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Suggested Citation:"Who We Are." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25459.

Who We Are

The Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010 resulted in the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. This had serious impacts on the environment and people of the Gulf of Mexico region. As part of the settlements in the criminal cases with the companies involved, the federal government requested that a new program be established at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine dedicated to funding and conducting activities to enhance offshore energy system safety, human health, and environmental resources in the Gulf of Mexico region and other U.S. outer continental shelf regions that support offshore energy production. Settlement funds totaling $500 million (see Table 1) were designated toward a 30-year endowment for what became the Gulf Research Program.

The Gulf Research Program (GRP) is an independent, science-based program that funds grants, fellowships, and other activities in the areas of research and development, education and capacity building, and monitoring and synthesis.

TABLE 1 Funding Schedule

Year BP Exploration and Production Inc. Transocean Deepwater Inc. Total Funds Received by the National Academy of Sciences
2013 $5 million $2 million $7 million
2014 $15 million $7 million $29 million
2015 $45 million $21 million $95 million
2016 $80 million $60 million $235 million
2017 $90 million $60 million $385 million
2018 $115 million $500 million

Our Focus Areas

Four initiatives advance the Gulf Research Program’s mission and vision:


Healthy Ecosystems

Advance understanding of ecosystem processes and dynamics to facilitate sustainable use of natural resources.


Thriving Communities

Enable people and coastal communities to successfully prepare for, respond, and adapt to stressors and adverse events.


Safer Offshore Energy Systems

Foster minimization and management of risk to make offshore operations safer for both people and the environment.


Capacity Building

Enhance the ability of researchers, decision makers, and communities to use science to solve challenges at the intersections of human, environmental, and offshore energy systems.

Suggested Citation:"Who We Are." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25459.
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Each year, the Gulf Research Program (GRP) produces an annual report to summarize how funds were used. These reports review accomplishments, highlight activities, and, over time, will assess metrics to determine how the program is progressing in accomplishing its goals. The 2018 annual report is the fifth report in this series.

The GRP is an independent, science-based program founded in 2013. Through grants, fellowships, and other activities, it seeks to enhance oil system safety and the protection of human health and the environment in the Gulf of Mexico region and other areas along the U.S. outer continental shelf with offshore oil and gas operations.

This report captures key developments and successes in 2018. The GRP continues to build on its past work and seeks to learn, think about, and plan for how and where it can have the greatest cumulative and lasting impacts.

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