Research Tracks

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

March 12, 2015
by Baylor OVPR

Internal grant update: Brown Fund deadline extended

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research has extended the deadline to apply for the Dr. Benjamin F. Brown IV Fund for Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Scholarship (Brown Fund). Proposals to the program are now due by April 1 at noon.

The Brown Fund supports curriculum development and research projects on issues of global significance. Awards range in amount up to $5,000 per fiscal year based on the needs of the project. Preference will be given to proposals for interdisciplinary and collaborative projects addressing issues of global importance.

Potential topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Collaboration and conflict among followers of various world religions
  • The interplay of religious beliefs/practices with civil society and political authority
  • The eradication of illiteracy
  • The impact of economic development on traditional societies
  • Global public health

Now in its second year year, the Brown Fund is supported by an endowment created by Dr. Clara M. Lovett in memory of her late husband, Dr. Benjamin F. Brown IV.

Click here for more information on the program.  Contact your department’s assigned OSP coordinator to begin the application process.

March 2, 2015
by Baylor OVPR
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Baylor scholar’s new book sheds light on Muslim-Christian relations

Defending Christian FaityChristianity and Islam, the world’s two largest religions, have been engaged throughout history and interconnected for thousands of years. The relationship between the two faiths has historically been marked by conflict, but despite differences, there have also been many successful attempts at peace, mutual understanding and harmony. Dr. Abjar Bahkou in Baylor’s department of modern language and cultures highlights these examples in his book, Defending Christian Faith: The Fifth Part of the Christian Apology of Gerasimus.

“Muslim-Christian relations have been subject to startling waves of events in history,” Bahkou said. “We can learn a lot and get ample food for thought and reflection when we look back at the past and examine the way Muslims and Christians lived and looked at each other. This book is a testimony of such interaction.”

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February 20, 2015
by Baylor OVPR

OVPR, URSA seek nominations for third annual URSA Awards in Excellence and Service

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research and the Undergraduate Research & Scholarly Achievement Steering Committee are currently accepting nominations for the 2015 URSA Awards in Excellence and Service.  The awards recognize Baylor faculty members, staff members and students whose hard work has made positive contributions to the university’s undergraduate research programs.

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February 9, 2015
by Baylor OVPR

Baylor professor receives NIH grant to study connection between early-life seizures and autism


Dr. Joaquin Lugo, who recently received a grant from the NIH for his research project, “Signaling mechanisms underlying epilepsy and autism comorbidity.”

Dr. Joaquin Lugo, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences, recently received a grant from the National Institutes of Health for research aimed at understanding the link between early-life seizures and autism-like behavioral problems later in life.  The three-year, $415,500 grant was awarded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, one of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the NIH.

Children who suffer from epilepsy can carry a range of behavioral and mental problems into adolescence and adulthood, including changes in learning and memory, social difficulties and autism, Lugo says, but the mechanisms underlying these comorbidities is not fully understood.

To shed light on the relationship between these disorders, Lugo and his team will study the effect of seizures at different stages of development on later behavior in mice. They will also examine changes that seizures may cause in the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway – a neurological pathway involved in communication between neurons in the brain.

“We’re looking at the long-term effects of seizures that occur early in life to determine whether they contribute to autism on a molecular level,” Lugo says. “We know that molecular changes to the mTOR signaling pathway in the brain are associated with both epilepsy and autism, so this research will help to determine whether the processes may be related.”

In the longer term, Lugo hopes that understanding the role of the mTOR pathway in both epilepsy and autism could eventually lead to development of new treatments.

“This project is the first of many steps in a continuum of research that will systematically identify the autistic-like behavioral changes and alterations in the mTOR signaling pathway that occur after seizures,” he says. “Ultimately, the research could provide treatments for the behavioral and molecular alterations that occur in individuals with autism and epilepsy.”

Preliminary data for the proposal was gathered with funding from the Young Investigator Development Program, an internal research grant program that provides seed funding to help recently appointed, tenure-track faculty develop competitive proposals for external funding.

Click here to learn more about the research on Lugo’s lab website.

February 5, 2015
by Baylor OVPR

Department of Energy offers Graduate Student Research Grants for 2015

DOEThe Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science is now accepting applications for the 2015 Science Graduate Student Research Grants (SCGSR). Applications are due on Tuesday, April 14, 2015.

The SCGSR program supports supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE national laboratory in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist for a period of 3 to 12 consecutive months—with the goal of preparing graduate students for scientific and technical careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission.

The SCGSR program is open to current Ph.D. students in qualified graduate programs at accredited U.S. academic institutions who are conducting their graduate thesis research in targeted areas of importance to the DOE Office of Science. The research opportunity is expected to advance the graduate students’ overall doctoral thesis while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories. The supplemental award provides for additional, incremental costs for living and travel expenses directly associated with conducting the SCGSR research project at the DOE host laboratory during the award period.

The Office of Science expects to make approximately 100 awards in 2015, for project periods beginning anytime between Oct. 2015 and Sept. 2016.

Click here to view detailed information about the program including eligibility requirements and access to the online application system.

February 4, 2015
by Baylor OVPR

Call for proposals: Christian Scholars Networking Grants

The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is offering networking grants to mobilize CCCU faculty to create and disseminate high-quality scholarship that brings Christian voices into contemporary academic conversations. Small teams of scholars (3-6) are invited to apply for 1-year Planning Grants ($3,000) or 3-year Initiative Grants ($18,000).

Applications are due March 2, 2015. To learn more, please go to the CCCU Networking Grants for Christian Scholars web page.

February 2, 2015
by Baylor OVPR

NSF announces spring 2015 grants conference

The National Science Foundation has announced its 2015 spring grants conference. The two-day event will feature presentations from NSF officials on topics including current agency priorities, upcoming funding opportunities, strategies for proposal development and administrative issues related to sponsored research.

There will also be breakout sessions organized by scientific discipline and opportunities for networking with program officers, colleagues and administrators from universities across the nation. Investigators who are considering applying for NSF research funding— especially new faculty members — are encouraged to attend.

June 1-2, 2015.

The conference will take place in Tampa, Florida, hosted by the State University System of Florida.

Click here to learn more on the NSF’s outreach website. Prospective attendees may also click here to sign up to receive notification when the conference’s registration is available.

January 29, 2015
by Baylor OVPR

Reminder: OVPR internal grant application deadlines approaching

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research provides financial support for research and scholarly activity through a number of internal grant programs. In this post, we present an overview of the programs offered through our office and direct you to the relevant pages on our website for more detailed information and any guidelines that you may need to proceed.

Contact your department’s assigned OSP coordinator to begin an application for any of these programs.  Applications for each of these programs are due by 12:00 noon on Feb. 18, 2015 for funding during fiscal year 2016 (June 1, 2015-May 31, 2016).

Faculty Research Investment Program (FRIP)
FRIP grants provide up to $25,000 in seed money to establish or re-direct research programs to help faculty compete more successfully for external funding. Proposals are peer reviewed by external faculty members with expertise in both the subject matter of the proposal and the funding agency to which the investigator plans to apply. Full-time Baylor faculty members, regardless of academic rank, are eligible to apply for FRIP grants.

Young Investigator Development Program (YIDP)
Similar to the FRIP, the YIDP program also provides up to $25,000 in seed money to establish or re-direct research programs to enhance competitiveness for external grants. These proposals are also externally peer reviewed. Tenure-track faculty members in their first four years at Baylor are eligible to apply for YIDP funding.

University Research Committee Small and Mid-Range Grant Programs (URC)
The University Research Committee distributes funds for the support and development of projects and programs promoting faculty research and scholarship and strengthening efforts to secure external funding. URC Small Grants provide up to $4,500 in funding, while the mid-range grants can provide up to $7,500. Faculty who receive funding under the mid-range grant program are required to apply for external funding following the completion of their URC-funded project. Proposals to the URC programs are peer-reviewed by faculty members who serve on the URC committee.

Dr. Benjamin F. Brown IV Fund for Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Research (Brown Fund)
A funding program that began in FY ’15, the Brown Fund supports curriculum development and research projects on issues of global significance. Brown Fund awards range in amount up to $5,000 per fiscal year based on the needs of the project. The number of available awards will be determined annually based on the available earnings from an endowment created by Dr. Clara M. Lovett in memory of her late husband, Dr. Benjamin Brown IV.

Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement Small Grant Program (URSA)
Through the URSA Small Grant Program, the OVPR seeks to foster collaborative learning relationships between faculty members and students. URSA funds may be used to expand opportunities for research participation by undergraduates in a variety of ways including paying wages for student researchers, purchasing necessary supplies for student projects or supporting student travel to present research results at a conference or meeting.  For the first time this year, URSA also offers faculty travel grants and equipment grants in support of undergraduate research.

Arts and Humanities Faculty Research Program (AHFRP)
AHFRP funds are designed to stimulate research, scholarship and creative activities in the arts, humanities and education, where opportunities for external funding may be limited. While funding amounts are based on the needs of each project, the vast majority of AHFRP grants will be for $2,000 or less.

If you have questions, please contact Blake Thomas at 710-3153.

January 27, 2015
by Baylor OVPR

URSA announces new grant programs for travel and equipment

Baylor’s Undergraduate Research & Scholarly Achievement (URSA) program is now offering two new grants: the Supplemental Travel Grant and the Supplemental Equipment and Supplies Grant. Both new programs are designed to broaden the scope of undergraduate research support provided to faculty and students

The Travel Grant Program will support faculty or student travel that enhances and expands undergraduate research opportunities at Baylor.  A travel grant may cover expenses for faculty travel to professional meetings to improve leadership in undergraduate mentoring and attract external funding to support undergraduate research. Travel grants may also support student travel to present research findings at a professional meeting or to conduct a short-term research project.

The Equipment and Supply Grant Program allows investigators to purchase equipment or supplies to provide long-term support for undergraduate research.

The deadline for submission of proposals to both programs is February 18, 2015.

Please click here for the grants’ guidelines and applications.  Contact Blake Thomas at with questions.

January 14, 2015
by Baylor OVPR

Upcoming event: Martin Museum of Art honors Baylor professor and artist-in-residence

Karl Umlauf: A Lifetime of Creativity

Click the image for more information about this special exhibition.

Karl Umlauf: A Lifetime of Creativity

Beginning this month, the Martin Museum of Art presents a special exhibition of works by Karl Umlauf, professor of art and Baylor’s Artist-In-Residence.  Umlauf, who has taught painting and drawing at Baylor for 25 years, will be retiring at the end of the spring 2015 semester.

The exhibition runs from Jan. 20 through March 1, 2015 during regular museum hours.  A reception will be held on Thursday, Jan. 29 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. with remarks from the artist at 6:00 p.m.  Both the exhibition and the reception are free and open to the public.

Martin Museum of Art, Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center

Exhibition: Jan. 20-Mar.1, 2015

Reception: Jan. 29, 2015, 5:30-7:00 p.m. with artist remarks at 6:00 p.m.

For more information, visit the Martin Museum of Art website or call 254-710-1867.