In 1997, the General Assembly passed and the Governor signed an act establishing the Commonwealth Health Research Board [CHRB or Board] and Commonwealth Health Research Fund [CHRF] to provide financial support for human health research in the Commonwealth. The Boards’ primary responsibility is to make grants for human health research, especially for those efforts that have the potential of maximizing human health benefits for citizens of the Commonwealth.

Research efforts eligible for support by the Board include traditional medical and biomedical research relating to the causes and cures of diseases as well as research related to health services and the delivery of health care. Since its inception, the CHRB has made 215 grant awards totaling approximately $17.8 million in grant funding to institutions of higher education and other not-for-profit or nonprofit organizations that conduct health or health-related research in Virginia.

The authority to invest and manage the assets of the CHRF is delegated to the Virginia Retirement System. The value of the CHRF as of March 31, 2018 was $38.8 million. Grants can be made to state agencies and state-supported institutions of higher education in Virginia, and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations located in Virginia. The Board solicits proposals annually for research funding to being in July of each year. Currently, awards can be made for either one or two years with a maximum award of $100,000 per year. Awardees are required to provide 33% of the requested amount as matching funds.

Interested researchers are encouraged to look at the CHRB website ( for more detailed information regarding grant awards and the annual grant process.  Grant applicants are required to comply with the CHRB Grant Guidelines and the CHRB Policies and Procedures which govern the CHRB’s grant application, review, selection, award, reporting and other post-award requirements and procedures.  These documents are updated each year by July 1 and posted to the CHRB website.


Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation

The Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation (VBHRC) or “the catalyst” (created in 2013) is funded by the General Assembly and Virginia’s major universities. Grants of $200,000 to $800,000 are awarded “to accelerate translational research and commercialization of breakthrough technologies in the life sciences”.

More information can be found here.


Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases Research Award Fund (ARDRAF)


The Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases Research Award Fund (ARDRAF) is intended to increase public understanding about how dementing illnesses affect individuals, families, caregivers, and society; support pilot projects from a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines; foster the application of knowledge about Alzheimer’s and related diseases; investigate the impact of these conditions on the Commonwealth of Virginia; and determine appropriate public policy.

The Virginia Center on Aging (VCoA) has supervised solicitation of applications, awarding competitive grants since 1982. The sizes of the awards vary, but are limited to $45,000.

For more information, or to receive the annual call for proposals, contact Dr. Constance L. Coogle at 804/828-1525 or e-mail at

Enactment: 1982, Code of Virginia, 2.2-719
Purpose: To stimulate research, foster the application of knowledge, examine the effects, and increase public understanding of Alzheimer’s and related diseases.
Administering Agency: Virginia Center on Aging, Virginia Commonwealth University –
Application Process: Competitive, Third Party Professional Awards Committee