Internal Funding at VUMC

Current Internal Funding Opportunities

2017 Stanley Cohen Innovation Fund

Call for Applications - due March 13th 

The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is pleased to solicit applications for research awards from the Stanley Cohen Innovation Fund. The Cohen Fund supports high-risk, ground-breaking research with the potential to open new fields of scientific inquiry and biomedical impact. The awards honor Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry and 1986 Nobel Laureate Stanley Cohen, whose discovery of epidermal growth factor and its mechanism of action revolutionized our understanding of cellular signaling in fields of biomedical research such as development, wound healing, and cancer and led to high impact therapies across a range of diseases. Professor Cohen’s work will serve as the prototype for research that will be supported by the Fund.

Initial awards of up to $100,000 will be made from the Fund. Awardees can receive a second year of funding pending adequate progress. 

Applicants must be nominated by their Department Chair and only one nomination will be accepted from each department. Applications should contain a two-page description of the research plan with an appended budget and justification, a curriculum vitae and a brief letter of nomination by the Department Chair. Given the intent of the Fund, emphasis should be placed on the novelty of the proposed research and the potential for future discovery and impact. Research that is a continuation or incremental extension of ongoing research programs will not be considered. Nomination packages must be submitted as a PDF document to by March 13.

All applications will be forwarded to a review committee that will select final nominees. Finalists will be asked to give a presentation on their proposed research project to the committee in May 2017.

Learn more about the fund and previous awardees in this August 2016 Reporter article.

Bridge Funding

VUMC departments:  For more information, download the Bridge Funding guidelines (VUnet login required).

VU Basic Sciences Division of the SOM:  Please review information posted here:

Seasonal Internal Funding Opportunities

The National Cancer Institute has awarded Vanderbilt a $4.4 million, five-year grant to fund training for senior fellows and junior faculty for careers in cancer-oriented research. This is a renewal of a current grant program. The goal of the Vanderbilt Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Program is to train skilled clinician scientists who can design and implement clinical oncology trial research and lead translational research projects.
The deadline to apply for the grant is Feb. 1, and awards will be announced in April.

$25,000 – $50,000/year for one year
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center regularly solicits applications for pilot funding to support basic, translational, clinical or collaborative cancer research. Pilot funds allow investigators to collect preliminary data to support an application for independent research support through extramural, peer-reviewed funding.

Funding opportunities are provided through the following sources:

Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) [Cancer Center members only]
American Cancer Society - Institutional Research Grant (IRG) [junior investigators only]
SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence) in GI Cancer: Pilot Projects
SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence) in Breast Cancer: Pilot Projects

Calls for proposals are distributed throughout the year by email, online, and in campus publications. Award amounts and submission deadlines vary.

For more information about the above opportunities, please visit the Cancer Center’s Funding Opportunities page, or email

These awards are an internal funding program available to Vanderbilt University faculty with the intent of supporting innovative pilot studies in serotonin neurobiology. Up to $20,000 for one year; Investigators may reapply for a second year of funding, if appropriate. 

Up to $75,000/year (up to 3 years)
This is an internal career development award for faculty researchers pursuing basic, translational, or clinical research projects. Details of this award may be found at:

Applications are solicited for pilot projects to conduct basic, translational, clinical or collaborative research relating to digestive diseases. Applications will be considered in all areas of digestive disease research. Funds will support focused projects from individual investigators and are intended to provide support to collect preliminary data sufficient to support an application for independent research support through traditional NIH mechanisms. Funded projects will be made for one year for approximately $40,000.  There will be an opportunity to apply for a competitive renewal for a second year of funding for an additional $40,000.

For additional information please visit the DDRC website.  

Exceptional applicants at the junior faculty level with a high likelihood for progression to extramural funding and a successful career in investigative gastroenterology are eligible to be named as a DDRC Young Investigator. The Young Investigator will be awarded $25,000 annual salary support for a 12-24 month period.

For additional information please visit the DDRC website.  

This competition is open to Vanderbilt Kennedy Center faculty Investigators or Members for conducting pilot projects consistent with the mission of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. The Kennedy Center’s mission is to conduct and support collaborative research that investigates fundamental mechanisms of behavioral, cognitive, and brain development and plasticity relevant to developmental disabilities, across the lifespan. The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s aims are to better understand children’s development, to prevent and solve developmental problems, and to enable people with developmental disabilities to lead better lives. Due dates for submissions: annually in August

The Vanderbilt Diabetes Center, the Vanderbilt Diabetes Research and Training Center (DRTC), and the Vanderbilt Center for Diabetes Translation Research (CDTR) announce the availability of Pilot and Feasibility Grants in the following areas:


Translational or behavioral science research (Type II translational research) related to diabetes or obesity; this grant mechanism is open to junior faculty members, investigators from other fields wishing to bring their expertise to diabetes- or obesity-related research, and investigators currently conducting diabetes-related research who are proposing a new research direction.  For the purpose of this announcement, Type II translation is defined as research focused on translating interventions/ approaches that have clearly demonstrated efficacy into real world health care settings, communities, and populations at risk.

Click here for translational or behavioral science P&F website


Basic or clinical research related to diabetes, metabolism, or obesity; this grant mechanism is open to junior faculty members, investigators from other fields wishing to bring their expertise to diabetes- or obesity-related research, and investigators currently conducting diabetes-related research who are proposing a new research direction.

Click here for basic or clinical research P&F website


Diabetes- or obesity-related pilot studies that utilize one of these Vanderbilt resources: VICB High-Throughput Screening Facility, BioVU, or the Mass Spectrometry Research Center; this grant mechanism is open to any Vanderbilt faculty member.

Click here for high-throughput screening, BioVu or Mass Spec P&F website


The deadline for application for all three types of Pilot and Feasibility Grants is January 16, 2017. Printed copies of applications may be delivered any time the week of January 16th.  Investigators can apply to one or more funding mechanisms. The monies allocated will be from $30-50,000 per year for 1 to 2 years as decided by the application review panel.  The grant template and additional program information is available at the websites above.


A budget is not submitted until the project is funded.