Research Alert | August 9, 2012

Research Alert
Research Alert

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Requirement for Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosures

The University of Texas System has approved our revised Objectivity in Research policy, which will be effective Aug. 23, 2012. The Conflict of Interest (CoI) web page contains a link to the “Draft” policy that will be implemented.


The revised policy contains significant revisions to the previous policy and incorporates changes that meet updated federal requirements governing disclosure and reporting of Financial Conflicts of Interest. As we have said, the new policy will affect all individuals who are responsible for the design, conduct or reporting of research.

The revised policy requires completion of Conflict of Interest training by all individuals who are responsible for the design, conduct or reporting of research at least every four years. A web-based training module has been implemented and training may be completed at any time.

Upon completion of Conflict of Interest training, all affected researchers will be required to complete a web-based Financial Interest Disclosure form that is in the final stages of testing. Additionally, the revised policy requires completion of the Financial Interest Disclosure form annually or when changes occur.

For information on the new PHS policy, see the Frequently Asked Questions at the National Institutes of Health website. At the university, the Office of Research Support has updates on its Conflict of Interest page.

Research Opportunities

Important University Research Deadlines

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The University of Texas at Austin Stimulus Package Web page is online.

Funding Sources

Department of Commerce

Collaborative Science, Technology, and Applied Research (CSTAR) Program
Deadline: Oct. 31, 2012

Department of Energy

Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
Unsolicited Proposals
Deadline: Continuous

Improving Marine and Hydrokinetic and Offshore Wind Energy Resource Data
Deadline: Oct. 1, 2012

National Institutes of Health

Systems Developmental Biology for Understanding Embryonic Development and the Ontogeny of Structural Birth Defects
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Sept. 4, 2012; Application, Oct. 4, 2012

NIOSH Small Research Program
Deadline: Oct. 16, 2012

NIOSH Exploratory/Developmental Grant Program
Deadline: Oct. 16, 2012

National Science Foundation

David Laude

Design of Engineering Material Systems
Deadline: Oct. 1, 2012

Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Deadline: Oct. 17, 2012

Computational and Data driven Materials Research
Deadline: Oct. 31, 2012

Arts, Humanities and Culture

National Endowment for the Arts
Research: Art Works
Deadline: Nov. 6, 2012

Other Funding Opportunities

American Cancer Society
Priority Focus in Cancer Control and Prevention Research Program: Health Disparities Research
Deadline: Oct. 15, 2012

Hearing Health Foundation
Emerging Research Grant
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Oct. 31, 2012; Application, Dec. 14, 2012

Research Prizes and Honors

[Have you or a colleague won a research-related prize or honor? Let the Research Alert know.]

New Faculty Member Receives Presidential Award

Brady CoxBrady Cox, who joins the Cockrell School of Engineering faculty this fall, received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Cox received his Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin in 2006.

Cox was selected for the Presidential award because of his work on non-intrusive subsurface imaging using seismic surface wave methods. These tests are used to determine the layering and dynamic properties of foundation soils under a building site, which is necessary information for designing structures to resist earthquake damage. Cox’s research focuses on making these methods more reliable.

Last week, the Research Alert noted that Brent Waters, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, received a PECASE award.

News and Information

Postdoc Orientation and Resource Fair is Sept. 5

New and current postdoctoral researchers are invited to a Postdoc Orientation and Resource Fair from 11:45 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sept. 5, 2012 at the Avaya Auditorium in the ACE building.

The session includes speakers, door prizes and food. Download the agenda here.

Register through TXClass, course number SP800.

Research Grant Deadlines Approaching

VPRFunding will soon be available for 2012-2013 Research Grants, Special Research Grants, Subvention Grants, and Undergraduate Research Fellowships.


  • RESEARCH GRANTS for 2012-2013 in amounts up to $6,000 are awarded to tenured and tenure-track faculty in a single competition. The application deadline is Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012.
  • SPECIAL RESEARCH GRANTS for 2012-2013 in amounts up to $750 are awarded to tenured and tenure-track faculty throughout the year until funds are expended. Applications will be accepted beginning Monday, Sept. 3, 2012.
  • SUBVENTION GRANTS for 2012-2013 are awarded to tenured and tenure-track faculty authors in a single competition. Preference will be given to assistant and associate professors. Please visit our website for detailed qualifications. The application deadline is Monday, Sept. 10, 2012.
  • UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS in amounts up to $1,000 are awarded through two competitions, Fall 2012 and Spring 2013. Faculty and full-time research scientists and engineers may supervise undergraduate students in independent research projects. The deadline for the Fall 2012 competition is Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. The Spring 2013 deadline will be Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.

Information and applications for all programs are available at the Vice President for Research website. Early application is recommended. Please direct questions to Liza Scarborough or 471-2877.


Quoted-UT Researchers in the News

The New York Times
Aug. 7, 2012
HEADLINE: Near Injection Wells, Many Quakes Go Unfelt

Cliff Frohlich (In a post on its Green blog, the New York Times reported on a study by Cliff Frohlich, associate director of the Institute for Geophysics, about the correlation between injection wells and small earthquakes.)

“I  wanted to get a better understanding of the earthquakes that aren’t bothering anyone,” Dr. Frohlich said in an interview. “We need to get better statistics on where quakes occur in relation to injection wells.  We can’t get a handle on the big picture if we only look at quakes that get people riled up.”

Research Project

COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: Parallel and non-parallel evolution at multiple levels: environment, selection, phenotype, and genotype

Daniel BolnickRESEARCHER: Daniel Bolnick, associate professor, Section of Integrative Biology, principal investigator
AGENCY: National Science Foundation
AMOUNT: $449,999

A fundamental puzzle in evolutionary biology is whether evolution is repeatable: if many identical starting populations were exposed to the same type of novel environment, would they all evolve the same adaptations? Would the adaptations result from changes in the same underlying genes? This research project aims to answer both questions using a small fish, the threespine stickleback, as a study subject. The same ocean-dwelling form of stickleback colonized many separate river basins when the glaciers melted about 12,000 years ago, providing a naturally occurring experiment to test the repeatability of evolution.

The researchers will measure environmental, morphological, and genetic divergence between adjacent lake and stream populations of stickleback, from each of 16 watersheds that represent separate instances of evolved lake-stream differences. They will then apply state-of-the-art statistical analyses to measure the extent to which differences between lake and stream types have evolved repeatedly or are unique to each watershed. Genetic analysis will reveal the extent to which repeated morphological differences result from evolutionary changes in the same genes.

The project will reveal general principles of how predictable evolutionary change is, and pioneer relevant statistical methods. Such principles and methods are vital to anticipating how pests or diseases may evolve in response to pesticides or drugs, or how species will adapt to climate change. In addition, the project will pair up leading biological researchers with high school biology teachers and pre-service teachers-in-training, giving K-12 science teachers practical research experience involving fundamental principles of evolutionary biology.

The Research Alert is an electronic publication from the Office of the Vice President for Research at The University of Texas at Austin. It includes news of research honors and awards, news of research programs and deadlines, researchers quoted in news media, a listing of funding opportunities and a look at a current research project. It is available by e-mail and on the Web.

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