The University of Michigan reported on May 17 that they’ll receive a five year, $20 million grant from the U.S. federal government to form the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR). The funding comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. U of M will pledge $2.35 million to the institute over the five-year cooperative agreement, between cost-sharing and in-kind support.
The initiative will be hosted by U of M, but the CIGLR represents the collective efforts of nine different universities, multiple NGOs, and private businesses in partnership across the Great Lakes region. U of M indicates that more than 30 of its researchers and hundreds of students will research observing systems and advanced technology, invasive species and food-web ecology, hydrometeorological and ecosystem forecasting, and protection and restoration of resources. Other university partners have collectively committed $2.8 million in in-kind support.
Though the CIGLR is a new project, the research institute has been operating for several decades. CIGLR was formerly the Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research, originally established in 1989. The CIGLR states decision was made to change the institute’s name in 2017 to reflect the institute’s move toward more Great Lakes-centric research. They explain that,
“While the CIGLR will build on the foundations laid by CILER, the new institute will differ from its predecessor in several ways: greater investment by the host, more impactful partnerships, more interdisciplinary research, greater focus on co-design and quicker transitions from research to application.”
The CIGLR is one of 16 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations across the United States. It will be composed of a research institute and a national consortium; the institute’s mandate includes recruiting, training, and retaining research scientists and staff. The CIGLR’s primary NOAA research partner is the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, MI, where the CIGLR and NOAA researchers will work together on Great Lakes initiatives.