Office of Research & Development


Career Development Program

CDA Proposals Now Submitted Through!

Please note: CDA Program will now be using and eRA. New CDA RFAs are available on the RFA page.

Important Resources

VA's Career Development Program was established to provide mentoring for junior researchers so they can learn from renowned, experienced VA researchers. Awardees from this program have become national and international leaders in their research fields. Awards are provided in all areas of VA�s research enterprise: biomedical laboratory, clinical science, health services, and rehabilitation research.

Career Development Award Levels

  • CDA-1: This entry level career development program is open to both clinicians and non-clinicians. Review criteria emphasize candidate qualifications, mentorship, and career development plan.
  • CDA-2: This mid-level program also is open to both clinicians and non-clinicians who must specify their career development plans and research project over a 3-5 year duration.
  • CDEA: The career development enhancement award for senior VA scientists is now also open to non-clinicians as well as clinicians. This award will provide up to six-months of salary for scientists to learn new research skills.

How to Apply

Candidates for Career Development Awards need not have VA appointments at the time they apply, but must be nominated by a VA facility and must identify an appropriate VA mentor. The CDP is open to all researchers, both MDs and PhDs, who have the appropriate experience and training as stated in the eligibility section of the CDP Handbook.

Nominees should work closely with their sponsoring research office to prepare a Letter of Intent (LOI), which is the first step in the review process. If the LOI is approved, the nominee may prepare an application in accordance with CDP guidelines. The sponsoring VA research office must submit the application on behalf of the nominee.


The deadlines for LOI submission to Biomedical Laboratory/Clinical Science R&D Services are June 1 and December 1.

The deadline for LOI submission to Health Services R&D is April 15 and October 15.

The deadline for LOI submission to Rehabilitation R&D is May 1 and November 1.

Note: If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, submission is due the next business day. Early submission of LOIs is encouraged. (Deadline dates and contacts are summarized in the chart below.)





Biomedical Laboratory R&D June 1
December 1 Kera P. Lawson, PhD (10P9B)
(202) 443-5685
Clinical Science R&D June 1
December 1 Kera P. Lawson, PhD (10P9C)
(202) 443-5685
Health Services R&D April 15
October 15 Robert Small (124D)
(202) 443-5743
Rehabilitation R&D May 1
November 1 Jay Freedman, PhD (122P)
(202) 443-5760

Only electronic submissions will be accepted--no paper copies. Electronic submissions must be e-mailed to the appropriate service as a PDF file. The file should be named using the following format: Principal Investigator's Last Name, First Initial, Station Number and Award Level.

Please see the services RFA for proposal submission deadlines.