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VA research sponsored awards

Learn more about applying for VA funding.

VA Office of Research and Development (VA-ORD)

The VA Central Office of Research and Development (VA-ORD) is comprised of four research services. 

Pre-award: local R&D approval process

New, resubmission, or renewal proposals for VA-sponsored awards must be approved by the VA Houston R&D Committee for submission to the VA Central Office. Proposal materials must be submitted to at least 30 days prior to the grant submission deadline. 

Submissions, deadlines, and communication

Request for Applications (RFAs) are in response to programmatic high priority areas. VA Houston PIs will be alerted to new RFAs by the Research Service Line as they are disseminated by ORD. 

Learn more about the available RFAs and Program Announcements. 

The VA Houston Research Office will distribute the submission deadline schedule of the four ORD divisions before each grant submission cycle via email and monthly Research Service Line (RSL) newsletter. 

•    To be added to the RSL newsletter listserv, contact Ashley Motter

In general, investigators should never contact ORD directly. This is particularly critical for grant review issues. Questions should be relayed to a member of the local Research Office who will contact ORD on your behalf. 

Contact the Pre-Award Administrator for information on deadlines, submission cycles and program announcements and to plan your submission timeline.

Pre-award administrators

Katherine Bay, MPH
Service: HSR&D
Phone: 713-440-4457

Diego Nguyen, MFA

Christine Eriks, MHA, MBA
Services: BLR&D, CSR&D, RR&D
Phone: 713-794-8096

Frequently asked pre-award questions

Do I need a VA appointment to apply for VA funding?

A VA-paid appointment is not necessarily required to submit a proposal; however, a 5/8ths VA-paid appointment must be established if funding is awarded. Contact the Pre-Award Administrator for eligibility information.

What is the budget limit for a VA award?

Budget limits and study durations vary for each research service and funding mechanism, so contact the Pre-Award Administrator for expectations.

Do VA awards provide salary support?

The Career Development Award is the only VA funding mechanism that provides research salary support for licensed clinicians, not to exceed 75 percent effort.

Non-clinician scientists are eligible to receive salary support through some, but not all, VA funding mechanisms. Contact the Pre-Award Administrator for information. 

Is there a pre-submission review process for participation as site-PI on VA or non-VA funded grants conducted at VA Houston?

The Submission Pre-Review Checklist (SPaRC) is designed for VA Houston investigators to engage early in the submission process of non-VA funding sources as principal investigator (PI),  and in addition, local site investigator (LSI) participation on VA grants submitted by other stations for the purpose of ensuring feasibility of basic or clinical needs and VA resources.  

Utilize the SPaRC Decision Tree to determine whether your project requires administrative pre-review.

Email questions to

Does VA Houston Research Service Line have an internal peer review process for grants?

Yes. If you are planning to submit a career development award or your first “big grant” please contact Dr. Drew Helmer, Deputy Director for IQuESt or Ivy Myers to discuss how the internal review process may help you prepare a more competitive submission.

How many times may I submit my VA proposal for funding?

A proposal may be submitted up to three times (i.e., submission of a new proposal and up to two resubmissions) to VA Central Office for funding consideration.

Resubmission applications must obtain local R&D approval prior to resubmission to VA Central Office.

Where can I see the status of my submitted proposal?

Information about a principal investigators' submission status, study section, scientific review administrator, scores etc., may be obtained from their eRA Commons account.

May I conduct my VA funded study on the Baylor College of Medicine campus?

PIs must conduct all VA-funded research on VA space, or VA-leased space unless an appropriate partial off-site waiver is approved at the time of submission by the local Research and Development Committee and granted by VA Central Office.

When are funding decisions made?

Funding decisions are not made until after the final study section review meeting date (i.e., approximately four months after the submission deadline.)

When may I work on the project?

If a fundable score is received on a proposal for a VA-sponsored award, a project start date and funding are confirmed after all Just-In-Time (JIT) requirements and local R&D and subcommittee approvals are satisfactorily met.

Does my renewal need to be reviewed by the R&D Committee?

Renewals of previously funded Merit Review projects must obtain local R&D approval prior to submission to Central Office.