Research Tracks

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

February 13, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Selected funding opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math fields

National Institutes of Health

Implications of the Economic Downturn for Health, Wealth, and Work at Older Ages (R01)
Deadlines: New applications due June 5, Oct. 5; renewal, resubmission, and revision applications due March 5, July 5, Nov. 5.

NIDCD Research on Hearing Health Care (R01)
Deadlines: June 5, Oct. 5, 2014; Feb. 5, 2015.

National Science Foundation

Broadening Participation in Engineering (BPE)
Deadline: May 1.

Cyber-Innovation for Sustainability Science and Engineering (CyberSEES)
Deadlines: April 8, 2014; Feb. 3, 2015.

Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program
Deadlines: July 21 (BIO, CISE, EHR), July 22 (ENG), July 23 (GEO, MPS, SBE)

Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR)
Deadline: July 25.

Ocean Sciences Research Initiation Grants (OCE-RIG): Broadening Participation
Deadlines: Jan. 12, 2015; Jan. 11, 2016

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) – Foundational Program – Exploratory: Exploratory Research
Letter of intent due by Sept. 30; invited proposals accepted continuously.

U.S. Department of Defense

Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) – Environmental Laboratory (EL) – Environmental and Military Sensing (EL-2)
Proposals accepted continuously.

U.S. Department of Justice

New Approaches to Digital Evidence Processing and Storage
Deadline: April 28.

NIJ Graduate Research Fellowship Program in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
Deadline: April 28.

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 12, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Turning over an old leaf: Baylor geologist finds climate clues in fossilized plants

Thanks to modern record-keeping, finding out what the weather was like at any time in the recent past is a fairly simple proposition. Gathering data on the earth’s climate from millions of years ago, however, is another matter. Since there is no way to directly measure ancient climatic conditions, researchers make inferences about ancient environments based on currently available evidence, such as fossils.

Dr. Daniel Peppe collects fossil samples in the field.

Dr. Daniel Peppe collects fossil samples in the field.

Research by Dr. Daniel Peppe, an assistant professor of geology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, has revealed a new set of tools for reconstructing ancient ecosystems using fossilized fern leaves. The study, published this month in the American Journal of Botany, suggests that fern fossils can reveal environmental data from earlier periods compared to existing methods, which rely on plant groups with a shorter fossil record.

“We know that we can use the size and shape of leaves to reconstruct climate and ecology,” Peppe says, “but that analysis is mostly focused on angiosperms — flowering plants like modern trees. The fossil record for angiosperms goes back about 150 million years, but there is a much longer fossil record for other types of plants, particularly ferns.”

To tap into that longer fossil record, Peppe and an international team of collaborators studied 179 modern fern species, seeking a connection between the plants’ features and the environments in which they grow. Their analysis revealed a relationship between ferns’ biomechanical features — the ratio of stem thickness to leaf mass — and the life span of the plant’s leaves.

A fossil of the fern species Onoclea sensibilis collected from the Fort Union Formation in the Williston Basin in North Dakota. The fossil is Paleocene in age and around 65 million years old (photos courtesy of Dr. Peppe).

A fossil of the fern species Onoclea sensibilis collected from the Fort Union Formation in the Williston Basin in North Dakota. The fossil is Paleocene in age and around 65 million years old (photos courtesy of Dr. Peppe).

Peppe says that understanding the growth pattern of a plant and the life span of its leaves reveals information about the type of environment the plant lived in.

“A slow-growing plant would indicate an environment where the plants are not often disturbed, so they are able to put more resources into growing larger leaves that live longer,” he says. “Faster-growing leaves with shorter life spans would suggest the plant is in an area where it would be frequently disturbed by flooding or other disturbances.”

The researchers also found that ferns differ from flowering plants in the relationship between stem width and leaf mass, which Peppe says may be related to differing evolutionary histories or differences in the way the plants use their stems for support and to carry water and nutrients to and from the leaves.

Peppe’s work was supported in part by a grant from the Young Investigator Development Program in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.  Click here to read the full paper in the American Journal of Botany.

February 3, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

NIH institute provides guidance on writing better grant proposals

NIH_LogoAre you interested in applying for research funding from the National Institutes of Health?  If so, you’ll want to read Ten Steps to a Winning R01 Application. While the publication is made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the advice it offers is applicable to proposals to any NIH institute.  It lays out a clear roadmap to help you organize your ideas and present them in a way that is persuasive to reviewers.

NIAID announces updates to Ten Steps (along with funding opportunities and other tips for biomedical researchers) in their NIAID Funding Newsletter. Both Ten Steps and the NIAID newsletter are great resources for anyone interested in seeking funding from any NIH agency.

Click here to read the latest newsletter issue. You can also subscribe to email alerts so you’ll receive the newsletters in your inbox as soon as they are released.