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  Application & Instructions

Please send electronic submissions to: OR

> via VCU FileLocker (formerly, VCU FileDrop)

Important Contact Information:

Tina Hamlet | Division of Urology Administrator | 804-828-5320

Contacting the Surgery Research Committee:

Adam P. Klausner, MD—Chair (

Martin J. Mangino, PhD (


Request for Applications:

The VCU Department of Surgery announces an Internal Grant Program to help increase the level of extramural research funding in the Department.

The purpose of this grant is to enable investigators to achieve extramural funding from sources such as the Federal Government as well as specialty societies and foundations. Federal applications are specifically encouraged. This pilot program is modeled after successful mechanisms from outside surgery departments that have resulted in tremendous increases in extramural funding and improvements in national rankings. This grant is specifically targeting VCU Department of Surgery faculty who plan to submit extramural grant applications within a year after receiving the award.

The Department of Surgery will award up to four (4) grants of up to $25,000 per year to successful applications.

The Primary Investigator (PI) of the submitted application must be a member of the faculty of VCU Department of Surgery. Part-time faculty appointments or joint appointments through the Department of Veterans Affairs are acceptable. Collaborative proposals which include members from outside departments or schools are encouraged. In addition, the PI of each successfully-funded proposal must agree to submit a grant for extramural funding (based on the current project) within one year of receiving the award. The PI will be eligible to obtain up to two Department of Surgery Internal Grants, if the initial project has progressed appropriately toward extramural grant submission and the second project covers a completely different topic. There will be no continuation of funding. 


The awardee is REQUIRED to submit a grant application to an extramural Grant Mechanism within one year after receipt of the award. The PI will not be eligible to apply for the future VCU Department of Surgery Internal Grants unless this requirement is fulfilled. The PI will be assigned a “Navigator” who will follow up on progress toward the extramural grant submission. Within one month after the submission to the extramural Grant Mechanism, the PI must submit (electronically) a final report (one to two pages) summarizing the results of the research and its output (to where the grant was submitted, meeting presented, publications) to the assigned grant Navigator. All publications related to the award must acknowledge support from VCU Department of Surgery.


Applications will be accepted year-round. Applicants who are interested in submitting an application must first contact a member of the Research Committee: Adam Klausner (urology,, Martin Mangino (acute care surgery,, and a Navigator will then be assigned. The Navigator will guide the applicants on submission of the application.

All submissions must include:
1 A completed grant application — download application here
2 CV — NIH biosketch preferred — See examples below (PDFs)
  • A. Klausner__ Biosketch | Specific Aims
  • M. Mangino__ Biosketch | Specific Aims

All materials should be submitted via email attachments to or submitted via VCU FileLocker (FileDrop) to Tina Hamlet's email address. After submission, the proposal will be reviewed/discussed at the monthly Research Committee Meeting and the applicant will be notified with the results.


Applicants who have never achieved extramural funding are encouraged to submit a 1-page “concept” or contact a member of the research committee to discuss a potential concept. A member of the Research Committee will then review the concept with the Division Research Liaison from the applicant’s division or a suitable alternative. A detailed written review will be returned to the applicant with a recommendation of “approve” or “revise.” Once a concept is approved, a “Navigator” will be assigned (as above) that will work with the applicant to develop a complete proposal for submission. The Navigator will help in all aspects of the submission process including hypothesis generation, study design, grant writing, identification of collaborators, and IRB/IACUC regulatory requirements.

Unfunded applications may be re-submitted to the Internal Grant Program following the same guidelines as for the initial submission. All re-submitted applications MUST include a 1-page maximum response letter in which the investigator responds to the critiques from the original review. Significant changes in the application from the original submission should be highlighted with underline or italicized typeface.

Proposals will be reviewed by the Department of Surgery Research Committee with additional assistance from expert ad-hoc reviewers. Individuals that have a role in the research or any conflicts of interest with the study or its outcomes will not be eligible to participate as reviewers. Applications will be reviewed at the next scheduled monthly Research Committee meeting. Additional consideration will be given to new investigators (never received federal funding) and early stage investigators (within 10 years of completion of training). The proposal will be presented by the Navigator, and the review will follow the NIH review guidelines and assign an overall score of 1 (best) to 9 (worst) with the best scores given to proposals that have highest likelihood of achieving extramural funding.

In addition, individual scores of 1-9 will be given for each of the following five (5) categories:

  1. Significance. Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

  2. Investigator. Are the PIs, collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or New Investigators, or in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?

  3. Innovation. Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?

  4. Approach. Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed?

  5. Environment. Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?


Proposals that require the use of vertebrate animals must be associated with an approved and active Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocol prior to the start of funding. If the proposal is approved for funding, the IACUC protocol will be reviewed by the research committee for congruency. However, the IACUC protocol will not be required at the time of submission.

Proposals that require the use human subjects must be associated with an approved and active Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocol prior to the start of funding. If the proposal is approved for funding, the IRB protocol will be reviewed by the research committee for congruency. However, the IRB protocol will not be required at the time of submission.


  • The application should be submitted as one complete single-spaced word document with at least ½ inch margins and using a minimum 11 point font. Italicized instructions in the application should be removed prior to submission. Figures (if needed) should be embedded directly within the application document. Download the application template here.

In order to encourage and promote submission of extramural grant applications, VCU Department of Surgery will award “PEA”-type support to its faculty applicants for each grant submission according to the criteria below.

This support will be available to the faculty after submitting the following to Tina Hamlet (

1) the submitted grant application,

2) the grant guidelines detailing the award amount,

3) documentation that the application was submitted:

  • $2,000 for Grant ≥ $1,000,000
  • $1,000 for Grant ≥ $100,000
  • $500 for Grant < $100,000

Important Contact Information:

Tina Hamlet
Administrator, Division of Urology

Research Committee:

Adam P. Klausner, MD—Chair
Martin J. Mangino, PhD


last updated: 2017-02-15

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Virginia Commonwealth University | School of Medicine | Department of Surgery | Research