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Research and development

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CAIA will serve as a catalyst for innovation and security for agriculture and life sciences technologies, focusing in the development and growth phases of discovery and applications, and will facilitate transition of research platforms into University Centers.


Position CALS and Virginia Tech for competitive global research advantage in agricultural innovations, growth and applications including:

  • Informed decisions through agricultural technologies
  • Cyberbiosecurity and biosecurity
  • Precision agriculture
  • Human capacity and infrastructure technologies for agriculture
  • Rural broadband capacity

Serve as an incubator for designing and evaluating technologies to assist with the viability and security of agriculture in the Commonwealth and beyond.

Targeted impacts

  • Create the framework for the Virginia Agricultural Technology Corridor within the heart of Virginia’s cyber-region
  • Evaluating environmental impact
  • Advancing genome design
  • Designing and evaluating technologies
  • Creating efficiencies and improving safety in human capacity
  • Improving traceability


Funding Opportunities & PROGRAMS


We are seeking applications from tenured associate or full professors who are CAIA affiliate faculty.  To the best of my knowledge, you meet this eligibility requirement. We invite you to review the below CAIA Faculty Fellow description and apply for one of these Fellow opportunities. The description outlines the eligibility, benefits, expectations, and application process. We hope to have one Fellow for each of the focus areas, Research & Development, Community & Partnership, and Education & Training.

This is an excellent opportunity for developing interdisciplinary leadership and gain a broader perception of CAIA and CALS. The selected Fellows may request up to $4K in leadership salary supplement and $4K in support of their proposed Fellow plan activities and toward team and leadership training.

The targeted deadline for applications is February 7, 2022. If you have questions about this opportunity, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you and reading your application! 


CAIA Faculty Fellow Program-description FINAL 011622.pdf

CAIA and CCI SWVA are seeking proposals for the development of course content that will help develop the pipeline of our future workforce in the areas of data analytics and cyberbiosecurity for agriculture and life sciences. CAIA affiliate faculty may apply for up to $4,000 to create an education, research or Extension experiential learning module for a course, wintermester or summer program, such as a module for the Governor’s School for Agriculture or a Research Experience for Undergraduates, related to data analytics and/or cyberbiosecurity, which involves securing digital data and technologies in agriculture, health, environment, biotechnology or other life sciences. Faculty affiliates in Center for Emerging, Zoonotic, and Arthropod-Borne Pathogens (CeZAP) and Global Systems Science (GSS) are encouraged to participate as co-PIs. Developed materials may target middle/high school, community college, undergraduate, or graduate audiences. The proposal is short. 

The deadline for submissions is Monday, February 7. Download the below RFA for more details. Please contact Susan Duncan at if you have questions. 

2022 CAIA CCI Experiential Learning RFA faculty final.pdf


VT News released the following article on January 18, 2022, did you see it?

‘Seed funding available to give early career faculty research a running start’

ICAT’s annual call for Major SEAD grants for up to $25,000 is now open.

The proposal submission and full guidelines for funding can be found on our website. The submission deadline is 5pm on February 11, 2022. The start date for selected projects is July 2022.

ICAT’s annual call for Major SEAD grants is now open. We invite proposals for research projects that are creative, innovative, and show a strong potential for extramural funding or national level presentation. Awards are made to transdisciplinary teams of faculty who seek to pursue creative projects, pilot studies, feasibility studies, or preliminary research that initiates a larger line of trans-disciplinary research. We also highly encourage graduate and undergraduate student involvement.

The designation of CCI Fellow will recognize the important leadership role of coordinating large-scale proposals in CCI. Funding can be used for faculty time, proposal preparation, and team building activities. 

This is a rolling call, with proposals accepted any time in 2022. Please visit the CCI website for more details.


We aim to create an agile and responsive interdisciplinary network of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty and other Virginia Tech and affiliated faculty partners for facilitating innovative technology advancements and security in order to:

  • Address current and future practical challenges for agricultural producers, agribusinesses and communities throughout the food system
  • Create effective and trusted partnerships across the campus to levearge the broader Virginia Tech capacity for innovation in agriculture.

caia affiliate faculty Highlights

Our affiliate faculty, their research, and their motivation to make an impact is what drives the Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture. View some of their stories below.