Translational Research Fellows

Each year, the Translational Research Fellows program connects up to 10 faculty members from across VCU with state and local policymakers interested in learning more about the Fellow's research area.

Selected faculty receive one-on-one mentoring from OPPO staff as they develop an outreach plan for their specific area of research. The goal? To translate high-quality research into public policies for the commonwealth.

Are you seeking subject matter expertise from one of our Fellows? Please fill out this form to tell us about your needs.

How it works

Fellows commit to the program for one calendar year and forge ongoing connections to policymakers and OPPO.

Each year, our office assists fellows with:

  • Preparing high-quality briefs and presentations
  • Learning how to present insights to Virginia legislators
  • Tracking public statements by lawmakers and initiating follow-up conversations
  • Scheduling face-to-face meetings with at least three policymakers in their area of expertise

Learn more about the program in the February 2020 episode of our CompassPoint podcast.

How to apply

Applications must be received by March 1 to participate in the following year’s program. Selected applicants will be notified in late March.

To apply, please submit:

  • The completed application; click here to download: TRF 2020 Application
  • A letter of nomination from your dean or program chair supporting participation in the program
  • A current copy of your CV

Fellows are selected according to the relevance of their research to current Virginia policy debates — and their ability to link the two.

Our Fellows

Our Translational Research Fellows conduct research in a wide range of policy areas, including:

  • Physical and mental health
    • Dr. Debra Barksdale
    • Dr. R. Wayne Barbee
    • Dr. Tegwyn Brickhouse
    • Dr. J. Brian Cassel
    • Dr. Nancy Jallo
    • Dr. Suzanne Mazzeo
    • Dr. Shelly Smith
    • Dr. Jasmin Vassileva
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
    • Dr. Melanie Buffington
    • Dr. Liz Costin
    • Dr. Genevieve Siegel-Hawley
  • Criminal justice
    • Dr. Blythe Bowman Balestrieri
    • Dr. Hayley Cleary
  • Infrastructure and emergency preparedness
    • Mr. Jim Keck
    • Dr. Damian Pitt
    • Dr. Gregory Triplett

Work Samples

NP Preceptor White Paper
Dr. Debra Barksdale, Dr. Christine Kennedy, and Dr. Shelly Smith

Juvenile Interrogations
Dr. Hayley Cleary

Policies Promoting Regional Schools
Dr. Genevieve Siegel-Hawley

JNP Article
Dr. Shelly Smith, Dr. Holly Buchanan, and Dr. Rachel Cloutier

VNA Legislative Summary 2017
Dr. Shelly Smith

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