April 28, 2011 | 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.]

Assistant Professors Win CAREER Awards from National Science Foundation

Seven assistant professors received Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards totaling about $3.5 million from the National Science Foundation. The CAREER awards recognize promising young faculty and supports their research with five years of funding. The recipients are:

Amit BhasinAmit Bhasin, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering. The $400,000 project is to conduct research and provide the fundamental knowledge to chemically modify asphalt binders that will yield superior self-healing and mechanical properties.

Constantine CaramanisConstantine Caramanis, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The $400,000 project is to develop a new methodological framework to understand high dimensional complex phenomena from potentially corrupted and incomplete data. This research has the potential to significantly affect abilities to discover important structure in complex problems, from bioinformatics to social networks.

Christopher EllisonChristopher Ellison, Department of Chemical Engineering. The $500,000 project is to provide better understanding of polymer physics to improve advanced materials design. The research could lead to improvements in hard drive lubricants, to make data storage more reliable, and in microelectronics manufacturing, to make smaller, more efficient electronic components.

Jung-Fu LinJung-Fu Lin, Department of Geological Sciences. The $538,000 project investigates the alloying effects of major candidate light elements on the phase diagram and elasticity of iron under relevant pressures and temperatures of the Earth's core in order to address pressing issues of its composition, thermal structures and seismic features.

Mikhail MatzMikhail Matz, Section of Integrative Biology. The $674,000 project will be the first to address genetics of coral adaptation in nature, which will clarify some of the most fundamental mechanisms of evolution in the oceans. The project is to establish genetic markers to assess the risk of extinction of individual reefs, which will help prioritize conservation efforts.

Alison PrestonAlison Preston, Department of Psychology. This $663,692 project will use neuroimaging imaging techniques to understand how the brain makes predictions about the present and future based on memories of the past.

Michael WalfishMichael Walfish, Department of Computer Science. The $450,000 project investigates ways of outsourcing computation without having to trust or assume that the entities providing computing resources are actually working correctly. This could make cloud computing safer, spurring the adoption of cloud services and causing more people to pay less for computing.


News and Information

Center for Identity Hosts Identity Management Meeting

The Center for Identity at The University of Texas is hosting the third annual Identity Management Summit on May 5, 2011 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center.

The summit brings together academia, business, law enforcement and government agencies to discuss the role "trust" plays in establishing a secure identity and a secure transaction in all areas of contemporary life. Leaders from education, financial services, consumer services, health care, energy, homeland security and law enforcement will discuss current capabilities and predictions regarding identity management threats, vulnerabilities, risks and solutions. More information is available at the Center for Identity Web site. RSVP to Stephanie Cardenas, scardenas@identity.utexas.edu, by Friday April 29, 2011.

Office of Sponsored Projects Offers Cost Training

The Office of Sponsored Projects offers a course, "ABC's of Federal Cost Principles," from 1-4:30 p.m. May 11, 2011 in Room 5.318 in the North Office Building.

The course is from the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) and offers participants better understanding of aspects of contract negotiation with federal sponsors. There is no cost, but registration through TXclass is required. More information is at the Office of Sponsored Projects Web site.

Quoted-UT Researchers in the News

The New York Times
April 24, 2011
HEADLINE: Maybe Just Drunk Enough to Remember

(An article about how being drunk affects memory and the impact it has on rape cases in court quoted Dr. Kim Fromme, a professor in the Department of Psychology, who conducts research on drinking and its impact. The story also refers to Dr. Reagan Wetherill, who received her Ph.D. in Fromme's lab.)

Kim FrommeThe recollection of an incident during a drunken blackout can also be influenced.

“An individual can’t remember something, but they keep being asked: ‘What about this? What about that?’” Dr. Fromme said. “You have to be cautious about memories becoming contaminated by people’s questioning. People can then take that information you’ve given them and create a false memory that’s not actually true.”


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

FY11 Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Research Program
Therapeutic Development Award
Therapeutic Idea Award
Deadlines: Pre-application, May 25, 2011; Application, Aug. 24, 2011

FY11 Bone Marrow Failure Research Program
Therapeutic Development Award
Therapeutic Idea Award
Deadlines: Pre-application, June 21, 2011; Application, Sept. 14, 2011

Department of Energy

Advanced Hydropower Development
Deadline:June 6, 2011

Research and Development for Hydrogen Storage
Deadline: Aug. 29, 2011

Department of the Interior

Desalination and Water Purification Research and Development
Request for Proposals FY 2009
Deadline: June 3, 2011

National Institutes of Health

Predictive Multiscale Models for Biomedical, Biological, Behavioral, Environmental and Clinical Research
Deadline: June 5, 2011

Beyond HAART: Innovative Therapies to Control HIV-1
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, June 20, 2011; Application, July 19, 2011

Translational Research for the Prevention and Control of Diabetes and Obesity
Deadline: July 1, 2011

National Science Foundation

Research Experiences for Undergraduates
(June deadline is for REU Site proposals requiring access to Antarctica)
Deadline: June 3, 2011

Advances in Biological Informatics
Deadline: July 12, 2011

Improvements to Biological Research Collections
Deadline: July 22, 2011
[Proposals for this grant should be submitted through the Office of Sponsored Projects via the Proposal Review Form. For questions, please call 471-6424 or email osp@austin.utexas.edu.]

Deadlines: Aug. 15, 2011 for regular research; Oct, 15, 2011 for dissertation research

Marine Geology and Geophysics
Deadline: Aug. 15, 2011

Law and Social Science
Deadline: Aug. 15, 2011

Physical Oceanography
Deadline: Aug. 15, 2011

Oceanographic Technology and Interdisciplinary Coordination
Deadline: Aug. 15, 2011

Deadline: Aug. 15, 2011

Cognitive Neuroscience
Deadline: Aug. 15, 2011

Arts, Humanities and Culture

The Center for Craft, Creativity and Design
Craft Research Grants
Deadline: July 21, 2011

Other Funding Opportunities

Aspen Institute Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation
William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fellowship
Deadline: July 15, 2011

Research Project

Experimental Investigation of Dynamic Abnormal Grain Growth

Eric Taleff Researcher: Eric Taleff, professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, principal investigator
Agency: National Science Foundation
Amount: $125,000 (continuing project)

Dynamic abnormal grain growth (DAGG) is a recently-discovered phenomenon in the field of materials science. DAGG occurs while deforming polycrystalline material at elevated temperature and has been used to grow large single crystals in molybdenum and tantalum for scientific studies.

Beyond this initial practical application, DAGG represents an opportunity to gain new fundamental insights into the evolution of material microstructure. Controlling material microstructure is critical to the manufacture of advanced components in many industries, particularly the transportation industries. Potential impacts of this research include creating new materials and improving the quality of manufactured components. The proposed research will enhance collaborations with General Motors and Sandia National Laboratory. Both graduate and undergraduate students will be trained in the fields of materials and metals science through research activities and as well as mentoring during academic studies. Outreach activities which promote science and engineering to the local community will be supported.

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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