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11/14/14 - Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative issues call for research proposals

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) will award approximately $9 million per year for the next three years to support research on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon incident on the Gulf of Mexico. The new program, RFP-V, is the second GoMRI initiative to fund research by individual investigators or small teams of researchers.

GoMRI is a 10-year research initiative established in 2010 by a $500 million commitment from BP. GoMRI is administered by an independent Research Board, which consists of 20 experts in science, research administration, and public health. The Research Board evaluates research proposals following the merit review guidelines of the National Academies of Science and with procedures similar to those used by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

“The Gulf of Mexico is a remarkably rich and complex environmental system,” said Rita Colwell, chairman of the GoMRI Research Board. “Identifying and unraveling these biological and oceanographic complexities requires a focused and long-term commitment. We are pleased that GoMRI is able to facilitate research that is helping to inform our understanding of these interactions.”

David Shaw, Mississippi State University's vice president for research and economic development, serves on the GoMRI board.

The RFP-V program will award grants ranging from $100,000 to $1 million per year.

GoMRI supports research in five thematic areas:

-- Physical distribution, dispersion, and dilution of petroleum (oil and gas), its constituents, and associated contaminants (e.g., dispersants) under the action of physical oceanographic processes, air-sea interactions, and tropical storms.

-- Chemical evolution and biological degradation of the petroleum/dispersant system and subsequent interaction with coastal, open-ocean, and deep-water ecosystems.

-- Environmental effects of the petroleum/dispersant system on the sea floor, water column, coastal waters, beach sediments, wetlands, marshes, and organisms; and the science of ecosystem recovery.

-- Technology developments for improved responses, mitigation, detection, characterization, and remediation associated with oil spills and gas releases.

-- Impact of oil spills on public health including behavioral, socioeconomic, environmental risk assessment, community capacity, and other population health considerations and issues.

Research applications to the RFP-V program must address questions that will increase our knowledge of at least one of these five themes.

Individuals and teams interested in applying for research support under the RFP-V program must submit a Letter of Intent by 5 p.m. Eastern time on Dec. 15. Full proposals will be due by March 13, 2015. It is anticipated that awards will be announced around Nov. 13, 2015, and that most grants will run from 2016 through 2018. All RFP-V program requirements and guidelines are available on the GoMRI Web site at http://gulfresearchinitiative.org.

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