BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The National Academy of Sciences expects to start taking applications this fall for the $500 million assigned to the 30-year research program set up as a result of criminal settlements from the 2010 BP oil spill.

The Advocate reports the first set of applications was announced this past week as part of the release of a "vision document" outlining the program's first five years.

The program's goals include improvement of oil production safety as well as to better understand how people, the environment and energy production are connected. Another target is to advance research into the changing ecology of the Gulf Coast region including loss of land on the Louisiana coast.