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UT News

Research Alert

Check out new blogs about University of Texas at Austin research and books: the research blog, Further Findings, and the blog about university-related books, ShelfLife@Texas.

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Check out new blogs about University of Texas at Austin research and books: the research blog, Further Findings, and the blog about university-related books, ShelfLife@Texas.


The Office of the Vice President for Research would like to know if the Research Alert is meeting the needs of those who use it. We have put together a 10-question survey. Fill out the Research Alert survey.

Please send questions or comments about the survey to the Research Alert.

Research Prizes and Honors

[Have you or a colleague won a research-related prize or honor? Let the Research Alert know.]


Dr. Benny D. Freeman, chemical engineering professor, has been selected to receive the 2009 American Chemical Society Award in Applied Polymer Science for his pioneering research that has defined the state of the art in polymer-based gas, liquid and vapor separation membranes.

The award will be presented and recognized at the 2009 spring meeting of the American Chemical Society in March during a two-day symposium featuring 24 presentations from around the world honoring Freeman’s contributions to the field.

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News and Information


The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) and the Division of Statistics and Scientific Computation (SSC) will offer free federal grant development assistance next semester to eight early-career tenure-track faculty at The University of Texas at Austin who have not received federal funding to date.

The program is designed to maximize a grant’s funding possibility through technical writing guidance provided in monthly meetings with a nationally recognized grant-writing consultant, Elizabeth Tornquist. Each participant will also be assigned an on-campus statistical or mathematical consultant from SSC to collaborate on the creation of a high-quality analysis section.

The program is intensive, requiring two to three meetings (individually and in small groups) per month across the spring semester, with the aim of creating a strong draft of a federal proposal by June 2009.

Applications are due by Dec. 12, 2008, for federal grant proposals to be submitted no earlier than June 2009.

Eligible applicants are early-career tenure-track faculty who are within three years of joining The University of Texas at Austin and have not received federal funding.

To request an application or more information, contact Maria Winchell in OSP, 232-4319.

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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 the Research Alert know when you or a colleague have been quoted.]

Detroit Free Press
Nov. 23, 2008
HEADLINE: Liberals break out the flags
Obama’s victory stirs patriotism

[From an article about new displays of patriotism]

H.W. Brands, a historian at The University of Texas at Austin, said that Democrats became uncomfortable with only a certain type of patriotism – the exclusive variety. Primal and powerful, it appears most forcefully during times of war, whipping up fervor through an us-versus-them mentality, squelching most dissent in the name of national unity. It was on broad display, Brands noted, in the months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The New York Times
Nov. 21, 2008
HEADLINE: Blanket of Soil May Hide Vast Martian Glaciers

[From an article about discovery of glaciers on Mars]

“It’s sort of like discovering Greenland,” said John W. Holt of The University of Texas, lead author of a study in Science describing the findings.

The spacecraft’s ground-penetrating radar instrument, aimed at several of these lobes in the Hellas basin in the southern hemisphere, picked up two reflected signals – one from the surface and another from something else underground. “That can really only happen with a limited number of materials,” Dr. Holt said, and all the evidence pointed to massive sheets of ice.

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Research Opportunities

Important university research deadlines:
Awards and Grants
Limited Submissions

Advanced Combustion
Deadline: Jan. 16, 2009

Efficient Emission Control Devices
Deadline: Jan. 16, 2009

Computational Toxicology Research Centers:/ in vitro/ and/ in silico/ Models Of Developmental Toxicity Pathways
Deadline: Jan. 29, 2009

America’s Historical and Cultural Organizations: Implementation Grants
Deadline: Jan. 28, 2009

Informing Systems Biology through Genetic Variation: The Genes, Environment and Health Initiative
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Dec. 14, 2008; Application, Jan. 14, 2009

Innovation in Molecular Imaging Probes
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Dec. 22, 2008; Application, Jan. 22, 2009

Deadlines: Regular Research, Jan. 15, 2009; Dissertation Research, Feb. 15, 2009

Centers for Chemical Innovation Phase I
Deadlines: Preliminary Proposal, Feb. 2, 2009; Full Proposal (by invitation) June 3, 2009

Strategic Technologies for Cyberinfrastructure
Deadline: Feb. 12, 2009

Manufacturing Enterprise Systems
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2009

Deadline: Feb. 15, 2009

Nano and Bio Mechanics
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2009

Math and Science Partnership
Deadlines: Feb. 17, 2009 for Institute Partnerships, MSP-Start Partnerships, Phase II Partnerships, RETA Projects; Feb. 24, 2009 for Innovation through Institutional Integration; and Aug. 20, 2009 for Targeted Partnerships
[This is a Limited Submission. Please contact Courtney Frazier, 471-6424.]

Research in Disabilities Education
Deadlines: Feb. 18, 2009 for Demonstration, Enrichment or Dissemination; Feb. 24, 2009 for Innovation through Institutional Integration; and Feb. 26, 2009 for Research
[The Innovation through Institutional Integration program is a Limited Submission. Please contact Courtney Frazier, 471-6424.]

Semiconductor Research Corporation Global Research Collaboration
Research in Analog and Mixed-Signal Devices
Deadlines: White Papers, Dec. 4, 2008; Requested Proposals, March 3, 2009

American Federation for Aging Research
2009 AFAR Research Grants
Deadline: Dec. 16, 2008

Smithsonian Institution
Fellowship Program
Postdoctoral, Predoctoral, and Graduate Student Fellowships
Deadline: Jan. 15, 2009

Harry Ransom Center
2009-2010 Research Fellowships
Deadline: Feb. 2, 2009

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Research Project

[Let the Research Alert know about your research projects.]

SGER Collaborative Research: VisualizeIT – Measuring the Impact of IT-Enabled Concept Generation on Designer Creativity

FACULTY: Matthew Campbell, associate professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, principal investigator
AGENCY: National Science Foundation
AMOUNT: $30,906

This project creates and evaluates new visualization techniques of models from a concept generator to stimulate the designer to generate concepts not originally posed by designer or computer. This technology is expected to enable the development of creative solutions to design problems that would otherwise go undiscovered.
The three challenges to achieving effective visualization for enhancing creative design at the concept generation phase are: 1) how to cluster the many concept variants returned from an automated concept generation algorithm into a manageable set of representative concepts that span the design alternative space; 2) how to visually represent the option space to the designer so that it enhances creativity; and 3) how to measure the impact of the visualization schemes on designer creativity.

This exploratory research, if successful, offers the opportunity to transform how we design products and systems and how we guide any designer to a creative new product.

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