Research Tracks

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

February 27, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Selected funding opportunities in the arts, humanities, social science and education

National Endowment for the Humanities

Deadline: May 1.

Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan
Deadline: May 1.

National Science Foundation

Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research (IBSS)
Deadline: Dec. 2.

Science of Organizations (SoO)
Deadline: Sept. 3.

Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
Deadline: Aug. 1.

U.S. Department of Defense

Vice Admiral Edwin B. Hooper Research Grant
Deadline: April 1.

U.S. Department of Education

Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT) Program: Community Living and Participation
Deadline: April 14.

Research Fellowships Program
Deadline: April 14.

U.S. Department of Justice

Research and Evaluation on Justice Systems
Deadline: April 28.

Research and Evaluation on Violence Against Women: Teen Dating Violence, Sexual Violence, and Intimate Partner Violence
Deadline: April 25.

U.S. Department of State

Research Projects to Strengthen Evidence-Based Humanitarian Decision Making by PRM and Its Partners Worldwide
Deadline: April 16.

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.

February 26, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Upcoming event: Baylor Percussion Symposium

Baylor Percussion SymposiumThe Office of the Vice Provost for Research is proud to join with the School of Music and others in sponsoring the 2014 Baylor Percussion Symposium, taking place this weekend.

The symposium features concerts and master classes with some of the most innovative composers and performers in modern music.  All events, including performances by Tristan Perich, the Meehan/ Perkins Duo, and the Baylor Percussion Group are free and open to the public.

Click here to visit the symposium’s Tumblr page for more information and a full schedule of events.

February 24, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Call for undergraduate research highlights: CUR summer quarterly

Council on Undergraduate ResearchThe Council on Undergraduate Research is now accepting submissions for the “Undergraduate Research Highlights” section of the summer 2014 CUR Quarterly.  The highlights contain brief descriptions of peer-reviewed research or scholarly publications by undergraduate students that appeared in journals in the last six months.

The publications must be in print and must include one or more undergraduate authors or co-authors.  The deadline for submission is March 15.

Click here for formatting requirements and submission instructions.  Samples of past undergraduate research highlights are available on the CUR website.

About CUR

The Council on Undergraduate Research is a national organization devoted to supporting and promoting high-quality collaborative research between faculty and undergraduate students.  In addition to sponsoring annual conferences and other meetings, they also provide faculty development resources and other materials to help members improve the undergraduate research environment on their campuses.  Baylor is an enhanced institutional member of CUR, which allows our faculty, administrators and students to join CUR at no cost.  Click here to learn more about CUR.

February 21, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Internal grant update: Brown Fund application 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 March 14 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

A new funding program offered for the first time this 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 and application instructions.

Video: Baylor prof discusses Black Gospel Music Restoration Project

February 21, 2014 by Baylor OVPR | 0 comments

In the video above, Robert Darden, associate professor of journalism, public relations and new media in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, discusses the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project (BGMRP) with KSAT-TV San Antonio. Darden, along with Baylor University Libraries, is working to identify, acquire, preserve, record and catalogue music from the black gospel music tradition.   BGMRP was recently selected as a permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), scheduled to open in 2015.

After you watch the video, click the links below to learn more about the BGMRP.

February 20, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Baylor geologists discover evidence of early ape environments

Eighteen million years ago on the flanks of the Kisingiri Volcano (modern day Rusinga Island, Kenya) the early ape Proconsul (center) and the primate Dendropithecus (upper right) inhabited a warm and relatively wet, closed canopy tropical seasonal forest.

Eighteen million years ago on the flanks of the Kisingiri Volcano (modern day Rusinga Island, Kenya) the early ape Proconsul (center) and the primate Dendropithecus (upper right) inhabited a warm and relatively wet, closed canopy tropical seasonal forest (Illustration credit: Jason Brougham).

Geologists at Baylor, working with an international collaborative team of scientists, have uncovered for the first time direct evidence on Rusinga Island, Kenya, that ties Proconsul, an early ape, to a closed-canopy forest environment. While scientists had previously speculated, based on its skeletal anatomy, that Proconsul would be well suited to living in dense forests, the Baylor team’s discovery provides the first definitive confirmation of the environment in which the ape lived.  Results of their research were published this month in Nature Communications.

Lauren Michel, a doctoral student in geology and the study’s lead author, along with a team of collaborators found fossil remains of an individual of Proconsul in a fossil forest system that included tree stump casts, calcified roots and fossil leaves. Based on the tree stump casts found near the remains, Michel and her collaborators were able to conclude that the ape inhabited a dense, closed canopy forest.

Proconsul is the earliest ape we’ve been able to definitively place in a specific environment,” she says. “This is significant because it helps us get a clearer picture of these animals and their place in the ape/monkey/human family tree.”

Other Baylor co-authors on the paper include Dr. Daniel Peppe, assistant professor of geology, Dr. Steven Driese, professor of geology, and William Horner, a 2012 graduate of Baylor’s geology department. Horner, now in graduate school at Colorado State University, traveled to Kenya as an undergraduate to assist with the Proconsul research, which formed the basis of his senior thesis project.

Read more about the Baylor team’s discovery:

Remnants of an ancient forest provide ecological context for Early Miocene fossil apes
Nature Communications

Discovery by Baylor University Researchers Sheds New Light on the Habitat of Early Apes
Baylor Media Communications release

February 19, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

CUR extends deadline for poster abstract submission

CUR_Conf_logoThe Council on Undergraduate Research has extended the deadline to submit poster abstracts for presentation at the 16th CUR Conference. Abstracts are now due by Feb. 28. The 2014 CUR Conference takes place June 28-July 1 in Washington, D.C.

CUR invites submissions of research posters from any discipline, with the following themes encouraged:

  • Undergraduate Research for the Public Good
  • Undergraduate Research for All! Ensuring Access to High Quality Opportunities
  • Undergraduate Research for High-Impact Learning: Scaling Up and Scaffolding
  • Undergraduate Research for Transformation: Assessing the Impact
  • Undergraduate Research for Mentors: Support and Sustenance
  • Funding for Undergraduate Research: Finding and Leveraging Resources
  • Undergraduate Research for the Future: Exploring New Directions
  • Other non-theme proposals are welcome

Click here for abstract requirements and submission instructions, or click here for more information on the 2014 CUR Conference.

February 19, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Check out research highlights in the latest Baylor Magazine


Check your mailbox for the latest issue of Baylor Magazine.

Research and discovery are front-and-center in the latest issue of Baylor Magazine!  The winter 2014 issue includes a trio of feature stories that showcase how Baylor research is making a difference in fields from philosophy and religion to chemistry, biology and environmental science.

Click here to check out the entire magazine, or click the links below to jump directly to the great research stories.

C.S. Lewis: Beyond the wardrobe
On the 50th anniversary of his death, Baylor scholars weighed in on the legacy of C.S. Lewis that still resonates in contemporary culture and on campus today.

Family photos help detect cancer
Baylor professor turns son’s diagnosis into motivation to explore new ways to identify retinoblastoma.

What we can learn from earwax
Baylor professors use whale earwax to pioneer a technique for studying whales and ocean contaminants.

February 18, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Graduate student wins award from industry group for her engineering research

A Baylor graduate student recently earned a scholarship award from the Society of Plastics Engineers for her research on nondestructive testing methods for fiber-reinforced, laminate composites.

Sarah Stair discusses her research with Dr. David Jack, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering in Baylor's School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Sarah Stair discusses composite materials research with Dr. David Jack in the mechanical engineering department’s lab at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC).

Sarah Stair, a second-year graduate student in mechanical engineering, was one of three students selected by the organizing committee for the SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) for the group’s annual SPE ACCE Scholarship Awards for the 2013-2014 academic year.  The award was based on her research project, “Non-Destructive Characterization of Ply Orientation and Ply Type of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Laminates.”

Stair says advanced composite parts are composed of many layers or “plys,” which are lined up in a particular way so that the finished part has the strength and rigidity necessary to accomplish its function.  While engineers can make predictions about the final part’s strength based on its design, imperfections in the final manufactured product can create sections with unknown properties.

That’s where Stair’s research comes in.

“When manufacturing composite products, the manufactured parts don’t always meet as-designed specs,” says Stair, who earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Baylor in 2012. “For example, during molding, a ply might slip and rotate from its designated orientation, which could affect the properties of the manufactured part. My research will determine the ‘as-manufactured’ orientation of each lamina in a fiber-reinforced part and the failure envelope associated with the manufactured part.”

Stair’s long-term plan is to develop a hand-held device that technicians can use to determine the failure envelope of an installed part without having to remove it from the car or airplane where it is in use.  Such a device could be extremely helpful to automotive or aerospace repair technicians, as well as to quality-control personnel working for companies that manufacture composite parts.

The SPE scholarship is the latest in a long line of awards Stair has earned for her research.  She was a top-four finalist in the best paper/presentation category at the American Society for Composites’ Annual Technical Conference.  She also earned a prestigious graduate travel grant from the National Science Foundation to present her work at the American Society for Mechanical Engineering’s International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition.  Stair was one of only 45 students to receive the NSF award from a pool of 750 applicants.

Dr. David Jack, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering in Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, is Stair’s research mentor.   He says that because of the high quality of Stair’s research and her advanced presentation skills, awards like these are anything but surprising.

“Sarah is working on her master’s degree, but she routinely wins awards where she’s competing against doctoral students,” says Jack.  “At conferences, people who hear her presentations always ask me if she’s a doctoral student or post-doctoral researcher.  She’s a great ambassador for our graduate program.”

February 17, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

OVPR, IBC unveil online biosafety training through CITI

IBC CITI Training

Click the image to visit the IBC’s CITI training website.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research, in conjunction with the Institutional Biosafety Committee, has launched a new, online training program for investigators in BSL-1 or BSL-2 labs who submit research protocols to the IBC.  The training is provided through a campus-wide subscription to the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).

Dr. Chris Kearney, associate professor of biology and chair of Baylor’s IBC, says the new CITI training is intended to reinforce existing campus-wide standards for biosafety.

“Many peer institutions use CITI training because it allows access to appropriate compliance instruction in an easy-to-use, online format,” says Kearney. “Having this training in place ensures that our procedures meet all federal and institutional guidelines, and gives our investigators and committee members the most relevant and up-to-date information.”

Investigators planning to submit new IBC protocols for review at the committee’s spring meeting must complete CITI training prior to submission.  Those investigators working on projects with current IBC approval will be required to complete the training prior to submitting their renewal applications in the fall.

Click here to access the CITI training on the IBC website.  Contact Dr. Chris Kearney with any questions about the new training requirements.