Research Development Service

The CERSE Research Development Service (RDS) is a comprehensive support service available to assist faculty in developing and engaging in disability and rehabilitation research. From locating research opportunities and preparing budgets, to providing research assistant support and aiding study closure, the RDS is available to support scholars through any stage of the research process:

Pre-Award Services

Proposal Development

  • Assist in research agenda development for junior faculty
  • Collaborate with faculty to shape current research ideas
  • Conduct funding searches for internal and external opportunities
  • Idenitify collaborators
    • Internal and external
    • Individuals and institutions

Proposal Preparation

  • Interpret agency guidelines and contract language
  • Assist with letters of intent and pre-proposals
  • Assist with agency forms
  • Draft boilerplate language on facilities, resources, and additional topics
  • Develop and review internal and external budgets
  • Collect resumes and biosketches
  • Collect documents from consultants and collaborating institutions
  • Review, edit, and format proposal text and references
  • Review entire proposal for compliance
  • Collaborate with OSP
  • Copy, mail, or upload proposals
  • Aid in quote acquisitions
  • Assist with human subjects (IRB) and animal (IACUC) applications
  • Assist with interpreting agency reviews and submitting revised proposals
Post-Award Services
  • Provide research administration support
  • Project planning and management 
  • Assist with financial management, budgeting, and compliance with fiscal regulations
  • Identify resources necessary for grant operations
  • Offer access to research coordinators with rehabilitation and neuroscience backgrounds
  • Provide methodology, database, and statistical support
  • Assist with federal, state, and local research subject protection compliance
  • Assistance with VCU IRB submissions
  • Provide support with protocol modifications 
  • Assist with consent and assent form development 
  • Facilitate IRB continuing review submissions
  • Conduct project evaluation
Non-Clinical Research Coordination Service

The CERSE Non-Clinical Research Study Coordination Service is composed of dedicated research staff with expertise in protocol management, study implementation, and study coordination. The unit consists of research coordinators and research assistants with experience in developing and conducting research in both biomedical and behavioral disciplines. The Non-Clinical Research Study Coordination Service offers proficient assistance with the following items:

Preparation and Submission
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Scientific Review Committee (SRC) application
  • Protocols
  • Consent forms
  • Approach letters and recruitment materials
  • Gathering and completing regulatory documents
  • Coordinating and facilitating site-initiation visits
  • Designing databases
Study Coordination
  • Recruiting and screening subjects
  • Assisting with determining eligibility
  • Obtaining consent for minimal-risk studies
  • Scheduling research procedures
  • Facilitating research visits
  • Coordinating shipment of research specimens
  • Managing data collection
  • Preparing and submitting IRB amendments and renewals
  • Explaining study basics to subjects and families
Study Closeout
  • Coordinating and monitoring study closeout visits
  • Verifying that studies meet IRB standards for study closure
  • Preparing and submitting IRB closure notification
  • Performing data resolution
  • Facilitating research file and data storage
VCU Emergent Clinical Trial and Observation Recruitment Program

With support from the Dean of the School of Medicine, CERSE formed the VCU Emergent Clinical Trial and Observation Recruitment (VECTOR) program to maximize collaboration, productivity, and efficiency in the recruitment of patients into clinical trials and observational studies at VCU. The primary mission of the program is to facilitate clinical research conducted by dedicated investigators in an ethical, regulatory compliant, and fiscally responsible manner. VECTOR research assistants propagate the screening and enrollment of subjects into IRB-approved clinical trials and observational studies by conducting Emergency Department patient interviews in the evening, overnight, during work hours, and provide 24-hour coverage on weekends. Additionally, VECTOR research assistants may provide aid in the administration of study drugs or interventions, collect and process biological fluid samples, and perform electronic data entry for research studies. VECTOR assists several different types of research projects, including NIH, DoD, and industry sponsored research, as well as unfunded pilot projects conducted by junior faculty.

  • Screening human research participants for studies
  • Interviewing subjects and obtaining their written informed consent (for observational studies and low-risk studies)
  • Processing blood and/or other biofluid samples collected from subjects by the nursing staff
  • Entering results from study case report forms into study-specific electronic databases