Dear colleagues,

As you read in President Rao’s email earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Education has named Virginia Commonwealth University a minority-serving eligible institution (MSI), effective July 1. This formal identification of VCU as an institution that serves a high percentage of minority students allows us to explore new research opportunities.

This notification brings a significant benefit to our faculty as well as our students. With this designation, VCU is now eligible to compete for grants under Title III of the Higher Education Act, allowing researchers to apply for certain funding opportunities which are either open to institutions such as MSIs or are open only to MSIs.

Check funding sponsors’ websites for more information on opportunities specifically available to MSIs. Researchers and scholars at MSIs are crucial to advancing the frontiers of knowledge. To remain competitive, we must continue to demonstrate institutional commitment and support for our minority students and support their success and renew this designation each year.

More details will be available soon, but meanwhile, please visit to learn more.


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