For New Research Faculty

Before arriving at UVA

Pre-move discussions with these administrative offices will help you to jump-start your research program when you arrive:

  • Your Department or Center research administrator will be your primary contact for facilities (space/access/renovations), human resources issues (payroll and benefits), proposal development and routing, financial tracking project budgets, computer access, etc., and will act as a liaison with School of Medicine and UVA research administrative offices.  For a more detailed discussion of these issues, go here.
  • The Office of Grants and Contracts (Davis 5293; x4-8426) will help transfer current research awards or pending proposals to UVA.  (Read their procedure to transfer NIH/PHS awards between institutions.)  The office conducts institutional review and approval, and submits proposals to sponsors.  Don’t let intellectual property issues get in the way of your research program at UVA! If you intend to bring proprietary research materials requiring a Materials Transfer Agreement (MTA) with your current institution or materials that you previously had obtained under MTA, inform Grants and Contracts immediately, to initiate the negotiation process.  Similarly, certain grants and contracts include provisions governing ownership and transfer of intellectual property:  make sure that this information is transmitted to Grants and Contracts.
  • Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) oversees UVA biological, chemical, and radiation safety programs.  Their web site describes the training you will need, and provides schedules of required classes.  If you will work with recombinant DNA or with toxins or pathogens that require federal approval, contact the Institutional Biosafety Committee.
  • Ask your department administrator to notify the Center for Comparative Medicine (site requires UVA log-in; or, phone 434-924-0354) if you intend to bring any animals to UVA, in order to discuss arrangements for quarantine, housing, and specialized care.  You will need Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC, ACUC) approval to order, possess, or conduct research using vertebrate animals.  Their staff can help with protocol development, protocol pre-review, and required training for you and your laboratory staff.  Such transfers usually are made under a Material Transfer Agreement between your current institution and UVA.
  • The Institutional Review Board – Health Sciences Research (IRB-HSR) is responsible for the review and approval of biomedical research involving human subjects and specimens.  If you intend to initiate or continue ongoing clinical research soon after your arrival, contact them or access their web page for incoming UVA faculty.

After arriving at UVA

Your UVA research mentor.  All new faculty are assigned a senior faculty mentor.  Mentors offer advice and insight into activities such as orientation, research (including grant proposals and review of manuscripts), evaluation of teaching, and preparation of your faculty portfolio.  If your job expectations include the conduct of research, your initial mentor may not be most appropriate for your research goals.  You are encouraged to identify either a more appropriate mentor or an unofficial mentor who will focus on your development as an independent investigator.  A research mentor might help with structuring and managing your research group, internal pre-review of proposals, strategies for publication, locating collaborators at UVA, and so on.  The book Training Scientists to Make the Right Moves:  A Practical Guide to Developing Programs in Scientific Management, co-published by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has an advice on mentoring.

NIH Next Generation Researchers Initiative.  In 2017, NIH modified its policies to increase the number of awards to what they call Early Stage and Early Established Investigators.  Here are some excerpts from the complete policy:

  • Early Stage Investigator (ESI):  a Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who has completed their terminal research degree or post-graduate clinical training, whichever date is later, within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award (cf.  Under the Next Generation Researchers policy, meritorious R01-equivalent applications with ESI PD/PIs will be prioritized for funding.  An NIH R01-equivalent research grant application with more than one PD/PI (multi-PI) will be prioritized for funding only if all MPIs have ESI status.
  • Early Established Investigator (EEI):  a PD/PI who is within 10 years of receiving their first substantial, independent competing NIH R01-equivalent research award as an ESI.  A meritorious application with a designated PD/PI EEI may be prioritized for funding if:  (1) the EEI lost or is at risk for losing all NIH research support if not funded by competing awards this year, OR (2) the EEI is supported by only one active award.  An NIH grant application with more than one PD/PI (multi-PI) will be prioritized for funding only if all MPIs have EEI status and meet prioritization criteria.

Cheap laboratory and clinical supplies (M.E.R.C.I. recycling program).  Medical Equipment Recovery of Clean Inventory, run by a volunteer staff, accepts unused supplies and small equipment and makes them available to the UVA community.  If you are starting a lab, check them out.  If you are closing a lab, consider sending your unused items to M.E.R.C.I.  Some of the items they stock:

  • Surgical (sutures, gowns, gloves, drapes, dressings, towels)
  • Surgical tools (clamps, scalpels, forceps and scissors)
  • Small medical (vacutainers, butterflies, needles, syringes)
  • Tissue culture plates, tubes, flasks, etc.
  • Solutions (normal saline and sterile water)
  • Freezer boxes, vials, tubing, microscope slides, pipettes
  • Molecular biology supplies
  • Office supplies
  • Small clean working equipment (no items with asset tags)

Location:  ground floor of the Primary Care Building, across from the gamma knife facility
Hours:  Thursdays, 9 AM to 4 PM
Contact:  Thursdays, 982-4499; other days, phone Trena Berg, RN, BSN (982-0559)
To volunteer for M.E.R.C.I.:  contact Health System Volunteer Services