Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) is a rapidly growing Hispanic Serving Institution located in Laredo, Texas. While the research capacity has rapidly increased in terms of articles, books, conference presentations and pedagogical grants, the institution has had modest success in securing faculty research-related funding. The goal of the proposed TAMIU Extramural Associate Program is to strengthen the research administration and establish a solid infrastructure to support and increase research participation by faculty and students. Through this application the EARDA nominee will receive the necessary training to provide research oriented activities in order to increase the number of faculty research awards thus changing the university research culture. This award will allow for the development of a self-sustaining Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) to facilitate and promote interdisciplinary research as well as coordinate all research related activities for faculty.
The specific aims are to: 1) build research capacity for our faculty and students, and develop the ability to serve this region particularly in the biomedical and behavioral science fields;2) increase the amount of interdisciplinary projects as well as collaborative projects with other institutions;3) support faculty involvement in research activities;4) coordinate and build on previously developed initiatives;and 5) create a Grants Working Group. In order to accomplish these tasks, the OSR will offer a series of general training sessions for all faculty, staff, and students interested in developing their research skills, and specialized training to members of the Grants Working Group. The OSR will provide faculty with technical assistance for the development of research proposals, post-award services for compliance, grant management and administration, and communication of results. OSR will also fund pilot research programs for the faculty. The development of sponsored research is essential to the mission of TAMIU. As we serve a regional population where nearly three out of ten individuals live below the poverty line and over nine out of ten are Hispanic, the university is called upon to serve as a resource to this region with needs that are unique to that of many other places in the United States. The EARDA program will help increase the capacity to perform specialized research, and as a result various faculty and students from TAMIU will be seen as attractive partners for collaborative research with investigators at other institutions.
Texas A&M International University, a Hispanic serving institution, is a rapidly growing new university serving the educational needs of South Texas. The EARDA program will strengthen our institution research infrastructure and capacity, thus enhancing the coordination and development of research on public health issues in this region. It is expected that the EARDA program will assist us in fostering and facilitating ongoing research activities.