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Institute Centers

Centers within the investment institutes provide faculty and students access to unique equipment and world-class facilites to conduct research and collaborate across disciplines.

Global Change Center

The mission of the Global Change Center is to advance interdisciplinary scholarship and education to address critical global changes impacting the environment and society. Interdisciplinary research is necessary to tackle the new frontier of global environmental challenges. The goal of the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech is to explicitly address the challenges posed by the interaction of climate change, pollution, invasive species, disease and habitat loss.


Center for Coastal Studies

The Center for Coastal Studies’ mission is to inspire societally relevant solutions to the complex challenges emerging in the coastal zone. The Center for Coastal Studies promotes a vibrant future for the world’s coastal zones through enabling, facilitating, and rewarding transdisciplinary research, education, and engagement.


Center for Emerging, Zoonotic, and Arthropod-borne Pathogens (Center for Infectious Disease)

Infectious diseases are constantly emerging and reemerging worldwide, causing immense threats to the health of humans, animals, and plants. This is especially clear now as researchers tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet this challenge, Virginia Tech has created the Center for Emerging, Zoonotic, and Arthropod-borne Pathogens.

Translational Plant Sciences Center

The mission of the Translational Plant Sciences Center is to advance basic knowledge in plant sciences to ensure global needs for food, feed, and fiber are met in an ecologically sustainable manner. Basic molecular research is an important component of this imperative, as are projects that translate new knowledge into practical solutions for sustainable agriculture.

Center for the Future of Work Places and Practices

The center uses transdisciplinary research related to the design, development, and deployment of future work spaces, processes, and domains, with an emphasis on human-centered approaches, to focus on the individual and the broader workplace. In research areas and education opportunities, the center will emphasize transdisciplinary expertise at the intersection of domains such as technology, design, policy, and economics.


Center for Educational Networks and Impacts

The Center for Educational Networks and Impacts (CENI) houses the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology’s education work, including outreach and engagement, research and evaluation, and partnership and advocacy. The center is committed to sharing research with the community, with the goal of collaborating in a culture of creativity with school systems, museums, and other educational institutions.

Through development of rigorous and cutting-edge assessment and evaluation methods, the center broadens awareness of, and participation in, research in pre K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and social, emotional, and academic development (SEAD)-based initiatives at the university — positioning Virginia Tech to make contributions to programmatic change in STEM education, and become a leader in STEM workforce development from early childhood through professional practice.

Center for Human Computer Interaction

The Center for Human Computer Interaction is a world leader in human-computer interaction research, both designing interactive experiences and studying human interaction with and through technology. Human-Computer Interaction pervades every aspect of life, from augmented reality to social media to autonomous vehicles to crowdsourcing. The center places special emphasis on two main research thrusts: 3D experiences and social informatics.

The center is an institute-level research center, with primary support and oversight coming from the Institute for Creativity Arts and Technology. In a unique partnership between institutes, the center also receives support and oversight from the Institute for Critical Technologies and Applied Science.

Center for Public Health Practice and Research

The Center for Public Health Practice and Research partners with an interdisciplinary group of faculty, staff and students at Virginia Tech and with community organizations to enhance public health practice and research in the region. The Center supports community-based projects and studies by collaborating with community partners to compete for and secure funding, as well as providing public health content and service expertise. The center collaborates with these university partners on grant writing, study design, implementation and evaluation, and offers technical public health expertise.

Center for Communicating Science

The Center for Communicating Science creates and supports opportunities for scientists, scholars, health professionals, and others to develop their abilities to communicate and connect. By applying collaboration and arts practices, researchers can learn to tell their stories and connect across varioius audiences.

Center for Gerontology

The Center for Gerontology serves as the organizational unit and focal point for aging-related activities at Virginia Tech. The center’s primary mission is to foster and facilitate multidisciplinary research that enhances the quality of life of older adults, focusing primarily on three areas: family gerontology, health and aging, and elder rights.

Center for Biostatistics and Health Data Science

The mission of the Center for Biostatistics and Health Data Science is to achieve excellence in Virginia Tech’s health and medically related research portfolio through fostering collaborations across biostatistics, data science, health analytics, computer science, engineering, bioinformatics, biology, database management and integration, project coordination, clinical practice, health economics, translation, and public policy.

Center for Agricultural Trade

The Center for Agricultural Trade aims to become a national leader in the creation and dissemination of information and analysis for policymakers, commercial firms, and producers in the global marketplace for agricultural products through a three-fold mission focused on education, outreach and research.

Center for Refugee, Migrant and Displacement Studies

The Center for Refugee, Migrant and Displacement Studies conducts research and outreach activites with recently resettled refugee, migrant or displaced families in the Blacksburg and New River Valley areas and collaborates with multiple other Virginia Tech units and local service agencies.

Center for Rural Education

The Center for Rural Education aims to advance educational equity in rural communities through research and outreach. Working with transdisciplinary teams from Virginia Tech and beyond, especially partners in rural communities, the Center for Rural Education seeks to understand and address the complex challenges that impact rural schooling. With the overarching goal of expanding learning opportunities for young people in rural places, the center engages in robust research and meaningful outreach focused on serving students and underrepresented and historically marginalized rural populations in Southwest Virginia, Central Appalachia, and other rural communities throughout the United States and across the globe.

Interdisciplinary Research Centers

Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science supports groups of researchers that pool faculty and student expertise to create dynamic, cohesive teams with a unique combination of skills to tackle complex problems. Institute support helps these groups attract external funding, with the goal of eventually becoming self-sustaining.