VBRI accepts funds in support of the research and education mission of the VA New Jersey Health Care System. All funds deposited in the Institute and all equipment purchased with Institute funds are the property of the Institute and are subject to policies and procedures established by the Board of Trustees. Such policies and procedures will be consistent with applicable federal and state statutes and regulations.
The Institute may only invest in instruments backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government. Interest earned on these investments are deposited into the Administration account.
Grantors or donors may send funds by check or electronic transfer. For deposit directly to VBRI’s account, the Executive Director will provide the necessary information.
All checks or other funds directed to VBRI should be made payable to the Veterans Bio-Medical Research Institute, Employer Identification Number (EIN) 222995785. Checks made payable to other individuals or organizations cannot be accepted.
If funds are received in support of a specific research proposal, no funds directly related to the scientific activities of the study may be expended until that project has received approval from the VANJHCS R & D Committee.
If funding is received in support of a specific educational or training activity, no funds may be expended until that activity has received approval from the VANJHCS Education Committee.
Sources of Revenue: The general categories for revenue are: (A) voluntary health agency and private foundation research grants; (B) corporate sponsored grants or studies or gifts; (C) federally-funded programs; (D) transfer funds and (E) miscellaneous. The administration of funding may vary depending on stipulations of the funding source. Funds derived from indirect support provided by sponsored research or education activities administered by the Institute will be used to support the operations of the Institute. These institutional funds may also be used to respond to needs for direct or indirect research costs or educational and training support as identified by the VBRI Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees must approve all support provided. All support will be reviewed on a quarterly basis.
Voluntary Health Agency/Private Foundation Research Studies
Funding in this category is derived from nonprofit entities to support a specific research or education proposal or career development award. Indirect cost reimbursement rates vary among sponsors. Some sponsors in this category do not provide overhead costs or have set limits for this support. The investigator should review the proposal and budget with VBRI prior to submission to the sponsor. If required, funds may be accepted and administered by VBRI with less than the approved indirect cost rate.
Grants or contracts from federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health or Department of Defense, are included in this category. An indirect cost rate is negotiated with the cognizant agency, generally the Department of Health and Human Services. The indirect costs are provided to the grantee institution in addition to the direct costs provided for support of the studies.
Corporate-Sponsored Research or Education Grants/Gifts
Funding in this category is usually provided by pharmaceutical or other commercial sponsors involved in the development of new drugs or devices, or in the support of medical research or education. The studies may be investigator initiated or sponsored by the pharmaceutical company. Negotiations for this type of award should ensure that the VBRI indirect cost rate is provided as an additional cost to the funding required for the study. The applicable rate should be reviewed with VBRI administrative staff.
All agreements must be reviewed by VBRI. The Executive Director or designee has the authority to sign for VBRI. Investigators cannot sign agreements that bind VBRI or VANJHCS. In general, the parties to these agreements are VBRI and the sponsor. The investigator should not be named as a party to the agreement.
Investigators may transfer funds from accounts in other nonprofit institutions to VBRI. Indirect costs may have already been deducted or may not have been requested on these funds. Such exemption does not extend to funds in support of an active project being transferred; rather, project funds will follow the stipulations or guidelines of the funding agency or institution.
Sources for funding in this category are broad and include speaker fees, and other miscellaneous donations.
The following additional information on acceptance of this category of donations has been compiled in conjunction with the National Association of Veterans Research and Education Foundations (NAVREF).
VA investigators often choose to have an honorarium or speaker fee directed to a nonprofit corporation as a donation in lieu of accepting it personally. Unfortunately, the nonprofit cannot accept any donations in the form of an honorarium.
Investigators sometimes also believe they will not be assessed personal income taxes on a speaker fee if they instruct the payer to send the check to a nonprofit. However, the IRS is likely to view as income amounts earned any time there is a quid pro quo – an exchange of goods or services for payment – or when an individual exercises control over dispensation of payment. Such payments may be taxable to that individual regardless of whether payment goes to a nonprofit or the individual accepts it personally.
VBRI is not responsible for monitoring VA employees’ ethics except in regard to conflicts of interest. Nor does VBRI give tax advice. However, VBRI can help prevent violations of federal ethics regulations by requiring investigators to complete a simple form regarding donations of honoraria. This form must be filled out when donating speaker fees, writer’s fees or other similar funds.
Alternatively, a letter from VBRI to the sponsor can be sent requesting an unrestricted donation to VBRI in lieu of an honorarium. These funds may be deposited into general funds. Use of the funds will be under the control of the Board of Trustees. Special requests for use of these funds can be directed to the Board.