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To Attract Top Minds, Gov. Abbott Issuing Grants To Out-Of-State Scientists


On Monday evening, Gov. Gregg Abbott recommitted himself to directing public funds towards attracting and retaining top scientific talent, pointing to grants as a major key to recruiting top researchers from other states. He expressed frustration that the University of Texas was so frequently rated alongside the University of California at Santa Barbara and San Diego. One way to leap above the competition is to outspend the states on their home turf, the governor told a crowd of research execs and public figures Monday night. 

From 2011 to 2015, Texas offered close to $40M in research grants to New York scientists, D Healthcare Daily reports. The state has also used money to draw talent from Michigan and Massachusetts. In the last legislative session, Perry's Emerging Technology Fund was eliminated, transitioning much of the money to a $40M pool known as the Governor's University Research Initiative.


Gov. Abbott argued state funding is not enough. It works in tandem with the state's exceptional philanthropy. The O’Donnell Brain Institute at UT Southwestern was subsidized by a $36M gift from the O’Donnell Foundation. The William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital was paid for in part by an unencumbered $100M gift left by the late governor.

“When you have this synergistic effect of the brightest minds working with private sector and philanthropic dollars, combined with the push and assistance and work from the public sector, both from the State of Texas as well as our public institutions, it really moves the dial in a way that’s unparalleled,” Abbott said. [DHD]