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Emerging Scholars’ Program

VCU’s Emerging Scholars’ Program provides career and grant development support to new, faculty-level clinical and translational scientists to help them compete for externally-funded, early-career, research awards.

The Scholars will receive individual mentoring, career development resources, and grant preparation support over a 2-year period as they work toward their own career development awards (e.g., NIaH K08 or K23) or independent research grants (e.g., NIH R01).

Scholars will be expected to attend monthly Emerging Scholars’ Program meetings where they will received structured career and grant development training; critique each other’s research ideas, publications, and grant applications; and network with other Scholars and mentors. They will also meet monthly with their mentors and submit at least one peer-reviewed journal article annually. Within two years of starting the program, Scholars will submit a competitive, external grant application.


The Emerging Scholars’ Program is open to candidates who:

  • Are eligible for NIH career development and research awards (i.e., U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, and permanent residents)
  • Hold a faculty appointment within an academic unit of VCU by the date of the initial, external funding application submission deadline
  • Are within 5 years of their first faculty appointment
  • Have obtained a terminal degree
  • Have completed relevant postgraduate training
  • Have not served as the principal investigator for an NIH R01 or R29 award or for a subproject of an NIH P01, P50, P60, or U54
  • Have 20% protected time for research

Department chairs of each applicant MUST commit to at least 20% release time for research and research career development activities. In addition, chairs must provide appropriate space and departmental resources for the Scholar’s proposed research as well as departmental support for the Scholar to work in labs and clinics outside his/her own department.

To apply

Interested faculty should complete the Emerging Scholars’ Program application. Each Scholar will be asked to provide:

  • Short (500 words or less) description of their research plan
  • Curriculum vitae or NIH biosketch
  • Emerging Scholars’ Agreement Form signed by the Scholar and department chair, documenting the chair’s support for the Scholar’s participation in the program and 20% effort release time to pursue research while in the Emerging Scholars’ Program.

Selection process

Scholars will be selected by a panel of CCTR faculty based on the potential impact of the program on the candidate’s competitiveness for external funding.


Please direct questions to:

Dr. Pamela Dillon

Research Liaison, Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research

Phone: (804) 827-1519