VCU has two categories of research-related institutes and centers: chartered and general.
Chartered institutes require approval of the VCU Board of Visitors. Three chartered university research centers support the mission of VCU Life Sciences to advance knowledge and education in fields like bioinformatics and environmental technology. The Center for Environmental Studies and Center for the Study of Biological Complexity stand alone nationally as centers that house tenure.
Chartered research centers
The Center for Environmental Studies emphasizes the importance of the life sciences through innovative research, hands-on teaching and community service. Faculty, staff and graduate students in the center conduct nationally and internationally recognized research in environmental science, policy, health and technology.
The Center for the Study of Biological Complexity has the broad mission to support integrative research. The CSBC focuses on five specific research foci: microbial systems biology and pathogenesis; gene networks in cell biology and cellular control mechanisms; structural biology and pharmacogenomics; environmental and ecological systems; and mathematical and computational biology, biomedicine, biophysics and biostatistics.
The VCU Rice Rivers Center supports research and educational opportunities that advance knowledge of the environmental and ecological sciences. Research primarily is focused on large river ecosystems, their riparian habitats and associated wetlands, but also includes terrestrial plant and animal communities, as well as landscape ecology and conservation issues.