July 14, 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.]

Financial Management Association Recognizes McCombs Professor For Best Paper

Keith Brown Keith Brown, professor of finance at the McCombs School of Business, won the best paper of the conference award for investments during the 2011 Financial Management Association European Conference.

Brown, a University Distinguished Teaching Professor and Fayez Sarofim Fellow, was honored for his paper “Investment Style Volatility and Mutual Fund Performance.” Brown's co-authors are W.V. Harlow and Hanjiang Zhang, both McCombs alumni.

News and Information

Government Seeks Researcher Feedback on Circular A-21

Seven years ago the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released “Circular A-21,” which established key principles for determining costs applicable to grants, contracts and other agreements between the federal government and educational institutions. The principles were designed to ensure that the federal government covered its fair share of these institutions’ total costs. But the document’s requirements also created administrative burdens that this administration believes could likely be reduced without undermining the effectiveness of the circular.

An interagency task force under the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) is focusing on possible improvements to Circular A-21 with the goal of recommending to the NSTC and OMB specific revisions and clarifications. The task force’s work is part of the administration’s larger effort to minimize unnecessary economic and related burdens through review and reform of regulatory processes.

To assist it in its work, the A-21 Task Force is seeking input from faculty and staff at educational institutions, members of relevant professional societies, and others including the general public. For further information and to submit comments, please read the formal Request for Information (RFI) submitted by the National Institutes of Health on behalf of the Task Force. Sally Rockey, NIH's deputy director for Extramural Research and a co-chair of the A-21 Task Force, addressed this on her blog.

Responses to this RFI must be submitted by July 28, 2011, so please spread the word to your professional colleagues and others with an interest in this topic.

Questions about the RFI itself can be directed to: A-21_Task_Force@mail.nih.gov

Office of Sponsored Projects Offers Classes on the Life Cycle of a Research Grant

Participants in two classes 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 UT Austin.

The classes are:

  • SP101 Life Cycle of a Sponsored Research Grant -- Preaward
    1:30-2:45 p.m., Aug. 23, 2011 at NOA 5.318
  • SP101 Life Cycle of a Sponsored Research Grant -- Postaward
    3-4:15 p.m., Aug. 23, 2011, NOA 5.318

Sign up via TXClass.

Quoted-UT Researchers in the News

NPR: Science Friday
July 8, 2011
HEADLINE: The Story Of Texas Longhorns, As Told By Their DNA

mctavish longhorn

(Emily Jane McTavish, a Ph.D. student in the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, was on NPR's Science Friday talking about her research in Texas longhorn cattle. She addressed a question from host Ira Flatow about longhorn ancestors).

FLATOW: So if we took - we have a couple of longhorn outside. If we took their DNA and I don't know if it's possible to compare it to, you know, Spanish - the Spanish DNA of their ancestors, would it look very much alike?

MCTAVISH: So that's where things get really interesting, I think. So we did know that these cattle were brought over by Columbus and Spaniards colonizing this area. But I've been doing research on the DNA of longhorns and comparing it to other breeds of cattle. Interestingly, using a lot of the same markers that the previous panel was talking about using, sort of looking forward for beef production, I'm using to look backwards of evolutionary history. We're using that same technology.

And so what we've found is that it does seem like this cattle do show that expected Spanish heritage or sort of Iberian Peninsula that Spanish and Portuguese heritage, but one thing that not a lot of people may know is that cattle weren't just domesticated once. The species that was allowed regenerative cattle was actually domesticated into completely separate places around the same time roughly eight to 10,000 years ago. So these separate domestication events have led to different lineages of cattle that have quite distinct DNA. And what we were seeing in Texas longhorns is a signature of this more Indian-like cattle, as opposed to European cattle, which is what you would expect from Spanish and Portuguese...

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

Research Interests of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research
Deadline: Open

FY12 Defense Medical Research and Development Program
Clinical Trial Award - Regenerative Medicine, Pain, Sensory System (PDF)
Deadline: Pre-Application, June 1, 2011; Invitation to Submit an Application, June 2011; Application, Aug. 25, 2011

Department of Energy

Terrestrial Ecosystem Science (PDF)
Deadline: Sept. 12, 2011

National Institutes of Health

Administrative Supplements to Promote Research Collaborations between Hepatocellular Carcinoma Research Laboratories and AIDS Laboratories
Deadline: July 30, 2011

Understanding Clinical Information Needs and Health Care Decision Making Processes in the Context of Health Information Technology (IT)
Deadline: Oct. 5, 2011

Alcohol, Decision-Making, and Adolescent Brain Development
Deadline: Oct. 5, 2011

Advanced Neural Prosthetics Research and Development
Deadline: Oct. 5, 2011

School Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies, Obesogenic Behaviors and Weight Outcomes
Deadline: Oct. 16, 2011

National Science Foundation

Social Psychology
Deadline: July 15, 2011

Cultural Anthropology
Deadlines: Aug. 15 and 16, 2011

Interdisciplinary Program on Material Efficiency – A first step towards sustainable manufacturing
Deadline: Preliminary Proposals. Sept. 30, 2011

Collections in Support of Biological Research
Deadline: Oct. 16, 2011

Arts, Humanities and Culture

GRAMMY Foundation
Scientific Research Projects
Deadlines: Inquiries, Oct. 3, 2011; Invitation to submit full proposal, early November 2011

American Institute For Contemporary German Studies
DAAD/AICGS Research Fellowship Program
Deadline: Aug. 31, 2011

Other Funding Opportunities

Global Polio Eradication Initiative
Grants and collaboration
Deadline: July 31, 2011

American Hearing Research Foundation
Research Grants
Deadline: Aug. 1, 2011

National Patient Safety Foundation
Long-Term and Cross-Disciplinary Fellowships 2012
Deadline: Aug. 25, 2011

Research Grants Program
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Sept. 6, 2011; Notification of acceptance to submit full proposal, Nov. 18, 2011; Full Proposal, Jan. 27, 2012

IBM Center for the Business of Government
Research Stipends
Deadline: Oct. 3, 2011

Research Project

Establishing a U.S.-Turkey collaboration on the introduction of blue crabs to the Mediterranean and their effects on the native ecosystems

Pable MunguiaRESEARCHER: Pablo Munguia, assistant professor, Department of Marine Science, principal investigator
AGENCY: National Science Foundation
AMOUNT: $50,666

This award supports an international collaborative project to study the invasion of blue crabs from their native North America to an introduced range, the Mediterranean and surrounding seas. The research is to be carried out by a team including two U.S. (UT Austin and Duke) and two Turkish (Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University and Ege University) universities. The U.S. team provides expertise in marine community ecology, blue crab biology, marine molecular analysis and physical oceanography. The Turkish team provides expertise in the ecology of benthic invertebrates as well as fisheries biology and population dynamics.

The intellectual merit of this study derives from its interdisciplinary (combining biology and ecology) and comparative nature, as few studies examine invasive species in both their native and introduced ranges. The project will demonstrate the power of genome-wide association studies to determine genetic structure and relationships of invasive to source populations. Also, through a small-scale survey of blue crab stomach contents the study will provide a first step toward understanding the role of blue crabs in the native and introduced range communities. Specific goals include sharing techniques, applying a state of the art genetics approach to examine the blue crab population structure and Mediterranean introduction history, comparing prey species in the native and introduced ranges and making detailed plans for subsequent proposals.

This research will generate enhanced understanding of the behaviors and effects of invasive species, a critical problem in the U.S. and around the world. The detailed knowledge of the blue crab itself will enhance fisheries management in North Carolina as well as broader wildlife management in Texas, where blue crabs are the primary food source for whooping cranes. Further, the project will contribute to a globally engaged scientific workforce through the inclusion of graduate and post-doctoral students, as well as junior faculty.

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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