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Enhancing the Health of Veterans through Research and Education

Special Foundation Programs

Travel Stipend for Funded VA Investigators

The PVARF will provide each funded “VA investigator” with support to attend two scientific meetings per calendar year, not to exceed $2,000 total,  where an abstract submitted by the investigator has been accepted for presentation (talk or poster). A “VA investigator” is defined as being eligible to receive VA research funds from Medical Research, HSR&D, RR&D or Cooperative Studies. The following conditions must be met:

The investigator is principal investigator (PI) who is or has been a PI on a peer-reviewed grant from the VA or NIH that was active either last year or is active this calendar year. For VA Cooperative studies, PI is the study chair.

To utilize this program, prior to committing any personal expenses, the investigator should forward a copy of the notification that the abstract has been accepted to the Deputy ACOS, Research Service for approval that the investigator is eligible to have the trip in question reimbursed under this policy.

  • If approved for use of the travel stipend, all expenses related to the meeting (s) will be covered up to a maximum of $2,000. These include abstract submission fees, registrations, airfares, hotesl, per diems, and other expenses related to travel as described in the section above. Cash advances for travel will not be provided. A request for reimbursement utilizing the PVARF Travel Reimbursement form and the approved travel stipend funding letter should be forwarded to the PVARF administrative office after the trip is completed. All guidelines for reimbursement listed in the section above must be followed.

This program for support of VA investigators will be reviewed each year by the PVARF Board of Directors and extended only if the Board concludes that sufficient reserve funds are available to continue it. No commitments can be made that this current program will be continued in future years.

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Visiting Scientist Program- Only one per PI per year

PVARF will allow a group of at least three (3) VA investigators to invite a scientist to visit the Portland VA Medical Center for the purpose of delivering a seminar and meeting with VA scientists individually to discuss research. Ideal uses of this program will be to promote collaborations or solicit input on pending grant applications. The target audience for the seminar would be the entire Research Service. The sponsoring PIs should advise the speaker that a presentation on the level of a Scientific American article would be ideal, rather than a talk targeted at a group of experts in a highly focused area. An individual PI may host only one (1) visiting scientist per academic year (September-June).

Funds will be provided by PVARF for the following expenses:

Hotel for 1-2 nights (maximum $225.00per night)

Dinner with the visitor and up to 4 VA scientists. (Please follow the Business Meeting Expenses policy)

Round trip air fare (coach class)

Incidental expenses (taxi, airport parking)

Prior approval from the ACOS/R&D is required. To utilize this program three (3) funded PIs should jointly sign a memo listing the name of the visiting scientist and requesting that he or she is approved for the program. This should be sent to the ACOS/R&D along with a copy of the individual’s curriculum vitae.

If the request is approved, the group of investigators is responsible for extending the invitation and setting up the itinerary. A copy of the final itinerary should be sent to the ACOS/R&D. The PVARF office will reserve a room, prepare the announcement and provide lunch for the seminar.

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Defraying Printing Costs for Posters

The PVARF will cover poster printing costs for VA investigators presenting primary research data at scientific meetings. To be eligible, the data to be presented must be from an R&D approved project and the PI must submit a completed PDF of the poster to the R&D Office using the form found here at least 7 business days prior to meeting departure. The poster must acknowledge VA research support and VA employment according to the following:

PROCEDURES FOR ACKNOWLEDGING VA RESEARCH SUPPORT AND VA EMPLOYMENT

  1. Acknowledgement of VA Research Support.
    1. “This material is based upon work supported (or supported in part) by the Office of Research and Development (add as applicable Medical Research Service, Rehabilitation R&D Service, Health Services R&D Service, or Cooperative Studies Program), Department of Veterans Affairs.”
    2. If VA provided no direct research funding, but the research involved the use of other VA resources, e.g., facilities or patients, publications or presentations must contain a similar acknowledgement. For example, “This material is the result of work supported with resources and the use of facilities at the (name and location of VA medical center).”
  2. Acknowledgement of VA Employment. Authors of posters must acknowledge their employment using the following format: “VA Title, VA Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, [City], [State].”
    1. When the author also holds a faculty appointment, the academic title and school also may be acknowledged.
    2. When the Principal Investigator (PI) has a 5/8ths or more VA appointment, VA must be named first, regardless whether VA is the primary source of funding or where the funds are administered.

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Support for Specific Services

PVARF will provide funds for eligible unfunded or underfunded VA investigators for the purchase of specific services. These services will include biostatistical resources, and other data analytical resources or shared resources from OHSU or other sources or vendors. Funds may also be provided for training in grant writing (e.g. Vollum Writing Program) or lab management. Eligible investigators will include promising new VA investigators who have data but no specified funds, or established VA investigators lacking funding or have insufficient funding where the resource/service would likely lead to new funding.

One page applications should be submitted directly to Dr. Carr (carrd@ohsu.edu). The Request for Specific Services template should include a description of the project, services requested, proposed budget and justification of need (attach “other support” page listing all active and pending grants). Proposals <$5,000 are more likely to receive favorable reviews.

Support for Career Development Trainees

Funds may also be provided for training in grant writing (e.g. Vollum Writing Program) , lab management or other relevant training. To request approval for these classes, complete a CDA Training Request Form and send to Dr. Carr @ carrd@ohsu.edu. As supporting documentation, include the proposed tuition amount and a written description of the relationship of the course to your research mission. Upon completion of the course, PVARF will reimburse you for the cost of the tuition. Complete a Check Request Form, attach your receipt, your approved CDA Training Request form and submit to the PVARF office.

 

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Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) Certifications

PVARF will provide reimbursement of subscription (membership if required to receive subscription) , certification exams, and re-certifications in these circumstances:

  • Employee has had a paid appointment at PVAMC or PVARF for 1 year or more.
      or has been employed elsewhere with primary work assignment at the PVAMC for 1 year or more.
  • Must be currently working on a VA R&D approved research project that is funded.
  • This policy was effective September 2013.

Reimbursement Procedure

Examination Reimbursement

  • Complete the PVARF Check Request Form. Attach copy of receipt of payment, and a letter of acceptance from SOCRA for the exam certification.

Recertification Reimbursement

  • Complete the PVARF Check Request Form. Attach copy of receipt of payment and completed recertification form.

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PVARF Webpage Policy

The Portland VA Research Foundation (PVARF) will support the research and communications needs of VA PIs (PIs) by providing space on the PVARF server for PIs to create their own web pages. This will allow PIs to highlight their research, funding, publications, ongoing projects and research staff. The costs for developing and hosting the webpages will be covered by the PVARF provided the guidelines and procedures described below are followed. This service has been approved by the Board of Directors of the PVARF and will be subject to periodic review.

Guidelines

  1. PIs must use the template provided by the PVARF for designing their webpage and are responsible for all content.
  2. PIs understand that all files published on their webpage are neither private nor confidential.
  3. All affiliations must be acknowledged including the VAPORHCS, PVARF and (if applicable) OHSU.
  4. Webpages shall not give the impression that they are representing, giving opinions, or otherwise making statements on behalf of the VA Portland Healthcare System, or PVARF. All webpages must state this disclosure: “The materials posted here do not represent the views of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government.”
  5. Webpages shall not include, nor link to web pages that include material that, upon viewing, could create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning or working environment.
  6. Webpages should promote VA research and may not be used for personal financial gain.
  7. The PI may create an option to blog but user comment capacity is not allowed.

Procedures for creating a webpage:

  1. PVARF has identified a web hosting plan and web developer.
  2. The PI should send an email request to the Executive Director of the PVARF stating their desire to create a webpage.
  3. The Executive Director will create the domain name for the PI. All webpages will be named as per this example: www.JoeSmith.pvarf.com
  4. The PI will be sent a template to be used for designing their page themselves or working with the web developer ($500 is the maximum cost allowed).
  5. Soliciting donations to support the PIs research program is allowed (work with the Executive Director for designing this function).
  6. After the design is complete and ensuring that the disclosure is stated, the finished product should be forwarded to the Executive Director for final review and publication.
  7. The Executive Director will provide the PI the log-in information needed to maintain their website.
  8. Website names will be reviewed annually.

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PVARF Crowdfunding Policy

This policy sets forth the Portland VA Research Foundation (PVARF) requirements for reviewing, approving, conducting, and reporting crowdfunding activities in order to address financial and legal implications and assure compliance with state and federal requirements. This policy applies to VA staff utilizing crowdfunding mechanisms to raise funds through the PVARF to support research studies approved by the R&D Committee.

Definitions

  • Crowdfunding Project: any category of crowdfunding activity initiated by a Portland VA staff to support research approved by the R&D committee.
  • Crowdfunding: seeking to fund a project through the solicitation of donations (typically small dollar amounts) from large numbers of individuals carried out in an online environment.
  • Crowdfunding Committee: a committee of four members including the following: the ACOS for Research, VAPORHCS , the Deputy ACOS for Research, VAPORHCS, the Executive Director, PVARF and the President, PVARF. The crowdfunding committee is responsible for approving campaign projects conducted through the PVARF.
  • Resources refer to the use of the PVARF or VA logos, trademarks, brand, name, intellectual property, IT or computing resources (e.g. computers and Internet networks), research or laboratory resources, facilities, or email lists. This list is not exhaustive, and this definition is intended to be construed broadly to encompass any/all VA/PVARF resources used in any crowdfunding campaign/project.
  • Third-party crowd-funding: Any crowdfunding vendor, service provider, website, or portal that is not owned, licensed, or operated by the PVARF.

Policy

  1. Use of crowdfunding to raise funds through the PVARF as described in this policy is subject to all Oregon laws and policies, and federal requirements. All funds raised by crowdfunding must be obligated according to PVARF policies and procedures.
  2. VA staff may only operate crowdfunding campaigns to receive charitable contributions to the PVARF. They are prohibited from making any promise of ownership interest to donors in the campaign. (See section below titled “Prohibited Promises to Donors”).
  3. VA/PVARF logos and trademarks may only be used in connection with crowdfunding campaigns that have received approval pursuant to this policy.
  4. Projects that use VA/PVARF resources, or affiliate themselves with VA/PVARF in any capacity, must receive prior institutional approval from the crowdfunding committee.
  5. All VA staff are required to disclose to the VA any discoveries or inventions made or developed in the conduct of research as part of their VA duties. Crowdfunding sites do not provide intellectual property protection; presenting your idea/proposal to the public could result in others using your research ideas before you can protect them with patents or other legal measures. If there is any possibility that your project might contain intellectual property, please contact the ACOS/R&D before submitting.
  6. The crowdfunding committee has selected and approved a third party crowdfunding vendor for your use. PIs wishing to use a different third party crowdfunding vendor must have their selection approved in advance by the crowdfunding committee.

Procedure

  1. Any VA staff proposing a crowdfunding activity must submit to the crowdfunding committee a project plan that has been approved by the R&D committee as a new project. A VA PPQ must be attached. On the PPQ, in response to the request to list the source of funding, insert crowdfunding. Most grant funding sources, such as the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the Public Health Service and the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation and the VA do not allow any scientific overlap between the project they fund and any other project funded by a separate source (e.g., via crowdfunding). You are responsible for ensuring that your crowdfunded project is outside the scope of your other funded research and complies with the terms of your grant or contract award.
  2. PVARF approval shall not be provided without a complete project plan and the Crowdfunding Committee may request additional information based on uniqueness of the campaign or project.

Prohibited Promises to Donors

VA staff may only operate crowdfunding campaigns to receive contributions given without the expectation of the donor receiving anything in return.

Approvals

Final approval for a crowdfunding project must come from the crowdfunding committee and will be communicated in writing by the Executive

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