June 16, 2011 | 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.]

Faculty Members Named to Academy of Distinguished Teachers

Seven faculty members have been named to the prestigious Academy of Distinguished Teachers at The University of Texas at Austin.

Steven W. Leslie, executive vice president and provost said the academy is designed to recognize tenured faculty members who have made sustained and significant contributions to education, particularly at the undergraduate level. With this year's selections the academy has 126 members.

The new members are Jay L. Banner, professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences; Michael W. Downer, professor, Department of Physics, College of Natural Sciences; Charles Holahan, professor, Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts; Sharon Jarvis, associate professor, Department of Communication Studies, Moody College of Communication; Beth Maloch, associate professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education; Yale N. Patt, professor, the Ernest Cockrell, Jr. Centennial Chair in Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering; and Marjorie C. Woods, professor, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts.

News and Information

Department Chairs Named in Engineering and Geoscience

Jayathi MurthyJayathi Y. Murthy, a professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, has been named chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.

Murthy is the first woman to chair the Mechanical Engineering Department and begins her position Jan. 1, 2012.

In addition to her faculty role at Purdue, Murthy has been director of the National Nuclear Security Agency's (NNSA) Center for Prediction of Reliability, Integrity and Survivability of Microsystems (PRISM) since 2008. As director, Murthy has led research involving large-scale simulation of micro-electro-mechanical systems. The research center is funded by NNSA, part of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Ron Steel

In the Jackson School of Geosciences, Ron Steel, professor and the Morgan Davis Centennial Chair, has been named chair of the Department of Geological Sciences starting Aug. 1, 2011.

Steel received his Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow, Scotland in 1971. Before coming to The University of Texas at Austin in 2003, he was professor of reservoir geology at the University of Bergen in Norway, the Wold Professor of Energy at The University of Wyoming and professor at The University Centre in Svalbard. He also was head of geology research and chief geologist of Norsk Hydro, one of the world's largest aluminum companies and a major oil company until 2007, when its oil and gas operations merged with Statoil to form StatoilHydro.

OSP Advises on Crowded Submission Schedule in early July

OSPResearchers planning to submit proposals in early July should be aware of factors affecting the Office of Sponsored Projects' workload:

OSP will be closed for the Fourth of July holiday on Monday, July 4. No staff will be available to review/endorse proposals.

During this time, several major sponsors, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and Department of Defense entities, have deadlines between July 2, 2011 and July 6, 2011. These are programs that UT Austin investigators generally target so OSP expects an increased number of proposals.

To ensure timely submission of proposals, please work with OSP as early as possible.

National Science Foundation Seeks Comment on Merit Review Criteria

Over the past year, the National Science Board’s (NSB) Merit Review Task Force reviewed the National Science Foundation's two merit review criteria, Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts. Input from a wide variety of stakeholder groups helped guide the Task Force. It proposed maintaining the two criteria, but revising the text to clarify the intent of the criteria and how they are to be used during the review process.

The NSF and NSB are now interested in getting feedback on the revised criteria and the underlying principles upon which they are based, and have issued a joint Dear Colleague Letter requesting input.

The merit review process is at the heart of NSF's mission, and the merit review criteria form the critical base for that process. Please take this opportunity to provide comments and suggestions. Comments are being collected through July 14, 2011 and can be submitted to meritreview@nsf.gov.

Quoted-UT Researchers in the News

Washington Times
June 15, 2011
HEADLINE: Economy of sex: It’s cheap these days; Men tend to rule marriage market

Mark Regnerus(An article in the Washington Times looks at research conducted by Mark Regnerus, associate professor in the Department of Sociology and a faculty associate in the Population Research Center, about pre-marital sex.)

Evidence of sexual economics — a mashup of Adam Smith and Dr. Ruth that seeks to explain how the “sexual market” works — is everywhere, said University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus.

“One of the biggest unacknowledged facts about sex is the underlying economy to it all,” he said. “When you look into it, it’s really amazing how it works. And it’s fairly elementary as well: We put a price tag on sex. You might not think we ought to do that, but we do. Sex, at one level, is an exchange. … Each person gives the other person something of themselves. But it is typically a different something.”

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 Defense

ARO Core Broad Agency Announcement for Basic and Applied Scientific Research for Fiscal Years 2007 through 2011 (PDF)
Deadline: Sept. 30, 2011

Department of the Interior

FY 2011 Environmental Studies Program (PDF)
Deadline: June 30, 2011

National Institutes of Health

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Program Project (P01) Applications
Deadline: Sept. 25, 2011

NIDCD Research On Hearing Health Care
Deadline: Letter of Intent, Sept. 30, 2011; Application, Oct. 31, 2011

National Science Foundation

Deadline: Sept. 15, 2011

Deadline: Sept. 15, 2011

Process and Reaction Engineering
Deadline: Sept. 15, 2011

Energy for Sustainability
Deadlines: Feb. 17, 2012

Arts, Humanities and Culture

American Council on Germany
Dr. Richard M. Hunt Fellowship for the Study of German History, Politics, Society and Culture
Deadline: July 1, 2011

American Council of Learned Societies
ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowships
Deadline: Sept. 29, 2011

Library of Congress
The Kislak Fellowship in American Studies
Deadline: Oct. 15, 2011

Other Funding Opportunities

National Center for Responsible Gaming
Large Grants for Research on Gambling Disorders (PDF)
Deadline: Letter of Intent, July 1, 2011; Application, Sept. 1, 2011

Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Career Awards at the Scientific Interface
(Awards are to foster the early career development of researchers with backgrounds in the physical/mathematical/computational sciences and engineers whose work addresses biological questions.)
Deadline: Pre-Application, Sept. 1, 2011

Law School Admission Council
Research Grant Program
Deadline: Sept. 1, 2011

Partnership for Clean Competition

Deadlines: July 1, 2011 and Nov. 1, 2011

Research Project


Mary HayhoeRESEARCHER: Mary Hayhoe, professor, Department of Psychology, principal investigator
AGENCY: National Institutes of Health
AMOUNT: $357,012

This grant explores the use of vision and the control of eye movements in the context of natural, visually guided behavior. The present experiments help define what tasks subjects need to perform when walking, and what information might be needed. This is a necessary first step that will lay the groundwork for investigation of clinical populations, since patient data needs to be interpreted in the context of normal performance. The experiments also have direct relevance to safety issues in driving and any situation involving multi-tasking. The development of virtual environments for natural tasks is important as it allows us to safely investigate situations that might be dangerous to test in the real world.

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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