Research Tracks A publication of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Baylor University Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 NCAA, DoD extend deadline to request information on concussion education research grant Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:00:00 +0000 Continue reading ]]> NCAA-DOD3Earlier this month, we told you about the Mind Matters Challenge, an upcoming funding opportunity offered through an alliance between the NCAA and the U.S. Department of Defense.

The program will provide faculty in science, art, marketing and education fields with grants of up to $400,000 for research on ways to change the culture surrounding concussion reporting and treatment.

The NCAA is currently requesting contact information for university faculty who wish to be notified when the grant program officially launches this fall. Initially, organizers had asked for researcher contact information by Sept. 15, but the deadline has been extended to Oct. 15.

Click here to fill out a short form requesting information on the Mind Matters Challenge.

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Internal funding reminder: Dr. Benjamin F. Brown IV Fund for Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Scholarship Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:30:51 +0000 Continue reading ]]> The OVPR would like to remind faculty that applications are currently being accepting for the Dr. Benjamin F. Brown IV Fund for Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Scholarship, an internal grant program that provides support for research and curriculum development projects.  The program is made possible by a generous endowment gift by Dr. Clara M. Lovett in honor of her late husband.

Applicants to the program may request up to $5,000 in funding for projects addressing issues of global significance, including, but 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; and
  • Global public health.

Brown Fund proposals are due at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015 for funding during the 2016 fiscal year (June 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016).

Click here for more information on the Brown Fund, or contact your department’s assigned OSP coordinator to apply.

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OVPR, IRB to present fall seminar in Dallas for LHSON faculty Wed, 17 Sep 2014 12:50:42 +0000 Continue reading ]]> IRB Fall Seminar at the LHSON in Dallas

Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014
4:30 p.m. (immediately following faculty general business meeting)
Lecture Hall, room 406

The OVPR and the Institutional Review Board will present a fall seminar to Louise Herrington School of Nursing faculty in Dallas next month.  The seminar is intended to help faculty, administrators and department representatives become familiar with regulations and procedures surrounding human-subjects research. Among topics to be discussed are the role of the Institutional Review Board, requirements for a principal investigator, and accessing IRBNet and CITI for research purposes.

Deborah Holland, AVPR director of compliance, and Lisa McKethan, AVPR director of sponsored programs, will be on hand to present information and respond to questions.  The presenters will address the new submission and follow-up forms that will go into effect this fall, as well as the OVPR’s internal research grants including the CFRIP program.

No registration is necessary, but seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Baylor research finds customers may share the blame for bad service Tue, 16 Sep 2014 13:10:46 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Hunter

Dr. Emily Hunter

Most people, when they encounter poor service while dining out, will chalk up the problem to inexperience or ineptitude on the part of their server.  A new Baylor study suggests, however, that when a waiter forgets an order or leaves a beverage unfilled, it may be not be an oversight at all.  An inattentive or hostile waiter may be exhibiting an intentional response to stress brought on by their job, according to research by Dr. Emily Hunter, an assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship in Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business.

“Customer service jobs have lots of emotional demands, but managers expect their employees to always have a good attitude,” said Hunter. “We know from prior research that those competing demands create emotional labor; this research shows that labor can cause employees to lash out at customers in response.”

While it has been well established that workers often react to stress by acting inappropriately, most prior research on the subject looked at employees’ behavior toward members of their own organization, not toward customers or other outsiders. Hunter says that studying customer-facing behavior and the motivations behind it is important to help improve management practices in a wide range of industries.

“This research is intended to help managers understand the pressures inherent in customer service so they can take steps to help their employees manage stress and prevent counterproductive behaviors,” Hunter said. ”The service industry is a huge part of the economy, but most jobs have a customer service component of some kind, even if the ‘customer’ is another person in the same company.”

Hunter, along with a collaborator at the University of Houston, surveyed over 400 foodservice workers for the study, which was recently published in the journal Human Performance.

Click the links below to read more coverage of this research from news outlets around the world:

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IRB to present fall seminar on human-subjects research Mon, 15 Sep 2014 18:48:24 +0000 Continue reading ]]> IRB Fall Seminar

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
3:30 p.m.
Baylor Sciences Building, room A.108

The OVPR and the Institutional Review Board will present a seminar this fall intended to help faculty, administrators and department representatives become familiar with regulations and procedures surrounding human-subjects research.  Among topics to be discussed are the role of the Institutional Review Board, requirements for a principal investigator, and accessing IRBNet and CITI for research purposes.  A similar session will be held at the Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas next month.

Dr. David Schlueter, the IRB chair, and Dr. Wade Rowatt, the IRB vice-chair, will be on hand to present information and respond to questions, along with Deborah Holland, the assistant vice provost for research, director of compliance.  The presenters will also address the new submission and follow-up forms that will go into effect this fall.

No registration is necessary, but seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.




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Baylor students get back to nature in the fight against antibiotic-resistant pathogens Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:39:36 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Web-IMG_2072

Michael Cotten (left), a graduate student in biology, looks on as undergraduates Shelby Armstrong and Shanze Zar examine a petri dish containing isolates found in soil samples.

For most patients, hospitals are very safe environments in which to receive treatment and recover. However, despite hospitals’ best efforts, some patients, especially those with compromised immune systems, may be at risk of contracting dangerous infections. A particular group of germs called E.S.K.A.P.E. pathogens — named for the Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumonia, Acinetobacter baumanii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter bacteria — has become a growing concern for health care providers, because the pathogens have adapted to develop a resistance to current antibiotics. According to the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, 19,000 patients die every year from an infection caused by an E.S.K.A.P.E. pathogen. The problem of today’s antibiotics failing to combat pathogens that have grown a resistance to them is a serious one and one that a group of Baylor undergraduate students and their faculty mentors have devoted time and effort toward solving.

Dr. Diane Hartman, lecturer of biology, and students in her Biology Small World Initiative class have accepted the surmounting challenge of discovering new bacteria which can combat the antibiotic-resistant pathogens found in hospitals by adopting the principle of getting back to the dirt.

“This project all started when we received an email two summers ago from Yale stating that they had just completed a year of the small world initiative, where they had been sampling soil to find antibiotic producing microbes,” Hartman said. “They sent out a request for pilot partners who would be interested in going to Yale over the summer to train so their universities could offer this kind of course to expose freshman and sophomore students to hands-on research early in their collegiate careers.”

Baylor is currently the only university in Texas partnered with Yale in the project.  The course offers under-classmen a chance to aid the process of finding a solution to one of modern medicine’s most costly problems.

“Currently, the problem is that most of our antibiotics are synthesized and re-engineered forms of bacteria that were discovered years ago, so common pathogens found in hospitals have begun to grow immune to the antibiotics currently being produced,” sophomore pre-biology major Elizabeth Andersen said. “Our mission was to go back to nature to try to discover new bacteria that can fight today’s E.S.K.A.P.E pathogens.”

In order to find new bacteria microbes, the students simply had to go out and dig. Groups of students went to separate locations across Waco and gathered soil samples which they then tested, looking for microbes that could potentially slow the growth of the E.S.K.A.P.E. pathogens. This process proved to be rewarding for some groups and difficult for others.

“The only problem that befell our group was after finding what we thought was a nutrient rich soil sample from Cameron Park, the sample had only four isolates out of the 18 microbes identified,” junior Biology major Patel said.


Ohm Pandya, a junior biochemistry major, prepares a sample as part of the Biology Small World Initiative class.

According to junior biology major Shelby Armstrong, “Our group having 12 isolates, the highest out of all the soil samples, was surprising, but it was rewarding because there were so many more tests we could run and pathogens that we could compare those bacteria to.”

Several students who took the class the first time it was offered last year have returned this fall to continue their research and to acquire more molecular identifications before they submit their results and microbe samples to Yale, where other researchers will perform further analysis to determine if the bacteria show promise for future drug development.

“We are entering what scientists are calling the post antibiotic era,” said senior lecturer of biology Dr. Jacquelyn Duke. “The pathogens that medicine was able to treat for years with the same antibiotics are now growing resistant. This type of research may provide the next generation of antibiotics, but it is an ongoing process. Pathogens will continue to build up resistance over time, so science and medicine have to constantly be pursuing new avenues to fight infections.”

Aside from submitting their work to collaborators at Yale, students in the class have had other opportunities to showcase their research. The entire class was able to participate in URSA Scholars Week in the spring of 2014 and many attended and presented their work at the Texas Society of Microbiology meeting. Andersen received funding from Yale to present at the American Society of Microbiology meeting in Boston this past May.

Students who are participating in this research say the experience has impacted their lives in a variety of ways. Some students from the original class have returned as mentors for the current class. Others said that it influenced their future career plans.

“We all plan on continuing to research in the future,” Andersen said. “One thing I’ve learned about research is that you are never truly done; there will always be more questions and problems that arise and as a scientist, you want to continue the process and address them as time goes on.”

This story is part of a series of undergraduate research highlights by Caleb Barfield, a student worker in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.  Caleb is a sophomore from Denton majoring in journalism, new media and public relations.  Click here to read more of his work.

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Internal funding reminder: Collaborative Faculty Research Investment Program Wed, 10 Sep 2014 16:10:48 +0000 Continue reading ]]> One of the newest grant programs offered by the OVPR gives Baylor faculty a chance to collaborate with colleagues at other area institutions on biomedical research aimed at developing treatments for conditions that impact people around the world.

The Collaborative Faculty Research Investment Program (CFRIP) is funded by the OVPR and counterpart offices at the Baylor College of Medicine, Baylor Health Care System and Baylor Scott & White Health.  The program awards research grants to teams of faculty from two or more participating institutions with the goal of leveraging complementary research capabilities to help the partnerships compete for external research funding.

Prospective investigators may request up to $25,000 in funding from each participating institution.  Proposals are due at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 for projects to be performed during the 2016 fiscal year (specific project dates may vary based on the fiscal years of the participating institutions).

If you are interested in applying, contact the Scott & White Healthcare Office of Academic Research Development (OARD) to request an application.

Click here for more information about the CFRIP program or contact Blake Thomas at 254-710-3153 with questions.

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NIH’s PubMed Commons helps scientists discuss research with their peers Tue, 09 Sep 2014 13:00:25 +0000 Continue reading ]]> commons-blogIn a recent post on his blog, NIH director Dr. Francis Collins discussed PubMed Commons, a new online resource that makes it easy for researchers to engage in online discussion with colleagues regarding scientific publications.  Any scientist with at least one publication in PubMed can comment on any of the more than three million papers in the database.  Members can also rate the comments they find useful, helping the best discussion points stand out from the field.

Collins reports that since the launch of PubMed Commons, 5,000 eligible scientists have signed up and posted around 1,600 comments.

Click here to read the full post on Collins’ blog.  More information is also available on the PubMed Commons Blog.

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OVPR announces changes to internal grant for arts & humanities research Mon, 08 Sep 2014 14:10:50 +0000 Continue reading ]]> The Office of the Vice Provost for Research has announced a change in the application and review procedures for proposals to the Arts & Humanities Faculty Research Program. Under the new procedure, AHFRP proposals will be evaluated twice per academic year with one application deadline in the fall semester and another in the spring. Previously, proposals for the grant were accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.

The next application cycle for AHFRP grants will be in the spring 2015 semester. Applications will be due at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015 for projects to take place during the 2016 fiscal year (June 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016).

Please contact Blake Thomas in the OVPR at x3153 with any questions.

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Funding opportunity: NCAA-U.S. Department of Defense Mind Matters Challenge Fri, 05 Sep 2014 20:29:22 +0000 Continue reading ]]> NCAA-DOD

Click the image to view a larger version.

The NCAA and the U.S. Department of Defense have joined forces to carry out a research and awareness program aimed at enhancing the safety of student-athletes and service members.  The partnership is intended to improve scientific understanding of concussions and other head injuries, and to promote changes in the culture surrounding reporting and management of concussions.

As part of the program, the NCAA has committed $4 million for the Mind Matters Challenge — a grant program to support research on improving the effectiveness of concussion education programs delivered to student-athletes, coaches, soldiers and other at-risk populations.

“Culturally, self-reporting head injuries or reporting others who display head injury symptoms is seen by some as a sign of weakness,” said NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline.  ”We hope to change that by arming physicians and scientists with better clinical data, and by creating educational programs to increase understanding of the importance of diagnostics for immediate action and tracking for follow-up treatment.”

The NCAA has asked for Baylor’s help in identifying members of our faculty with an interest in topics related to student-athlete, college student, or military service member safety or well-being to apply for this funding opportunity.  Specifically, the program targets individuals in the following disciplines:

  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Film/Theater
  • Neurology
  • Mental Health
  • Public Health
  • Psychology/Behavioral Studies
  • Sports Medicine/Sport and Exercise Science
  • Other relevant researchers/clinicians

Faculty members in these disciplines who may be interested in this program are asked to contact Baylor’s faculty athletic representative, Jeremy Counseller, prior to Sept. 15.

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