Jan. 12, 2012 | Research Alert

Research Alert

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Research Prizes and Honors

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

Mathematician Wins Israel's Wolf Prize

Luis Cafarreli

Mathematician Luis Caffarelli has been named a winner of Israel’s prestigious Wolf Prize.

Each year the Wolf Foundation awards $100,000 in up to six fields. Caffarelli received the mathematics prize with Michael Aschbacher, professor of mathematics at the California Institute of Technology.

Caffarelli is professor of mathematics and a member of the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences Applied Mathematics Group. He holds the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents’ Chair in Mathematics No. 1.

As a Wolf Prize winner, Caffarelli joins John Tate, professor emeritus, who won the mathematics prize in 2002, and Allen Bard, professor of chemistry, who won the chemistry prize in 2008.

Faculty Members Win High Honors from American Mathematical Society

Bjorn EngquistIvo BabuskaThe American Mathematical Society (AMS) has awarded two of its highest honors to UT Austin faculty members Ivo M. Babuska, left, and Bjorn Engquist.

Babuska, a research professor with appointments in Engineering, Natural Sciences and the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES), was awarded the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement. It is one of the highest distinctions in mathematics.

Engquist, a mathematics professor and member of ICES, was awarded the George David Birkhoff Prize in Applied Mathematics. Its recipient is selected by the membership of the AMS and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

News and Information

Creative Research Awards for Transformative Interdisciplinary Ventures

CREATIV (Creative Research Awards for Transformative Interdisciplinary Ventures) is a pilot grant mechanism under the Integrated National Science Foundation Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE) initiative, to support bold interdisciplinary projects in all NSF-supported areas of science, engineering and education research.

The INSPIRE initiative was introduced by NSF Director Subra Suresh with the fiscal year 2012 NSF budget request to Congress. The initiative is to break down disciplinary barriers within NSF and encourage its program managers to use new tools, collaboration modes and techniques in the merit-review process to widen the pool of prospective discoveries that may be hidden from or circumvented by traditional means.

CREATIV is the first grant award mechanism under INSPIRE, and will be the only one launched in FY 2012. In brief, its distinguishing characteristics are: only internal merit review is required; proposals must be interdisciplinary and potentially transformative; requests may be up to $1 million and up to five years duration. In the future, further announcements will be made regarding INSPIRE activities to be launched in FY 2013 and beyond. The funding for INSPIRE in future years is expected to increase substantially each year, reaching a steady state in FY 2016.

For more, visit this story in Science.

Vice President for Research Fellowship and Award Deadlines

Find information and nomination forms (available in Word or PDF) at the Awards, Fellowships and Grants page.

OSP Offers Grant Workshops

SP110 Grants.gov Proposal Submission with Cayuse
10 a.m.–noon
Jan. 23, 2012
NOA 5.318

Attend this free introductory course to learn how to use Cayuse424 to prepare proposals for Grants.gov submissions. The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) requires Cayuse424 for all Grants.gov opportunities supported by Cayuse.

This course is open to everyone and is ideal for principal investigators, departmental staff, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and others who are new to Cayuse and the Grants.gov submission process. It is also ideal for those who would like a refresher.

Sign up via TXClass.

SP101 Life Cycle of a Sponsored Research Grant - Preaward
9–10:15 a.m.
Feb. 22, 2012
NOA 5.318

Participants will learn about the services available from the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP), which serves as the coordinating office for externally funded research projects submitted by The University of Texas at Austin. OSP assists faculty and professional research staff in their efforts to secure external funding for their research interests. This presentation will provide an overview of the grant award process and will include information and tips on using electronic research administration tools, budget development, and other pre-award issues. Related university policies and procedures will also be discussed. This class is open to everyone but is most appropriate for entry-level research administrators.

Sign up via TXClass.

SP102 Life Cycle of a Sponsored Research Grant - Postaward
10:30–11:45 a.m.
Feb. 22, 2012
NOA 5.318

Participants will learn about the services available from Sponsored Projects Award Administration (SPAA), a section of the Office of Sponsored Projects. This presentation will provide an overview of grant account administration issues. Related university policies and procedures will also be discussed. This class is open to everyone but is most appropriate for entry-level research administrators.

Sign up via TXClass.

Quoted-UT Researchers in the News

Huffington Post
Jan. 10, 2012
HEADLINE: How Mindfulness Can Making Dining Out Healthy

Gayle Timmerman (In a research paper published in the Journal of Nutritional and Educational Behavior, Nursing Professor Gayle Timmerman and colleagues found that keeping in mind what you eat and how much you eat helps limit the amount you eat--even when you eat in a restaurant. Here she discusses the significance of dining out.)

"The advice for weight loss is often just, 'Well, eat out less,' which is just not very realistic these days," said Gayle M. Timmerman, an associate professor at The University of Texas at Austin's School of Nursing and one of the study's authors. "For many people, it's an important part of their lifestyle and it's an important part of their social life -- even with the economic downturn."

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 Education

Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program--Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT) Projects
Deadline: Feb. 28, 2012

NASA

NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship 2012 (PDF)
Deadline: Feb. 1, 2012

Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer
Deadline: Feb. 7, 2012

National Institutes of Health

Translating Basic Behavioral and Social Science Discoveries into Interventions to Improve Health-Related Behaviors
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Jan. 5, 2012; Application, Feb. 5, 2012

Mechanism for Time-Sensitive Drug Abuse Research
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Feb. 9, 2012; Application, March 9, 2012

Postdoctoral Research Training in Obstetric Fetal Pharmacology
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, April 25, 2012; Application, May 25, 2012

Team-Based Design in Biomedical Engineering Education
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, April 18, 2012; Application, May 18, 2012

Indo-U.S. Vaccine Action Program (VAP) Small Research Grant Program
Deadline: Feb. 16, 2012

Independent Scientist in Global Health Award
Deadline: March 1, 2012

National Science Foundation

Chemistry of Life Processes
Deadline: July 31, 2012

Chemical Measurement and Imaging
Deadline: July 31, 2012

Arts, Humanities and Culture

National Endowment for the Arts
Our Town Grants for Arts Projects
Deadline: March 1, 2012

Endangered Language Fund
Request for Proposals 2012
Deadline: April 20, 2012

Other Funding Opportunities

Scleroderma Foundation
New Investigator Grant
Deadline: Sept. 15, 2012

Dana Foundation
Brain and Immuno-Imaging
Deadline: Feb. 28, 2012

March of Dimes Foundation
2013 Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Research Award Program
(PDF)
Deadlines: March 15, 2012

Research Project

Spatial Autocorrelation and Species Distribution Models: Analyzing the Effects of Spatial Structure, Sampling Strategy, Statistical Methods, and Scale Using Simulated Data

Jennifer MillerRESEARCHER: Jennifer Miller, assistant professor, Department of Geography and the Environment
AGENCY: National Science Foundation
AMOUNT: $178,356

The use of species distribution models (SDM) to map and monitor animal and plant distributions has become increasingly important in the context of awareness of environmental change and its ecological consequences. Although increasingly sophisticated statistical methods are being used in SDM, the vast majority has been developed without considering spatial autocorrelation in the data.

When spatial autocorrelation is ignored and nonspatial statistical methods are used, coefficient estimates are less precise and overall the models can be poorly specified. Explicitly spatial statistical methods not only can improve upon these model calibration issues, but they also can incorporate information on spatial processes such as competition, dispersal and disturbance. Although there has been a recent increase in SDM studies that address explicitly spatial statistical methods, results have been incongruous and difficult to synthesize. The location-, data-, or scale-specific nature of these studies has impeded efforts to disentangle the effects of spatial structure in the data, sampling strategy, the scale of the study and statistical methods used.

This project addresses each of these issues specifically with the general research question: how does spatial autocorrelation affect species distribution models? The research focuses on using multi-resolution simulated distribution maps and novel assessment measures in order to analyze how differences in each of the four issues- spatial structure, sampling strategy, scale and statistical methods- impact SDM both separately and in concert.

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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