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The mission of the College of Natural Sciences Strategic Research Initiatives (SRI) office is to provide tactical research support to faculty and staff to achieve the research and education funding priorities of the College. 



Learn more about the services SRI provides by exploring the links below. 

CNS Catalyst Grants

The CNS Catalyst Grant program is a competitive seed funding opportunity which supports teams of 2 or more to begin new interdisciplinary research collaborations within the College. SRI administers two grant cycles each fiscal year (April and October) and awards up to two CNS Catalyst Grants ($50,000 maximum each) each cycle. 

Fellowship Mentoring

More info coming soon! 

Proposal Development Services

SRI supports large teams of CNS faculty in the preparation of major, multi-investigator research and training grants. We recognize that compiling large grant proposals is a serious undertaking, and we are here to support you in preparing a competitive proposal. Our staff is composed of Ph.D. scientists with formal training in grant writing and experience managing multimillion-dollar center grants. We also serve as proposal reviewers for multiple federal agencies, and we draw from our first-hand experiences to provide you with comprehensive proposal development assistance that is tailored to meet your needs.

A list of our services is provided below. Contact the SRI Director, Dr. Dan Bost, for more information about any of the services listed or for help with your next major proposal.


SRI can help you prepare center and training grant proposals by offering assistance with proposal editing and draft review, as well as offering advice regarding proposal organization and content. 


SRI staff can also serve as professional "cat-herders" to keep your faculty team on-time and on-target for developing your proposal. We work frequently with UT-Austin’s Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) and research administrators throughout the college. We are happy to work with your departmental or personal research administrators to divide and conquer the many appendices and other components required to submit a major center or training grant proposal.


SRI maintains an inventory of college- and institutional-level resources that can be utilized to develop various required plans for grant proposals, including resources for:


SRI works with the college’s Director of Postgraduate Education and various Graduate Coordinators to provide faculty with access to demographic and other institutional data required for training grants. Please contact us if you need assistance in compiling data for training grants. 


Strategic Research Initiatives can facilitate interactions with the college’s Communications Office to help you develop eye-catching, professional-quality graphics for center grants and site visit presentations associated with grant competitions.


If a site visit or reverse site visit is part of your grant application process, Strategic Research Initiatives can help you develop presentations and print materials for the visit. We can also help you identify funds to support travel or other expenses associated with required site visits.

Research Admin Support and Mentoring

SRI also provides mentoring and assistance to research support staff in the College. We support administrative staff who work on grants by providing individual training and proposal preparation guidance. Additionally, we help research administrators develop efficient and effective strategies to shepherd proposals and awards through the research administration pipeline. New and experienced research support staff, including postdocs and research scientists who are new to grant writing or proposal prep at UT-Austin, are encouraged to contact us for assistance. Please visit our Research Administrator Resources page to learn about the College's grant support staff working group.  

Starting Point for Institutional Commitments

SRI serves as your point of contact to request matching funds or other institutional commitments from the Dean's office.

Learn more about how to request institutional commitments.



Dan Bost


In 2001, Dan earned his Ph.D. in environmental microbiology studying the community dynamics of crude oil-degrading microorganisms. Following a postdoctoral research position at Rutgers University, he moved to Austin with his wife to become the branch manager for biological and chemical threat testing at the Texas Department of State Health Services. He next spent several years with Luminex Corporation, overseeing their extramural research program to seed the product development pipeline. Taken together, Dan has over a decade of pre-award grants experience with numerous federal sponsors.



Anise is a research administration professional focused on developing resources and best practices to increase effectiveness and efficiency of research administration. With more than 12 years experience spanning the spectrum of research administration, Anise has supported research through proposal development, review, and submission; contract negotiation; post-award management; intellectual property management; best practice development; and mentorship. Anise is a founding member of the Association of Research Administrators (ARA) and serves the ARA as Chair of the Resource and Professional Development Committee. 


Angel Syrett Headshot

Angel Syrett, ph.d. | special projects Leader

Angel Syrett completed a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at UT-Austin in Dr. Andrew Ellington's lab. Since graduation, she has worked within the College of Natural Sciences primarily as a Grant Writer, Research Manager and Workshop leader, assisting the College's researchers in crafting and submitting high-quality research proposals. Angel has had the unique opportunity to contribute to our community as a scientific illustrator, creating figures, illustrations and cover-art designs for scientific journals, proposals and presentations.



Visit the links below for more information and resources or contact us to schedule a consultation.  


Find Funding


Prepare a Proposal


Submit a Proposal


College Research Policies


Research Administrator Resources