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Grant-Funded Research

The information below is for VA investigators interested in obtaining extramural (non-VA) funding for a grant, for example from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or from a private foundation such as the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Center (PCORI)

 

  • The application must be submitted by or under the auspices of NFFRE.

  • NFFRE provides assistance with grant application development. When the grant is funded, NFFRE manages the funds and assists with all aspects of conducting the research.

New to grants?

Developing and Submitting Grants

  • Grants.gov: The gateway to grants offered by Federal agencies such as the NIH; provides links to funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) disseminated by Federal agencies. Further, other non-federal grant agencies closely follow or use NIH forms and/or NIH procedures Thus, grants.gov is the best grants resource.

  • Learn Grants section:  Provides extensive information about Federal grant procedures and policies.

  • Applicants sectionExplains how to apply and how the online grants.gov submission system works.

Grant Application Process

Submitting grants involves strict submission deadlines, complex grant forms, and complicated online systems for submitting grants. For example, see the NIH web section, How to Apply - Application Guide. Further, applying for grants is a highly competitive process (NIH Extramural Nexus, 2022.03.06). Therefore, it is in the best interest of investigators to notify NFFRE of grant application plans as early as possible, and investigators should take advantage of the services offered by NFFRE. 

Grant Budgets and Indirect Costs

Budgets include both direct and indirect costs and projected amounts must be as exact as possible. For example, the period of a grant can often be 4 years, and salary for VA investigators must include any step increases that would occur during that time and also the fringe rate each year.  Read this NIH guidance on budgets.  NOTE: 

  • Direct costs.  These are the costs for items that are only related to the specific grant, such as investigator and research staff salary, equipment, consultants, and participant payments.

  • Indirect cost (IDC), also called Facilities and Administrative costs (F&A).  These are costs that are accounted for by the recipient organization and cover expenses related to infrastructure and activities that occur with all grants managed by the organization.

Ready to apply for a grant?

NFFRE Grant Procedures

  • Info and Forms:  Available on our Policies and Procedures webpage.

  • Timing: Unexpected issues can arise suddenly and grant deadlines are final, therefore, make grant preparation your priority.

  • First steps:  Whether you will be a PI or a co-investigator through a subaward:

 

Grant Budget

  • The budget must be as exact as possible.  Once the grant is approved, the budget cannot be changed.

  • Use the NFFRE Budget Spreadsheet (Excel) to develop your budget.

    • There are many notes and links included to provide guidance. 

    • Salary:  As noted above, cost of living and VA step increases must be accounted for.

  • Send a complete draft of the budget to VHANFLNFFREAdmin@va.gov.  A meeting with the NFFRE Executive Director may be needed.

 

Subawards/Collaborations

Investigators at the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System (NF/SGVHS) often collaborate on grants with investigators at universities or other organizations.  For example, a University of Florida (UF) investigator may recruit a VA investigator to be a co-investigator on a grant that is being submitted by UF.  NOTE:

  • Collaborations will in general always require a subaward to NFFRE

    • Assures that VA resources used for the grant are accounted for, including time and effort of VA investigators or clinicians.

    • Enables NFFRE staff to mediate and provide guidance on VA policies or procedures.

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