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UT News

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.]


Francis J. Gavin, Tom Slick Professor of International Affairs, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and Director of Studies at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at The University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded a Nobel Institute Senior Fellowship for the institute’s spring term in 2009.

Gavin, whose specific fellowship will be from May 1 – June 30, 2009, joins a group of distinguished published scholars invited to participate in the institute’s research program that will focus its efforts in 2009 and 2010 on the causes and consequences of nuclear proliferation, “The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: Past Experiences and Future Challenges.”

A historian by training, his teaching and research interests focus on U.S. foreign policy, national security affairs, nuclear strategy and arms control, presidential policy-making, and the history of international monetary relations. Gavin received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Diplomatic History from the University of Pennsylvania, a MSt. in Modern European History from Oxford, and a B.A. in Political Science (with honors) from the University of Chicago.

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News and Information


Explore the foundations of safe science, review best practices, and promote professional networking at IBC 201, the Institutional Biosafety Committee’s conference Sept. 2-4 at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus.

Register online. The deadline to receive the special room rate at the conference hotel is Aug. 13, 2008.

The conference is sponsored by the University of Texas System and the Texas AandM System.

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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.

USA Today
July 21, 2008
HEADLINE: Volley over Iraq timetable may result in some fallout for McCain; Prime minister eyes short-term withdrawal

In an interview published over the weekend in a German magazine, [Iraqi Prime Minister] al-Maliki seemed to endorse Obama’s plan to pull out U.S. Troops over 16 months. However, an al-Maliki spokesman later said the remarks were “mistranslated” and that any withdrawal had to be based on the security situation in Iraq.

Al-Maliki’s initial comments created problems for McCain, said Peter Trubowitz, a government professor at the University of Texas-Austin.

The political fallout, Trubowitz said, may depend on “which al-Maliki statement sticks.”

“Maliki’s initial statement helps Obama,” he said, but the follow-up could mitigate matters for the Republican. “I don’t think it really helps McCain, but it’s certainly less damaging than the first set of comments.”

The Washington Post
July 26, 2008
HEADLINE: USOC’s Clean-Athlete Plan May Prove Little

[The U.S. Olympic Committee and other voluntary drug testing programs are actively testing U.S. athletes in order to insure a drug-free U.S. Olympic team in Beijing.]

John Hoberman, an anti-doping expert and University of Texas professor, pointed out that a number of professional cycling teams have adopted similar programs and make the results public.

“Anybody in this day and age who thinks they can get away with, ‘Trust me,’ is just detached from reality,” Hoberman said. “Transparency is transparency.”

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Research Opportunities

Important University Research Deadlines


Deadline: Oct. 17, 2008

Interagency Opportunities in Metabolic Engineering
Deadline: Oct. 22, 2008

Accelerating Discovery In Science And Engineering Through Petascale Simulations And Analysis (PetaApps)
Deadline: Oct. 30, 2009

Partnerships for Innovation
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Oct. 31, 2008; Proposal, Dec. 31, 2008

Population and Evolutionary Processes
Deadline: Jan. 9, 2009

Neural Systems Cluster
Deadline: Jan. 12, 2009


Developmental Pharmacology
Deadlines: Letters of Intent, Aug. 22, 2008; Application, Sept. 22, 2008

Epigenomics of Human Health and Disease
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Sept. 28, 2008; Application, Oct. 28, 2008

Neural and Behavioral Profiles of Cognitive Aging
Deadline: Letter of Intent, Oct. 3, 2008; Application, Nov. 3, 2008

Highly Innovative Tactics to Interrupt Transmission of HIV
Deadline: Letter of Intent, Oct. 10, 2008; Application, Nov. 10, 2008

Drug Abuse Prevention Intervention Research
Deadlines: Oct. 5, 2008; Feb. 5, 2009


Computer Science Study Group
Deadline: Aug. 11, 2008


Plasma Physics Junior Faculty Award Program
Deadline: Letter of Intent, Sept. 4, 2008; Proposal, Oct. 7, 2008


Graduate Research Fellowship Program
Deadline: Nov. 21, 2008


Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations
Samuel Flagg Bemis Research Grants
Deadline: Feb. 1, 2009

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Research Project

[Let Research Alert know about your research projects.]

FACULTY: Carolyn Seepersad, assistant professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering; and Katja Holtta-Otto, assistant professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, principal investigators; and Arthur Markman, professor, Department of Psychology, co-principal investigator
AGENCY: National Science Foundation
AMOUNT: $227,163

Abstract: The research objective of this award is to establish a structured conceptual design methodology, called Extreme Experience Design (EED), that stimulates innovation of breakthrough products by engaging designers in extreme experiences as part of concept generation.

Extreme experiences expose the designers to modified physical usage environments (e.g., moisture or noise) or altered means of interacting with the product physically, cognitively, or through sensation (e.g., limited dexterity via gloves or limited hearing via earplugs). These experiences are designed to help designers empathize with customers under a variety of conditions, and thereby design for the types of context-related latent needs that lead to breakthrough products.

A series of experiments is planned to design and refine the EED methodology, to investigate its effectiveness, and to better understand how a designer’s pre-ideation experiences affect the results of conceptual design.

A two-phase Design of Experiments approach will be used to test the effectiveness of the EED methodology. The first phase will be designed to investigate the impact of extreme experiences and designer-prototype interaction, together and separately, on the outcomes of the conceptual design process. The second phase will be designed to investigate more closely whether different types of extreme experiences lead to different types of innovation.

If successful, the results of this research will provide fundamental knowledge of the effects of extreme experiences and designer-prototype interaction on design fixation and a designer’s ability to innovate.

The proposed research is expected to have significant broader impacts. Research will be transferred from the laboratories to K-12 students, university students, industry, and the general public by means of online resources, outreach programs, industry interaction and improved capabilities for universal design that improves quality of life.

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Tim Green, Office of the Vice President for Research, 512-475-6596.