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Postdoctoral Programs

Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Program:

VCU Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award

(VCU IRACDA)
 

Program Description

The VCU Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (VCU IRACDA) is a unique three-year postdoctoral program designed to train fellows in biomedical research and teaching. VCU IRACDA is funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences and combines a traditional mentored postdoctoral research experience with an opportunity to develop teaching skills through formal pedagogic training and mentored assignments at local historically black universities. IRACDA fellows are matched with a research mentor at VCU and a teaching mentor at one of our partner institutions, Virginia Union University (VUU) or Virginia State University (VSU). The program facilitates the progress of postdoctoral candidates toward research and teaching careers in academia. Other goals are to provide a resource to motivate the next generation of scientists at the partner schools, and to promote research and teaching linkages between VCU and VUU, and VCU and VSU.

 

Program Successes

80% of former VCU IRACDA trainees are in tenure-eligible faculty positions (all who have applied), and 100% are in rewarding jobs in the biomedical sciences.

 

Eligibility

Eligible applicants must hold a Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent degree and must complete the degree before starting the program. VCU IRACDA trainees must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or non-citizen nationals. Proof of citizenship status or resident status will be required before the start of the program. Individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in biomedical research are strongly encouraged to apply.
 

Application process

Interested applicants should apply using the online application and will need to submit their curriculum vitae, a personal statement of career goals (including both research and teaching), a statement of teaching interests and experience, graduate transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. The application should also include a list of potential VCU research mentors, chosen based on their research interests. It is not necessary to contact the potential mentors prior to making an application.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, but should be complete 3-4 months prior to the desired start date. A successful candidate must demonstrate an interest in teaching, excellence in research, and an interest in increasing diversity in the biomedical sciences workforce. Qualified applicants are initially interviewed by telephone/videoconference, by a subset of the admissions committee, typically including a current or former VCU IRACDA fellow. An in-person interview is offered to candidates who are a good match for the program, during which candidates present a research seminar, and meet the potential mentors who have an interest in hosting the candidate in their laboratory. Candidates can choose from a large number of funded research investigators at VCU, and are encouraged to contact Dr. Lloyd for assistance in identifying potential mentors.

For questions about the application process, please contact cohdtraining@vcuhealth.org. For questions about whether the VCU IRACDA program might be right for you, and assistance in finding potential research mentors at VCU, please contact the program co-director, Dr. Joyce Lloyd at joyce.lloyd@vcuhealth.org.

 IRACDA