Trudy Riley will join Virginia Tech as associate vice president for research and innovation, sponsored programs on Jan. 7, 2019.

Riley will lead a team operating under the university’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation that supports faculty and staff who are engaged in extramurally funded programs for research, instruction, and outreach.

Virginia Tech has one of the most comprehensive research portfolios in the nation, with support awarded by federal and state agencies, including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and Department of Transportation. In the past 10 years, direct support from industry partners has more than doubled.

At Virginia Tech, the sponsored programs team in the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation is responsible for the full array of pre-award, contracting, and post-award functions.

This includes facilitating the review, approval, and submission of all proposals for the university; accepting grants from federal and state agencies as well as philanthropic organizations; negotiating contracts and other financial and nonfinancial research-related agreements; and administering and monitoring awards and sub-awards.

Riley brings more than two decades of experience in research administration at leading academic institutions. Currently, she is executive director of the Office of Sponsored Programs at Georgia Tech.

Prior to this position, Riley was as the associate deputy provost, research administration, and the director of sponsored programs at the University of Delaware. In this role, she oversaw pre-award and post-award administration and directed the budget and human resources management of five university-wide institutes, three shared-user laboratories, and the laboratory for animal medicine.

“We are excited to have Trudy join the Virginia Tech team,” said Theresa Mayer, the university’s vice president for research and innovation. “Virginia Tech’s sponsored programs portfolio includes grants and contracts from nearly all of the major government agencies and industry partners. Trudy’s breadth of experience and depth of knowledge will be a great asset to our research enterprise.”

Riley’s upcoming arrival comes at an important time at Virginia Tech. The university announced this week its plans to build the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Alexandria, Virginia, a revolutionary, 1 million-square-foot graduate campus that will drive technology education and research, serve high-tech disciplines of the future, and transform the commonwealth's innovation economy.

“Trudy has deep experience and a vision for sponsored programs that will enhance the support of our researchers and the interface with government and industry sponsors,” said Eric Paterson, chair of the search committee and Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Professor of Marine Propulsion in the Kevin T. Crofton Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering at Virginia Tech.

Riley received a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Kutztown University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Delaware.

She has been an active member of the Society of Research Administrators (SRA) International since 1994, and has served as the Delaware Valley Chapter President and Northeast Section President. She currently leads the SRA International Financial Management Certificate and regularly presents on research contracts, sub-awards and pre-award operations.

She is on the board of directors of the Research Administrators Certification Council, which manages the certification examination programs for Certified Research Administrators, Certified Pre-Award Research Administrators, and Certified Financial Research Administrators.

“I am excited to join the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation and be a part of the exciting research enterprise at Virginia Tech,” Riley said. “Sponsored programs plays a pivotal role in supporting and facilitating the significant growth of Virginia Tech’s diverse research portfolio. I look forward to working with faculty, staff, and students to navigate the opportunities and challenges presented in proposing and managing sponsored activities at a major research university.”