars.


Each faculty member will bear the title of UVA Vivian Pinn Scholar for three consecutive years beginning in March.  No individual may be appointed to more than one three-year term.  After completing their term, Pinn Scholars will become mentors for successive scholars.


Pinn Scholars will receive $120,000 for the three-year period to support their research programs exclusive of personal salary. Funds will be delivered to the scholars from the following sources at the beginning of the award:

  • $40,000 external award from the UVA Health System
  • $40,000 matching internal award from the nominating department/center
  • $40,000 matching internal award from the School of Medicine

Maximum spending is limited to the cumulative Scholar award amount, i.e. no greater than $120,000.  At the end of year three, any unspent funds may be carried forward for one year; at the end of year four, any funds remaining will revert to funding awards for future scholars.

It is expected that these funds will be used to develop a new project or direction in the applicant’s research, which should be outlined in the application.  Pinn Scholars will share the results of their work and this new project in a yearly Pinn Scholars Symposium.

Application Process

Department chairs or center directors will nominate eligible faculty. The following application documentation is required by February 1, 2022:

  • Primary letter of nomination from sponsoring chair or center director clearly addressing eligibility criteria and accomplishments, and committing funds for the Pinn Scholar. These funds ($40,000) will be committed by March 1 of the first year.
  • Two letters of support, one of which is external to UVA.
  • Curriculum Vitae, including current, pending, and past grant support and research accomplishments.
  • The applicant’s description (one page) of how the award will be used to expand the applicant’s research in a new project or direction.

All application materials should be converted to a single pdf and submitted via email to:

Late or incomplete packets, or those that do not comply with the application guidelines, will not be considered.

2022 Pinn Scholars and their projects:

Ani Manichaikul, PhD

Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences

Project: Single Cell Transcriptomics in Human Lung

Project description: Dr. Manichaikul will establish a research program for single cell RNA-sequencing, analysis and interpretation of human lung tissue from diverse lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema. This program will strengthen the translational component of UVA’s existing research program in biology of COPD and emphysema.

Sean Moore, MD, MS

Professor of Pediatrics

Project: Maternal Microbiome, Metabolism and Infant Neurocognitive and Developmental Study (3MINDS)

Project description: Dr. Moore will engage with faculty across the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Education, Engineering and Data Science in partnership with stakeholders in Charlottesville and central Virginia to develop an ethical and mature scientific and logistical framework and sustainability plan for the 3MINDS study. 3MINDS is a maternal-child cohort study that was developed to understand the dynamic links between the environment, brain, gene structure and activity, nutrition, and microbiota that influence healthy growth and developmental outcomes.

Hui Li, PhD

Professor of Pathology

 Project: Genome wide study of chimeric RNAs and their implication in colorectal cancer

Project description: Dr. Li will use an unbiased approach to investigate chimeric RNAs in colorectal cancer, characterize their

landscape, study their function, and investigate their biomarker and therapeutic potential.

See also:

Gap funding

With support from the SOM Office for Research and department, the School of Medicine is happy to announce another round of its Gap Research Funding program. Gap funding eligibility requires a scored, peer-reviewed federal grant proposal, such as:

  • Scored new NIH proposals that follow from non-renewable, national peer-reviewed awards, such as DOD, AHA, or other foundations.
  • Scored NIH proposals for NEW projects. Please apply to the Bridge/Interim program below if the proposal represents a continuation of a previously project that was not re-funded at competitive renewal.
Interested applicants should complete and submit to an Application Package by 5:00 PM on 24 January 2022. The required components and structure of the Application Package are detailed in the Gap-Funding-Application-Form.

Bridge funding

VPR with co-support by SOM and department: also known as interim support, this program supports previously-funded projects that are 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. UVA Interim Funding for Research Programs: SOM Implementation. Proposals are due at the Office for Research on March 5, July 5, or November 5.  Contact:  Dr. David Driscoll. 

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 and require the continued availability of Commonwealth of Virginia Equipment Trust Fund (ETF) monies.  ETF becomes available to the SOM in the fall.  In preparation for those funds, requests for shared equipment funded under this program is made in March, with a deadline in April.  Contact:  Dr. David Driscoll.

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 instructions and application form.

SOM Department and Center funding programs

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

LaunchPad Fund for Biomedical Innovation in Diabetes (SOM)

The goal of this program is to support research projects that address unmet clinical needs and lead to improvements in care of patients with diabetes mellitus.  Examples of desirable outcomes include improved diagnosis and treatment of disease through new medical devices, biomarkers or diagnostics, therapeutic targets and agents, or new clinical adoption of existing tools. Although not required, it is anticipated that most projects will result in new intellectual property, commercial partnerships, or start-up companies.  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 applications) was July 21, 2017.  Program contact: Sharon Krueger (

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.  The most recent deadline (see RFP) was 6 May 2022.  Program contact: Dr. David Driscoll.  Recent awardees:

  • 2016:  Jung-Bum Shin (Neuroscience), Alexander Klibanov (Medicine/CV Medicine), Richard Price (BME) – CRISPR/ Cas and focused ultrasound towards inner ear gene therapy.
  • 2017:  Francine Garrett-Bakelman (Medicine), Stefan Bekiranov (Biochemistry) – RBM47 functions as a tumor suppressor in acute myeloid leukemia relapse.
  • 2018:  Mark Roeser (Surgery) and Jennifer Charlton (Pediatrics) – The Next Step: Regadenoson mitigates ischemia reperfusion injury and is renal protective in a 48 hour porcine model of ECPR.
  • 2019: David Kashatus (Microbiology) and Todd Bauer (Surgery) – A Novel Computational Approach to Explore the Role of Mitochondrial Heterogeneity in Pancreatic Tumor Growth.
  • 2021: Yuh-Hwa Wang (Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics) Patrick Dillon (Medicine) and Christiana Brenin (Medicine) – Developing a DNA susceptibility test to identify breast cancer patients having high risk for
    therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia.
  • 2021: Saurabh Kulkarni (Cell Biology) and Aakrosh Ratan (Public Health Sciences) – Establishing Bench to Bedside Congenital Heart Disease Program at UVA Children’s.
  • 2021: Brent French (Biomedical Engineering) and Craig Slingluff (Surgery) – Innovative Gene Therapy Strategy to Achieve Sustained Protection Against SARS-CoV-2.
  • 2021: Mete Civelek (Biomedical Engineering) and Gloria Sheynkman (Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics) – Coronary Artery Disease-Associated Splice Variants in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells.

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. The most recent deadline (see RFP) was 13 May 2022. Program contact: Dr. David Driscoll.  Recent awardees were:

  • 2016:  John Lukens (Neuroscience) – Dendritic cell-mediated SYK signaling is a central regulator of multiple sclerosis.
  • 2017:  Gordon Laurie (Cell Biology) – Use of human sensory neurons from induced pluripotent stem cells to characterize ‘lacritin’-dependent re-innervation in Sjögren’s Syndrome dry eye.
  • 2018:  Coleen McNamara (Medicine) – Precision immune phenotyping for personalized therapy for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • 2019:  Sun-Sang Sung (Medicine) and Shu Man Fu (Rheumatology and Immunology) – Podocyte Mertk as therapeutic target in lupus nephritis.
  • 2021: Jae Hee Yun (Medicine) – Elucidating Biological Pathways in Dermatomyositis-Related Interstitial Lung Disease.
  • 2021:  Sun-Sang Sung (Medicine) – Treatment of Lupus Nephritis by Glomerular Cytokine.
  • 2021:  Shu Man Fu (Medicine) – Podocyte-derived C1q plays a protective role in the
    pathogenesis of lupus nephritis.
  • 2021:  Richard Flowers (Dermatology) – Topical and intralesional sodium thiosulfate 25% in the
    treatment of connective tissue disease-associated calcinosis cutis: a two-arm trial of
  • 2021:  Loren Erickson (Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology) – Meningeal immunity in neuropsychiatric lupus.
  • 2021:  Brent DeGeorge (Plastic Surgery) – Ultrasound Guidance for the Delivery of Botulinum Toxin in the Treatment of Vasospasm Associated with Rheumatologic Disorders.
  • 2021:  Brent DeGeorge (Plastic Surgery) – Assessing the Mechanism of Cannabichromene (CBC) Alone and in Combination with Major Phytocannabinoids in the Alleviation Pain.
  • 2021:  Sanja Arandjelovic (Medicine) – Impact of Rheumatoid Arthritis-associated
    Polymorphism in ELMO1 on Neutrophil Functions.

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. The most recent deadline (see RFP) was June 4, 2021. Due its modest endowment, this award is offered every 2 – 4 years, no sooner than 2023.  Program contact: Dr. David Driscoll.  Recent awardees were:

  • 2013:  Christopher Moore (Medicine/ID) – Prevalence of non-Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Southwestern Uganda using PCR analysis of blood slides: a community epidemiology study
  • 2016:  Molly Hughes (Medicine/ID) – Fighting back against antibiotic resistant bacteria that pose an urgent public health threat.
  • 2019:  Giriga Ramakrishnan (Medicine, Infectious Diseases) – Phosphatidylcholine-associated fatty acids in neurocognitive development of children.
  • 2021:  Michael Brown (Medicine, Nephrology) – Impact of OX40 or GITR polymorphism in human immunity and disease.

Academy for Excellence in Education

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 collaborating 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 cycles 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 6-8 awards averaging $50,000 – $80,000 each for 12 months, although the award size is flexible and will be commensurate with the project stage and goals. 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.  The most recent deadline was December 27, 2017 (see RFA at  Program contact:  Sharon Krueger.

UVA Cancer Center – American Cancer Society Institutional Award program

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

Eligibility.  Grants are available to young faculty members who are citizens or non-citizen 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 position.  The following are not eligible to apply:

  • senior investigators or postdoctoral fellows;
  • investigators currently supported with national research awards;
  • investigators with active K99/R00 awards.

Investigators whose initial grant was not renewed and are still at level of assistant professor and within 6 years of their first appointment may apply.  Investigators should contact Dr. Roger Abounader if they have any questions about eligibility.

Awards may not exceed $30,000.  A total of 3 to 4 projects will be awarded.  Individual allocations can be used for equipment, consumable supplies, and limited technical support.  (The ACS discourages the use of Institutional Grant Funds for the support of full-time technical help.)  Please see instructions for allowable expenditures.

Second Year of Support.  Investigators who have received support from the ACS IRG program in the previous year are eligible to apply for a second year of funding, but priority will be given to funding new projects.   Investigators interested in applying for a second year of funding should use the same application form, restate each of the specific aims, describe in detail the progress made toward reaching each of the original aims, explain in detail why a second year of support is needed, and provide a strong budget justification.

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.)  NOTE:  The program limits the number of proposals per Virginia institution.  The VP for Research handles internal competitions to establish institutional nominees.  Most recent sponsor deadline:  January 2018.

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. David Driscoll (, 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 the Research Development team in the VPR Office ( of your desire to submit a CHRB proposal.

Most recent CHRB awards to UVA faculty:

  • Dongfeng Pan (Radiology):  Tumor-targeted delivery of fernesyl/thiosaliclic acid
  • Weibin Shi (Radiology):  Characterization of reticulocalbin 2 as a major gene contributing to atherosclerosis


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).
  • 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 dual-degree students) and F31 awards (for students aiming toward the PhD degree) support pre-doctoral studies.  The F99/K00 award supports support the pre- to post-doctoral transition of highly motivated graduate students.
    • Career Development Awards provide multi-year support for faculty in various stages of their careers. 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. These include the  Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program.  The master award for both of these programs is made to the business.  The latter requires an academic institution as partner to the award.
  • 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.

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.