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Research Alert

Read the research blog Further Findings.

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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Read the research blog Further Findings.

Research Prizes and Honors

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


Dr. Michael Krische, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been awarded the 2009 Humboldt Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The award recognizes researchers whose achievements have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements.

Award winners are invited to spend a period of up to one year cooperating on a long-term research project with specialist colleagues at a research institution in Germany.

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News and Information


The University Co-operative Society has extended the call for the Hamilton Book Awards to include books published between Sept. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2008. Therefore, the Office of the Vice President for Research will open the call for submissions effective immediately through Feb. 2, 2009. Please submit your nominations according to the guidelines stated on the Hamilton Book Author Awards Web site.

The Hamilton Book Author Awards, underwritten by the University Co-operative Society, recognize faculty and staff members who have published the best book-length publications as determined by a multi-disciplinary committee appointed by the Vice President for Research.

The first prize carries a $10,000 award. Four additional prizes carry $3,000 each.

For more information, please contact Marilyn Harris, 471-2877.

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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.]

The New York Times
Green Inc.
Dec. 9, 2009
HEADLINE: The Promise of Algae

[From a post on the New York Times blog, Green Inc. featuring Dr. Jerry Brand, director of the Culture Collection of Algae and professor in the Section of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology]

Algae have gotten short shrift in the decade or so since the Clinton administration axed its research funding at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. But could these tiny, ubiquitous plants, which come in a rainbow of colors and varieties, get us off of foreign oil some day?

“One of the big challenges – price, price, price,” said Michael Webber, a professor at the University of Texas. Right now, he said, algae could make fuel for around $10 a gallon, whereas the objective is to get the price down to $1.

The University of Texas is home to what is probably the world’s largest algae collection, with close to 3,000 different strains. Many are little green or red plumes in tubes; others sit in a liquid nitrogen deep-freeze – so cold that if you were to stick a finger in there for a few seconds, it might get lopped off if you banged it against something, according to Jerry Brand, the collection’s director.

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Research Opportunities

Important university research deadlines:
Awards and Grants
Limited Submissions

Intelligence Community 2009 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program
Deadline: Jan. 16, 2009

Ralph Steckler/Space Grant Space Colonization Research and Technology Development Opportunity Phase I
Deadlines: Notice of Intent, Jan. 16, 2009; Proposal, Feb. 19, 2009

Quantitative Imaging for Evaluation of Responses to Cancer Therapies
Deadline: Feb. 5, 2009

Innovations in Biomedical Computational Science and Technology
Deadline: Feb. 5, 2009

Research on Social Work Practice and Concepts in Health
Deadline: Feb. 5, 2009

Developmental Psychopharmacology
Deadline: Feb. 5, 2009

Partnering Awards to Support Collaborative Research on the Biology of Aging
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Feb. 10, 2009; Application, March 10, 2009

Deadline: Jan. 15, 2009

Innovation and Organizational Sciences
Deadline: Feb. 2, 2009

Interfacial Processes and Thermodynamics
Deadline: March 2, 2009

Research to Aid Persons with Disabilities
Deadline: March 2, 2009

Energy for Sustainability
Deadline: March 2, 2009

Environmental Implications of Emerging Technologies
Deadline: March 2, 2009

Collaboration in Mathematical Geosciences
Deadline: March 10, 2009

Council on Library and Information Resources
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Academic Libraries for Humanists 2009
Deadline: Dec. 30, 2008

Resources for the Future (Environmental and Resource Economics)
John V. Krutilla Research Stipend
Deadline: Feb. 27, 2009

Arete Intiative at the University of Chicago
New Science of Virtues
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, March 2, 2009; Invited Full Proposals, Oct. 1, 2009

Gloeckner Foundation
Foundation Grants in floriculture and related fields
Deadline: April 1, 2009

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Research Project

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


RESEARCHERS: Aaron Shield, doctoral student, Department of Linguistics, principal investigator, and Richard Meier, professor, Department of Linguistics, co-principal investigator
AGENCY: Autism Speaks
AMOUNT: $56,000 for 2 years

Although a great deal is known about how hearing autistic children acquire speech, very little is known about how deaf autistic children acquire American Sign Language (ASL). The visual nature of ASL may pose specific challenges to deaf autistic learners that are different from those facing hearing children in learning speech.

Children with autism have difficulty understanding other people’s thoughts and feelings, and an early step towards reaching this understanding is the recognition that other people’s visual perspectives differ from their own. Since sign languages are perceived visually, signers have to mentally take the visual perspective of their conversational partners in order to understand utterances properly.

This research aims to study how deaf children on the autism spectrum acquire ASL. The predoctoral fellow will examine the sign language of deaf autistic children in comparison with typically developing deaf children. The children’s performance on a series of linguistic tasks will be analyzed in order to determine whether an impairment in visual perspective-taking is evident in deaf autistic children, as well as what effect such an impairment may have on the acquisition of sign language.

Results from this study will give us a better understanding of visual perspective-taking in sign language, which could help teachers of autistic children, both deaf and hearing, develop better instructional strategies for these children.

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