ConTex announces UT System and CONACYT recipients of first binational research awards, postdoctoral fellowships, and doctoral fellowships

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AUSTIN – After receiving 250 submissions and applications in the first ever call for proposals, ConTex is pleased to announce the first recipients of funding through its research and education programs. ConTex, which is housed at the University of Texas at San Antonio, was created to foster collaboration between the U.S. and Mexico through training, research and scientific discovery. As a joint initiative between UT System institutions and Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), ConTex supports bilateral efforts to enhance academic and research cooperation between Texas and Mexico.

The awards include funding for 9 collaborative research grants, 11 postdoctoral fellowships and more than 20 doctoral fellowships for Mexican Ph.D. students in the UT System and total more than $2 million. Researchers and students from across multiple disciplines and institutions were chosen to be part of ConTex’s first cohort of award recipients. ConTex exists as a long-term commitment to expand cross-border partnerships and to create opportunities to share knowledge relevant to issues of common interest to the United States and Mexico.

“Since its creation last fall, the staff at ConTex has worked hard to attract some of the best researchers in Texas and Mexico to participate in our programs,” said Dr. René M. Zenteno, Executive Director of ConTex. “We are thrilled about the exciting research that will be completed through this funding. Through these projects, the relationship between UT System and CONACYT will continue to grow and both of our countries will benefit.  We only wish we had more resources to support all of the worthwhile proposals that were submitted.”

Researchers and Ph.D. students from the following institutions were selected:

UT Arlington                                                    CINVESTAV

UT Austin                                                         UNAM

UT Dallas                                                         INSP    

UT El Paso                                                       Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla

UT Medical Branch                                         Universidad Veracruzana

UT Rio Grande Valley                                     UANL

UT San Antonio                                               Universidad de Guanajuato

UT MD Anderson                                            ITESO

COLMEX                                                          Universidad La Salle

Universidad de Sonora                                    ITESM

UACdJ                                                              El Colegio de Michoacán

Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora                     Universidad de Monterrey

UAM                                                                COLEF

Instituto Tecnológico de Saltillo                     CIESAS

For more information on individual research projects, contact the ConTex office at 210-458-7240 or via email at contex@utsa.edu.

 

ConTex hosts Roundtable between UT System and CONACYT

Representatives from 14 UT System institutions and 26 National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) research centers in Mexico will come together on May 4 and 5 in a groundbreaking meeting hosted by ConTex, the UT System center for collaboration with Mexico.

The meeting comes during the first year of an agreement between CONACYT and the UT System that provides funding for graduate education and research programs. ConTex, which is housed at the University of Texas at San Antonio, was created to foster collaboration between the U.S. and Mexico through training, research and scientific discovery. The meeting will be held at the UTSA campus on May 4 and 5.

Click here for the event's full agenda. 

ConTex welcomes new director of programs David Vassar

ConTex, the joint initiative between UT System and Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), is pleased to announce the arrival of Dr. David Vassar, new director of programs.

David Vassar, Director of Programs

David Vassar, Director of Programs

Vassar comes to ConTex from Rice University where he served as international advisor and assistant to the president of the university for nearly 10 years. There, Vassar led a public policy initiative, the Puentes Consortium, which focused on public policy issues related to the U.S. – Mexico relationship, from 2008 until 2016.

Vassar was also a Contributing Scholar at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, where he conducted public policy research on U.S.-Mexico higher education issues.

ConTex’s goals include expanding access to UT System Institutions for highly qualified Mexican students and researchers, impacting Texas and Mexico’s economies by developing high-impact, bi-national research in targeted fields, and enhancing cooperation between Texas and Mexico while promoting a better understanding between the two countries.

ConTex launched earlier this year and is housed on the Main Campus at UTSA. The agreement between UT System and CONACYT was signed in 2015 to establish programs that strengthen research ties between Mexico and the U.S.

“Collaboration between individual UT System institutions and CONACYT already existed. What ConTex is doing is deepening its ties with Mexico,” said Randy Charbeneau, UT System’s assistant vice chancellor for research. “Dr. Vassar will serve as the conduit for those partnerships, and we are delighted that we were able to draw him away from Rice University for this challenging and hopefully very rewarding opportunity.”

ConTex has five signature programs: doctoral fellowships, postdoctoral fellowships, collaborative research grants, faculty fellowships and visiting graduate research experiences.

“ConTex will soon be a critical hub of connectivity between Texas and Mexico, and we look forward to building both our binational scholarly community and our joint future,” said René Zenteno, Executive Director of ConTex. “Dr. Vassar brings an extreme wealth of knowledge and expertise that will help further ConTex’s goals.”