BP and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance announced today that the independent Research Board of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GRI) has released its Request for Proposals for studies into the effects of the Deepwater Horizon incident and the potential associated impact on the environment and public health. The $500 million GRI is funded by BP and administered by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance.
"We are pleased that the Research Board has reached this important milestone in the development of the GRI," said David Rainey, Vice President of Science, Technology, Environment, and Regulatory Affairs, for BP's Gulf Coast Restoration Organization. "We are deeply grateful to the Research Board for their efforts to develop a rigorous, fair, and transparent scientific process."
Today's announcement details the provisions for administering the remaining years of the 10-year program. The independent Research Board of the GRI has created a selection process that includes an open Request for Proposals, peer review of the submissions, selection of the Research Consortia to study the five research themes, and award of funds during the summer of 2011.
"I have been very impressed by the commitment of every member of the Research Board to create the sustainable processes that now underpin a program of the highest possible scientific quality," said Rita Colwell, the Chair of the Research Board. "I could not have asked for a better team to take on this important challenge."
Upon completion of the 10-year GRI, BP will have made significant investments in scientific research to understand the impact of the incident and improve our understanding of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystems. Investments include:
"We have created a structure which facilitates the unique, scientific knowledge of Gulf State academic institutions to study and to ultimately contribute to the viability of the Gulf Coast," said Dr. Bill Walker, Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and current Co-Chair of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Management Team.
Debra Benoit, MEd Nicholls State University
Peter Brewer, PhD Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Rita Colwell, PhD University of Maryland College Park
Richard Dodge, PhD Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center
John Farrington, PhD University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
Kenneth Halanych, PhD Auburn University
David Halpern, PhD California Institute of Technology
William Hogarth, PhD University of South Florida
Jörg Imbeger, PhD University of Western Australia
Margaret Leinen, PhD Florida Atlantic University-Harbor Branch
Raymond Orbach, PhD University of Texas at Austin
Jürgen Rullkötter, PhD Inst. for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment
David Shaw, PhD Mississippi State University
John Shepherd, PhD University of Southampton
Robert Shipp, PhD University of South Alabama
Burton Singer, PhD University of Florida
Ciro Sumaya, MD, MPHTM Texas A&M Health Science Center
Denis Wiesenburg, PhD University of Southern Mississippi
Charles Wilson, PhD Louisiana State University
Dana Yoerger, PhD Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
All GRI-funded research is independent of BP, and the results will be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals with no requirement for BP approval.
BP US Press Office, (281) 366-4463, firstname.lastname@example.org