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), including virtual meetings, will be covered up to a maximum of $2,000. These include abstract submission fees, registrations, airfares, hotels, 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. 

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 the Executive Director, Sean McBurney(sean.mcburney@va.gov). 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. 

Visiting Scientist Program

With travel largely curtailed for the immediate future, and the growing trend for virtual presentations, we have a made a change to the PVARF Visiting Scientist program.

Any VA PI may request a speaker for the Visiting Scientist program (there is no longer the requirement for 3 VA PIs to sponsor a proposed visiting scientist).  The invited scientist will be expected to present a 45-60 minute WebEx seminar to as wide an audience as possible at the VA/OHSU.  The visiting scientist will also be expected to meet virtually with 4-5 VA Investigators for 30-45 minutes each.  The honorarium will be capped at $300.   A VA PI will be allowed to invite one visiting scientist per year.

If you would like to invite a speaker for the PVARF Visiting Scientist program, please send the request to the Deputy ACOS ([email protected]), include a brief description of the proposed seminar topic, and include the biosketch/CV of the proposed speaker.

PVARF staff will set up the WebEx seminar and arrange for distribution of the seminar announcement.  PVARF staff will also set up the one-on-one meetings with VA scientists with the names provided by the sponsoring PI.