Advertisement

New NSF grants for oil spill

The National Science Foundation is ramping up to fund research projects that will probe inky depths of the Gulf of Mexico to determine the biological impact of the blown out Deepwater Horizon oil well, which continues to spew petroleum into the ocean. Marine geoscientist linkurl:Bilal Haq,;http://www.nsf.gov/staff/staff_bio.jsp?lan=bhaq&org=NSF&from_org= director of NSF's Marine Geology and Geophysics program, is spearheading the agency's effort to fund researchers speeding to the Gulf to study

By | May 19, 2010

The National Science Foundation is ramping up to fund research projects that will probe inky depths of the Gulf of Mexico to determine the biological impact of the blown out Deepwater Horizon oil well, which continues to spew petroleum into the ocean.
Marine geoscientist linkurl:Bilal Haq,;http://www.nsf.gov/staff/staff_bio.jsp?lan=bhaq&org=NSF&from_org= director of NSF's Marine Geology and Geophysics program, is spearheading the agency's effort to fund researchers speeding to the Gulf to study the spill's environmental effects. Haq told __The Scientist__ that the NSF is in the process of planning a program to fund long-term research into the impact of the spill, but that in the meantime the agency is reviewing grant applications submitted under a special disaster-response funding stream. The agency has received several Rapid Response Research (RAPID) proposals from researchers around the country. "There have been about 30-35 inquires," Haq said. "We're considering about 20 of those for actual funding." While he could not divulge the names of the researchers who proposed the projects likely to get funded, Haq did share brief descriptions of those projects. The list includes biogeochemical studies of the spill's impact on trace metal distribution in Gulf waters and on sandy beaches, and biological studies tracking the effect on blue crab populations, salt marshes, and benthic communities. RAPID grants, Haq noted, can provide researchers with up to $200,000 for a research project that is described in a 2-5 page linkurl:proposal;http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/papp/gpg_2.jsp#IID1 submitted to the NSF. He added that the agency will be awarding about $1.75 million to fund about 10 proposals sometime next week. And there's more funding available where that came from, according to Haq. "Whenever there's a crisis like this that requires immediate response and quick decisions from the NSF, [researchers] can apply for RAPIDs," Haq said. linkurl:Craig Carlson,;http://www.lifesci.ucsb.edu/eemb/faculty/carlson/ microbial ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told __The Scientist__ that several of his colleagues are gearing up to launch research projects to study the impacts of the oil spill in the Gulf, and they're looking to the NSF as a potential funder. "There's lots of different teams developing to study this," he said. Haq encouraged more scientists to log onto linkurl:www.nsf.gov;http://www.nsf.gov/ to get more information on applying for the grants. "Go to the NSF website and look up the opportunities that exist, especially in the rapid response-type proposals," he said. "We are entertaining all inquiries that come in and considering them seriously." __Editor's Note (20th May): This story has been updated from a previous version.__
**__Related stories:__***linkurl:Scientists brace for oil impact;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/57410/
[17th May 2010]*linkurl:The Future Of NSF: Four Key Issues Require Clarification;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/16018/
[22nd March 1993]
Advertisement

Comments

Avatar of: Jim Clark

Jim Clark

Posts: 14

May 20, 2010

Hi\n\nSpeaking just as someone who does not do research in this area, it would be interesting to go back and see how much research money had been spent on research related to discovery and extraction versus research on risk and consequences of accidents? Perhaps even possible to, given the benefit of hindsight, determine how much went to basic research that could have allowed for a better response to the disaster.\n\nTake care\nJim\n
Avatar of: Bob Grant

Bob Grant

Posts: 22

May 21, 2010

Bilal Haq, director of NSF's Marine Geology and Geophysics program, emailed me this morning and said that many researchers have been applying for RAPID grants since this story was posted on Wednesday.\n\nThe problem is that they're all applying directly to Haq. Because Haq only handles proposals in the field of geosciences, receiving a flood of RAPID applications from researchers working in a variety of fields can delay the review and award processes.\n\n"Applications should go to the relevant program officer in the applicant's field," Haq wrote. "And before applicants can send in a proposal they MUST talk to their program officers and get their concurrence."\n\nIf you are interested in applying for a RAPID grant, please directly contact the program in your relevant field of research and discuss your ideas with the program officer before applying for a RAPID, so that awards can be made as quickly as possible.\n\nThanks,\n\nBob Grant, Associate Editor, The Scientist
Avatar of: Seybert James

Seybert James

Posts: 4

May 25, 2010

Although it is heartening to see NSF's willingness to fund research after a major environmental disaster, it is sad to note that NSF is operating in a reactive rather than a proactive mode. The basic question is "Why wasn't NSF more concerned about this valuable field of study prior to a the Guld disaster?"\n\n--Jim

Follow The Scientist

icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-twitter icon-vimeo icon-youtube
Advertisement

Stay Connected with The Scientist

  • icon-facebook The Scientist Magazine
  • icon-facebook The Scientist Careers
  • icon-facebook Neuroscience Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Genetic Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Cell Culture Techniques
  • icon-facebook Microbiology and Immunology
  • icon-facebook Cancer Research and Technology
  • icon-facebook Stem Cell and Regenerative Science
Advertisement
Advertisement
Life Technologies