Research Tracks

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

June 3, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

CUR seeks applications for biology mentor award

Council on Undergraduate ResearchThe biology division of the Council on Undergraduate Research is currently accepting applications for their annual awards honoring biology faculty mentors for their long-term efforts in supervising undergraduate researchers.

The awards are presented to one faculty member in each of three divisions — early career, mid-career and mature career. Each honoree will receive a cash award from CUR’s biology division. Faculty who mentor interdisciplinary research projects are eligible as long as the projects involve a significant biology component.

The deadline to apply for this opportunity is Saturday, June 14 at 7:00 p.m. CDT. For more information on applying for this award, visit the CUR website.

May 13, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Call for undergraduate research highlights: CUR fall quarterly

Council on Undergraduate ResearchThe Council on Undergraduate Research is now accepting submissions for the “Undergraduate Research Highlights” section of the fall 2014 CUR Quarterly on the Web.  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 May 31.

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.

May 12, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

CUR announces upcoming institutes

Council on Undergraduate ResearchThe Council on Undergraduate Research has announced dates for three upcoming workshops for faculty who are interested in developing or expanding undergraduate research programs. Click the links below for more information or application instructions for the programs.

Proposal Writing Institute

Next offering: July 17-21, 2014 – University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL
Application deadline: May 21, 2014

“This institute will bring together faculty and administrators interested in preparing proposals for submission to external funding agencies. The four-day institute will consist of one-on-one work with a mentor, writing, small group discussions, and critiquing of proposals. The institute has been developed to assist novice to experienced proposal writers in drafting complete proposals for submission. Prior to the institute participants will be able to access information that will help them begin to draft their proposal.”

Click here for more information.

Creative Inquiry in the Arts and Humanities Institute

Next offering: Nov. 7-9, 2014 – University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis starting in July 2014.
Application deadline: Sept. 19, 2014.

“The Institute will assist teams of 3-5 faculty and administrators in developing transformative opportunities for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creativity (URSC) in the arts and humanities.”

Click here for more information.

Beginning a Research Program in the Natural Sciences at a Predominantly Undergraduate Institution

Next offering: Nov. 2014.
Registration opening soon.

“Starting a successful research program and doing scholarly work at a predominantly undergraduate institution pose unique challenges for a beginning faculty member. A goal of the institute is to give individual pre-tenured faculty members the opportunity to learn from and discuss with experienced faculty how to establish and manage a research program with undergraduates. While at the institute, participants will also prepare plans for starting and/or advancing their individual research programs at their respective campuses.”

Click here for more information.

April 29, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

URSA honors top student research from 2014 Scholars Week

The 2014 edition of Scholars Week was one of the largest ever, with 165 students presenting the results of their independent research and scholarly activities.  The event included two days of platform presentations and two days of poster sessions where students had the chance to present their research findings to their peers.  The OVPR thanks the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) Steering Committee as well as students involved in Baylor Undergraduate Research in Science & Technology (BURST) for all their hard work.

This year, for the first time, the URSA Steering Committee and Baylor University Libraries presented awards for the most outstanding platform presentations.  Library staff attended each presentation and selected the most outstanding student research in four divisions: Arts and humanities, nursing, social science and STEM.

As in previous years, the top research posters in a number of departments were recognized by faculty with outstanding poster designations.  The anthropology, biology, environmental science, geology, physics and psychology & neuroscience departments, along with the Louise Herrington School of Nursing, recognized top posters presented by students mentored by their faculty.  These posters are currently on display in the walkway between the Moody and Jones libraries.  The exhibition will continue through commencement weekend, May 16 and 17.

Click “Continue Reading” to see a full list of outstanding platform presentations and posters from Scholars Week 2014.
Continue Reading →

April 28, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

URSA presents 2014 Awards in Excellence and Service


Dr. Truell Hyde, Baylor University’s vice provost for research, presents the URSA Exceptional Service Award to Dr. Elizabeth Davis, Baylor University’s executive vice president and provost.

Last week, the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) Steering Committee, along with the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, presented the 2014 URSA Awards in Excellence and Service.  The awards recognize faculty, students and administrators who have made meaningful contributions to undergraduate research at Baylor.

At a special ceremony in the Bill Daniel Student Center, URSA presented the Exceptional Service Award, Mentors of the Year Awards and the Leadership Award in Undergraduate Research.  In addition to presenting these awards, the committee also presented certificates to students who presented the most outstanding platform presentations and posters at Scholars Week 2014 (Click here to check out more pictures from the event on the OVPR Facebook page).

Please join the OVPR and URSA in congratulating these award recipients and thanking them for their service to Baylor!
Continue Reading →

April 24, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Upcoming event: Baylor students screen films at 15th annual Black Glasses festival


Baylor Film and Digital Media presents Black Glasses Film Festival, an annual showcase of student filmmaking and screenwriting.

Friday, April 25, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Jones Theatre, Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Building

$5 for adults / $3 for students, seniors, military; available at the door or Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm in Castellaw Communication Center, room 150.

Click the flyer above or call Melanie Ferguson at 710-1511


April 22, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Baylor undergraduate conducts research to improve on a natural tumor-fighter

Cassie Robertson displayed a poster of her research at the 2014 URSA Scholars Week.

Cassie Robertson displayed a poster of her research at the 2014 URSA Scholars Week.

Many times when we think of modern medicine, we think of synthesized chemicals, complex laboratories and doctors in white coats. In this mindset, we often forget where medicine at its most basic form is found: nature.

Senior Business Fellow and pre-med major Cassie Robertson, under the advisement of Dr. Kevin Pinney, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has employed this simple philosophy in her investigation of the cancer fighting ability of a compound found in the African Bush Willow Tree.

Continue Reading →

April 15, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

CUR offers grants to offset travel costs for CUR Conference 2014 attendees


The Council on Undergraduate Research is offering a limited number of $250 grants to help offset travel costs for individuals attending the CUR Conference 2014, “Creating the Citizens of Tomorrow: Undergraduate Research for All.”  The conference takes place June 28-July 1 in Washington, D.C.

According to the CUR website, preference will be given to individuals from historically under-represented institutions, first-time conference attendees and those who demonstrate financial need.

Click here for more information and application instructions.  The deadline to apply for the grants is April 25.

March 31, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Students, show us your favorite URSA Scholars Week moments for our photo contest!

For the second year in a row, URSA and the OVPR are sponsoring a Scholars Week photo contest open to all Baylor students!

Here’s how the contest works:

  • Take a picture of your favorite moments from this year’s URSA Scholars Week.  Check out some of last year’s entries for inspiration.
  • Share your pictures on Twitter using the hashtag #URSA14. Remember that if your account is set to private, we may not be able to see your pictures.
  • Optional (but encouraged!), follow the OVPR on Twitter and Instagram. We’ll retweet pictures and share updates from all the events throughout Scholars Week.
  • Check back here! At the end of the week, we’ll announce the contest winner.

March 26, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Scholars Week Preview: Increased exposure to toxicants may pose threat to Central American crocodiles

This is the second in a series of Scholars Week preview articles by Caleb Barfield, a student worker in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.  Caleb is a freshman from Denton majoring in journalism, new media and public relations.

Click here to check out more previews of the great research Baylor students will present at URSA Scholars Week 2014, March 31-April 4.

In recent years, scientists and law enforcement officials have documented increases in illegal dumping and hazardous waste pollution in Central America. This has led environmental scientists to question if an increase in exposure to these toxicants may be threatening Belizean and Costa Rican crocodile populations.


Derek Newberger examines crocodile scutes, the spiny scales found on the crocodile’s tail. Photos by Caleb Barfield.

Senior biology major Derek Newberger and the chair of the Environmental Science department, Dr. George Cobb, are studying crocodile scutes (external scales on the crocodile’s tail) to determine if there has been a measurable increase in exposure to toxicants.

“Currently, I’m searching for the bioaccumulation of mercury and transition metals in American crocodile scutes from Belize and Costa Rica,” Newberger said.

Continue Reading →