Research Tracks

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

March 31, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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Students, show us your favorite URSA Scholars Week moments for our photo contest!

For the second year in a row, URSA and the OVPR are sponsoring a Scholars Week photo contest open to all Baylor students!

Here’s how the contest works:

  • Take a picture of your favorite moments from this year’s URSA Scholars Week.  Check out some of last year’s entries for inspiration.
  • Share your pictures on Twitter using the hashtag #URSA14. Remember that if your account is set to private, we may not be able to see your pictures.
  • Optional (but encouraged!), follow the OVPR on Twitter and Instagram. We’ll retweet pictures and share updates from all the events throughout Scholars Week.
  • Check back here! At the end of the week, we’ll announce the contest winner.

March 27, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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Scholars Week Preview: Baylor student steps outside of the classroom to take a deeper look at Job

This is the third in a series of Scholars Week preview articles by Caleb Barfield, a student worker in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.  Caleb is a freshman from Denton majoring in journalism, new media and public relations.

Click here to check out more previews of the great research Baylor students will present at URSA Scholars Week 2014, March 31-April 4.

Questions surrounding the existence of suffering and pain in the world have plagued philosophers and scholars for generations. Although many of these questions will never have definitive answers, many philosophers and scholars look to religious texts for guidance.

Katherine Ellis will present her research on the Book of Job at URSA Scholars Week. Photo by Caleb Barfield.

Katherine Ellis will present her research on the Book of Job at URSA Scholars Week. Photo by Caleb Barfield.

Katherine Ellis, a junior religion major, has followed their example in her investigation into the Divine Speeches found in the Book of Job.

“I have always been fascinated with the Book of Job,” Ellis said. “The questions it raises and topics it brings up intrigue me, such as theodicy, suffering and how humanity and God meet in those moments. After studying the Book of Job in Dr. Bellinger’s class, I wanted to understand the book at a deeper level, and I became interested specifically in the Divine Speeches (Yahweh Speeches), which record God’s response to Job and come near the close of the book in chapters 38-41.”

The project started as a class assignment for Ellis and turned into something far greater once Dr. Bill Bellinger, professor and chair of the religion department, took notice of the insightfulness of her research paper.

Continue Reading →

March 27, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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Selected funding opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math fields

Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)

Recruitment of First-Time Tenure-Track Faculty Members
Proposals accepted continuously.

Recruitment of Rising Stars
Proposals accepted continuously.

Recruitment of Established Investigators
Proposals accepted continuously.

National Institutes of Health

Innovative Measurement Tools for Community Engaged Research Efforts (R21)
Deadline: June 16.

PHS 2014-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH for Small Business Technology Transfer Grant Applications (Parent STTR [R41/R42]) – Ethical, Legal and Social Implications
Deadlines: New, renewal, resubmission and revision applications due April 5, Aug. 5, Dec. 5; AIDS and AIDS-related applications due May 7 and Sept. 7, 2014, and Jan. 7, 2015.

NASA

Omnibus Solicitation: Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) – 2014
Over 50 funding opportunities; deadlines vary.

National Science Foundation

Geography and Spatial Sciences (GSS) Program
Deadline: Sept. 4.

Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry (MSN)
Deadline: Oct. 31.

NSF/DOE Partnership in Basic Plasma Science and Engineering
Deadline: Oct. 3.

U.S. Library of Congress

David B. Larson Fellowship in Health and Spirituality
Deadline: April 17.

More opportunities
Additional selected opportunities are available on the OVPR website.

Limited submissions
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.

March 26, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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Scholars Week Preview: Increased exposure to toxicants may pose threat to Central American crocodiles

This is the second in a series of Scholars Week preview articles by Caleb Barfield, a student worker in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.  Caleb is a freshman from Denton majoring in journalism, new media and public relations.

Click here to check out more previews of the great research Baylor students will present at URSA Scholars Week 2014, March 31-April 4.

In recent years, scientists and law enforcement officials have documented increases in illegal dumping and hazardous waste pollution in Central America. This has led environmental scientists to question if an increase in exposure to these toxicants may be threatening Belizean and Costa Rican crocodile populations.

Crocodile01

Derek Newberger examines crocodile scutes, the spiny scales found on the crocodile’s tail. Photos by Caleb Barfield.

Senior biology major Derek Newberger and the chair of the Environmental Science department, Dr. George Cobb, are studying crocodile scutes (external scales on the crocodile’s tail) to determine if there has been a measurable increase in exposure to toxicants.

“Currently, I’m searching for the bioaccumulation of mercury and transition metals in American crocodile scutes from Belize and Costa Rica,” Newberger said.

Continue Reading →

March 26, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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OVPR appoints new director of compliance

Deborah Holland is Baylor University's new assistant vice provost for research, director of compliance.

Deborah Holland is Baylor University’s new assistant vice provost for research, director of compliance.

Deborah L. Holland has joined the Office of the Vice Provost for Research staff as assistant vice provost for research, director of compliance.

An alumna of Trinity University, Holland holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Tulsa College of Law and is licensed to practice in Texas. She earned a master of public health degree from the Texas A&M Health Science Center, specializing in health policy and management, and is a certified institutional review board professional. She is a member-in-good-standing of the State Bar of Texas, Public Responsibility in Medicine & Research, and of the Health Care Compliance Association. She is published in her field and has spoken at professional conferences and seminars, including as guest lecturer at the University of Washington.

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March 25, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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Upcoming event: Baylor Art Student Exhibition

ArtStudentExhibitionThe Baylor Art Student Exhibition will kick off with an award ceremony, reception and special lecture on Thursday, March 27 in the Martin Museum of Art, located in the Hooper Schaefer Fine Arts Center.

The exhibition opens with an award presentation and reception from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Guest juror Sedrick Huckaby will present remarks at 6:00 p.m.

Following the opening event, the exhibition will remain open during regular museum hours until April 15. Museum hours are 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Saturday and 1:00-4:00 p.m. Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays and all university holidays.

Admission is free and open to the public with a variety of student artwork available for purchase.

For more information, visit the Martin Museum website or call 254-710-1867. One-day visitor parking passes for the exhibit are available at the museum’s reception desk or by email: Martin_Museum@Baylor.edu

March 24, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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NSF releases new strategic plan document

The NSF's new strategic plan sets out core approaches the agency will use to measure its performance.

The NSF’s new strategic plan sets out core approaches the agency will use to measure its performance.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a new strategic plan outlining goals to guide the agency through 2018.

The plan, Investing in Science, Engineering and Education for the Nation’s Future, sets out three major strategic goals:

  • Transform the Frontiers of Science and Engineering. Invest in fundamental research to ensure significant continuing advances across science, engineering, and education. Integrate education and research to support development of a diverse STEM workforce with cutting-edge capabilities. Provide world-class research infrastructure to enable major scientific advances.
  • Stimulate Innovation and Address Societal Needs through Research and Education. Strengthen the links between fundamental research and societal needs through investments and partnerships. Build the capacity of the nation to address societal challenges using a suite of formal, informal, and broadly available STEM educational mechanisms.
  • Excel as a Federal Science Agency. Build an increasingly diverse, engaged, and high-performing workforce by fostering excellence in recruitment, training, leadership, and management of human capital. Use effective methods and innovative solutions to achieve excellence in accomplishing the agency’s mission.

“The plan is intended to guide us through a very dynamic environment in science and engineering research and education,” said NSF Acting Director Cora Marrett. “It allows us to maintain a strong focus on our mission but also be flexible in meeting the changing requirements of the research and education enterprise along with emerging and pressing societal challenges.”

The full plan, along with a summary document, is accessible on the NSF website.

March 18, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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Scholars Week Preview: Baylor students study Roman coins

This is the first in a series of Scholars Week preview articles by Caleb Barfield, a student worker in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.  Caleb is a freshman from Denton majoring in journalism, new media and public relations.

Click here to check out more previews of the great research Baylor students will present at Scholars Week 2014, March 31-April 4.

As of Nerva struck at Rome, AD 97. Obverse: bust right of Nerva with imperial titles.  Reverse: Aequitas standing left holding cornucopia and scales, AEQVITAS AVGVST.

Copper as of Nerva struck at Rome, AD 97. Obverse: bust right of Nerva with imperial titles. Reverse: Aequitas standing left holding cornucopia and scales, AEQVITAS AVGVST. Image credit: NAC AG 51, no. 39

Sestertius of Nerva struck at Rome, AD 96.  Obverse: bust right of Nerva with imperial titles. Reverse: Libertas standing left holding scepter and the cap of a freed slave, LIBERTAS PVBLICA.

Bronze sestertius of Nerva struck at Rome, AD 96. Obverse: bust right of Nerva with imperial titles. Reverse: Libertas standing left holding scepter and the cap of a freed slave, LIBERTAS PVBLICA. Image courtesy of Dr. Nathan Elkins.

Sestertius of Nerva struck at Rome, AD 97. Obverse: bust right of Nerva with imperial titles.  Reverse: Two mules grazing  with a shaft and harnesses behind them, VEHICVLATIONE ITALIAE REMISSA.  The reverse type celebrates the forgiveness of the tax for the imperial post in Italy. Images courtesy of Dr. Nathan Elkins.

Bronze sestertius of Nerva struck at Rome, AD 97. Obverse: bust right of Nerva with imperial titles. Reverse: Two mules grazing with a shaft and harnesses behind them, VEHICVLATIONE ITALIAE REMISSA. The reverse type celebrates the forgiveness of the tax for the imperial post in Italy. Image credit: NAC AG 54, no. 39.

Looking back into Roman history, the reign of an emperor is often judged by the monuments he built, the battles he won or the impact he made on Roman society. While these contributions are important, many times the legacies emperors left in other areas are overlooked.  One such example is the coinage produced by Emperor Nerva.  Historically, Nerva is often considered merely a placeholder between better-known Domitian and Trajan. His brief reign lasted only from 96-98 CE.

The iconography and messaging displayed on Nerva’s coins is the subject of a research project by Dr. Nathan Elkins, assistant professor of art history in the College of Arts & Sciences, and two undergraduate students, Xander Gardere and Amy Welch.

“This started as Dr. Elkins’ project,” Welch said. “He wanted to see if Nerva’s coins had elements of propaganda; if he put images on the coins to convey a certain message to the populus. If so, then it could be attributed to the fact that in his 16 months of being in office he couldn’t accomplish many of the things emperors before him had, but he could leave a legacy through the release of money.”

Continue Reading →

March 17, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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OVPR announces recipients of FY 2015 URSA Small Grants

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research and the Undergraduate Research & Scholarly Achievement (URSA) Steering Committee have announced the recipients of the FY 2015 URSA Small Grants program.  The grants are intended to provide opportunities for faculty-student interaction through mentored research experiences.  Students who work on URSA-funded projects also develop presentation skills through participation in URSA Scholars Week. Continue Reading →

March 17, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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Upcoming event: URSA Scholars Week

Scholars Week is an annual celebration of undergraduate research and scholarship presented each spring by Baylor’s Office of the Vice Provost for Research and the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) Steering Committee. Baylor undergraduates who completed independent research or creative projects under faculty mentorship in the past year will present their results. All URSA Scholars Week events are free and open to the public.

URSA Scholars WeekSCHEDULE
Opening Reception
March 31, 12:30-2:00 p.m.
Barfield Drawing Room

Oral Presentations
March 31-April 1, 2:00-4:30 p.m.
Bill Daniel Student Center
Refreshments served 1:00-2:00 p.m.

Poster Sessions
April 2-3
Baylor Sciences Building atrium
Refreshments served 12:30-1:30 p.m.

PHOTO CONTEST
Students, show us your favorite moments from Scholars Week and you could win a prize! Post pictures on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #URSA14. The student who takes the best picture will win a prize from the OVPR and URSA. Click here to see the winning picture and some of the honorable mentions from last year’s Scholars Week.

You can also follow the OVPR on Twitter or Instagram to see some of our favorite shots throughout the week.

MORE INFORMATION
Click here to learn more about URSA Scholars Week.  Contact Donna Haberman, URSA administrative associate, at 254-710-7594 with any questions.