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Grant Administration

The Dean’s office would like to help facilitate the writing process. Although the PI is responsible for providing the research specific part of these grant applications, most also require extensive information about the institution, training and educational support, diversity initiatives, and outcomes. Our office has compiled boilerplate text about the institution and resources below. As always, please provide ample turnaround time to ensure timely completion if you request letters. Please use the linked documents as is or in a modified form in your applications.


Letter of Support Request

When submitting proposals for grant funding or award nominations, most require including a letter of support from the institution. The Office of the Dean for the School of Medicine Basic Sciences recognizes this. To promptly provide these letters of support, please use the link below to complete a RedCap survey to ensure the forwarding of your request to the correct person. We ask that this survey be submitted four weeks before the submission deadline to provide ample time for revisions and proper forwarding. Requests for letters of support that ask for specific financial, space, or other material resource commitments from the institution should be submitted at least 30 days before the preferred grant submission date.

Please provide as much information about the funding mechanism or award as possible. Including your most recent CV is required, and a draft letter for use as a template is greatly encouraged.


School of Medicine Basic Sciences Letter of Support Request Survey


Templates and Style Guide:

Template documents are available for use in preparing your draft letter of support. They are offered as guidance, not rules. Also, VU and VUMC have adopted a Style Guide. It provides useful tips, such as language for how to refer to each entity (VU and VUMC) when writing drafts.

S10 Example Letter of Support (PDF)
Style Guide (PDF)


Grant Ready Text and Templates

Most grant applications require extensive information about the institution, training and educational support, and shared resources. The Dean’s office has compiled text and links to institutional resources, which are available below. Click on the links below to access text and supporting documents. Please use the linked documents as is or in a modified form in your applications.


NIH Grant TemplatesResource and Leadership plan templates with example language you can use when writing NIH grants.
Data Management and Sharing Policy GuidanceBasic Sciences and institutional specific guidance for the new NIH-Data Management and Sharing Plan policy.
School of Medicine Basic Sciences Core FacilitiesList of the School of Medicine Basic Sciences Cores and Shared Resources with links to websites, equipment/resource lists, and boilerplate language for grant writing.
Vanderbilt University Research Development and SupportInstitutional boilerplate language, guides, and resources to assist in the grant writing process.
Biomedical Research Education and Training (BRET)Boilerplate language and supporting documents for use in the creation of training grants and fellowships
VBS Institutional Information - NIHInstitutional boilerplate information about Basic Sciences for use in NIH and NIH-type grant proposals.
VBS Institutional Information - FoundationsInstitutional boilerplate information about Basic Sciences for use in Foundation and other non-NIH grant proposals.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center Research Core FacilitiesComprehensive List of VUMC research cores and shared resources (must reach out to each core for boilerplate language)
VU Core Facilities (including non-VBS Cores)Comprehensive list of VU research cores and shared resources (must reach out to each non-VBS core for boilerplate language)


Grant Studios

Studios are structured, dynamic sessions that combine relevant research experts in a particular methodology to focus on a specific research goal. Studios are intended to enhance research quality, improve funding success, increase publications, and generate new hypotheses.

Studio Types:

  • Hypothesis Generation Studio (assist investigators with generating clear, concise, meaningful, and innovative research questions and hypotheses) 
  • Design Studio (assist investigators with developing improved research protocols to address specific research hypotheses) 
  • Specific Aims Studio (a critical review of the Specific Aims to provide a solid foundation for the investigator to develop a robust research proposal) 
  • Grant Review Studio (a critical review of the research strategy and overall grantsmanship to enhance the chance of funding) 
  • Manuscript Studio (a critical review of the draft manuscript to improve the chance for publication) 
  • and more…


To request a Studio, submit a VICTR Resource Request; Click here for step-by-step guidance on completing the VRR. Please note that they typically need at least 3-4 weeks notice to schedule a Studio. You must log in to StarBRITE with your VUMC VUNET ID (Dual Identity).

For additional questions, please contact: Lesa Black, Studio Manager – or 615-343-1899


Grant Closeout Guidance

Closeout of an award is the process by which NIH determines that the recipient and NIH have completed all applicable administrative actions and all required work of an award. It is the Principal Investigator’s (PI) ‘s, along with the grant administrator’s and the Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) Office’s responsibility to complete the closeout of a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement. The guidelines established by the agency are specific to the award, and you must follow them as appropriate. It may be necessary to work with the Office of Contracts and Grants Accounting (OCGA) and the SPA Awards Management Team for verification and/or submission of required reports.


NIH Closeout Report Requirements:


Preparation for closeout should begin three months before the award’s end date to forecast expenses accurately and to make any necessary adjustments to new entries. This time allowance also provides an opportunity to determine the necessity of a no cost extension. (See “No Cost Extension Guidelines” for further assistance.) If a no-cost extension is not needed, the award should be closed out per the sponsor’s guidelines, and you should submit all relevant closeout reports no later than 120 days after the project end date. The required items’ submission guidelines are in the Notice of Award Agreement. Failure to submit timely and accurate final reports may affect future funding to the organization and/or awards with the same PD/PI. Contact the SPA Award Management Team for additional assistance.


We welcome your feedback and suggestions. Please send any comments to Selene Colon in the Office of the Vice Dean.