Nominees were asked to confirm their nomination by providing a brief statement on why they want to serve if elected. These statements, with links (if available) to the PI’s home page, are posted below. See the full College/Unit CPI seat allocations for 2015-16.
2015-16 CPI election results are noted below.
- Batteas, James (Chemistry) – “I am happy to be nominated and if elected, would be pleased to serve as the Vice Chair of the CPI. I joined the Chemistry Department of Texas A&M University in 2005, following an appointment as a Senior Staff Scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Prior to that, I was a tenured faculty member at the City University of New York, where I began my independent career in 1996. My research is in the highly interdisciplinary area of nanoscience and nanotechnology and as such, over the past 20 years, I have been involved with programs across many agencies, from NSF, NIST and NIH, to DARPA, DOE and the USDA. This gives me a broad perspective on the opportunities and challenges faced in the research enterprise in numerous areas. More information is available about me and my research group on my website at:http://www.chem.tamu.edu/rgroup/batteas/index.html. Since being elected to the CPI, and having served on its executive committee for the past year, I have garnered much better insight into the research operations at TAMU, and it has been my goal to work with the administration, at all levels, to determine how we can best utilize the extensive resources of TAMU to further enhance the stature of the university by supporting our research and teaching missions, especially though improvements in infrastructure. Having exceptional research facilities is an integral part of sustaining and growing a research university such as TAMU, and I have been working hard to improve our capabilities as Director of the Materials Characterization Facility. In support of this broadly across the university and the agencies, I am also serving as a member of the RDF Advisory Committee, and I am very enthusiastic about the possibilities this resource brings for enhancing the research enterprise at TAMU. These are very exciting times for growth at A&M and if elected as CPI Vice Chair, I would seek to continue to work closely with our administration on the behalf of all PI’s to seek to: 1) help increase the competitiveness of TAMU for major research grants and centers, 2) seek solid improvements in our support services for research proposal submission and grants management, and 3) continue to push for game changing research facilities and infrastructure to help support the outstanding scholarship of the faculty across all disciplines.”
Mays Business School
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
- Bazer, Fuller (Animal Science) – “I have been a member of the faculty at Texas A&M University since 1992 and have been active in the Interdisciplinary Faculty of Reproductive Biology since that time, and I have held a number of administrative positions. I wish to serve as a member of the Council of Principle Investigators to represent the wishes of my colleagues in the life sciences across campus, but also to represent the desire for a stronger research environment that benefits all regardless of discipline.”
- Dickman, Martin (Plant Pathology & Microbiology) – “I am a broadly and continuously funded PI with an active research program and have served on many national (NIH, NSF and USDA, as well as international grant panels. My interest is to promote research and enhance research capabilities at TAMU. My interest and experience are in accord with these objectives.”
- Eubanks, Micky (Entomology) – “I am a Professor and Texas A&M AgriLife Research Fellow in the Department of Entomology and am a member of the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I have been PI or co-PI on NSF, USDA, and NIH grants and have served on NSF, USDA, and EPA grant panels. If Texas A&M University is serious about meeting its goal of being a truly elite research institution, then it is essential that Texas A&M University make it easier for principal investigators to develop, submit, and administer successful federal grants. It is also essential that Texas A&M University promote quality faculty interactions that lead to synergistic collaborations and enhanced federal funding. If elected to CPI, then I will be a strong advocate for improving administrative support for PI’s and facilitating collaborations among our large and diverse faculty.”
- *Riggs, Penny (Animal Science) – “I’m honored to be nominated to represent the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for a second term as a CPI member. As a member, I am committed to working for continuous enhancement and improvement of the research environment for principal investigators; communicating concerns, ideas, and suggestions on behalf of research faculty; and promotion of multi- and interdisciplinary collaboration – for the goal of excellence and overall elevation of the Texas A&M research enterprise.”
College of Science
- DePoy, Darren (Physics) – “I would like to serve on the CPI to help guide the discussion of improving the research climate, administration, and support at Texas A&M. I have been an active researcher with external grants at two large research institutions for more than 25 years and have held grants and/or contracts from NSF, DOE, NASA, and several other sources, so I feel I can represent many researchers and be an effective liaison with a broad range of PIs.”
- Safonov, Alexei (Physics)– “I would like to thank my colleagues who nominated me for the important role played by the CPI in research organization at Texas A&M. This nomination came unexpected to me, but after some consideration I decided to stand in this election as I feel this is one area where I can be effective and my experience can help in making a difference in improving the climate and increasing the efficiency and strength of our research enterprise. I am a Professor at the Department of Physics working in the area of experimental particle physics. I joined TAMU in 2006 as a junior faculty and built my research program, which now expanded into a large and well funded effort that includes researchers, engineers, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students. Running a program funded by 4-5 grants at any given time, several of which are renewed ever year, I well understand the challenges all of us face in supporting our research enterprises as well as the deficiencies in our research administration organization. Over these years, I have bumped into a number of unusual situations related to operating an active research program, which required me to work closely with people at the VPR’s office, RF and SRS to resolve them. That gave me some valuable experience as I was able to learn about the challenges on the “other side” that appear at different levels in our research administration system. It helped me evolve from being a vocal critic of the way things are organized to learning how to work constructively with the research administration, understand the origin of the problems they are facing, find and implement solutions. I did not become a collaborationist and my heart stayed in the right place, but I did learn to appreciate the importance of finding ways to bridge the “cultural gap” between the PIs and administration in order to find solutions to problems and make them scalable. I see the CPI as exactly that critical bridge, and I am prepared to work for you and with you in making this bridging efficient for the good of all of us. If elected, I will also focus on combating the issue of the growing pile of compliance requirements we all face. Some of these come from the federal government, but others seem as just poorly thought out local decisions, which can and should be eliminated or corrected quickly. Another specific issue I want to help with is fixing the system of the indirect cost distribution flow, which has developed into a major source of problems and delays both for us and for the SRS.”
- Sottile, Frank (Mathematics)– “I have been at Texas A&M as a professor in the department of mathematics for over a decade and previously worked at the University of Massachusetts. During my time at Texas A&M, I have benefitted from the work of others on the CPI who have looked out for my interests and those of other PIs. This helped me to develop my career at the national and international level; I am a CAREER award winner, a fellow of the American Mathematical Society, and helped to found and run the activity group on Applications of Algebraic Geometry within the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. I feel very strongly about the quality of the research enterprise at Texas A&M and believe that it is time for me to direct my energies to help to maintain that quality and to represent the interests of the PIs to our administration. I look forward to the opportunity to serve as a representative to the CPI of the community of researchers in the College of Science.”
Texas A&M University at Qatar
- Bouhali, Othmane (Physics) – “It gives me great pleasure to be nominated for CPI and I accept this nomination. I am a Research Associate Professor and Director of Research Computing at Texas A&M University at Qatar. I hold a joint appointment with the Qatar Computing Research Institute. I have been nominated as co-chair of the Principal Investigation Council (PIC) of TAMUQ. I am also founder and director of the TAMUQ Advanced Scientific Computing TASC group.I can cite 3 motivations why I accept this nomination:
1. As a branch campus in Qatar, representing my PI colleagues in the CPI council will ensure their concerns and experiences to be shared with our colleagues in main campus.
2. It will help us make more connections and collaborations between the main and branch campuses. To achieve this goal, I would propose an annual joint research forum between TAMU and TAMUQ to explore collaborations and prepare for future grants. This relationship will serve as a bridge between local (Qatar) institutions and the the main campus.
3. As a PIC member at TAMUQ, I will continue to work with our administration to consolidate and enhance the research portfolio of TAMUQ according to the rules and regulations of TAMU.”
Texas A&M AgriLife Research
- Fugen, Dou (Soil and Crop Sciences – Beaumont, TX) – “I am an Assistant Professor of Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center at Beaumont. My research is focusing on the effects of environmental conditions and management practices on agricultural ecosystems, especially on carbon and nutrient cycling. As an off-campus scientist, I am familiar with the multitudes of issues and challenges that face researchers in such an environment. If elected, I’ll serve the Texas A&M University research community to the best of my ability.”
College of Engineering
- Jimenez, Daniel (Computer Science and Engineering) – “The CPI provides an important voice for the Texas A&M research community. It proactively seeks ways to improve the research experience at Texas A&M, while finding the best ways for our research community to work with administration. I would like to help with this work as a member of the CPI. I have been PI or co-PI on many research grants including nine from NSF, and an NSF CAREER award. Moreover, I bring a different perspective: I have been a PI at another AAU state university (Rutgers), and I have been a Department Chair (UT San Antonio). In addition, I have served on the CPI previously and am currently a member of the Faculty Senate where I am a vocal faculty advocate. This experience gives me a good insight into solutions as well as constraints related to the administration of research. I would like to represent the interests of our College to make sure we can maintain and grow our research programs. I am particularly interested in initiatives to recruit excellent graduate students who are vital to our work. With the restructuring of IDC, I want to ensure that our College shares in the new opportunities for large-scale projects without neglecting established research models. For me, the most important guiding principle will be that of freedom: PIs should be free to carry out high-quality research without excessive burden. Administration should enable and support this freedom at all levels while exercising its responsibility to sponsors. I will be a strong advocate for you on the CPI.”
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
- Skow, Loren – “I am a Professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS) and a member of the Graduate Faculty of Genetics, having served as Chair of the Faculty of Genetics for 6 years. In addition to representing the CVMBS as a CPI representative for the past two years, I also serve on the TAMU Advisory Board for the Institute for Genomic Sciences and Society. I maintain an active research program in animal genomics and am familiar with many of the issues facing research scientists and graduate students at TAMU. I believe my tenure as a current CPI representative and my experience in research and graduate studies enables me to serve as an effective voice to identify issues of importance to the TAMUS research community.”
Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and Technology
- Hurdle, Julian – “I very much welcome the opportunity to serve on the CPI to enhance TAMU’s research environment and positioning for extramural funding. I am a PI of a NIH funded laboratory and a standing member of the NIH study section DDR. With the changing landscapes for funding at the NIH and opportunities for new investigators, I very much understand the challenges of obtaining funding and driving a successful research program. I also understand some of the perils of the review process. My research program is inter-disciplilnary and translational, which requires skills in fostering collaborations to achieve best possible research outcomes. If elected, I will serve as an advocate to understand the concerns of PIs, and I believe I will be especially effective in representing the concerns of new investigators and helping to improve our graduate program.”
College of Geosciences
- Roark, Brendan – “I’ve been in the College of Geosciences since 2008 when I was hired as an ODASES faculty member in the Department of Geography. Since that time I’ve been Director of the Stable Isotope Geosciences Facility which serves the stable isotope analytical needs of several PIs and students within the College and across the University. I’m also serving as chair of the ODASES XRF laboratory committee and I’m a regular contributor to efforts aimed at expanding the analytical capabilities across the College. I’ve received funding from NSF, NOAA, BOEM, and the Norman Hackerman Advanced Research Program for interdisciplinary research projects including multi-PI, multi-institution, and multiple-federal agencies partner projects. My research interests stretch across all four departments and IODP and as a result I work with a diverse cross section of the College. I would like to serve on the CPI because I want to improve the research enterprise for all PIs on campus, with a focus on expanding opportunities and resources as well as ensuring PIs are receiving the support needed to be more efficient in securing external funding. If elected I will work hard to understand and represent your concerns to administrators and make constructive suggestions that improve transparency and the research environment.”
College of Education and Human Development
- Liew, Jeffrey (Educational Psychology)– “The Council of Principal Investigators (CPI) plays a vital role in working with administration to facilitate effective and efficient mechanisms and practices that ensure quality and ethics in research and teaching. I support the mission of the CPI, and want to continue serving and contributing to its efforts. My research expertise is broadly in human development and the learning sciences. “Aggies Commit to Learning for a Lifetime”, and research on education and human development is foundational to meeting the needs of all learners from childhood to adulthood. Education and developmental researchers bring unique perspectives and concerns to the table, because we often conduct research in the schools and universities as well as homes or community organizations with children and families. The nature and scope of our research require collaborative and interdisciplinary efforts, and I understand the need for support and coordination within and across colleges and administrative offices. By serving on the CPI, I will continue working toward improving institutional mechanisms and practices that support the interests and needs of the members of our research community.”
*The CPI defines a “PI” as a PI or Co-PI on at least one externally reviewed and funded project or grant within the previous three years. –see bylaws, Section 2. Representation, A. Definition of PI