Research Tracks

A publication of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Baylor University

August 19, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

OVPR announces administrative changes involving research compliance

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research has announced a number of administrative changes aimed at helping investigators and committee members navigate the sometimes complex landscape of research compliance.

Deborah Holland, assistant vice provost for research, director of compliance, says the changes are intended to support investigators and committee members in the ethical conduct and review of research.

“In research compliance, communication and documentation are the keys to success,” Holland said.  ”The new forms and website changes will provide the support that Baylor researchers and committee members need to perform their roles while also documenting the university’s commitment to the responsible and ethical conduct of research.”

Summary of compliance changes and updates:

  • New submission forms and templates are available in the IRBNet system, including IRB applications, consent form templates, continuing review & closure forms and protocol templates.  The forms have been completely redesigned to meet regulatory requirements and reflect current best practices for IRB review, documentation and compliance.
  • The compliance website is undergoing updates to improve investigators’ access to the information needed to conduct their research.  New content will include explanations of the various review committee functions, assistance in determining what type of review is needed, and an FAQ section.
  • As in previous years, the OVPR will offer a compliance seminar in the fall for researchers and staff.  This year, for the first time, the seminar will be presented at the Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas in addition to the session on the Waco campus.  The seminar will include discussion and question & answer sessions with the IRB chair and vice-chair, as well as the assistant VPR, director of compliance.  OVPR staff will also be on hand to explain the IRBNet and CITI online systems.

Contact Deb Penney, OVPR administrative associate, with any questions.

August 11, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

On the Research@Baylor website: Spanish professor’s new book explores anti-fascist rites of passage in Francoist Spain

Dr. Michael Thomas

Dr. Michael Thomas

A newly released book by Dr. Michael Thomas, a professor of Spanish in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, is providing fresh analysis of thematic elements in post-civil war Spanish literature.The book, Coming of Age in Franco’s Spain, presents Thomas’ analysis of six novels by five young and highly regarded Spanish authors of the 1940s and ’50s. The novels reveal not only a trove of insight into life under Generalissimo Francisco Franco, but also a sophisticated and at times dangerously defiant attitude toward the ruling fascists.

Thomas’ research, supported in part by a grant from the OVPR’s Arts & Humanities Faculty Research Development Program, suggests that the books’ controversial subject matter may have gone unnoticed by the government’s zealous censors because of the otherwise innocuous subject matter of the novels, which dealt with children on the brink of transitioning into adulthood.

Click here to read the full story on the Research@Baylor website.

August 6, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

On the Research@Baylor website: Great Texts professor awarded Humboldt fellowship


Dr. William Weaver

Dr. William Weaver, professor in Baylor’s Honors College, was recently named a recipient of a research fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.  The foundation awards fellowships to experienced researchers worldwide for 6- to 18-month research stays in Germany hosted by sponsoring and collaborating German academic institutions.

During his 18 months in Europe, Weaver will devote himself to researching and producing a critical edition of the rhetorical writings of Philip Melanchthon, a 16th Century professor and theologian who labored alongside Martin Luther to bring about the Protestant Reformation. It is Melanchthon who is credited with writing the Augsburg Confession, regarded by scholars as the Reformation’s seminal statement of faith.

Click here to read the full story on the Research@Baylor website.

August 4, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

OVPR announces new internal funding program for research equipment acquisition

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research has announced a new internal funding program designed to help established investigators purchase new or replacement equipment for use in their research.

Through the Research Equipment Acquisition Program (REAP), faculty members can apply for up to $35,000 in matching funds to help purchase equipment that will enhance and expand research capabilities on campus. The grants require investigators to provide one-to-one matching funds, allowing instrument acquisition up to a total price tag of $70,000.

Dr. Truell Hyde, Baylor’s vice provost for research, says the Research Equipment Acquisition Program (REAP) targets faculty who have a demonstrated record of success in attracting competitive external funding.

“With the REAP program, we want to help investigators retire aging equipment and replace it with new devices necessary for the continued success of an established research program,” said Hyde. ”Obsolete equipment can place investigators at a disadvantage when applying for their next grant, so this program will help our most productive faculty acquire and replace equipment vital to their research.”

Click here to view the full program guidelines and application forms on the OVPR website. Contact your academic unit’s assigned OSP coordinator to begin the application process.

July 30, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Baylor research in the news: Dinosaurs may have fallen victim to historically bad timing

Dinosaurs might have escaped extinction if the massive, prehistoric astroid strike that killed them had occurred at an earlier or later point in time, according to new research by a Baylor geologist working with an international team of scientists.

Dr. Daniel Peppe, an assistant professor of geology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Scientists, was part of a team of experts from the United States, Canada and Great Britain who found that the six-mile-wide astroid that wiped out the dinosaurs occurred at a time when the huge creatures were already facing disruptions in their food chain due to sea level changes, volcanic activity and temperature variations. These changes in the period leading up to the astroid strike left dinosaurs especially vulnerable to the tsunamis, earthquakes and other events caused by the astroid.

The study, published in the journal Biological Reviews, has been covered by a number of major news outlets.  Click the links below to read more about this research.

July 28, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Limited submission funding opportunity: NEH Summer Stipends

Through its Summer Stipends program, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports individuals pursuing advanced research of value to humanities scholars, general audiences or both. Recipients usually produce articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions or other scholarly materials. Summer Stipends are awarded to individual scholars and support continuous, full-time work on a humanities project for a period of two months during summer 2015.

Organizations are limited in the number of proposals they may submit to the NEH, so the OVPR holds an internal competition to determine which Baylor applications will go forward. Internal letters of intent are due to the OVPR by Aug. 19. Full proposals for the selected projects are due to the NEH by Sept. 30, 2014.

Click here for more information and application instructions for the internal competition. You may also click here to view information about the program from the NEH.

July 16, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Limited submission funding opportunity: NSF Major Research Instrumentation program National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program provides funds for the acquisition or development of science or engineering instruments for research or research training.

Because applications to the program are limited, the OVPR conducts an internal competition to determine which proposals will be certified to represent Baylor with a full proposal to the NSF.  Internal pre-proposals are due to the OVPR on December 11, 2014.

Click here for information and instructions on submitting pre-proposals for the MRI program.  Click here for more information about the NSF MRI program.

June 12, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Baylor music professor earns international award for tuba recording

Dr. Kent Eshelman

Dr. Kent Eshelman

"Flavors" features previously unrecorded works for tuba as well as transcriptions of works written for other instruments.

“Flavors” features previously unrecorded works for tuba as well as transcriptions of works written for other instruments.

Dr. Kent Eshelman, an assistant professor of instrumental studies in Baylor’s School of Music, has earned a prestigious international award for his recent album of tuba solos.

Eshelman received the International Tuba-Euphonium Association’s Roger Bobo Award for Excellence in Recording for the album “Flavors.” The recording, released in June 2013, was supported in part by a grant from the University Research Committee.

As its title suggests, “Flavors” showcases a diverse collection of music with varying styles and moods.  Some of the compositions were written specifically for Eshelman by prominent brass composers, while others are works which were written for other instruments and adapted for tuba by Eshelman.

Eshelman says the process of expanding the tuba’s repertoire through composition, performance and recording parallels the investigation, research and publication undertaken by faculty in science fields.

“For those in the performing arts, performing is research,” he explains. “Like other researchers, performers invest their time and energy exploring various aspects of their discipline and attain unique results that must be shared with peers and students.  In many ways, recording provides the ideal format for performance from both an academic and artistic standpoint.  It allows for wider dissemination than a live performance and it offers the possibility for the performance to be studied and consulted as a reference.”

Click here to read more about Eshelman’s award on the Baylor Media Communications website.

Baylor anthropologists make first positive identification of remains in Brooks County

June 11, 2014 by Baylor OVPR | 0 comments

In this report from KSAT-TV San Antonio, Baylor anthropologist Dr. Lori Baker discusses the work she and a team of students have undertaken to identify the bodies of undocumented immigrants in Brooks County, Texas.  Baker, an associate professor of anthropology in Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences, leads Reuniting Families, an organization she started with the goal of recovering and identifying the remains of immigrants who died while attempting to cross into the United States.

Baker and her team recently made their first positive identification in Brooks County, determining the identity of a female from Honduras who was buried in a cemetery in Falfurrias, Texas, a small town approximately 160 miles south of San Antonio.

Learn more about this research:

June 10, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

NIH issues challenge for ideas to improve peer review

NIH_LogoThe National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review has announced a challenge program seeking ideas from the scientific community on ways to improve the fairness and impartiality of grant proposal peer review.

The program offers a $10,000 first prize and a $5,000 second prize for ideas in response to two challenge categories: ‘New methods to detect bias in peer review’ and ‘Strategies to strengthen fairness and impartiality in peer review.’

Submissions to the program may be submitted by email any time prior to the June 30 deadline.  Winners will be announced in September.

Click here for more information and complete rules.