RESTON, Va., Oct. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) released a new call for research proposals, which will be the last round of funding by the organization to support research directed at improving our understanding of the effects of oil on the environment and people of the Gulf of Mexico region. The GoMRI program is scheduled to complete its work in 2020.
GoMRI is a ten-year program established by a $500 million commitment from BP following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. An independent, 20-member Research Board provides direction and oversight for GoMRI. A competitive, merit review process modeled after that of the U.S. National Science Foundation identifies research programs and projects to be funded by GoMRI. Data from all GoMRI-funded research are made available to the public via a data management system, GRIIDC.
This request for proposals (RFP-VI) will provide funding for up to two years (2018-2019). RFP-VI will receive submissions from Individual Investigator/Collaborations and Research Consortia.
"We have been very pleased by the quality of research produced by GoMRI-supported researchers. This science and engineering research has yielded findings that will improve our understanding of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem. New species have been discovered, and improved understanding of ocean currents and microbial degradation of oil have been gained. These and many other findings are helping us understand the environmental impacts of the release of oil into the environment," said Dr. Rita Colwell, Chair of the GoMRI Research Board. "This understanding is critical and brings us to a place where we have a more comprehensive understanding of how an oil spill moves through the Gulf of Mexico, and its influence on the environment and the citizens of the region."
GoMRI RFP-VI awards will total about $32.5 million per year for the next two years. It is anticipated that approximately 20 Individual Investigator/Collaborations and 10 Research Consortium awards will be made.
RFP-VI areas of focus are:
- Physical distribution, dispersion, and dilution of petroleum (oil and gas), its constituents, and associated contaminants (for example, 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 response, 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.
RFP-VI will consider applications focused on the designated research themes and topics, data integration, synthesis across themes and consortia, and overarching science and technology.
Those interested in submitting proposals for RFP-VI must submit a letter of intent by November 14, 2016. Full proposals must be received by March 3, 2017. It is anticipated that awards will be announced in September 2017, with start dates in January 2018.
Applicants are instructed to consult official RFP-VI guidance at http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-vi/. Additional information about GoMRI and prior research funded by GoMRI is available at www.gulfresearchinitiative.org.
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SOURCE Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)