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Research Alert

Research Prizes and Honors

[Have you or a colleague won a research-related prize or honor? Let the Research Alert know. Send an e-mail to timgreen@mail.utexas.edu.]

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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. Send an e-mail to timgreen@mail.utexas.edu.]


Christine E. Schmidt, biomedical engineering professor, received the first Chairmen’s Distinguished Life Sciences Award, along with $25,000, from the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for her work with nerve grafting.

Her cadaver nerve implanting method, which overcomes a patient’s natural rejection of transplants, has been successful in all 100-plus patients receiving the implants in more than 50-plus hospitals in the United States. Schmidt’s other research on nerve regeneration using advanced biomaterials was also highlighted in the award announcement.

The award is given to a scientist or engineer who is making or has recently made a significant and positive contribution toward development of a “cutting edge” innovation in the field of life sciences.

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News and Information


THE U.S. Department of Defense has set up the Minerva Research Initiative to increase the Department’s intellectual capital in the social sciences and improve its ability to address future challenges and build bridges between the department and the social science community.

Minerva will bring together universities, research institutions and individual scholars and support multidisciplinary and cross-institutional projects addressing specific topic areas determined by the department.

The department is seeking white papers and full proposals to address:

  1. Chinese Military and Technology Research and Archive Programs
  2. Studies of the Strategic Impact of Religious and Cultural Changes within the Islamic World
  3. Iraqi Perspectives Project
  4. Studies of Terrorist Organization and Ideologies
  5. New Approaches to Understanding Dimensions of National Security, Conflict, and Cooperation

The deadline for white papers is July 25, 2008, with full proposals due Oct. 3, 2008.


The National Institutes of Health Public Access mandate ensures that the general public has Internet access to the published results of NIH-funded research by endorsing PubMed Central (PMC) as the on-line repository for research products of NIH-funded research. This mandate applies to investigators whose peer-reviewed articles are based on NIH-funded research, and are accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008. This policy has potential copyright transfer issues as it requires investigators to submit their manuscript to PubMed upon acceptance for publication.

The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) has implemented new procedures and has assisted in the development of policy language that will reserve the rights necessary to allow faculty authors to comply with the NIH requirement. Authors will be required to include each article’s PubMed Central (PMC) reference number for each article when citing them in NIH applications, proposals or progress reports starting May 25, 2008.

Learn more about the NIH Public Access Policy.

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QuotedUT Researchers in the News

A sampling of recent quotes by university faculty members and researchers. To be included in this section, let Research Alert know when you or a colleague have been quoted.

June 9, 2008
HEADLINE: Living together: No big deal?
Study: A walk down the aisle may not be the next step, either

The new report [the National Marriage Project study of a sampling of 13 Western European and Scandinavian nations, Australia, Canada and New Zealand] cites Census data showing that about 40% of all opposite-sex, unmarried couples live with their own child under 18.

“We often think of cohabitation as a phenomenon of young adulthood before people start having kids, but … as marriage is being delayed to later and later ages, more children are born before marriage, and many of the couples are cohabiting before the birth,” says R. Kelly Raley, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas-Austin, who did not participate in the study.

Raley isn’t convinced that cohabitation is being viewed as a marriage alternative, citing a 2001 study of her own. The evidence, she found, didn’t suggest people cohabit to start a family, which she says is what would be expected if cohabitation were considered a marriage alternative.

Los Angeles Times
June 5, 2008 Thursday
Oil, water a tense mix
Unskilled at deep-sea drilling and crowded by foreign firms, Mexico may open its industry to partners

U.S. GULF OF MEXICO — Eight miles north of the maritime border with Mexico, in waters a mile and a half deep, Shell Oil Co. is constructing the most ambitious offshore oil platform ever attempted in the Gulf of Mexico.

Companies working in U.S. waters wouldn’t have to worry about Mexico taking legal action if it were determined that Mexican crude was ending up in their wells. International law and commercial custom dictate that communal reservoirs be shared. But the U.S. has not ratified a key United Nations treaty on maritime law, which could complicate Mexico’s effort to pursue any complaint over pilfered crude.

Nevertheless, oil companies don’t like surprises, said Michelle Foss, chief energy economist at the University of Texas at Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology. “You’re not going to put a billion dollars at risk if . . . you might have to suspend operations because of an international dispute,” she said.

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Research Opportunities

Important university research deadlines:
Awards and Grants
Limited Submissions

Defense University Research Instrumentation Program
Deadline: Aug. 26, 2008

Research, Development, and Demonstration of Fuel Cell Technologies for Automotive, Stationary, and Portable Power Applications
Deadline: Aug. 27, 2008

Observational Studies To Characterize The Determinants Of Exposure To Chemicals In The Environment For Early-Lifestage Age Groups
Deadline: Sept. 3, 2008

ICESat-II Science Definition Team
Deadlines: Notices of intent, May 30, 2008; Proposals, July 30, 2008

Astrobiology: Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology
Deadlines: Notices of intent, July 28, 2008; Proposals, Sept. 19, 2008

Ocean Salinity Science Team
Deadlines: Non-required notices of intent, Aug. 29, 2008; Proposals, Oct. 30, 2008

Transmission and Pathogenesis of HIV in Women
Deadlines: Letters of intent, July 15, 2008; Applications, Aug. 15, 2008

Economics of Treatment and Prevention Services for Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Deadline: Oct. 5, 2008

Centers on the Demography and Economics of Aging
Deadlines: Letters of intent, Sept. 30, 2008; Applications, Oct. 30, 2008

Ecology Program
Deadline: July 9, 2008

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program
Deadline: Aug. 19, 2008

Expeditions in Computing
Deadlines: Preliminary proposals, Sept. 10, 2008; full proposals, Feb. 10, 2009

CISE Computing Research Infrastructure
Deadline: Sept. 22, 2008

Joint DMS/NIGMS Initiative to Support Research in the Area of Mathematical Biology
Deadline: Oct. 1, 2008

Changing Seasonality in the Arctic System – Arctic System Science Program
Deadline: Oct. 10, 2008

Deadline: Nov. 4, 2008

Breast Cancer Research Foundation-AACR Grant for Translational Breast Cancer Research
Deadline: July 9, 2008

Fondation Leducq
2008-2009 Transatlantic Networks of Excellence in Cardiovascular Research Program
Deadline: Sept. 18, 2008

Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation
Research Grant
Deadline: Oct. 15, 2008

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Research Project

Let us know about your research projects at timgreen@mail.utexas.edu or 512-475-6596.


FACULTY: Tracie Harrison, assistant professor, Adult Health Nursing, School of Nursing, principal investigator
AGENCY: National Institutes of Health
Amount: $334,672

Latinas with disabilities, estimated at more than 3 million women in the United States, report greater levels of disablement than White, Non-Hispanic women with disabilities. Over the life course Latinas experience increased numbers of functional limitations, more difficulties with activities of daily living, and more unemployment due to impairments. The reasons for this health disparity are unclear.

This project will examine the experience of disablement among Mexican American and White, Non-Hispanic women to compare ethnic differences in disablement among the two groups of women. The multiple methods of ethnography–interviews, questionnaires, participant observation, life history calendar, and field notes–are essential tools for gathering the data that is necessary for developing explanatory models of disablement and for comparing differences in outcomes between ethnic groups.

It is estimated that up to 120 women, 60 Mexican American and 60 Non-Hispanic White, will be selected based upon age, gender, ethnicity, and mobility impairment using purposeful sampling techniques. Current degrees of disablement will be described using quantitative measures and field notes based upon participant observation. Duration of disablement, descriptions of disablement by those within the culture, and selection of accommodations will be explored using topical biographical interviews, participant observation and life history calendars. The analysis will be based on traditional ethnographic analyses: domain, componential, and cultural thematic analyses.

The results of this study will provide the theoretical knowledge base needed to develop future interventions addressing health disparities in disablement among Mexican American women.

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