Nov. 23, 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.]

Astronomer Receives CAREER Grant from National Science Foundation

Sally Dodson-RobinsonSally Dodson-Robinson, assistant professor in the Department of Astronomy, has received a Faculty Early Career Development award of $363,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

These NSF awards, called CAREER grants, recognize promising young faculty members and support their research and education missions with five years of funding. Dodson-Robinson has so far been awarded $363,000 in support of her research program called "Giant Planets in Dusty Disks."

News and Information

Geologists Find Evidence for “Great Lake” on Europa and Potential Habitat for Life


In a significant finding in the search for life beyond Earth, scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere have discovered what appears to be a body of liquid water the volume of the North American Great Lakes locked inside the icy shell of Jupiter's moon Europa.

The water could represent a potential habitat for life, and many more such lakes might exist throughout the shallow regions of Europa's shell, lead author Britney Schmidt, a postdoctoral fellow at The University of Texas at Austin's Institute for Geophysics, writes in the journal Nature.

Further increasing the potential for life, the newly discovered lake is covered by floating ice shelves that seem to be collapsing, providing a mechanism for transferring nutrients and energy between the surface and a vast ocean already inferred to exist below the thick ice shell.

See more in "Quoted" below.

Computer Science Department, SunGard form Cloud Computing Center

As part of its research efforts to help create safer and faster computing, the Department of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Austin has partnered with SunGard Availability Services to improve emerging cloud-based technologies through a new center for cloud computing research.

The Cloud Computing Research Center will give the department and SunGard the ability to work together to identify relevant and unsolved research problems in cloud computing, pursue research initiatives to solve those problems and, as appropriate, commercialize the resulting research.

Quoted-UT Researchers in the News

Washington Post
Nov. 16, 2011
HEADLINE: Jupiter’s moon Europa: Lake theory boosts hopes for life

Britney Schmidt Don Blankenship(The findings about Jupiter's moon Europa received a lot of news coverage. Britney Schmidt, left, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Geophysics and the study's lead author, and Don Blankenship, a senior research scientist at the Institute and a co-author, were quoted in the Washington Post story.)

“Europa has the best chance of having life there today,” said Britney Schmidt, who studies the moon at The University of Texas at Austin and led the new study appearing in the journal Nature.

Such lakes could provide a habitat for life or act as channels for organic compounds on Europa’s surface to be drawn into the moon’s far deeper ocean, said Don Blankenship, a geophysicist and Europa specialist also at The University of Texas.

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

Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy: A Joint Research Funding Opportunity Announcement USDA, DOE
Deadline: Feb. 24, 2012

National Institutes of Health

Bioengineering Interdisciplinary Training and Education for Type I Diabetes Research
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Feb. 14, 2012; Application, March 14, 2012

Application of Genomic Advances to Wound Repair
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Dec. 23, 2011; Application, Jan. 23, 2012

Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Dec. 23, 2011; Application, Jan. 24, 2012

Technology Development to Enable Large Scale Metabolomics Analyses
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Dec. 31, 2011; Application, Jan. 31, 2012

Effects of adolescent binge drinking on brain development
Deadline: Feb. 5, 2012

Alzheimer's Disease Drug Development Program
Deadline: Feb. 5, 2012

Midcareer Investigator Award in Mouse Pathobiology and Comprehensive Phenotyping Research
Deadline: Feb. 12, 2012

National Science Foundation

Advancing Health Services through System Modeling Research
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2012

Physical and Engineering Sciences in Oncology
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2012

Improvements in Facilities, Communications, and Equipment at Biological Field Stations and Marine Laboratories
Deadline: Jan. 17, 2012

Algorithms for Threat Detection
Deadline: Jan. 10, 2012

Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
Deadline: Jan. 23, 2012

Biomechanics and Mechanobiology
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2012

Arts, Humanities and Culture

Royal Ontario Museum
Veronika Gervers: Research Fellowship in Textiles & Costume History (PDF)
Deadline: March 31, 2012

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
2012-2013 Fellowship Competition
Deadline: Feb. 17, 2012

National Endowment for the Humanities
Summer Seminars and Institutes
Deadline: March 1, 2012

American Association for the History of Nursing
Grants for Historical Research
Deadline: April 1, 2012

Other Funding Opportunities

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance
Advanced E-Team Grants
Deadlines: Dec. 2, 2011 and May 4, 2012

Course and Program Grants
Deadlines: Dec. 2, 2011 and May 4, 2012

Global Probiotics Council
Young Investigator Grant for Probiotics Research
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2012

Research Project

Collaborative Research: An Agent-Based Simulation Environment for Predictive Longitudinal Modeling of High School Math Performance

Kerry CookRESEARCHER: Paul Resta, professor and director of the Learning Technology Center, College of Education, principal investigator
AGENCY: National Science Foundation
AMOUNT: $63,554

Education systems do not have a valid way to measure progressions of mathematics education to evaluate outcomes associated with mathematics learning outcomes. This project will provide a baseline understanding of students' progression in mathematics achievement that is critical in helping educators and policy makers set goals and standards for mathematics education within the United States.

This collaborative proof-of-concept study involves The University of California at Santa Cruz, The University of Texas at Austin and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The PIs will test the efficacy of using agent-based simulation and visualization models to identify the factors that predict mathematics achievement for students from the 8th grade to the 12th grade and beyond.

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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