Nov. 3, 2011 | Research Alert

Research Alert

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Research Prizes and Honors

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School of Nursing Faculty Selected as Fellows of American Academy of Nursing

Deborah VolkerMarilyn PattilloMary Lou AdamsThree faculty members in the School of Nursing at The University of Texas at Austin have been inducted as Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing, one of the highest honors in nursing.

Dr. Mary Lou Adams, left, Dr. Marilyn Pattillo, center, and Dr. Deborah Volker, right, were among 143 new fellows from around the world. The 2011 class was inducted Oct. 15 in Washington, D.C. at the academy's annual meeting.

The academy, composed of about 1,500 nursing leaders in education, management, practice and research, selects fellows to recognize efforts in advancing the profession of nursing.

News and Information

Event offers insight on licensing technology and forming partnerships with corporations

David LaudeThe Office of Technology Commercialization presents a program on the technology licensing process. It runs 3-6 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center.

Faculty (and their graduate and post-doctoral students) are encouraged to attend the session, as the speakers walk inventors through the ins and outs of a licensing agreement.

This is the second event in OTC's Colloquium on Commercialization series. For more information and to register, go to Licensing and Corporate Partnering.

Quoted-UT Researchers in the News

The New York Times
Oct. 30, 2011
HEADLINE: Twitterology: A New Science?

David BeaverJamie Pennebaker (A column in the New York Times examined using Twitter as a source of data for studying linguistics, sociology and psychology. It cited a study led by David Beaver, left, a professor of linguistics. The column also cited psychology professor James Pennebaker, right, who developed the text-analysis program used for such studies.)

At the University of Texas, for example, a group of linguists and social psychologists has been monitoring Twitter to track on-the-ground sentiment over the course of the Arab Spring, particularly in Egypt and Libya. After the death of Colonel Qaddafi, the linguist David Beaver and his assistants quickly summoned thousands of Arabic-language tweets before and after the event. They zeroed in on messages known to be from Libya by using Twitter’s system of geocoding. (Posts from cellphones, for instance, very often encode the user’s geographic coordinates.) The tweets were then automatically translated from Arabic to English and fed into a text-analysis computer program.

The researchers were able to create a dynamic portrait of Libya’s Twitter traffic. The overall traffic skyrocketed in the hours after Colonel Qaddafi’s death was announced, as did terms related to positive sentiment like “good” and “wonderful.” Religious sentiment was also on display, with a significant increase in the frequency of words like “Allah,” “sacrifice” and “gospel.”

James W. Pennebaker, a social psychologist at the University of Texas who pioneered the text-analysis program often used in this kind of research, warns that positive and negative emotion words are the “low-hanging fruit” in such studies, and that deeper linguistic analysis should be explored to provide a “richer, more nuanced view” of how people present themselves to the world.

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 Agriculture

Specialty Crop Research Initiative
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Nov. 25, 2011; Proposal, Jan. 31, 2012

Department of Defense

Nanofilled Dielectrics for High Energy Density Capacitors
Deadline: Dec. 6, 2011

Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program
Defense Coastal/Estuarine Research Program
Deadline: Jan. 5, 2012

Department of the Interior

White-Nose Syndrome Research
Deadline: Dec. 4, 2011

National Institutes of Health

Virtual Reality Technologies for Research and Education in Obesity and Diabetes
Deadline: Feb. 5, 2012

National Cancer Institute Program Project (P01) Applications
Deadline: Jan. 25, 2012

National Science Foundation

Law & Social Sciences
Deadline: Jan. 24, 2012

Promoting Research and Innovation in Methodologies for Evaluation
Deadline: Jan. 25, 2012

Strategic Technologies for CyberInfrastructure
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2012

Arts, Humanities and Culture

Hunting LLC
Hunting Art Prize
Deadline: Nov. 30, 2011

McArthur Foundation
Digital Media and Learning Competition: Badges, Trophies, and Achievements: 
Recognition and Accreditation for Informal and Interest-Driven Learning

  • Research Grant
  • Doctoral Student Grants
  • Student Prize
  • Faculty Prize

Deadline: Nov. 28, 2011

Center for the United States and the Cold War
Deadline: Feb. 1, 2012

Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative

  • SFARI Explorer Award
  • SFARI Pilot Award
  • SFARI Research Award
  • SFARI Simons Simplex Collection Award

Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Dec. 12, 2011; Full Proposal (by invitation), March 19, 2012

Other Funding Opportunities

United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation
The Prof. Rahamimoff Travel Grants Program for Young Scientists
Deadline: Dec. 8, 2011

Pfizer Fellowship in Bioethics
Deadline: Feb. 11, 2012

Research Project

The Origin and Significance of Appearance-Based Stereotypes

Judith LangloisRESEARCHER: Judith Langlois, professor, Department of Psychology, principal investigator
AGENCY: National Institutes of Health
AMOUNT: $1.45 million (five-year grant)

This research program examines the origins, consequences and significance of appearance-based stereotypes. One goal is to understand the cognitive mechanisms underlying the development of the universal preferences shown by infants, children and adults for attractive faces. Why do even young infants prefer to look at attractive rather than unattractive faces and when do stereotypical expectations become attached to these visual preferences? By what processes do infants come to associate attractiveness with positive attributes and to associate unattractiveness with negative attributes? Given infants as young as 12 months of age display differential treatment of attractive and unattractive individuals they may have some primitive knowledge of appearance-based stereotypes much earlier than previously assumed.

A second goal of the research is to form a better understanding of the consequences of appearance-based stereotypes. How do children behave toward others based on appearance? Do non-prototypical faces elicit negative affect from perceivers and, if so, how might this lead to stigmatization? What are the social, physical and mental health risks associated with appearance-based stereotypes? Because the intent of this research is to provide a full understanding of the mechanisms underlying the development of preferences, attitudes and stereotypes based on facial appearance, a multi- method, converging evidence approach, beginning in infancy is required. This project includes standard behavioral measures widely used in the developmental literature including infant looking behavior with physiological measures (EEG, ERP, & EMG). Physiological data (e.g. EEG recorded brain activity) will be correlated with a behavioral response and/or a measure of attitudes. The ultimate goal of this research will be to ameliorate the negative consequences associated with appearance-based stereotypes.

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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