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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.]

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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.]


Dr. Carlos Torres-Verdin petroleum engineering professor, received the 2008 Society of Petroleum Engineers Formation Evaluation Award for his original research on numerical simulation and interpretation of borehole geophysical measurements, including well logs, acquired for the petrophysical assessment of rock formations penetrated by a well. His research determines how porous and permeable rocks are, and whether they are saturated with enough hydrocarbon volume for efficient and economical oil/gas extraction.

Professor Torres-Verdin holds the Zarrow Centennial Professorship in Petroleum Engineering.

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News and Information


The Vice President for Research – Office of Federal Relations, along with the University of Texas System, is calling for proposals for new and continuing federal initiatives for fiscal year 2010. This opportunity is ideal for advanced research that may not be eligible for smaller grants. Funding requests that focus on issues of current national significance and have institutional and regional economic development potential will have a higher probability of success.

Proposals should first be submitted to your dean, who will prioritize 3-5 new requests and forward those to the Federal Relations Office for further consideration. If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please see the detailed instructions at the following Web site and download the UT System FY 2010 Appropriations Request form.

Contact Ellyn Perrone or Michelle Lee at 512-471-5925 with questions.


The Office of Sponsored Projects sponsors a class on customer service for research administrators via satellite television. A panel of experts will examine who is the Customer and what constitutes Good Customer Service. The experts will look at the roles of the Central Sponsored Programs office and the role of the Departmental Administrator. The class is from the National Council of University Research Administrators.

Sept. 9, 2008
10:15 a.m. – 2:30 pm.
ACE 2.302, AVAYA Auditorium

This session will be facilitated by Dr. Susan Sedwick, Director of OSP, and Elena Mota, Program Coordinator. They will be available to answer any questions you may have.

To register, go to TXCLASS and enroll in SP 204 or contact Maria Winchell at 232-4319 or mwinchell@austin.utexas.edu.

More information on the 2008 NCURA Broadcast Series is online.


Kay Ellis, associate director and export control officer in the Office of Sponsored Projects, will conduct a seminar that will provide an understanding of rules and regulations associated with export controls and their application at the university. Participants will gain an understanding of the federal environment that is driving the need for more stringent protection of information.

Sept. 25, 2008
9-11 a.m.
ACE 2.402

The seminar is free, but seating is limited. Please send an e-mail to evmota@austin.utexas.edu to reserve a place.

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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.


Sept. 3, 2008

HEADLINE: McCain and the politics of mortality

For a man who has lived 72 years and 67 days (McCain’s age on Election Day this year), there is between a 14.2 and 15.1 percent chance of dying before Inauguration Day 2013, according to the Social Security Administration’s 2004 actuarial tables and the authoritative 2001 mortality statistics assembled by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Actuaries are quick to point out that mortality statistics describe broad population trends. They insist the models can’t necessarily be applied to individual people.

“Actuarial models are good for estimating the average future lifetime of, say, 100,000 50-year-olds, or how many out of 100,000 50-year-olds will survive to 60, but are lousy at estimating about one particular 50-year-old,” said Jim Daniel, a professor of actuarial studies at the University of Texas.

The odds, then, that McCain will reach age 76 or 80 may be considerably higher than in the population at large.

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Research Opportunities

Important University Research Deadlines


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

Functioning of People with Mental Disorders
Deadline: Oct. 5, 2008

Center for Inherited Disease Research High Throughput Genotyping Resource Access
Deadline: Nov. 3, 2008

Using Proven Factors in Risk Prevention to Promote Protection from HIV Transmission
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Nov. 12, 2008; Application, Dec. 11, 2008

Collaborative Studies on Systems Biology of Complex Phenotypes
Deadline: Nov. 21, 2008

Basic HIV Vaccine Discovery Research
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Dec. 5, 2008; Application, Jan. 5, 2009

Unique Interactions Between Tobacco Use and HIV/AIDS
Deadline: Jan. 7, 2009

Biomedical Technology Research Resource
Deadline: Jan. 25, 200


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

Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience
Deadline: Oct. 30, 2008

Mathematical Biology
Deadline: Proposal Window, Dec. 18, 2008 – Jan. 13, 2009

Emerging Frontiers In Research And Innovation 2009
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Oct. 14, 2008; Preliminary Proposal, Dec. 2, 2008; Full Proposal, April 30, 200


Grammy Foundation
Scientific Research Projects
Deadline: Oct. 1, 2008

Kurt Weill Foundation for Music
Research Grants, Dissertation Fellowships and Performance Grants
Deadline: Nov. 1, 2008

National Academy of Education
Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship
Deadline: Nov. 7, 2008

German Academic Exchange Service
Faculty Research Visit Grant

Deadline: Nov. 15, 2008

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Research Project


FACULTY: Brian Korgel, professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, principal investigator

AGENCY: National Science Foundation

AMOUNT: $120,000

This is a joint research project between The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Alicante (UA) in Spain to study unexpected or emergent magnetism in metal nanocrystals.

Magnetism has been observed in a variety of materials that are not expected to be magnetic, including the metal nanocrystals that will be studied in this research program. This research team will examine the underlying physics of emergent magnetic properties in gold and bismuth nanocrystals through a joint theoretical and experimental effort.

The team at UT-Austin will synthesize and measure the magnetic properties of gold and bismuth nanocrystals. The team at UA will perform model calculations of the electronic and magnetic properties of the nanocrystals, as well as experimental scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) and anisotropic magnetoresistance (AMR) measurements to measure the electronic properties of individual nanocrystals and to search for a definitive signature of ferromagnetism in these materials, if it exists.

The whole group, including student and post-doctoral researchers involved in the project, meets twice a month by videoconference. These regular group meetings provide students with a significant amount of interaction during the course of the project.

In addition, students from UT-Austin spend one month in Alicante every year, learning the theory and how the STS and AMR measurements are performed. Likewise, students from UA visit Austin for one month to learn about the nanocrystal synthesis and magnetic measurements.

This international research program provides exposure to a combination of theory and experiment–both synthesis and property measurement–that offers students an outstanding training opportunity in interdisciplinary materials science and engineering. This research project also provides a unique and exciting environment for students to learn how to cooperate scientifically across political, social and geographical borders.