VP&S Pre-award Core

The Columbia University VP&S Pre-award Core was established with the goal of sharing specialized services to create a better pre-award experience and to reduce the administrative burden of the submission process. The Pre-award Core strives to enhance the efficiency, accuracy, and excellence of PIs’ proposal applications. The Core combines the personalized service of department-level support with the expertise and competences of a group of specialists focused solely on pre-award.

Pre-award officers are assigned to proposals in the early stages of grant development, enabling faculty to focus on the scientific aspects of the project. The officers assist with expediting the proposal development process and addressing immediate needs. The pre-award officers are also knowledgeable about agency and institutional requirements, helping to avoid potential delays or barriers that could arise during the submission process.

Pre-award Services

Pre-award Expertise. The Pre-award Core provides support with proposal and budget development for all sponsored projects, including:

  • Federal and state grants and contracts
  • Foundation grants
  • Industry contracts
  • Professional and other private organizations grants and contracts
  • Columbia University small grant programs
  • Sub-agreements

Pre-award Assistance. The officers will work closely with faculty to:

  • Review sponsor funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) to confirm eligibility and proposal requirements
  • Prepare grant and fellowship applications
  • Develop budget and drafting budget justifications
  • Engage with outside collaborators and establishing subcontracts
  • Assist with writing administrative sections of grants including letters of support, biographical sketches, facilities and resources, and more
  • Route and secure institutional approval, endorsements, and signatures
  • Respond to summary statement and addressing issues
  • Prepare JIT requests
  • Monitor proposal status

Contact Us

Pre-award Core Team

  • Anna Cetnerowski, MPA

    Senior Director VP&S Grant Management Services

    Anna Cetnerowski joined the VP&S Office for Research in June 2017. In her role as Senior Director of Grant Management Services, she manages and provides support for grant submissions and all administrative activities within the Pre-award Core for the Basic Science Departments (Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, Genetics & Development, the Institute of Genomic Medicine, Medical Humanities & Ethics, Microbiology & Immunology, Pharmacology, Physiology & Cellular Biophysics, and Systems Biology).

    Since 2012, she has worked and supported Columbia’s faculty and administration in the basic sciences and clinical departments. She has extensive experience in pre- and post-grant management and has previously successfully managed submissions of complex, multi-projects awards, including NIH P, T, and U series grants. Prior to joining the Office for Research, she worked as a program coordinator in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, and as a Grants Manager in the Department of Medicine. She holds a MPA in Public Management from Baruch College, CUNY and a BS in Business Administration Management from the University of Gdansk in Poland.

  • Dola Sengupta, PhD

    Senior Research Administrator, Pre-award Core

    Dola Sengupta joined the Office for Research as Senior Research Administrator in late July 2017.  She received her Ph.D.  in Molecular Biology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and then did her postdoctoral training at the Harvard Medical School and Yale University School of Medicine. Before coming to Columbia in 2008, she worked as a Project Leader at the biotechnology firm Curagen in New Haven, Connecticut. Dr. Sengupta began her work at Columbia University in the Columbia Stem Cell Initiative (CSCI) in the Dept. of Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine. As the Administrative Director of CSCI, she very successfully administered all of CSCI’s activities, including strategic and financial planning, as well as research administration. She was also responsible for research (pre and post award) administration for the entire department of Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine. Since the beginning of 2017, she has assisted the financial and research administration of the Departments of Neuroscience and Dermatology and has also assisted the VP&S Finance group. In her new role in the Office for Research, Dr. Sengupta will work in the Pre-Award Core group and will manage and provide support for grant submissions and all administrative activities within the Pre-Award Core for the Basic Science Departments at CUIMC.

  • Wendy Goldberg

    Associate Director, Pre-award Core

    Wendy Goldberg joined the VP&S Office for Research Pre-award Core as a Senior Research Administrator in July 2018.  She received her BA in Business Studies from Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland UK.  Since 2001, she has 17 years of experience providing service to Columbia’s faculty in pre and post award management in the following departments; Biomedical Engineering Department, Neurology Department, Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Joint Systems for Systems Biology and G.H. Sergievsky Center.  Grants have ranged from NIH (P, T, U, F and R01’s), NSF, DOD, NYSTEM and private Foundations, in which she assisted from proposal to closeout in regards to budget, compliance and administrative guidance.  In her new role, Wendy will provide support for grant submissions and all administrative activities within the Pre-Award Core for the Basic Science Departments at CUIMC. 

  • Cristina Chen, PhD

    Grants Coordinator, Pre-award Core

    Cristina Chen joined the VP&S Office for Research in October 2018.  As Grants Coordinator, she will be providing pre-award grant preparation and submission support for the basic science and clinical research faculty.  Prior to joining the Office for Research, her doctoral and postdoctoral research focused on the identification and characterization of modulators of skin sensory neuron development and the characterization of neuropsychiatric risk genes identified via next-generation sequencing, respectively.  In addition, Cristina has held a number of academic service leadership positions, including Chair of the Postdoctoral Career Development Program, Elected Member of the Postdoctoral Liaison Committee, and Co-Chair of the Graduate Student Recruitment Committee.  She is also committed to science outreach and advocacy efforts, and has served as a mentor for the Partners for the Future Program for high school students and has advocated for increased funding to the NIH at the Rally for Medical Research in Washington D.C.  Cristina holds a BA in Economics from Cornell University, a PhD in Neuroscience from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and completed her postdoctoral training at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.