Summer 2013 – Frequently Asked Questions by Dr. Chuck Wilson

(From Summer 2013 Newsletter) Dr. Chuck Wilson, Senior Scientist for the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), answers a few of the most frequently asked questions about the program.

1. Who is doing the research that’s funded through GoMRI?

The research is primarily being conducted at academic institutions in the US Gulf Coast States. However, given the global nature and size of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, those institutions have partnerships with other institutions based across the US and internationally. To date, GoMRI funding involves over 150 universities/institutions; 38 states; eight countries; and over 1,400 researchers, students, and staff.

2. How much funding has been given out already?

To date, there have been four Grant sets (all are closed):
a. Block Grants provided directly from BP to Gulf State Institutions and a conditional gift to the National Institutes of Health to establish critical baseline data (Announced June 2010) – $45 million
b. Bridge Grants for sampling continuation (announced July 2011) – $1.5 million
c. Consortia Grants (announced August 2011) – $110.5 million
d. Investigator Grants (announced August 2012) – $18.6 million

The Research Board expects to release another funding opportunity in mid-November 2013 for GoMRI Research Consortia and a RFP for individual and small research group investigations will be forthcoming in late 2014. For more information about this, you can see the announcement on the GoMRI website.

How will GoMRI’s work relate to the National Academies of Science’s (NAS) funding for oil spill research in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the Deepwater Horizon incident?

The NAS is separate from GoMRI and they are currently developing their own plan and However, there is a continuum of research needs and the GoMRI and NAS each have a unique place on this continuum. It is incumbent upon both programs, as well as the various federal and state agencies supporting post spill research, to work to ensure that there are not large gaps in the research. It is vitally important that we all work to share the findings of our research programs with each other and to make certain that research findings are being provided to decision-makers charged with restoring the Gulf, protecting public health, and reducing future risks from energy development.

[Back to the Summer 2013 Newsletter]