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Welcome to the Eastern Oklahoma Veteran Affairs Healthcare System (EOVAHCS) Office of Research liaison office. 
For more than 90 years, the Veterans Affairs (VA) Research and Development program has been improving the lives of Veterans and all Americans through healthcare delivery and innovation.


  • About us

    The mission of VA Research is fourfold:

    • To improve Veteran’s health and well-being via basic, translational, clinical, health services, and rehabilitative research.
    • To apply scientific knowledge to develop effective individualized care solutions for Veterans
    • To attract, train, and retain the highest-caliber investigators, and nurture their development as leaders in their fields; and
    • To assure a culture of professionalism, collaboration, accountability, and the highest regard for research volunteers’ safety and privacy.

    The research process in the VA starts with a tight focus on the everyday health needs and concerns of Veterans, and with consultation with national and regional VA clinical leaders.  Solutions are identified and developed through careful, rigorous research in labs and clinics, and sometimes in the community.  These solutions are then applied to patient care, or translated into new or improved programs, as rapidly as possible.


    The Joint Programs Management Office (JPMO) is an integrated body within the EOVAHCS and VA Foundation Research Offices to develop and assist Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences (OSU-CHS) and VA research collaborations.



  • Conducting Research at the VA

    Prospective Investigators

    Research at EOVAHCS may only begin after an initial interview with the Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Research Staff; acceptance in the program and processed for a research appointment; and written notification of approval from the ACOS/R for any research proposals.


    Conducting Research at EOVAHCS

    The VA defines research (in VHA Directive 1200.05), as a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.  Activities that meet this definition constitute research for VA purposes. 

    Sometimes, quality improvement projects and program evaluation can seem like research but may not fall under the VA definition above.  Before you embark on your quest to conduct research, ensure that your project idea meets VA criteria for research and is approved by the ACOS/R.


    Eligibility to Conduct Research

    Individual eligibility to conduct research or participate on a research project at the VA is dependent on:

    • Having a VA-appointment,
    • Being credentialed and privileged as required, and
    • Having an Associate Chief of Staff for Research (ACOS/R) approved research scope of practice on file with the Research Office.


    VA Appointment

    VA research is research conducted by VA investigators serving on compensated (VA full time or part time), work without compensation (WOC), or Intergovernmental Personnel Agreement (IPA) appointments while on VA time, utilizing VA resources (e.g., equipment, CPRS, staff, patients), or on VA property including space leased to, or used by VA.

    What is the Difference Between a VA and WOC appointment?

    • A VA paid employee is an individual that has an official VA appointment and is compensated by the VA.
    • Joint Appointments is an individual with a total set of professional responsibilities mutually arranged by the academic affiliate and a the EOVAHCS Office of Research.  Joint Appointment research activities must be a minimum of a 5/8ths appointment with the VA.
    • A WOC employee is an individual that has an official VA appointment, but does not receive any salary or benefits from the VA.  Most common appointment utilized for VA research investigators.
    • An IPA employee is an individual supporting VA Research activity through an Intergovernmental Personnel Agreement.



    Individuals involved in human subjects’ research are required to have an appropriate background investigation, be credentialed or have their qualifications validated, and be licensed when in positions requiring licensure.

    All EOVAHCS research personnel that hold a U.S. medical license, credential, or have graduated from a U.S. medical school are required to be credentialed and privileged.  All credentialed research personnel that are involved in VA research must provide the Research Service with a copy of their credentialing memo.

  • Funding Opportunities

    VA research is different from research sponsored by other research agencies:

    • VA Research is the only research program focused entirely on Veterans' needs.
    • VA Research is intramural, meaning only VA employees can conduct research under VA's sponsorship. Typically, VA researchers collaborate with academic institutions. This is an exceptional benefit because it allows VA Research to identify the direct needs of patients at chair and bed side, and to find discoveries and innovations directly in-step with these needs—keeping the Veteran at the center of health care from the very beginning.
    • Without Compensation (WOC) academic affiliate researchers may compete for VA Research Intramural funding with concurrence of the Medical Center Director through an official letter of approval.  Doing so requires previous coordination with the Associate Chief of Staff for Research (ACOS-R) prior to initiating a proposal.
    • Joint Appointment (JA) academic affiliate researchers may compete for VA Research Intramural funding without a Medical Center Director letter.
    • More than 60 percent of VA researchers are also clinicians who provide direct patient care, which is important because it allows VA Research to quickly move scientific discovery from the research setting to advancements in health care and to recruit the best and brightest healthcare professionals.
    • VA employees can conduct extramural research in coordination with the Veteran Research and Education Foundation (VREF) for which the VA Medical Center has an official relationship recognized by the Undersecretary of Veteran Affairs.

    VA Funding Opportunities may be found under the LINKS tab and will be updated as specific opportunities open.  Investigators may bring potential research proposals to the attention of the EOVAHCS OOR for consideration contingent upon internal or cooperative funding availability. 


    The Veterans Research & Education (VREF) foundation is a 501c3 non-profit corporation whose mission is to facilitate biomedical research and education benefiting Veterans at the Eastern Oklahoma VA Healthcare System (EOVAHCS). 


    The National Association of Veterans’ Research and Education Foundation (NAVREF) was the conception of a small group of dedicated Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) personnel who recognized in the early 1990’s the need for a membership association committed to the interests of the VA affiliated research and education nonprofits.


    In 1988 Congress passed Public Law 100-322 (now codified at section 7361-66 of title 38, United States Code) that allowed Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers to establish nonprofit research corporations (NPCs) to provide flexible funding mechanisms to administer non-VA research funds, forming a unique public/private partnership which dramatically broadened VA’s ability to benefit from private and non-VA public support for research conducted at VA medical centers.


    In 2021, EOVAHCS was accepted into VREF-151 of Oklahoma City in support of non-VA funding.


    All VREF submissions must be processed by the EOVAHCS Office of Research, committees, subcommittees and the assigned Research and Development committee prior to application.

  • Links

    Current Without Compensation Investigator Listing

    In development


    RFAs and Program Announcements


    Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) Funding


    Opportunities for VA Investigators


    Starting a VA Cooperative Study


    Research Toolkits

    You must have internal VA information technology access through an authorized appointment with EOVAHCS


    Research Cybersecurity

    Research Cybersecurity Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), Guidance Documents, Bulletins, Templates, Webinars. 

    Toolkit: Research Information Security & Cybersecurity (


    Exempt Research

    Flow Charts, Guidance, Memorandums, Templates, Webinars

    Toolkit: Exempt Research (


    SERVE Toolkit for Veteran Engagement

    SERVE Toolkit is meant to support VA Research Centers and investigators in efforts to include Veterans and other stakeholders in the development, implementation, and dissemination of research studies.

    Strengthening Excellence in Research through Veteran Engagement (SERVE) Toolkit for Veteran Engagement Conver and Introduction (


    Research and Development Committee

    FAQs, Guidance, Memorandums, Templates

    Toolkit: R&D Committee (


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