Research Centers and Institutes

Center for Advanced Radio Astronomy Center for Advanced Radio Astronomy (CARA)
CARA is a leader in developing radio frequency-based techniques for space exploration as well as for creating innovative programs to attract and train the next generation of scientists and engineers. CARA currently runs three integrated research/education programs: the Arecibo Remote Command Center (ARCC), the Low Frequency All Sky Monitor (LoFASM), and STARGATE. In addition, CARA's director is a founding member and current chair of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav).

Center for Excellence in STEM Education

Center for Excellence in STEM Education
The Center of Excellence in STEM Education builds a community of faculty who are leaders in Challenge-Based Instruction and student programs in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.




Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy (CGWA)
UTRGV’s Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy (CGWA) have been directly involved with the first and subsequent detections of gravitational waves, contributing to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) project - a massive, international physics experiment and observatory built to detect cosmic gravitational waves and to develop technologies for such observation. The LIGO project founders were awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics.


Center for Innovation and CommercializationCenter for Innovation and Commercialization
UTRGV Robert C. Vackar College of Business & Entrepreneurship recently celebrated the opening of their Center for Innovation and Commercialization in Weslaco. The facility will serve the region as a entrepreneurial hub and catalyst for economic growth.




Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural AdvancementCenter for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Advancement (SARA)
The purpose of the UTRGV Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Advancement (SARA) is to improve agricultural sustainability and advance rural communities through multidisciplinary approaches that involve the environmental, economic, and social aspects of sustainability, while engaging UTRGV faculty and students in research, education, and experiential-learning.



Coastal Studies LabCoastal Studies Laboratory
Located on South Padre Island, the CSL is dedicated to enhancing research, engaging in public service, education, and outreach related to coastal and marine concerns in the Gulf of Mexico with special emphasis on the South Texas region. The CSL supports research focused on the sustainability of the shoreline, management of marine-based food sources, environmental and ecological ocean health, management of water resources (including wetlands), regional vulnerability to disasters and disaster mitigation, preparedness and response.

Center for Vector-Borne Disease Center for Vector-Borne Disease (CVBD) 
The center’s official goals are threefold: Conduct research to foster a collaborative partnership between UTRGV faculty and agencies like the USDA, CDC and state and local agencies; Provide educational opportunities for students with certificate courses, internships or research opportunities, learn about vector-borne diseases and become interested in pursuing careers in related fields, such as medical entomology; and Provide community outreach by providing expertise to workshops and seminars about vector-borne diseases.

Dr. Cristina V. Torres Memorial Astronomical ObservatoryDr. Cristina V. Torres Memorial Astronomical Observatory 
The new observatory, which was formerly located on the UTRGV Brownsville campus and named the Nompuewenu observatory, has been moved to Resaca de la Palma State Park and renamed the Dr. Cristina V. Torres Memorial Astronomical Observatory. Resaca de la Palma State Park is located at 1000 New Carmen Ave. in Brownsville. The observatory is 30 feet in diameter.

Nanotechnology Center of Excellence Nanotechnology Center of Excellence
The vision of the Center for Research in Nanotechnology and Material Science is to create an integrated multidisciplinary environment (Science and Engineering) for research, education, and outreach at UTRGV. The Center will pool the available talent and expertise from various disciplines within the different Science and Engineering departments into a coherent materials science center and will focus on developing a predictive level of understanding on the development of polymeric and nanoparticle based material devices. 

stargate Spacecraft Tracking and Astronomical Research into Giga-hertz Astrophysical Transient Emission (STARGATE)
STARGATE is a public-private partnership between the Center for Advanced Radio Astronomy (CARA) and SpaceX. The research center is developing new radio frequency-based technologies for academic and commercial applications. Students will have an opportunity to engage in research conducted by UTRGV scientists in the STARGATE technology incubator.


The South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute

The South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute ( STDOI)
The South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute ( STDOI) complements UTRGV’s School of Medicine to advance medical research, develop better treatments and, ultimately, improve the health of residents in South Texas and beyond by targeting the prevalence of diabetes and obesity in the region.

South Texas Industrial Assessment CenterSouth Texas Industrial Assessment Center The STIAC will provide free industrial energy assessments, at no cost, to local small- and medium-size enterprises. Through the provision of these industrial assessments, the STIAC has the potential of helping manufacturers save millions of dollars each year in energy, productivity and water management costs. COEC students will conduct site visits, designed to add to their knowledge and skills in the field.



University Transportation Center for Railway SafetyUniversity Transportation Center for Railway Safety ( HHMI) 
UTCRS operates as a consortium of three institutions, namely; UTRGV, Texas A&M University (TAMU), and The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). The strategic research goals of the UTCRS aim to fundamentally improve railway safety outcomes by: Reducing fatalities and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings (HRGCs); Reducing failures by developing more durable materials and systems; Developing advanced technology for infrastructure monitoring ; and Developing innovative safety assessments and decision-making tools.