Research Tracks

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

April 30, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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Reminder – NSF project reporting transitions from FastLane to Research.gov

The OVPR and the Office of Sponsored Programs would like to remind faculty that the National Science Foundation has transitioned its reporting functions from FastLane to Research.gov.  All required NSF reports, including final, annual and interim project reports, as well as the project outcomes report, must now be submitted through the new system.

To log in and submit reports, go to Research.gov and select “NSF User” from the drop-down menu.  You will be prompted to log in using your NSF ID and password. These are the same as the ID and password which you previously used to sign into FastLane.  After you log in, you will be directed to your project report dashboard, where you can see any required reports for your awards.  From the dashboard, you can create, edit and submit reports for each award.

Investigators are responsible for submitting their own project reports for all NSF-funded research.  If you have questions about using the new system, click here for more information from Research.gov, or contact your academic unit’s assigned OSP coordinator.

April 26, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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“What’s the secret to getting grants?”

A recent column in the Chronicle of Higher Education offers some helpful guidance for faculty seeking to build their research careers with external funding.  The author, Karen M. Markin, director of research development at the University of Rhode Island, based the article on her work with well-funded senior faculty members.

Markin identified factors that tend to separate faculty who are successful proposal writers from those who struggle to win external funding.  Among the advice she offers:

  • Identify the priorities of funding agencies and look for opportunities to make contributions in those areas.  Even a good idea is unlikely to be funded if it doesn’t fit the current goals of the sponsor.
  • Seek out colleagues in other academic areas on campus who can help bring an interdisciplinary perspective to problems you want to solve.  Baylor faculty can search for colleagues in other disciplines using the COS Pivot database.  Contact Blake Thomas in the OVPR with questions about using COS Pivot.
  • Attend academic meetings where you can meet top researchers in your field.  Smaller conferences focused on your sub-field can present opportunities for face-to-face meetings with leading scientists who may be potential reviewers or future collaborators.

Click here to read the full article on the Chronicle website.

April 24, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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School of Education faculty earns grant to expand URSA-funded research into nationwide study

Dr. Rishi Sriram, assistant professor and program coordinator in the School of Education’s higher education and student affairs program, recently received a grant from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators to expand his research on job competencies among student affairs professionals. The project, which involves surveying a nationwide sample of practitioners in the field, is based on a pilot survey which Sriram and a student previously developed with funding from the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) small grant program.

Sriram says professional groups in the areas of higher education and student affairs have propogated lists of key competencies for practitioners, but until now, little research has explored the extent to which student affairs professionals actually meet these competencies.  He believes a scholarly approach to measuring job competencies is critical to advancing the profession.

“If we talk about competencies but don’t measure them, then we don’t know what we’re good at,” he says.  “If we can find out more about our strengths and weaknesses, we can focus our professional development and education to help us serve students better.”

Caroline Clark, a master’s candidate in higher education and student affairs, assisted Sriram in developing the URSA-funded pilot study during her junior year at Baylor and is still involved in the research as a graduate student.  Clark, who earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 2012, says the experience of participating in research as an undergraduate helped her recognize the benefits of systematically evaluating the student affairs profession.

“Applying quantitative data to a list of competencies that was developed qualitatively really helped me see the value of research to higher education affairs,” says Clark.  “This is a relatively new field, so being involved in this research has shown me ways to help develop and improve the profession.”

April 24, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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Selected funding opportunities in the arts, humanities, social sciences and education

National Endowment for the Humanities

Bridging Cultures Through Film: International Topics
Deadline: June 12, 2013

America’s Media Makers: Development Grants
Deadline: August 14, 2013

America’s Media Makers: Production Grants
Deadline: August 14, 2013

National Science Foundation

Social Psychology Program
Deadline: July 15, 2013

Decision, Risk and Management Sciences (DRMS)
Deadline: August 15, 2013

Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research (IBSS)
Deadlines: December 3, 2013; December 2, 2014

Research on the Science and Technology Enterprise: Statistics and Surveys
Deadline: January 15, 2014

Other organizations and foundations

Toyota USA Foundation
Toyota USA Foundation Grants
Applications accepted continuously

Comerica Foundation
Charitable Grants
Deadline: June 15, 2013

National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition
Paul P. Fidler Research Grant
Deadline: July 1, 2013

American Musicological Society
Noah Greenberg Award
Deadline: August 15, 2013

Brady Education Foundation
Research & Program Evaluations in Early Education
Deadline: Stage 1 applications due August 15, 2013

Hong Kong Baptist University
LEWI Visitorship Programme
Deadline: September 15, 2013

More opportunities

Additional selected opportunities are available on the OVPR website.  For opportunities with limitations on submissions from a single institution, an internal review must be completed before an investigator may apply.  Click here for information on applying for limited submission opportunities.

Search for funding with COS Pivot

The OVPR maintains a subscription to COS Pivot, a searchable database of funding opportunities in all academic areas. To search for funding in your discipline and receive email alerts with newly listed opportunities, sign up with COS Pivot today. If you have questions or would like training on using COS Pivot, contact Blake Thomas in the OVPR at 254-710-3153.

Ready to apply?

If you’d like to apply for these, or other specific funding opportunities, contact your academic unit’s assigned OSP coordinator for more information.

April 22, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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NSF to present webinars on upcoming SBIR/STTR funding opportunities

The National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Engineering will present a pair of webinars this week to assist prospective applicants to the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I funding programs.

Tomorrow’s webinar will provide an overview of the SBIR Phase I solicitation (13-546), while the session on Wednesday, April 24 will cover the STTR Phase I solicitation (13-547).  Both webinars will begin at 1:00 pm CDT and will be archived on the NSF website for later viewing.

Following the two overview presentations, the NSF will host five additional webinars in May devoted to questions and answers about the SBIR/STTR programs.

Click here to view the schedule and register for one or more of the upcoming webinars, or to view an archived session.

April 19, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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URSA announces winner of Scholars Week photo contest

Thanks to all our students (and faculty!) who helped us share the experience of Scholars Week by submitting pictures to the #URSAScholarsWeek twitter photo contest.  In the end, the contest winner was junior religion major Austin Tiffany of Amarillo, Texas, who tweeted this picture of his coffee-fueled Scholars Week preparation:

Preparing for my research presentation tomorrow. I can't wait! #URSAScholarsWeek

A photo posted by Austin Tiffany (@austintiffany) on

Congratulations, Austin!  We’ll be in touch to let you know how to pick up your prize.

There were lots more great pictures submitted throughout the week.  Click “Continue Reading” to see some of the honorable mentions.

Continue Reading →

April 16, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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Selected funding opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics

National Institutes of Health

Undiagnosed Diseases Gene Function Research (R21)
Deadlines: Optional letter of intent due May 14, 2013; full proposal due June 14, 2013

Alcohol Use Disorders: Treatment, Services Research, and Recovery (R01)
Deadlines: June 5, 2013; October 5, 2013; February 5, 2014

Home and Family Based Approaches for the Prevention or Management of Overweight or Obesity in Early Childhood (R21)
Deadlines: June 16, 2013; October 16, 2013; February 16, 2014

Innovative Research Methods: Prevention and Management of Symptoms in Chronic Illness (R21)
Deadlines: June 16, 2013; October 16, 2013; February 16, 2014

NIDA Cutting-Edge Basic Research Awards (CEBRA) (R21)
Deadlines: August 20, 2013; December 20, 2013

National Science Foundation

Widening Implementation & Demonstration of Evidence-Based Reforms (WIDER) (Limited submission)
Deadlines: Internal letter of intent due May 22, 2013; full proposal due July 3, 2013

Engineering and Systems Design
Deadline: October 1, 2013

Combustion, Fire and Plasma Systems
Deadline: February 20, 2014

Environmental Health and Safety of Nanotechnology (Nano EHS)
Deadline: February 20, 2014

Thermal Transport Processes
Deadline: February 20, 2014

Other organizations and foundations

Comcast Research & Development Fund
Targeted Research Grants
Applications accepted continuously

Brain Research Foundation
Scientific Innovation Awards (SIA) (Limited submission)
Deadlines: Internal letter of intent due May 20, 2013; sponsor letter of intent due July 1, 2013; full proposal due October 9, 2013

Society for Neuroscience
Donald B. Lindsley Prize in Behavioral Neuroscience
Nominations due June 5, 2013

More opportunities

Additional selected opportunities are available on the OVPR website.  For opportunities with limitations on submissions from a single institution, an internal review must be completed before an investigator may apply.  Click here for information on applying for limited submission opportunities.

Search for funding with COS Pivot

The OVPR maintains a subscription to COS Pivot, a searchable database of funding opportunities in all academic areas. To search for funding in your discipline and receive email alerts with newly listed opportunities, sign up with COS Pivot today. If you have questions or would like training on using COS Pivot, contact Blake Thomas in the OVPR at 254-710-3153.

Ready to apply?

If you’d like to apply for these, or other specific funding opportunities, contact your academic unit’s assigned OSP coordinator for more information.

April 15, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
0 comments

Baylor faculty member featured on “NIH Research Radio” podcast

Dr. Gary Elkins, a professor in Baylor’s department of psychology and neuroscience, was the featured guest on a recent edition of the National Institutes for Health’s “NIH Research Radio” Podcast.

On the program, he discussed his recently completed study on the use of clinical hypnosis to help postmenopausal women sleep better.  Elkins uses hypnosis to treat symptoms of menopause including hot flashes, increased stress and anxiety or depression, which can cause health problems including difficulty sleeping.

The NIH-funded study revealed a significant reduction in hot flashes and increased quality of sleep for women who received hypnosis sessions and instruction on self-hypnosis.

Click here to listen to the program, or visit the NIH Radio homepage to find information about other NIH podcasts on a wide variety of health topics.

April 15, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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Undergraduate’s research helps churches minister to their communities during major international events

Austin Tiffany takes a break from his research to pose in front of a clock showing the official countdown to the beginning of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

When we think of large, international sporting events like the Olympic Games or soccer’s World Cup, we tend to think of the pageantry of opening ceremonies and the lofty ideal of people from around the world brought together for peaceful competition.

While events like these can promote worldwide friendship through sports, Austin Tiffany, a junior religion major from Amarillo, Texas, says that they can also create problems for people who live in the host communities, particularly the poor or elderly.

“The Olympics aren’t as much of a windfall as some people expected,” he says.  “The traffic congestion, disruption of public transportation and difficulty of accessing social services made it hard for some people to get along with their lives.”

Under the mentorship of Dr. John White, an assistant professor at Truett Seminary and director of the sports ministry program, Tiffany conducted research this past summer in London aimed at learning more about the ways local churches were helping those in their communities.  As part of his research, he attended civic meetings and conducted interviews with community members and religious leaders in areas that were impacted by the Olympics.  His research was funded in part by a grant from the Undergraduate Research & Scholarly Achievement Small Grants Program.

While some local church officials were opposed to the Olympics because of the impact on their parishioners, Tiffany found that many of them came up with ideas to provide help to those whose lives were disrupted.  Churches became involved in activities like serving meals, hosting community gatherings or helping the poor find work.

In addition to providing these services, Tiffany says churches can use their position to advocate for those who may be negatively impacted.

“Churches need to be able to put pressure on the Olympics to do good things for the poor in their host communities,” he says.  “Churches can act on a local level in a way that larger international organizations may not be able to.”

Tiffany presented the results of this project at URSA Scholars Week, but his work is far from over.  He will travel back to London this summer to carry out an internship with the Contextual Theology Center, an international religious organization that, among other goals, studies the use of sports to promote development and social justice.  After graduating from Baylor, he plans to pursue a seminary or divinity degree where he will continue to study practical ways churches can make a difference in their communities.

“I’ve always seen the Olympics as a symbol of something bigger and more important than just sports,” he says.  “This project gave me the opportunity to combine my interest in the Olympics with my desire to help the church improve its outreach.”

April 12, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
1 Comment

Baylor undergraduate’s research provides a pilot’s perspective on space weather

Jack Stanley, left, uses a flight simulator program in the Baylor Institute for Air Science lab while Dr. Trey Cade looks on.

Jack Stanley, a senior aviation major from Waco, was one of over 170 undergraduate students who presented results from their independent research projects during URSA Scholars Week, April 8-11.

Stanley’s research concerns space weather, the interaction that occurs when emissions from the sun come into contact with the earth’s magnetic field.  These interactions can wreak havoc on satellite technologies, which Stanley says are especially critical to the aviation industry given the extent to which modern aircraft depend on satellite systems for navigation and traffic control.

Under the mentorship of Dr. Trey Cade, assistant research professor and director of the Baylor Institute for Air Science, Stanley is exploring the human impacts that could result from a breakdown in technology due to a space weather event.

While a great deal of research has explored the effects of space weather on systems ranging from communication to power transmission, Stanley says there has been comparatively less study on the effect of these potential breakdowns on pilots, air traffic controllers, military leaders and others who depend on these vulnerable technologies.

“We’re still in the early stages of the research,” says Stanley, who is already a licensed pilot and aspires to a career as a commercial astronaut.  “We’ve learned how vulnerable some of our technology is, so now we need to interpret some of that information from a human perspective.”

Stanley has already presented his research at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union, and the work will also be included in his upcoming honor’s thesis.