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Training and Professional Development

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Virginia Tech offers a variety of resources to identify internal and external funding opportunities or recommendations on how to best identify sources for specific research projects. Additionally, there are training requirements that must be completed in order to remain compliant with federal and state laws and regulations.

Program-Specific Resources

The College of Science and College of Engineering partner to offer a two-hour workshop each April. This workshop is intended to help faculty better understand the NSF CAREER program, advice on how to prepare a strong submission, and perspectives from former program directors. For more information, please contact John Morris, the College of Science’s associate dean for research.

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences partners with the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment to offer a targeted NSF CAREER workshop each spring, which provides monthly sessions to guide faculty with social science focus through the development of CAREER award proposals. For more information, please contact Executive Director of the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment Karen Roberto.

In addition, the VT-FAST team offers a session to provide guidance specific to the broader impacts components of CAREER awards.

For more information, please contact Associate Director of Finance and Administration for Fralin Life Sciences Janet Webster.

Virginia Tech National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Workshop

The College of Science and College of Engineering hosted a 2-hour workshop on how to prepare effective proposals for the NSF CAREER Award program. The workshop is designed for junior faculty members in any Virginia Tech college who are intending to submit an NSF CAREER proposal in the next couple of years.

The National Institutes of Health Career Development Awards (K) and New Investigator R01 Proposal Preparation Program is designed to assist Virginia Tech junior faculty, fellows, and post-docs in the preparation of Career Development award applications and early career investigators in preparation for their first R01 grant. The goal is for participants to enter the program with a research idea in mind and use program resources to prepare their formal proposal for submission by the end of the year.

Program-Specific Training

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has established a new training requirement in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) for individuals receiving support through NIH Institutional Research Training Grants, Individual Fellowship Awards, Career Development Awards (Institutional and Individual), Research Education Grants, Dissertation Research Grants, and any other program that requires such training as identified in the NIH Funding Opportunity Announcement. 

The new requirement applies to all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars who are supported by the above identified NIH projects submitted (and subsequently awarded) after January 25, 2010, including competitive renewals.  This requirement will be expanded to all continuation (Type 5) applications with deadlines on or after January 1, 2011. 

For more information on the programs that are subject to this requirement can be found on the Respondible Conduct of Research website.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has established a new training requirement in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) for students and postdoctoral fellows (postdocs) supported by NSF projects. The new requirement applies to all undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoc researchers who are supported by NSF projects submitted (and subsequently awarded) after January 4, 2010, including competitive renewals. However, it is strongly recommended that faculty, including principal investigators, supported by NSF projects or directing students or postdocs supported on NSF projects, also review and are familiar with the content of these modules.

This requirement does not apply retroactively to students and postdocs supported on projects submitted before January 4, 2010. The new regulations implement provisions of the America COMPETES Act.  

For more information on the NSF RCR training requirement can be found on the Responsible Conduct of Research website.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has instituted a new Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training requirement effective for awards subject to the February 2013 Research Terms and Conditions (PDF).  (See page 5 of the PDF).  

The training requirement mandates that all participants including all; program directors, faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and any staff participating in the research project receive appropriate training in the responsible and ethical conduct of research (RCR). The new RCR training requirement is applicable to all awards subject to the USDA NIFA February 2013 Terms and Conditions (PDF)  or subsequent Terms and Conditions that contain the RCR training requirement

Virginia Tech has adopted a plan to fulfill the NIFA training requirement.  Virginia Tech will use online training through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) to meet this requirement.  Instructions on how to access this course can be found on the website below.

If you have questions regarding the NIFA training requirement, please see the Responsible Conduct of Research website.

Training on Proposal Development and Submission

The Office of Sponsored Programs offers a number of trainings geared toward faculty and administrators alike. The Introduction to Proposal Submission training includes information about budgets and budget justifications, and is an introduction to the proposal process and the Summit tool.

Proposal Development Institute

The Proposal Development Institute provides a variety of experiences that collectively enhance the ability of Virginia Tech tenure-track faculty and research assistant professors to successfully pursue externally funded grants and contracts to support their research and scholarly activities.

The program is designed to help early-career faculty members to translate research ideas into formal written proposals to external sponsors. Programs span the spring semester of each academic year, and have room for approximately 40 participants annually.

The program is jointly funded through the Office of Research and Innovation, colleges, departments, and research institutes who select faculty members to participate in the program.  

Research Development Series

In January 2021, the Office of Research and Innovation launched its Research Development Support series to help faculty in their journey to increase the scope and impact of their research, creativity, and innovation portfolio. With events focused on different facets of sponsored research, from sponsor-specific perspectives to how to work with partners, this webinar series is intended to answer researchers' biggest questions and enlighten scholars at every step in their career.

Certified Research Administrator Study Team

The Certified Research Administrator Study team is an online guided self-study program designed for all research administrators regardless of institution who are interested in and qualify to take the certified research administrator exam.