Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use facilities other than VGN facilities at UVM?
Check the VGN searchable database on the VGN web site for other facilities. These facilities charge for their use and most have mechanisms to work with outside users.
Can I use the UVM Library for electronic journals?
The University of Vermont is charged for use of journals by numbers of UVM IDs and cannot allow persons outside UVM to access their electronic holdings. You would have to become an adjunct faculty member at UVM or get a colleague at UVM to access a journal for you.
Why do I have to submit a proposal by June 1 for my third year of consecutive project funding?
You are asked to submit a draft proposal that your advisor has read as a requirement to receive your SECOND year of funding. To receive a THIRD year of funding, you must submit a federal grant proposal by June 1 when your third year begins. You should start planning on fulfilling this requirement well in advance because it is not possible to let you start your THIRD year of funding. It is a real privilege to receive these years of funding, and our highest priority in VGN is to make you competitive for your own extramural funding. Most first submissions are declined, which means that you need to start the grant writing, get feed back and revise.
Plan your submission strategy with your advisor. Also, there are multiple deadlines, not limited to NIH for the R15. Everyone beginning their third year of funding will have had 1.5-2 years of funded research on which to build their proposal, depending on which agency deadline you aim for.
Why can’t VGN help us with equipment purchases?
We do not have the staff or ability to help BPIs with their purchasing. Each BPI has a subcontract and professional staff who can help you.
What is the review process for my application to VGN?
The review of project and pilot applications begins with the
assignment of the application to at least two and preferably three outside
reviewers. Each reviewer receives your application in electronic form (or paper
if preferred). The reviewers are given the RFP and criteria for review that are
used by NIH and are also on the RFP. We ask that the reviewers provide a score
and write a short response to each of the criteria as well as an overall score.
As with NIH reviews, when the reviewer has completed the assignment and
submitted reviews on line, the reviewer can then see the critiques of others who
have the same application assignments. Reviewers are compensated for this work.
This is a confidential process and the reviewers are asked not to share any
insights into their reviews or even which applications they reviewed, just as at
NIH. We do not share the list of reviewers because the pool of reviewers is not
as large as at NIH. We ask the BPI Coordinators for help in identifying
The reviews and scores are compiled, the VGN PI and PC read the reviews and analyze the results. The pay line is determined by the amount of funding that is available for projects and pilots that year. Other meta data are considered when making the final decisions about funding. These include compliance with VGN requirements for funding, advisors' reports and the critiques of proposals submitted to federal agencies.
Our goal is to fund as many projects and pilots as possible given the funds available, but fund only meritorious applications.
Why can’t I have a VGN funded student even though I am not VGN funded myself?
VGN’s first responsibility is to make VGN funded faculty competitive for extramural funding. Student support is reserved for students who will work with VGN funded faculty – as in all other INBRE programs – as a way to help the faculty member make research progress. Also, students working with VGN funded faculty are ensured to have resources because we know their projects and how they are funded.
We ask your colleges to support other students and join VGN in developing a culture of research at your school.
Why do I have to have a Vermont Research Advisor?
You can have as many research advisors as you want. Many people have multiple advisors and collaborators for various aspects of their projects. VGN requires that one of those advisors be from Vermont and enter into an agreement with us on the advising and work that the advisor will do with you. We ask that advisors meet with you and we all know that phone does not work very well or even skype for involved research discussions. Our best examples of effective advising have been between faculty and advisors who can meet in person and often. We consider Dartmouth to be an adopted Vermont institution and we have some advisors from Dartmouth.
We ask the advisors to report to us on their interactions with you and for you to report as well. In this way, we try to keep the interactions moving forward so that you get the help with research directions and reading of manuscripts and proposal drafts that you need.