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UT News

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.]


John Goodenough, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, received the Enrico Fermi award last week in Washington, D.C. Read Goodenough’s remarks from the ceremony (PDF).

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News and Information


To manage a high volume of proposals this month, the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) asks that researchers submitting applications to the National Institutes of Health have them to OSP by Jan. 29, 2010. Proposals submitted after the internal deadlines will be reviewed and submitted in the order in which they are received. Check the Office of Sponsored Projects Web site for updates.


The Office of the Vice President for Research is accepting applications for Spring 2010 Undergraduate Research Fellowships (URFs). The deadline is Feb. 1, 2010. The program provides support for specific scholarly research projects conducted by full-time undergraduate students enrolled in any department. Find more information at Fellowships.


The Office of the Vice President for Research is accepting submissions for The Hamilton Book Author Awards, underwritten by The University Co-operative Society. Submit nominations according to the guidelines.


The Office of the Vice President for Research is seeking nominations for The University Co-operative Society’s Research Excellence Awards. Each dean or vice president may submit one nominee for each of the two categories of Research Excellence Awards. The awards are:

Career Research Excellence Award – For a researcher who has maintained a superior research program across many years. The award comes with $10,000.

Best Research Paper Award – For a researcher who was the principal or sole author of a peer-reviewed scholarly paper reporting original research that was published during calendar year 2009 in recognized research outlets in his or her field of study. The award comes with $5,000.

Nominations are due in the Office of the Vice President for Research on Feb. 22, 2010. For more information, contact your dean or vice president, or visit Awards, Fellowships and Grants on the Research Web site.


The Third Annual Central Texas Clinical Research Forum will be May 7th, 2010, at the Clinical Education Center at Brackenridge. The Forum brings together researchers, educators and health care providers to engage in dialogue and reflect on the latest research, educational programs and technology happening in Central Texas. Find more information at Seton.net.


Research Week 2010 will be April 12-16. It is a week-long program of events that includes showcases of undergraduate research and creative activity across the disciplines. It is sponsored by the School of Undergraduate Studies and the Senate of College Councils. Find more information and how to participate on the Research Week 2010 Web site.

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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.]

Jan. 18, 2010
HEADLINE: The birth of Botox feminism

(From an article about reaction to a proposal to put a 5 percent tax on elective cosmetic surgeries and procedures to help pay for the U.S. Senate version of the health care bill)

Daniel Hamermesh, an economics professor at the University of Texas at Austin who has conducted the most-cited studies of the correlates between beauty and income, concludes that while better-looking people tend to earn more, attempting to improve attractiveness, be it with new clothing, cosmetics or surgical intervention, has little impact on earnings. Women who go under the knife make an extra five cents per dollar, he says, research backed up by Soohyung Lee, a economics professor at the University of Maryland. “It’s a terrible investment,” says Hamermesh, who points out that people can tell the difference between natural and artificial beauty, a fact sometimes lost in the presumption that all cosmetic surgery is appearance-enhancing. Also overlooked is the fact that the reason employers prefer employees who look young is because they are young: cheaper to hire and easier to dispense with.

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Research Opportunities

Important university research deadlines:
Awards and Grants
Limited Submissions

The University of Texas at Austin Stimulus Package Web page is online.


Computer Science – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (CS-STEM) Education (DARPA)
Deadline: March 1, 2010

Model Development and Dissemination Grants Program-Arts in Education
Deadlines: Notice of Intent to Apply, Feb. 16, 2010; Application, Mar. 16, 2010
[Other Education Department grant competitions.

NCMHD Innovative Faith-Based Approaches to Health Disparities Research
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Feb. 9, 2010; Application, March 17, 2010

Mechanism for Time-Sensitive Research Opportunities in Environmental Health Sciences
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, March 5, 2010, April 6, 2010, May 6, 2010, June 4, 2010, July 6, 2010, Aug. 6, 2010, Sept. 7, 2010, Oct. 6, 2010, Nov. 5, 2010; Application, March 19, 2010, April 20, 2010, May 20, 2010, June 18, 2010, July 20, 2010, Aug. 20, 2010, Sept. 21, 2010, Oct. 20, 2010, Nov. 19, 2010

Water Sustainability and Climate
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, March 15, 2010; Full Proposal, April 15, 2010

Advancing Theory in Biology
Deadline: April 13, 2010

Joint Domestic Nuclear Detection Office-National Science Foundation: Academic Research Initiative
Deadline: April 15, 2010

Behavioral Systems
Deadline: July 12, 2010

German Historical Institute, Washington, DC
Fellowship in Economic and Social History (American or European Economic and Social History; Preference is given to applicants on the postdoctoral level)
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2010

Udall Foundation
Environmental Public Policy and Conflict Resolution Ph.D. Fellowship
Deadline: Feb. 24, 2010

National Gallery of Art
Paul Mellon and Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellowships
Deadline: March 21, 2010 for award period Sept. 1, 2010Feb. 28, 2011

Procter and Gamble
Research and Product Development Summer Intern Program for Doctoral Candidates (students pursuing Ph.D.s in chemistry, most areas of life sciences, chemical engineering, statistics, toxicology, and regulatory and clinical personnel)
Deadline: March 1, 2010

David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Funding Opportunities available in Conservation and Science (Coastal Systems, Marine Birds, Science, Agriculture, Western Conservation); Population and Reproductive Health; Children, Families, and Communities
Deadline: send Letter of Interest

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Research Project

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

The Border Contraceptive Access Study

RESEARCHER: Joseph Potter, professor, Population Research Center
AGENCY: National Institutes of Health (Child and Human Development)
AMOUNT: $2,129,977

The Border Contraceptive Access Study (BCAS) is an interdisciplinary study along the U.S.-Mexico border separating Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas. The study is to answer questions about the appropriate role of medical supervision in oral contraceptive (OC) provision; the factors influencing OC compliance and continuation; and to add to the limited literature on Hispanic fertility and contraceptive practice.

BCAS consisted of two study components: The first, the “Self-Screening Study,” investigated whether women could successfully identify if they are good candidates for OCs, or, conversely, if they are contraindicated for use.

The second component, the “Prospective Study of Pill Users,” assessed motivations for choosing to obtain OCs in either an El Paso clinic or a pharmacy across the border in Mexico; to compare satisfaction, and rates of OC continuation according to source; to investigate knowledge and use of emergency contraception (EC) and its mechanisms of action; to explore women’s understandings of how the pill works and what are its side effects; and to asses whether women using OCs or would prefer to use a different contraceptive method such as female sterilization. In this component, over a nine month period, we followed a sample of 533 pill users who had obtained their pills at a family planning clinic in El Paso with a sample of 515 El Paso residents who had obtained their pills at a pharmacy in Ciudad Juarez.

A supplemental study focusing on those pill users who would prefer to be sterilized rather than using the pill will be implemented in 2010.

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