Administrative

The website of the National Association of Veterans’ Research and Education Foundations is a great source of information.  It can be found at www.navref.org.

Yes.  VRFP administers government grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements both as prime and sub awardee.

The statute authorizing the establishment of nonprofit corporations at VA facilities prohibits us from administering funds for anything other than VA approved research or education activities.

All funds accepted by VRFP must be accompanied (or preceded) by correspondence in the form of an executed grant, contract, agreement or donor letter.

Checks must be made payable to the Veterans Research Foundation of Pittsburgh.  The federal tax identification number is 25-1666090.  Checks payable to other entities or cash will not accepted by VRFP.  Please see our Contact Us page for mailing and courier addresses.

You need VA approval and Funding:

VA approval—In order to have a VRFP account you must have one of the following:

  1. R & D Committee approved research project
  2. Education activity that’s been approved by the Education Committee

Funding—All VRFP funds are derived from one of the following sources:

  1. Donation accompanied by a letter on company letterhead (if the donation is from a company) stating the purpose of the donation and any restrictions imposed.
  2. Research agreement signed by a VRFP official (PIs cannot sign for VRFP)
  3. Grant from a governmental agency, private foundation or company.

No.  However, each VA-approved research project may have more than one sponsorship source that VRFP administers in a discrete account.

No.  Congress has given the VA nonprofits the authority to administer funds for employee or patient education, activities designed to promote the exchange of information, and continuing medical education activities, provided that such activities are consistent with the VA health care mission.

Funds donated for education may be used for some of the same general expenses that researchers have such as travel for educational purposes, to purchase books or journals or to pay memberships to organizations in furtherance of your research, as long as they are not in conflict with the purpose stated on your Education Activity Request or the donor’s letter.  Examples of expenditures that are not appropriate for educational funds are subject fees and lab supplies.

Most grants are required to be spent down or have any remaining balances returned to the sponsor.  If the investigator is allowed to keep any balance at the end of an award, these funds are transferred to a residual account to be used towards general research and educational activities.

Review VRFP Fast Facts for information to assist in completing your grant application.  If you require additional information contact VRFP’s administrative office.

Contracts and Grants

VRFP does not negotiate a fringe benefit rate but rather charges the actual cost of each employee’s fringe benefits to awards.  For purposes of grant applications benefit costs are estimated as closely as possible. We recommend the rate of 40% for full time employees and 30% for part time.

VRFP currently does not have a federally negotiated rate. We require that all proposals have a 23% indirect costs rate built into the budget.

Review VRFP Fast Facts for information to assist in completing your grant application.

Due to our close relationship with the University of Pittsburgh, we do not engage in consulting agreements with Pitt employees.  Depending on the situation, we may be able to enter into a Joint Personnel agreement with Pitt to reimburse the University for an employee’s salary

No.  If you have a collaborator who is dually appointed at a VA facility and its affiliated University, it may be permissible to budget payment via a subcontract.  Check with the Executive Director prior to making arrangements.

VRFP was established to support research and education projects.  Any VA Investigators wishing to pursue consulting agreements must do so on their own time and may contact the Office of General Counsel for an Ethics opinion.

No.  VRFP is established to support research and education projects, and can administer funds donated to support research or education.

  1. Contact the VAPHS Research office for instructions on how to obtain the appropriate approvals.
  2. Provide VRFP with a copy of the instructions (or a website on which to find them) for grant submission.
  3. Submit a complete copy of your application packet and any correspondence you’ve had with the grantor to the VRFP office.
  4. We will review the budget and check the application for inaccuracies and discuss remedies with you.

VRFP staff will work with the PI or study coordinator to review what should be invoiced.  Under no circumstances should a PI or their staff bill a sponsor directly.

Payments should be mailed to:

Veterans Research Foundations of Pittsburgh
University Drive C (151) Bldg 30 Ground Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15240

No.  We do not allow concurrent VRFP employment of a full-time VA employee.

This is determined on a case by case basis.  Please confirm with VRFP office staff before making any personnel commitments.

Generally, office supplies cannot be charged to a grant; instead, these items are charged to a residual account.  However, in some cases this may be allowed depending on source of sponsorship and allowable expenditures detailed in the grant.

Industry Supported Research

Contact VRFP Office staff for questions on this process.

Collaborative research with other entities such as pharmaceutical and biotech companies will require a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), signed by both the VAPHS Medical Center Director and  VRFP’s Executive Director.  Because VRFP administers VA Research our contracts and agreements are sent to VA attorneys for review and negotiation.  Please review the VRFP Manual of Operations for further instructions.

 

Please send an email notification to VRFP office staff. You will be required to complete a study Closeout Form

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