PEERD Experts

Jessica Venable

Drawing on more than 20 years of experience in sponsored research, research development, and project management, Dr. Venable provides clients with strategic advice and support to develop relationships, build capacity, identify appropriate funding opportunities, and apply for funding from federal and private grantmakers. She specializes in funding opportunities for the STEM fields, particularly as they pertain to underserved and underrepresented individuals, institutions, and groups. She has served as Executive Director, Research Universities and Institutions Practice, McAllister & Quinn since 2016 where she assists clients with highest research activity to secure federal funding.

Past Experience

Prior to joining McAllister & Quinn, Dr. Venable was Coordinator for Research Development Services at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), where she built the Office of Research Development, with offices on 2 campuses. There, she provided individualized research and proposal development assistance to faculty; assisted in the development and submission of high priority institutional grant proposals; and, created and organized numerous grant training programs that significantly improved the University’s return on investment.

Including her nine-year career at VCU, she has worked consistently in the fields of sponsored programming for education reform in areas serving high populations of underrepresented ethnic minorities (including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and tribal communities). In her role as a Program Officer at the National Alliance of State Science and Mathematics Coalitions, she served as the staff liaison to coalitions of state business, public policy, and education organizations partnering for STEM education reform. Before that she was Program Manager at the George Washington University Center for the Study of Globalization and previously was a Program Associate of the Grants Resource Center at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, where she provided personalized pre- and post-award technical assistance to administration and faculty of more than 25 state colleges and universities in the southeast states. Additionally, she has held research positions at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Among her professional and community activities, she has served as a grant reviewer for the Department of Education, NASA, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. She is active in a number of professional organizations, including the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP), where she has served in various committee roles. She also serves as a coach in the Association of American Colleges & Universities “Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future (PCFF) 2” program, and as Co-Lead Judge with the Emerging Researchers National Conference in STEM, a program hosted by the AAAS and the National Science Foundation.

NORDP Involvement

Dr. Venable has been a NORDP member for over 8 years. She is a past member and co-chair of NORDP’s Evaluation Committee, and most recently co-presented “Go or No-Go? Critical Decision-Making for Developing Large, Complex Grant Proposals” at the 11th Annual Research Development Conference.


Dr. Venable holds a Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University, a M.A. from The George Washington University, and a B.A. from Princeton University.