June 16, 2021

Team Profile: Stefanie Chernyakov, Customer Success Manager

Stefanie Chernyakov is a customer success manager at Altum. She’s been with the company for more than 8 years working together with hundreds of grant makers to help them achieve their funding goals. Well versed in the full Altum product and end-to-end grant making process, she’s developed exceptional expertise in the peer review area. Over the last few years, she’s helped the US Food and Drug Administration manage their annual review process, which can be up to 8 months long. She sets up their committees and reviewers and helps guide the process in from start to finish in ProposalCentral.  With dozens of peer reviews under her belt, here are Stefanie’s best practices for running a great peer review and find the best researchers:  

  • Have reviewers agree to a NDA and COI document. While ProposalCentral automatically flags conflicts based on common institutions, its best practice to have reviewers sign a non-disclosure agreement and conflict of interest agreement. Doing so helps mitigate risk and allows for a more open and free exchange of ideas.
  • Share critiques with reviewers prior to the meeting so that everyone is up to date and equipped with the same information.  
  • When you meet, use real-time voting. Enabling reviewers to vote in real-time helps make the process more interactive and transparent.   
  • Focus your reviewers on the information you want them to see. You can configure the peer review experience in ProposalCentral so that your reviewers, upon log in, see the applications, scores, and critiques assigned to them.  
  • Automatically arrange applications by reviewer average score or committee average score. PC does this for you, so that the most promising applications rise to the top. 


Fun Fact: Stefanie is a huge sports fanatic who likes to run and is self-described as “uber competitive.” During the pandemic she completed a virtual half marathon! 

I just love my job. I enjoy the clients, what we do, and the mission behind it. Moreover, it’s cool to be able to partner with a grant maker from the very beginning; setting up their program and seeing the process all the way through.