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Welcome to the VCU Department of Surgery. Our team members have diverse backgrounds and interests and share a common commitment to supporting and improving the research process. We are trained to provide services to a standard of excellence for our faculty and other researchers, including:

  • identification of research funding opportunities
  • project budget development
  • assistance in the preparation and submission of research applications
  • review and monitoring of policy compliance issues
  • award set-up
  • pro-active financial management of sponsored projects
  • training, policy guidance and advice

ORBIT is dedicated to support and promote research, innovation and global surgical activities in the VCU Department of Surgery. Through coordinated avenues of basic science and translational research/clinical trials, ORBIT helps develop true surgeon scientists. The infrastructure that ORBIT provides enables the Department of Surgery to recruit the best researchers in the field of surgery and to receive funding from top federal and private resources.

In the interest of keeping you well informed, the Center for Clinical and Translational Research maintains a blog with relevant research news and events. You can read it here.

We look forward to working with you!

Contact Information

Please send electronic submissions to ORBIT

Phone: (804) 828-8290

Surgery Research Committee Co-Chairs

Adam P. Klausner, M.D.

Associate Chair for Clinical and Transitional Research

Martin J. Mangino, Ph.D.

Associate Chair for Basic Research

Application Requests

The VCU Department of Surgery announces an Internal Grant Program to help increase the level of extramural research funding in the Department.

The purpose of this grant is to enable investigators to achieve extramural funding from sources such as the Federal Government as well as specialty societies and foundations. Federal applications are specifically encouraged. This pilot program is modeled after successful mechanisms from outside surgery departments that have resulted in tremendous increases in extramural funding and improvements in national rankings. This grant is specifically targeting VCU Department of Surgery faculty who plan to submit extramural grant applications within a year after receiving the award.

The Department of Surgery will award up to two (2) $25,000 one-year grants to successful applications for seed funding.  There will be no continuation of funding after year 1. 


The Primary Investigator (PI) of the submitted application must be a member of the faculty of VCU Department of Surgery. Part-time faculty appointments or joint appointments through the Department of Veterans Affairs are acceptable. Collaborative proposals which include members from outside departments or schools are encouraged.

Projects must be ready for external submission within 1-2 years.

The PI will be eligible to obtain up to two Department of Surgery Internal Grants, if the initial project has progressed appropriately toward extramural grant submission and the second project covers a completely different topic.


  • The awardee is REQUIRED to submit a grant application to an extramural Grant Mechanism within one year after receipt of the award.  The PI will not be eligible to apply for the future Surgery Internal Grants unless this requirement is fulfilled.
  • Within one month after the submission to the extramural Grant Mechanism, the PI must submit (electronically) a final report (one to two pages) summarizing the results of the research and its output (to where the grant was submitted, meeting presented, publications) to the assigned grant Navigator.
  • All publications related to the award must acknowledge support from VCU Department of Surgery

Submission Process

Applications will be accepted year-round until funding for the fiscal year is exhausted. PIs have the opportunity to save their submission until the following year.
Prior to submission, please contact to determine if funding is currently available.

All Submissions MUST include:


A completed grant application — download application here


CV — NIH biosketch preferred — See examples below (PDFs)

• M. Mangino Biosketch Example  |  Specific Aims 

• A. Klausner Biosketch Example  |  Specific Aims

All materials should be submitted via email attachments to or submitted via VCU FileLocker (FileDrop) to ORBIT’s email address. After submission, the proposal will be reviewed/discussed at the monthly Research Committee Meeting and the applicant will be notified with the results.

Once submitted, The PI will be assigned a “Navigator” who will follow up on progress toward the extramural grant submission.


The application should be submitted as one complete single-spaced word document with at least ½ inch margins and using a minimum 11 point font. Italicized instructions in the application should be removed prior to submission. Figures (if needed) should be embedded directly within the application document. Download the application here.


Applicants who have never achieved extramural funding are encouraged to submit a 1-page “concept” or contact a member of the research committee to discuss a potential concept. A member of the Research Committee will then review the concept with the Division Research Liaison from the applicant’s division or a suitable alternative. A detailed written review will be returned to the applicant with a recommendation of “approve” or “revise.” Once a concept is approved, a “Navigator” will be assigned (as above) that will work with the applicant to develop a complete proposal for submission. The Navigator will help in all aspects of the submission process including hypothesis generation, study design, grant writing, identification of collaborators, and IRB/IACUC regulatory requirements.


Proposals will be reviewed by the Department of Surgery Research Committee with additional assistance from expert ad-hoc reviewers. Individuals that have a role in the research or any conflicts of interest with the study or its outcomes will not be eligible to participate as reviewers. Applications will be reviewed at the next scheduled monthly Research Committee meeting. Additional consideration will be given to new investigators (never received federal funding) and early stage investigators (within 10 years of completion of training). The proposal will be presented by the Navigator, and the review will follow the NIH review guidelines and assign an overall score of 1 (best) to 9 (worst) with the best scores given to proposals that have highest likelihood of achieving extramural funding.

In addition, Individual scores of 1-9 will be given for each of the following five (5) categories


Proposals that require the use of vertebrate animals must be associated with an approved and active Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocol prior to the start of funding. If the proposal is approved for funding, the IACUC protocol will be reviewed by the research committee for congruency. However, the IACUC protocol will not be required at the time of submission.


Proposals that require the use human subjects must be associated with an approved and active Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocol prior to the start of funding. If the proposal is approved for funding, the IRB protocol will be reviewed by the research committee for congruency. However, the IRB protocol will not be required at the time of submission.


Unfunded applications may be re-submitted to the Internal Grant Program following the same guidelines as for the initial submission. All re-submitted applications MUST include a 1-page maximum response letter in which the investigator responds to the critiques from the original review. Significant changes in the application from the original submission should be highlighted with underline or italicized typeface.


In order to encourage and promote submission of extramural funding grant applications, VCU Department of Surgery will award “PEA”-type support to its faculty applicants for each grant submission according to the criteria below.

This support will be available to the faculty after submitting the following to Amanda Jabri (

Important Contact Information

Amanda Jabri
Office Coordinator, Surgery O.R.B.I.T.
Phone: (804) 828-8290

Research Committee and Associate Chairs
Martin J. Mangino, Ph.D., Associate Chair for Basic Research |

Adam P. Klausner, MD, Associate Chair for Clinical and Translational Research |