Dear colleagues,

Happy New Year! As we start the semester, it is my honor to share some exciting news: the National Science Foundation, which tracks federally funded research expenditures, has announced that VCU ranks #58 of 415 public research universities, compared to #65 last year, according to the Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) FY 2020 survey released Dec. 27, 2021. 

This significant gain in national ranking also reflects our growing prominence and the truly amazing work of our faculty, trainees, students and staff across all campuses and disciplines, despite the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in research productivity, including grant submissions, awards, expenditures has resulted in the rise of not only overall national ranking, but also several of the individual areas of research. Based on federally financed R&D expenditures for FY20, several of VCU’s research areas featured in the top 50 of NSF’s national rankings among all public research universities and include:

  • #12 in liberal arts and other non-science disciplines
  • #32 in psychology
  • #33 in health sciences                                                                       
  • #38 in Department of Health and Human Services funding
  • #44 in life sciences
  • #50 in biological and biomedical sciences

As you know, the One VCU Research Strategic Priorities Plan has been developed to not only keep pace with ongoing research, but also to accelerate transformative innovation and VCU’s increased research prominence. The OVPRI and the Office of the Provost have recently committed new and expanded research funding opportunities to support research across our four key research initiatives - including arts, humanities and social sciences. This significant increase in internal research funding demonstrates VCU’s strong commitment to its faculty, trainees, staff and students towards the growth of its current and future research and innovation. I encourage all of you, no matter what field you are in, to review the information outlining the various funding opportunities, requirements and goals and to apply ahead of the various deadlines for these applications. As the One VCU Research Strategic Priorities Plan awards are announced in the coming months, the funded projects will contribute to increased extramural funding, professional growth and development of faculty, staff and students and above all: improving the human condition.

I am grateful for your commitment to making a difference every day and for your readiness to tackle society’s grand challenges. I look forward to collaborating with you all and wish you another highly productive and rewarding year in 2022.

P. Srirama Rao, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research and Innovation