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The mission of the Strategic Research Initiatives (SRI) office is to support the research enterprise of the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) by fostering the development of research partnerships and initiatives, elevating the college's research reputation, and ensuring robust research operations across CNS. 



Learn more about our programs and services 




Emily Cole, ph.d | Director  emily.cole@austin.utexas.edu 

Emily serves as the Director of Strategic Research Initiatives in the CNS Office of Research & Facilities. In this role, she is responsible for supporting the broad research enterprise of CNS, from fostering research initiatives to building strategic research partnerships. Prior to joining UT-Austin, she spent ten years in R&D leadership roles in the deep tech start-up arena. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Princeton University, where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, and a B.S. in Chemistry from UT-Austin. 

Anise HawkinsANISE HAWKINS, BA, CRA | PROGRAM MAnager ahawkins@austin.utexas.edu

Anise is a research administration professional focused on impacting research endeavors in CNS through internal funding mechanisms and developing resources, best practices, and procedures to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of research administration. With more than 16 years experience spanning the spectrum of research administration, she 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 co-founder of UT-Austin's Association of Research Administrators (ARA) and served as Chair of the Resource and Professional Development Committee from January 2017 - August 2018 and a member of the Administration Committee from September 2018 to present. Anise is a member of Society of Research Administrators International and National Council of University Research Administrators.

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Angel Syrett, ph.d. | special projects Leader | angelita@austin.utexas.edu

Angel completed her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at UT Austin. Since graduation, she has worked within CNS primarily as a Grant Writer, Research Manager and Workshop leader, assisting the college's researchers in crafting and submitting high-quality research proposals. She leads ongoing NIH NRSA fellowship workshops, an annual NSF fellowship workshop for researchers in training, and SRI's program for Early Career Awards. 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.

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Lesley Bruner, M.Ed. | senior Administrative ProgrAM cOORDINATOR  LESLEY.BRUNER@AUSTIN.UTEXAS.EDU

Lesley is the Senior Administrative Program Coordinator for the Strategic Research Initiatives team. In this role, Lesley works diligently to streamline processes and maximize efficiency for the various internal funding opportunities offered by the College of Natural Sciences. Lesley is a native Texan and holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas and a master’s degree from The University of Houston. Prior to joining the SRI team, Lesley gathered a wealth of experience and skills in the education and nonprofit fields including classroom teaching, program coordination, and grant management.