Research Resources

VUMC Research Resources

Below is an extensive list of research-related resources for researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC).

  • CORE Grants
    The CORE grants program is a uniform centralized research grant application, review, and administration process for grants from the AAO-HNSF and specialty societies.

    Currently the following societies participate in the program:

    • American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNSF)
    • American Head and Neck Society (AHNS)
    • Association of Migraine Disorders (AMD)
    • American Neurotology Society (ANS)
    • American Rhinologic Society (ARS)
    • American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ASPO)

    General information – the link to the list of funding opportunities for the current cycle (this can change each year) is at the bottom of the page. Eligibility criteria are listed in the description of each specific grant.


    Funding Opportunity Announcements Released: October-November
    LOI Deadline:  Mid-December
    Application Deadline: Mid-January
    Initial Review by CORE Study Section: Mid-January – Early March
    CORE Study Section In-Person Meeting: Third Weekend of March
    Review by governing bodies: April – May
    Granting societies make funding decisions: June


    Eligibility: Vanderbilt and Meharry investigators, including medical students, residents, fellows, and faculty. A trainee (student, resident, fellow) who is designated as the PI on a VICTR resource request should list the mentor on the application and upload a letter of support.

    Fundable studies: clinical and translational projects that involve human subjects, human tissue, human cell lines, human information (e.g., medical records), and have application to human health.

    VICTR funding guidelines – lists of resources than can and cannot be funded through VICTR; CTSA budget periods; project periods

    Vouchers (Requests < $2,000): Requests < $2,000 qualify for administrative review. Vouchers have a 1-year funding period with a one-time extension.  A researcher is allowed 2 voucher requests in a one-year period.  Each research project can only have 1 voucher. Vouchers have a 3-month expiration date with a onetime extension of 3 months for a total award period of 6 months. If no additional information is requested during the review, a funding decision will be emailed in 2-4 working days.

    Expedited (VICTR Resource Requests > $2,000 but ≤ $10,000): Requests > $2,000 but ≤ $10,000 qualify for expedited review (by an expedited SRC reviewer).  A VICTR 5-page proposal and the PI’s biosketch are required to be uploaded in the “documents” section of the application. Additional documents may be required based on resources requested. All applications undergo a pre-review process within a week of submission. During the pre-review you may be asked for clarification or additional information. Once a request passes pre-review, the application is reviewed by a designated SRC reviewer.  If no additional information is requested during the course of the entire review, a funding decision will be emailed within 3 to 4 weeks.

    Other applications reviewed as Expedited: Amendments, NIH-Funded requests (Applicants currently have NIH funding and will pay for CRC resources), Industry Sponsored Only requests (Applicants have sponsor funding that will pay for the resources requested)

    Full Committee (VICTR Resource Requests > $10,000 but < $100,000): Requests > $10,000 require full VICTR SRC committee review; this includes amendments that increase cumulative budget to ≥ $10,000. A VICTR 5-page proposal and the PI’s biosketch are required to be uploaded in the “documents” section of the application. Additional documents may be required based on resources requested. All applications undergo a pre-review process within a week of submission. Once a request passes pre-review, it is placed on the next available SRC agenda for review.

    The VICTR SRC requires the principal investigator or a representative (someone who worked to design the study and will be responsible for its conduct) to present to the committee a 5-minute overview of the study and the resources requested, as well as respond to questions from the committee. Presenters will be asked to leave during committee discussion.

    Following the presentations, the committee reviews each proposal, and assigns the proposal a score. Funding by VICTR is directly related to the availability of funds.  Proposals with the highest scores are funded immediately. Those falling below the funding line (which varies depending on the availability of funds) are put on hold until such time as funds are available. The SRC meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at noon, with the first half of the meeting devoted to investigator presentations. The committee’s funding decision will be emailed within 3-4 business days after the meeting.  If no additional information is requested during the course of the entire review, a funding decision will be emailed within 4 to 5 weeks from submission.

    Executive Committee (VICTR Resource Requests ≥ $100,000): Requests ≥ $100,000 require full VICTR SRC and VICTR Executive Committee review; this includes amendments that increase the cumulative budget to >$100,000. All applications undergo a pre-review process within a week after submission during which you may be asked for clarification or additional information. Once a request passes pre-review, it is placed on the next available SRC agenda for review. The PI is invited to give a brief presentation to the SRC. The SRC will give a funding decision recommendation; however, a funding decision will not be made until reviewed by the VICTR Executive Committee.


    Apply though the VICTR Resource Request Application

    Templates and forms – templates, forms, and examples for resource request applications

    Application requirements and necessary documents

    Key application documents:

    • VICTR Research Proposal (Limited to 5 pages)

    • Not required for requests <=$2000 or requests for resources to be paid for through external funding. All requests for BioVU samples require a proposal.
    • Proposal should include the following sections: Specific Aims and Hypothesis, Background and Significance, Preliminary Studies/Progress Report, Research Design and Methods, Sample size justification and statistical analysis plan, Literature Cited (Not included in 5-page limit)
    • PI & Co‐PI Biosketches

    • Letters of support from collaborators

    • Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria and Schedule of Events if the study is clinical

    • Quotes: VU/VUMC core services, Investigational Drug Services, equipment, research supplies above $1000. If you request funding for a resource not provided by a core facility, you must obtain a quote from the service provider.

    Proposal Review Criteria:

    • Significance
    • Approach
    • Innovation
    • Investigators
    • Environment
    • Relevance to VICTR Goals:
      • How does the study promote the training/career of a young investigator?
      • Will the study advance the development of preliminary data for an important grant submission, e.g., an R01, P01, K23, R21, SCCOR, etc.?
      • What is the probability of the study resulting in a publication?
      • Does the study improve the translational research infrastructure at the institution?
      • Is the project multidisciplinary?
      • For relevant studies: Will the project enhance community health?

    Career development awards

    List of Vanderbilt K12 and equivalent faculty career development programs with application instructions

    Funded grants repository

    Includes more than 100 examples of NIH K and R grants, as well as some other types, and also a few non-NIH grants

    Grant writing resources

    Includes information on requesting a VICTR Letter of Support and grant template language for various VUMC resources

    Grant pacing workshops

    Workshops for postdocs and early career faculty preparing career development (K-equivalent) awards or R01s; held each year leading up to the October NIH submission deadline. The page also has links to additional resources such as grant development checklists.

  • Required training: Human Subjects & Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Training

    Human subjects training is required for all human research studies and must be renewed annually.

    GCP training is required for anyone who is involved in the conduct, oversight, or management of clinical trials and must be renewed every three years. Access training modules here.

    DISCOVR-e (IRB Submission Portal)

    The Vanderbilt University Medical Center IRB's web portal for submissions, amendments, continuing reviews, and study closures. Log in to start a submission here.

    DISCOVR-e Help – User manual, FAQs, and info regarding department chair/division chief sign-off


    A VUMC electronic research management system required for the initiation of ALL human subjects research that optimizes compliance between various regulatory processes necessary for conducting clinical research. eSMART shares data with multiple systems, including eSTAR, PEER, DISCOVR-e, COEUS and VICTR and enables researchers to track their clinical research studies online.

    A study must be started in eSMART if the study includes:

    • A clinical intervention
    • Use of clinical space, clinical supplies, or approved/investigational medications/devices.
    • Research-related orders placed in eSTAR
    • Use of any VUMC COREs, including CRC
    • Any clinical services (radiology, pharmacy, lab, etc.)
    • VICTR application

    You can start directly in eSMART or DISCOVER-e will direct you to eSMART when setting up a new study that includes any of the above.

    eSMART User Guide

    Useful links

    Consent form templates

    Consent form template language for specific cases

    Tool kit – investigator’s handbook, guide to determining the appropriate IRB application for your research, protocol development tools, info, and resources

    Information for study teams using a single IRB for multi-site studies either as a lead site or a relying site.

    Text Readability Checker – online tool for determining the readability level of patient-facing written materials (in general, investigators should aim for a 6th-8th grade reading level)

    IRB Exchange (IREx)

    Web-based portal supporting single IRB review documentation and coordination for multi-center clinical trials.

    Frequently Asked Questions about setting up and using IREx for your multisite, single IRB study

    Info and resources for the lead site / coordinating center study team of a multisite study with a single IRB.  

    Info and resources for relying sites participating in a multisite study with a single IRB.

    Estimates of IRB review times

    Exempt or Expedited: about 1-2 weeks (6 days median review time according to IRB website)

    Full committee: around 4 weeks (17 days median review time according to IRB website)

    For industry sponsored studies, IRB approval is not extended without an executed contract.

  • Portal for access to all VICTR resources

    Information on applying for VICTR resources


    Studios are structured, dynamic sessions that bring together relevant research experts in a particular methodology to focus on a specific stage of research.

    Eligibility: Any Vanderbilt or Meharry Investigator (Medical/Graduate Student through Professor)

    Studio Types

    Hypothesis Generation Studio will assist investigators with generating clear, concise, meaningful, and innovative research questions and hypotheses that ultimately lead to funded, executed, and productive projects.

    Design Studio will assist investigators with developing improved research protocols that take advantage of the breadth of study design options available to address the specific research hypotheses.

    Implementation Studio will assist investigators with executing and monitoring research projects that adhere to the best standards in research methods.

    Specific Aims Studio offers critical review of the Specific Aims to answer the following questions: 1.) Is there a clear over-arching hypothesis to the grant?  2.) Do the specific aims represent testable hypotheses that develop logically from the main focus of the grant? 3) Are the aims feasible or over ambitious? 4) Are the aims interdependent/interconnected? 5) Are they mechanistic or descriptive?  The goal is to provide a solid foundation on which the investigator can develop a strong research proposal.

    Grant Review Studio offers a critical review of the research strategy and overall grantsmanship to enhance the chance of funding. More specifically, this focused studio will examine the scope of the specific aims, the background and significance, the preliminary studies, and the research design/methods.

    Manuscript Studio offers critical review of the draft manuscript to enhance the chance of publication in the preferred journal. This focused studio helps target appropriate journals for publication and assists the researcher in presenting the data in the most compelling manner.

    Community Engagement Studio brings together community members/stakeholders.

    Clinical Research Center

    The Clinical Research Center is an inpatient and outpatient research facility dedicated to conducting clinical research patient care. The CRC provides space, hospitalization cost, laboratories, equipment, and staff for clinical research. This fee-for-service, institutionally approved research core facility is available to any credentialed faculty and staff with a VICTR Scientific Review Committee-approved study.

    CRC pricing and quote request information

    Research subject recruitment resources

    Recruitment resources and information

    EHR-based subject recruitment resources

    EHR tools can be used to identify, screen, and/or recruit participants (via My Health at Vanderbilt). The EHR Recruitment Support team is available to consult with research teams to recommend the most applicable tool(s) based on study-specific goals and characteristics.

    REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture)

    REDCap is a secure web platform for building and managing online databases and surveys. REDCap provides automated export procedures for seamless data downloads to Excel and common statistical packages (SPSS, SAS, Stata, R), as well as a built-in project calendar, a scheduling module, ad hoc reporting tools, and advanced features, such as branching logic, file uploading, and calculated fields. REDCap databases can also be configured to pull data directly from the electronic medical record (Epic).

    REDCap Help & FAQs (login to REDCap required to access):

    Searchable database providing detailed overview/instructions for most REDCap features. Accessible directly within REDCap by clicking “Help & FAQ” from the “Help & Information” section of the main menu panel.

    REDCap training videos (login to REDCap required to access)

    REDCap FAQ for Vanderbilt/Meharry users

    Data Resources

    Access all VICTR data resources from here.

    A few of the available resources are listed below:


    BioVU is Vanderbilt's biobank of DNA extracted from leftover and otherwise discarded clinical blood specimens. BioVU subjects are de-identified and linked to the Synthetic Derivative (SD) enabling researchers to access genetic data/DNA material as well as dense, longitudinal electronic medical record (EMR) information.

    Synthetic Derivative (SD)

    The SD contains all clinical information from Vanderbilt’s EMR but stripped of personal identifiers.

    Record Counter

    The Record Counter provides exploratory data figures for research planning purposes and feasibility assessment. The Record Counter allows the user to input basic medical data, such as ICD 9 codes or text keywords, e.g., lung cancer, as well as demographic information, and then search the Synthetic Derivative to determine the approximate number of records that meet those criteria. 

    Research Derivative (RD)

    The RD is a fully identified repository of clinical data drawn from the electronic medical record (Epic, StarPanel, the Enterprise Data Warehouse, HEO, and other sources).

  • Vanderbilt Department of Biostatistics

    The Vanderbilt Department of Biostatistics offers several tools and services to the Vanderbilt research community.

    Power & Sample Size Tool (PS) – An interactive program for performing power and sample size calculations. It can be run off the internet or downloaded for free.

    Biostatistics Clinics (M-F noon-1:15pm) – A free service staffed by the Department of Biostatistics open to all members of the Vanderbilt/Meharry communities who have methodologic questions about their research projects or about published articles. Mentors are required to attend clinics with all trainees (e.g., students, residents, postdoc fellows). Registration is required.

    Biostats Project Support/Consultation Funded thru VICTR Resource Requests (VRR) – VICTR support to provide biostatistical consulting/support by a staff biostatistician. Guidelines for VICTR biostats support application for up to $5,000 (90 hrs).

    Statistical Computing Series – A monthly event for learning various aspects of modern statistical computing from practitioners in the Department of Biostatistics focused on topics related to the R language, Python, and related tools.

    Biostatistics Collaboration Center (BCC)

    The Biostatistics Collaboration Center (BCC) is a VUMC-sponsored core resource that provides, enhances, and/or facilitates statistical collaborations involving the design, conduct, analysis, or publication of biomedical research at Vanderbilt. Biostatisticians in the department have considerable experience in designing, conducting, and analyzing large-scale clinical trials and in research design for basic biomedical research.

  • Full list of VUMC core facilities.

    VU Basic Sciences core facilities.

    All VU core facilities.

    iLab – online portal to request and pay for VUMC Cores services

    A few of the available core facilities are listed below:

    Clinical Informatics Core

    The Clinical Informatics Core offers 1) clinical data extraction and analysis, 2) design and build of EHR interventions, including clinical decision support tools, 3) predictive model implementation, 4) value set and logic development, and 5) general clinical informatics consultation.


    The Vanderbilt Technologies for Advanced Genomics (VANTAGE) core provides researchers with guided access to a diverse and comprehensive set of genomics tools, including next-generation sequencing, Sanger sequencing, high-, mid- and low-throughput genotyping, expression microarray, flow cytometry, and bio-banking. The BioVU DNA repository is operated by and housed within VANTAGE.


    The mission of the VANGARD core is to consolidate the genomics data pipeline across the university and allow investigators to leverage the opportunities provided by next-generation sequencing and state-of-the-art genomics technologies. VANGARD operates in conjunction with VANTAGE, providing experimental design, quality assessment of data, quantitative genomic data analysis and results interpretation, and data storage. VANGARD also provides biostatistical and bioinformatics support for all genomic experiments that utilize BioVU specimens.


    Vanderbilt’s high-performance computing cluster. All ACCRE hardware resources are housed in the University’s secure data center and administered by a team of ACCRE system administrators. In addition to the high-performance computing system, ACCRE has several terabytes of disk and a robotic tape storage system. All users’ '/home' directories are backed up daily.

  • Learning Exchange

    VUMC’s primary online training portal, used to complete institutionally required compliance and service training as well as online training segments for eStar access. It provides online training and live training registration for a wide variety of VUMC processes, systems, and topics.

    Clinical Research Immersion “Boot Camp”

    This free session (half day on two successive days) provides clinical research staff with the fundamentals of clinical research. It presents an overview of the requirements and processes necessary for the conduct of clinical research at VUMC, with direction to internal and external sources.

    Clinical Research Center (CRC) Research Skills Weekly Workshops

    The weekly CRC Research Skills Workshops offer basic instruction and practical advice on commonly encountered clinical research topics. Sessions are typically demonstration-oriented and provide an informal setting to learn new skills. Sessions are free, open to anyone at VU, VUMC, or Meharry (there is no registration), and offer 1 CME credit per workshop. A list of upcoming workshops and instructions on how to sign up to receive weekly email reminders, as well as archives of past workshop topics (with attached slides/handouts) and presentation recordings, are available via the above link.

    Self-paced scientific writing course from the BRET office

    CQS Summer Institute offers the following 5-day courses in August: Big Data in Biomedical Research, Introduction to Causal Inference, Regression and Modeling in R

    Information on auditing Vanderbilt courses

    Vanderbilt’s Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) program

    MSCI courses may be taken individually without enrolling in the degree program.

    Clinical and Translational Scientist Development Program – resources for early career investigators