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Governor’s University Research Initiative (GURI)

Governor Greg Abbott and The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) today announced that Surendra Shah, Ph.D., has joined the Departments of Material Science and Engineering and Civil Engineering at UTA through the Governor’s University Research Program (GURI).

The matching GURI award of $1,965,000 will aid Dr. Shah’s research on nano-material impact on the performance and infrastructure of cements, and also fund the construction of the new UTA Center for Advanced Construction and Innovative Materials for Infrastructure. This new facility is expected to attract significant external funding as well as develop agreements with companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond that are engaged in construction materials to spur economic development. Aside from his research, Dr. Shah will teach courses related to construction and advanced materials.

“I am honored to welcome Dr. Shah to Texas, and I look forward to the opportunities that the new Center for Advanced Construction and Innovative Materials for Infrastructure will bring to UTA,” said Governor Abbott. “Both UTA and the entire state of Texas will benefit greatly from Dr. Shah’s research. Dr. Shah’s presence in Texas will have a profound impact on the fields of engineering and construction and keep Texas at the top for cutting-edge research, economic development, and innovation.

“Dr. Surendra Shah received his B.E. from B.V.M. College in India, his M.S. from Lehigh University, and Ph.D. from Cornell University. He has over 500 published papers with 57 in the last five years, edited more than 20 books, has four patents, and received numerous awards including election to the National Academy of Engineering (2006). Dr. Shah is also known for his leadership of the NSF Center for Advanced Cement Based Materials (ACBM). Dr. Shah’s research primarily focuses on understand ing the basic chemistry and microstructure of cementitious materials, the applied aspects of their physical properties, and the applications for these materials.

Founded in 2015, GURI assists Texas public universities in recruiting the best and brightest researchers from around the world to the Lone Star State. About Governor’s University Research Initiative (GURI) The Governor’s University Research Initiative (GURI), enacted in 2015, is aimed at helping Texas public institutions of higher education recruit distinguished researchers from around the world to the State of Texas. The program seeks to bolster both the standing of Texas public colleges and universities and economic development efforts statewide.

Who Can Apply?
Eligible Texas public institutions of higher education attempting to recruit distinguished researchers.

Type of Incentive
Matching grants paid on a cost-reimbursement basis. The state’s grant contribution may not exceed $5 million per distinguished researcher.

Eligibility Details
For full eligibility details and eligible grant reimbursement cost categories, please refer to the GURI Statute and the GURI Administrative Rules, as well as the GURI Application Kit document.

A “distinguished researcher” is defined as:

  1. A Nobel Laureate or the recipient of an equivalent honor, or
  2. A member of a national honorific society, such as the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, or an equivalent honorific organization.

Basic qualifying criteria for a prospective applicant includes, but is not limited to the following:

  1. Applicant must be an eligible institution
  2. The researcher proposed for recruitment must meet all the eligibility requirements necessary to qualify as a distinguished researcher
  3. The proposal must involve the recruitment of a distinguished researcher in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or medicine
  4. The applicant institution cannot recruit a distinguished researcher from another eligible institution or a private or independent institution of higher education
  5. The grant application must have the support of the applicant institution’s president and of the institution’s governing board, the chair of the institution’s governing board, or the chancellor of the University System if the applicant institution is a component of a University System
  6. Preference is given to those recruitments which are most likely to enhance Texas’ economic competitiveness, create a unique locus of research in Texas, include federal or private funding, and lead the development of intellectual property or the commercialization of technology, among other factors.

This matching grant program has a rolling application process. Before applying for the program, eligible institutions of higher education should review the Application Kit document. GURI applications will only be accepted through the online application portal.

All GURI applications are reviewed by an Advisory Board, which presents its recommendation for approval and disapproval of each application to the Governor’s Office. The Governor’s Office then makes a final decision whether to award a grant using its discretionary authority.

Final decisions are not subject to appeal.