Research Tracks

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

September 16, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Baylor research finds customers may share the blame for bad service


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:

September 15, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

IRB to present fall seminar on human-subjects research

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.




September 15, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Baylor students get back to nature in the fight against antibiotic-resistant pathogens


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. Continue Reading →

September 10, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Internal funding reminder: Collaborative Faculty Research Investment Program

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.

September 9, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

NIH’s PubMed Commons helps scientists discuss research with their peers

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.

September 8, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

OVPR announces changes to internal grant for arts & humanities research

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.

September 5, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Funding opportunity: NCAA-U.S. Department of Defense Mind Matters Challenge


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.

September 2, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Reminder: Internal pre-proposals for NSF MRI program due Dec. 11 National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program provides funds for the acquisition or development of science or engineering instruments for research or research training.

Because applications to the program are limited, the OVPR conducts an internal competition to determine which proposals will be certified to represent Baylor with a full proposal to the NSF.  Internal pre-proposals are due to the OVPR on Dec. 11, 2014.

Click here for information and instructions on submitting pre-proposals for the MRI program.  Click here for more information about the NSF MRI program.