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Minneapolis VA Health Care System Research Service

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New Investigator Orientation: Required Information

Investigator Orientation: Overview | Required Information | Research Approval | Investigator Responsibilities | Research Funding | Hiring Personnel

If you are a new investigator at our VA, we should be aware that you are here. At minimum you or a senior investigator in your division should send an introductory email to the Associate and Deputy Associate Chief of Staff for Research (ACOS) so that we can add you to appropriate email contact lists. We recommend (but do not require) that you schedule a meeting with us to discuss your research interests, and provide us the opportunity to talk to you about our research program. We can assist in making contacts, finding resources, or providing key information you will need to successfully conduct your studies at VA.

Our program requests or requires several key forms of data for all investigators. We use this information to measure productivity and track metrics for our program, to ensure open lines of communication, to facilitate collaborations, and to target relevant funding opportunities. New investigators or investigators transferring from another VA should ensure requested forms have been completed and returned to the Research Office. Current investigators should periodically review information on file by responding to annual requests for updates in a timely manner.

Research & Development Information System (RDIS) Investigator Profile Form:

The RDIS Investigator Profile Form is used to create an investigator entry in RDIS, a nationwide electronic system used by VA to track funding associated with VA-approved research projects. The current RDIS platform is called ePROMISe. Every project approved as VA research - whether funded or unfunded - must be entered into this system by our research program office. Investigators who do not have a profile in the RDIS system are unable to submit VA research grants.

Note for persons transferring from another VA: Your RDIS profile can only be linked to one VA facility. We can assist in transferring profiles on your arrival in Minneapolis.

eRA Commons profile:

Your eRA Commons ID is a unique identifier that follows you through your research career, and connects you to current and past grant funding in Federal databases. The eRA system is used by VA, NIH, and other Federal agencies to submit and manage research grant funding. All individuals who are named on VA or NIH grant applications must have an active eRA Commons ID. You can affiliate your eRA Commons ID with multiple research organizations. If you have an eRA Commons ID, the Deputy ACOS can add an affiliation to the Minneapolis VA. If you do not currently have an eRA Commons ID, we can create one for you. An eRA Commons ID is a required component of your RDIS profile and should be listed on your NIH Biosketch.

Research Topics and Areas of Interest Form:

The Research Topics and Areas of Interest Form is used to verify preferred contact information, indicate your current career stage, and specify VA-defined research topic areas and MeSH keywords describing your research. Contact information is used to add you to relevant mailing lists for our program. We use information on career stage and research topic areas to target specific funding and career development opportunities to investigators who are most likely to benefit from these resources. We request that our investigators verify this form annually to ensure that our program has an accurate picture of your research interests and experience. For current investigators, your most recently verified form can be provided to you upon request. For new investigators, the form is linked above.

A note regarding MeSH keywords: We recommend that you use MeSH on Demand, which will help you quickly determine relevant MeSH terms. Just paste in a recent abstract or your NIH biosketch personal statement, and matching keywords will be returned.

NIH Biosketch:

The NIH biosketch is required for all named Key Personnel in VA and NIH grant applications. Your biosketch will list your education, positions and title, include a personal statement, highlight your contributions to research, and should include your preferred link to your full list of publications. Your biosketch, like a CV, should be kept current for use in grant submissions as an investigator, co-investigator, or other key role.

We recommend that all investigators use the NCBI SciENcv website to prepare their biosketch. The SciENcv service automates the process of importing your publications, ensures your biosketch is on the current accepted template, and provides mechanisms to link your profile with other services (e.g. eRA Commons, ORCID) to assist in updating your information.

Website Profile Form:

Our website includes profiles for all active research investigators. These profiles increase the visibility of our research program, enhance interest in collaborations, and improve our ability to recruit new clinical and research trainees and staff. The Website Profile Form is a brief form used to capture information that is not already included in the NIH biosketch and Research Topics form; specifically, this form requests your biographical statement, professional networking links, and links to any external sites.

For more information on this form, including details on how you can request or update your PI profile, please refer to the Investigator Profile instructions page.


Next: Research Approval