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Education and innovative research play a pivotal role in shaping a positive future for both individuals and society. At the Fralin Life Sciences Institute (FLSI) at Virginia Tech, we are honored to contribute to this transformative journey.

As one of Virginia Tech’s four investment institutes, we are committed to leveraging university resources for strategic research initiatives, particularly emphasizing collaborative and interdisciplinary programs.

These investments come in various forms, all aimed at nurturing the next generation of environmental and life science professionals and revolutionizing the landscape of research and education at Virginia Tech, throughout the Commonwealth, and beyond. We are deeply inspired by the collaborative spirit of our community as we work together to confront today’s greatest societal challenges head-on.


At the Fralin Life Sciences Institute, our mission is to enhance the human condition by catalyzing innovative environmental and life sciences research, education, and engagement. 

As stewards of university resources, we remain steadfast in our dedication to developing programs and supporting teams that will enable us to realize our mission. Through frequent collaborations with leaders from academic units, other institutes, and diverse research groups, we  have an unwavering commitment to nurturing vibrant academic and research portfolios that align with our mission.

Strategic Priority Areas 

To achieve our mission, the Fralin Life Sciences Institute makes strategic investments in one of four key areas:

Research opportunities, People, Research Ecosystem, and Research Backbone. Aligning investments across these four areas – and with broader university initiatives such as Beyond Boundaries and Research Frontiers - and in close partnership with associated academic units, allows us to maximize the potential for excellence and ensures that our investments have a positive return on investment. Examples of these investments include:

Cleo Orlando is conducting field research at the Duck Pond for her project with the SURF program. Photo courtesy of Cleo Orlando.

Project and program development, undergraduate and graduate student research through partnerships with the Office of Undergraduate Research, financial and administrative support of core research and affiliated research centers

Members of the Presidential Postdoctoral Program.

The FLSI manages a Junior Faculty Mentoring Program, provides funding to the graduate school for IGEP support, and is a partner in the Presidential Postdoctoral Program. FLSI also participates in recruitment and retention efforts in partnership with colleges and departments. 

Two Translational Plant Sciences Center faculty in a lab setting.

Our institute manages 5 buildings across Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus. Through this, we provide operational and logistical support to ensure that researchers have the spaces they need to thrive.

Convergence at the Interfaces of Policy, Data Science, Environmental Science and Engineering for Combating Antimicrobial Resistance National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (CIP-CAR NRT) Workshop | 2023-08-17

Examples of investments in the University’s research backbone include subsidies for core recharge centers, support for collaborative training programs and University DA 2.0 initiatives, and the VT-FAST office.

Interested in learning how to access investment opportunities?

Students and faculty engage in transdisciplinary research and graduate training in environmental restoration at Virginia Tech

Guiding Principles

To ensure that investment decisions align with our mission and values, we adhere to three guiding principles. We invite you to consider these principles as well when making decisions and taking actions on behalf of the Fralin Life Sciences Institute. Ask yourself how your decisions and actions contribute to:

  • Diverse & Inclusive
  • Collaborative
  • Innovative
  • Effective & Efficient

Our enthusiasm to lead the Fralin Life Sciences Institute is driven by our resolute focus on addressing the most pressing global challenges of our era. With our mission as our guiding star, we are passionate about leveraging our resources, expertise, and partnerships to make a meaningful and lasting impact on the human condition, ensuring that our innovative initiatives in environmental and life sciences research, education, and engagement resonate far and wide.