The Virginia Tech Faculty Activity Support Team (VT-FAST) is a virtual team of faculty and staff across campus who support faculty in all aspects of proposal development. Our goal is to facilitate proposal submission, allowing faculty to focus on the research plan.

VT-FAST support ranges from single-investigator proposals to larger, more complex proposals involving teams with external partners.  Support also includes both pre- and post-award activities.  

Below are some examples of how VT-FAST can help you in your next proposal submission:



Help with finding and developing proposal opportunities

Help with annual reports

Help with identifying and promoting team strengths within the proposal

Help with putting together posters and slides for conferences

Help with managing the proposal timeline

Editing journal articles

Help with developing budgets

Help with putting together meetings and events

Help putting together support materials (e.g., biosketches, current and pending, letters, conflict of interest, data tables, etc.)

Help with communicating results to the public

Editing the proposal for grammar, flow, readability, and adherence to RFA requirements


Completing submission forms and uploading documents for submission



Please contact either Janet Webster (jbwebste@vt.edu), Jon Greene (greenej@vt.edu), or any of our team members in the tab above. Feel free to contact someone outside of your department if they have expertise in the fields you require.

Fralin Life Science Institute

 Janet Webster

Janet Webster; (540) 231-9547

Expertise: Proposal management, Editing, Writing, Summit and Cayuse, Data Tables, Biosketches, Letters of Support, etc., Reviewing, Adherence to funding requirements, Finding funding

Funding Agency Experience: NIH, NSF, some experience with USDA, ONR, USAID, and various foundations.

 Kristin Rose

Kristin Rose(540) 231-6614

Expertise: Editing, Writing, Communications

Funding Agency Experience: NSF, NIH


 Dustin Covey

Dustin Covey; (540) 231-9151

Expertise: IT, Websites, Data entry, Cayuse



 Jean Clarke

Jean Clarke; (540) 231-9821

Expertise: Vet Med Clinical Trials, SBIR and STTR



Aaron Akers

Aaron Akers; (540) 231-9425

Expertise: Preaward and Project management, Contract negotiation, Postaward



Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science

Jon Greene

Jon Greene; (540) 231-8566

Expertise: Proposal and Project Management, Large, complex proposals, Junior faculty assistance, Contracts, DOD



 Melissa Wade

Melissa Wade; (540) 231-9720

Expertise: Proposal development; Adherence to funding requirements; Editing



 Karen Turner

Karen Turner; (540) 231-9310

Expertise: Budgeting, Cayuse, Summit



Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment (ISCE)

Yancey Crawford

Yancey Crawford; (540) 231-7962

Expertise: Editing, Reviewing, Cayuse, Summit, Budget

Funding Agency Experience: NIH, NSF, various private foundations/organizations


College of Veterinary Medicine

 Jessica Crawford

Jessica Crawford; (540) 231-1814

Expertise: Proposal development, Budgeting, Compliance, Postaward management, Cayuse, Summit, Start-to-Finish help

Funding Agency Experience: NIH, USDA


Nancy Dudek

Nancy Dudek; (540) 231-2450

Expertise: Finding funding, Project management, Writing, Editing, Connections



University Libraries

 Michael Stamper

Michael Stamper; (540) 231-1715

Expertise: Data visualization, Data graphics



 Jon Petters

Jon Petters; (540) 232-8682

Expertise: Data management plans, Data sharing plans



Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Exercise (HNFE)

 Lucinda Shewchuk

Lucinda Shewchuk; (540) 231-6565

Expertise: Proposal development, Budgeting, Compliance, Postaward management, Cayuse, Summit, Start-to-Finish help


College of Science

Andrew Volker

Andrew Volker; (540) 231-8739

Expertise: Administration, Finding funding, Large proposals, Junior faculty assistance

Funding Agency Experience: NSF, NIH, DOD


Foundation Relations

Foundation Relations develops a best-practices fundraising platform while advancing philanthropic foundation partnerships strategically aligned with the vision and priorities of Virginia Tech.

Tracy Krauchun

Tracy Krauchun; (540) 231-2896

Director of Foundation Relations



 Lucinda Shewchuk

Adam Short; (540) 231-4584

Associate Director of Foundation Relations



The Statistical Applications and Innovations Group (SAIG)

SAIG helps faculty, staff, and students apply the most modern techniques to both big and small data across University disciplines.  Power your research and your proposal with SAIG!  www.saig.stat.vt.edu

Jennifer Van Mullekom

Jennifer Van Mullekom; (540) 231-6244

Expertise: Walk-in consultations, short term collaborations, and statistical training.  Resource long-term collaborations for sponsored research.  Study design, data analysis, interpretation, and reporting, including assistance in preparing publications. 


Biocomplexity Institute

Jennifer Van Mullekom

Kristy Collins; (540) 231-1389

Expertise: Broader Impacts, various established programs that faculty can plug into (e.g. Kids' Tech University), Biotechnology Educators Conference, high school programs, REU-like programs for undergrads, hands-on campus activities, experience facilitating VT IRB regulated experiment studies.
Funding Agency Experience: NIH, NSF, DoD

Limited Submission Program: Internal (VT) Notice of Intent Deadlines

(System cuts off at 11:59 p.m. on the deadline)


Improvements in Facilities, Communications, and Equipment at Biological Field Stations and Marine Laboratories (FSML) (http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16506/nsf16506.htm); Notice of Intent August 17, 2018.

Biological Field Stations and Marine Laboratories (FSMLs) are off-campus facilities for research and education conducted in the natural habitats of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. FSMLs support environmental and basic biological research and education by preserving access to study areas and organisms, by providing facilities and equipment in close proximity to those study areas, and by fostering an atmosphere of mutual scientific interest and collaboration in research and education. To fulfill these roles, FSMLs must offer modern research and educational facilities, equipment, communications and data management for a broad array of users. In recognition of the importance of FSMLs in modern biology, NSF invites proposals that address these general goals of FSML improvement.

Superfund Hazardous Substance Research and Training Program (P42) (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-ES-18-002.html); Notice of Intent August 20, 2018. 

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is announcing the continuation of the Superfund Hazardous Substance Research and Training Program, referred to as Superfund Research Program (SRP) Centers. SRP Center grants will support problem-based, solution-oriented research Centers that consist of multiple, integrated projects representing both the biomedical and environmental science and engineering disciplines; as well as cores tasked with administrative (which includes research translation), data management and analysis, community engagement, research experience and training coordination, and research support functions. The scope of the SRP Centers is taken directly from the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986, and includes: (1) advanced techniques for the detection, assessment, and evaluation of the effect on human health of hazardous substances; (2) methods to assess the risks to human health presented by hazardous substances; (3) methods and technologies to detect hazardous substances in the environment; and (4) basic biological, chemical, and physical methods to reduce the amount and toxicity of hazardous substances.

Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers (EHS CC) (P30) (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-ES-18-003.html); Notice of Intent September 17, 2018. 

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites grant applications for Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers (EHS CC). As intellectual hubs for environmental health research, the EHS CC is expected to be the thought leaders for the field and advance the goals of the NIEHS Strategic Plan (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/about/strategicplan/). The Core Centers provide critical research infrastructure, shared facilities, services and/or resources, to groups of investigators conducting environmental health sciences research. An EHS CC enables researchers to conduct their independently-funded individual and/or collaborative research projects more efficiently and/or more effectively. The broad overall goal of an EHS CC is to identify and capitalize on emerging issues that advance improving the understanding of the relationships among environmental exposures, human biology, and disease. The EHS CC supports community engagement and translational research as key approaches to improving public health.


Limited Submissions that have passed the Notice of Intent Deadline, but still have slots available


Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA) – (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-16-103.html); Notice of Intent June 4, 2018.

The purpose of the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) Program is to develop a group of highly trained biomedical scientists to address the Nation’s biomedical workforce needs. The strategy is to promote effective partnerships between research-intensive institutions (RII) and partner institutions that have a historical mission or a demonstrated commitment to educating students from backgrounds underrepresented in the biomedical research enterprise of the nation. The IRACDA program provides support for a traditional mentored postdoctoral research experience at an RII combined with an opportunity for these fellows to develop critical academic skills, including teaching, through workshops and mentored teaching assignments at a partner institution. The primary goals of the IRACDA program are to (1) develop a group of highly trained biomedical scientists who have the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue independent research and teaching careers in academia; and (2) enhance science educational offerings at partner institutions, and promote links between RII and the partner institution(s) through research and teaching collaborations. (The Notice of Intent has passed but there is still 1 slot available.  Contact Janet Webster – jbwebste@vt.edu if interested).


NINDS Neuroscience Development for Advancing the Careers of a Diverse Research Workforce (R25) (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-17-312.html); Notice of Intent June 8, 2018.

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH. The over-arching goal of this NINDS Neuroscience Development for Advancing the Careers of a Diverse Research Workforce R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce by (1) increasing the pool of current and future Ph.D.-level research scientists from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical neuroscience research; and (2) facilitating the career advancement/transition of the participants to the next step of their neuroscience careers. To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on NINDS relevant research experiences, mentoring activities that enhance compentencies or leadership education and courses on skills development. Programs that target transitions and/or more than one career stage for neuroscience career advancement and progression are strongly encouraged. NINDS support for this R25 program relies equally on scientific merit and programmatic considerations. Consequently, we recommend that potential applicants contact Scientific/Research staff at NINDS before preparing an application. NINDS will not support projects if they do not fulfill current programmatic priorities at NINDS. (The Notice of Intent has passed but there is still 1 slot available.  Contact Janet Webster – jbwebste@vt.edu if interested).


NIH Director's Early Independence Awards (DP5) (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-18-010.html); Notice of Intent June 14, 2018.

The NIH Director’s Early Independence Award Program supports exceptional investigators who wish to pursue independent research directly after completion of their terminal doctoral/research degree or clinical residency, thereby forgoing the traditional post-doctoral training period and accelerating their entry into an independent research career.  (The Notice of Intent has passed but there are still 2 slots available.  Contact Janet Webster – jbwebste@vt.edu if interested).


Research Education: Bridges to the Doctorate (R25) (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-17-209.html#_3._Additional_Information); Notice of Intent June 22, 2018.

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH. The over-arching goal of this National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical research workforce. To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on Courses for Skills Development and Research Experiences. The Bridges to Doctorate Program is intended to provide these educational activities to Master's level students to increase transition to and completion of Ph.D.'s in biomedical sciences. A program application must include each educational activity, and describe how they will be synergized to make a comprehensive program. This program requires partnerships between master's degree-granting institutions with doctorate degree-granting institutions. Additionally, recruitment and retention plans are required as part of the application.


Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections (ADBC)  (http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf15576); Notice of Intent July 17, 2018.

This program seeks to enhance and expand the national resource of digital data documenting existing vouchered biological and paleontological collections and to advance scientific knowledge by improving access to digitized information (including images) residing in vouchered scientific collections across the United States. The information associated with various collections of organisms, such as geographic, paleogeographic and stratigraphic distribution, environmental habitat data, phenology, information about associated organisms, collector field notes, and tissues and molecular data extracted from the specimens, is a rich resource providing the baseline from which to further biodiversity research and provide critical information about existing gaps in our knowledge of life on earth. The national resource is structured at three levels: a central coordinating organization, a series of thematic networks based on an important research theme, and the physical collections. The national resource builds upon a sizable existing national investment in curation of the physical objects in scientific collections and contributes vitally to scientific research and technology interests in the United States. It will become an invaluable tool in understanding contemporary biological issues and challenges. (The Notice of Intent has passed but there is still 1 slot available.  Contact Janet Webster – jbwebste@vt.edu if interested).


Calls for Proposals coming up that may be of interest (not limited submission)


Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease (PATH):  https://www.bwfund.org/grant-programs/infectious-diseases/investigators-in-pathogenesis-of-infectious-disease

Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER):  https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17537/nsf17537.pdf

Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID): https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16592/nsf16592.htm

Environmental Sustainability:  https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505549

Mathematical Biology: https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5690

Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS): https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2018/nsf18545/nsf18545.htm

Earth Sciences: Instrumentation and Facilities (EAR/IF):  https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16609/nsf16609.htm

Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems (MMLS), Simons Foundation Investigator Programs:  https://www.simonsfoundation.org/mathematics-physical-sciences/simons-investigators/simons-investigator-program-nominations/

United States – Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) Regular Research Grant Program:  http://www.bsf.org.il/data/FormsToDownload/BSF-Instructions%202018.pdf

United States – Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) R. Rahamimoff Travel Grans Program for Young Scientists:  http://www.bsf.org.il/data/FormsToDownload/BSF-TravelGrant-call.pdf

American Lung Association Funding Opportunities:  Lung Cancer Discovery Award/Allergic Respiratory Diseases Award/Innovation Award/Catalyst Award/Public Policy Research Award/Dalsemer Award:


Proposals Funded:

Virginia Tech Post-Baccalaureate Research and Education Program.  NIH, NIGMS.  Edward J. Smith and Luke E. Achenie.  July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2023.

Sugar Feeding in Mosquitoes:  A Neglected Aspect of Their Biology and A Potential Tool for Their Control.  The Eppley Foundation, Inc.  July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019.


Proposals Recently Submitted or Currently Working On:


Enhancing Science, Technology, EnginEering, and Math Educational Diversity (ESTEEMED) Research Education Experiences (R25)

Several RO1’s

Several R21’s




Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant

Partnerships for Innovation (PFI)


Foundation for Food and Agriculture


Feed the Future Innovation Lab on Food Safety


Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP)

Young Investigator Program


Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Beckman Scholars Program

The Eppley Foundation For Research

"Science is all about generating innovative ideas and being able to communicate them effectively, to both the general public and our colleagues. When it comes to writing, I count on VT-FAST's expertise for feedback to ensure that the excitement I put into my science translates into my grant proposal." 

Carla Finkielstein
Associate Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
College of Science 


"I had the chance to work with Janet who read my grant proposal and provided me with awesome comments, feedback, and edits that helped my proposal to be clearer and stronger. As a new research assistant professor, and as it was my first proposal submission, I think that it is essential to get insights on my writing. Janet's expertise was incredibly helpful and beneficial to me. I would not hesitate to ask for VT-FAST's help again in the future!"

Chloé  Lahondère
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


"Having expert scientists-writers looking at my grant applications has been essential for success. I have particularly worked with Janet Webster from VT-FAST for many years. Janet helps with any issues with spelling or grammar, but more importantly, she comments on the clarity of the proposal. In addition, she makes sure that the structure and content of the proposal are aligned with the specification set by the funding agency. Janet also helps with the submission process, which changes regularly. Critical reading of the proposal and help with formatting and submission saves many hours that I can use to develop the research strategy and preliminary data. With Janet's help, I was able to secure funding from NIH and NSF during my pre-tenure years and she was also essential in the renewal of these grants." 

Pablo Sobrado
Department of Biochemistry
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences