Research Tracks

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

April 22, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

NSF increases minimum award size for engineering CAREER program

NSF LogoThe National Science Foundation has announced an increase in the minimum amount of awards made by the Directorate of Engineering under the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program.

According to a Dear Colleague Letter released this morning, the minimum five-year CAREER award size will be $500,000 beginning with the FY 2015 program (July 22, 2014 proposal deadline).  The change applies to CAREER proposals submitted to all programs in Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET); Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI); Electrical, Computer and Cyber Systems (ECCS) and Engineering Education and Centers (EEC) within the Directorate of Engineering.

Click here to read the Dear Colleague Letter, which contains contact information for NSF officials who can answer any questions about the change.


April 2, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
1 Comment

Baylor faculty member earns NSF CAREER award

Dr. Bryan shaw is an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry in Baylor University's College of Arts & Sciences.

Dr. Bryan Shaw is an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences.

Baylor biochemist Dr. Bryan Shaw has received a prestigious “CAREER” award grant from the National Science Foundation.

The NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program awards grants to junior faculty who “exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.”

Shaw received the five-year, $405,000 award to further his group’s current research in precisely determining—and ultimately modifying—the net electrical charge of proteins, especially those containing metal ions, or “metalloproteins.” A metalloprotein’s net charge remains one of most difficult properties to measure, but is suspected to play a central role in its chemistry and perhaps in its toxicity. Shaw hypothesizes that altering the charge of some metalloproteins may prove to be an effective way to prevent or even to reverse the clumping together of certain proteins that characterizes such devastating disorders as ALS—Lou Gehrig’s Disease—and Alzheimer’s.

Part of the award also will expand one of Shaw’s current outreach projects: a collaboration with school districts across Texas in which 3D printing is used to make atomically accurate models of proteins. The models are used to convey the dynamic structure of proteins to blind and visually disabled students who face great challenges in learning and conceptualizing structural biology.

In 2009, Dr. Lorin Swint Matthews, an astrophysicist in Baylor’s Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research (CASPER) was recognized with a five-year CAREER award, supporting her research into the aggregation of cosmic dust, a process thought to be crucial to the formation of planets.