UTEP President Heather Wilson and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., announced new initiatives to strengthen collaboration and expand health research involving faculty at both universities.
“Improving lives across the Borderland through health education and research is at the forefront of our mission at TTUHSC El Paso,” Dr. Lange said. “Our collaboration with UTEP is an important component in our efforts to expand programs that directly impact the people of our community now and in the future. By working together, we can ensure not only increased opportunities for innovative research, but an enhanced education for students from both universities.”
The universities established a new seed grant program to which each institution will contribute up to $100,000 over the next two years. Under the program, UTEP and TTUHSC El Paso will review and select proposals from faculty seeking support for collaborative research projects that can lead to external funding. Seed projects will be funded up to $25,000 per team of UTEP and TTUHSC El Paso faculty.
The latest phase of the collaboration also includes:
- The creation of a joint task force to catalog and increase opportunities for shared use of research equipment and facilities at both institutions.
- A plan to streamline joint faculty appointments so that faculty at one institution can teach and conduct research as adjunct faculty at the other institution.
- Additional efforts to simplify oversight of joint research.
A year ago, TTUHSC El Paso and UTEP agreed to change their research review processes to make joint research easier. In addition to regular reviews and streamlined processes, senior faculty members from each university serve on the Institutional Review Boards of the other.
Faculty at both institutions have also worked together on numerous projects addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over the past year, TTUHSC El Paso and UTEP have removed barriers to working together,” President Wilson said. “Now we are taking it to the next step. We want to open pathways to expanded health research in El Paso. We are stronger together than either of us are alone.”