The Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) National Laboratories Office (NLO) has developed a multi-element program to help the Texas A&M System researchers:
- develop collaborative ties with researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL);
- execute the Texas A&M System and LANL collaborative research projects; and
- formalize long-term relationships where appropriate, such as through joint appointments.
The goal is to increase the number and depth of research collaborations that benefit the A&M System, LANL, and the individuals involved. A key strategy toward that goal is to encourage the Texas A&M System’s researchers to spend time at LANL and learn about the laboratory’s missions that are supported by research in their areas of interest. Spending time at LANL, establishing relationships with its staff, and learning about its missions and key unsolved problems greatly increase the likelihood of long-term funded collaborations that benefit all parties.
Elements of the program
Exploration mini-grants are designed for the Texas A&M System researchers who have the skills, knowledge, and interest to develop long-term collaborative ties with LANL researchers but do not already have such ties. A typical exploration mini-grant would pay travel costs for a Texas A&M System researcher to visit one or more LANL researchers to see if there is mutual interest in pursuing a long-term collaboration.
Development fellowships are designed for A&M System researchers who have the skills, knowledge, and interest to develop long-term collaborative ties with LANL researchers and have already identified one or more LANL collaborators who are willing and able to engage in collaborative research. A typical development fellowship would fund up to 1.5 months of salary for the Texas A&M System researcher to work with the LANL collaborator(s) to write a joint proposal or joint research publication.
Research projects are designed for A&M System researchers who have mature collaborative ties with LANL collaborator(s) and have identified research topics suitable for joint effort and joint funding from the A&M System and LANL. A typical research project would fund one month per year of the researcher’s salary plus the stipend, tuition, and fees for one graduate student, for four years. A LANL collaborator would typically serve on the graduate student’s committee.
Long-term relationships can be formalized for A&M System researchers with whom long-term engagement is of strategic interest to LANL. This could take the form of a joint appointment of indefinite duration, under which LANL funds a portion of the A&M System researcher’s time each year and the researcher spends significant time working on problems of interest to LANL.
 In this document the term “research” includes a broad range of research and development activities.