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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.]


David Hillis, professor in the Section of Integrative Biology, has been named a Friend of Darwin for 2010 by the National Center for Science Education (NCSE).

The group cited Hillis’s work in maintaining the scientific integrity of the science curriculum in Texas schools.

News and Information


The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) will hold a free workshop “Communicating Science: Tools for Scientists and Engineers” on Monday, March 22, 2010, at The University of Texas at Austin.

The registration deadline is Friday, March 12, 2010. The registration form is online.

The workshop is for faculty scientists, engineers and Ph.D. students who want to learn more about communicating science to news media and the general public, as well as the broader impacts requirement for NSF-funded research.

Find more information about the workshop online.

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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.]

New York Times
March 1, 2010
HEADLINE: Bringing New Understanding to the Director’s Cut

(From an article about movie edits more closely mimicking the way the brain works.)

Why our attention flits about in a pulsatile fashion that resembles heart beats and star beats and the fluctuating pitches of speech, nobody can say. “It depends on whether you think it’s telling you something very deep about the general organizational principles of natural systems, or not,” said David L. Gilden, a professor of psychology at The University of Texas. As he sees it, complex systems are characterized by something called self-organized criticality. “They tend to migrate to the point where they are partially ordered, partially disordered,” he said. “They’re at the melting point between order and disorder.”

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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.


Special Education Research(Opens PDF)
Deadline: June 24, 2010

Postdoctoral Research Training Program in the Education Sciences
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, April 29, 2010; Application, June 24, 2010

Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Research
Deadline: May 3, 2010

Grid-Scale Rampable Intermittent Dispatchable Storage
Deadlines: Intent to Submit Concept Paper and Concept Paper, April 2, 2010; Full Application, to be announced

Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology
Deadlines: Intent to Submit Concept Paper and Concept Paper, April 2, 2010; Full Application, to be announced

Building Energy Efficiency Through Innovative Thermodevices
Deadlines: Intent to Submit Concept Paper and Concept Paper, April 2, 2010; Full Application, to be announced

Research on Sentencing and Community-Based Alternatives to Incarceration (Opens pdf)
Deadline: June 1, 2010

Exploring New Air Pollution – Health Effects Links in Existing Datasets
Deadline: April 27, 2010

Opportunities in Education and Public Outreach for Earth and Space Sciences
Deadline: June 3, 2010

Alcohol Research Resource Awards
Deadline: May 25, 2010

Indo-U.S. Vaccine Action Program Small Research Grant Program
Deadline: June 16, 2010

NIAMS Accelerating Research Translation in Musculoskeletal and Skin Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Competitive Revision Award
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, July 5, 2010; Application, Aug. 4, 2010

High-Risk Research in Physical Anthropology and Archaeology
Deadline: Continuous

Fostering Interdisciplinary Research on Education
Deadline: May 20, 2010

Behavioral Systems
Deadline: July 12, 2010

Deadline: July 15, 2010

Physics of Living Systems
Deadline: July 31, 2010

Political Science
Deadline: Aug. 15, 2010

Oceanographic Centers and Facilities
Deadlines: Ocean Technology and Interdisciplinary Coordination, Aug. 15, 2010; Oceanographic Instrumentation, Oct. 15, 2010; Ship Operations Program, Nov. 1, 2010; Oceanographic Technical Services, Nov. 15, 2010

Infrastructure Management and Extreme Events
Deadline: Oct. 1, 2010

Smithsonian Institution
National Museum of Natural History
American Indian Program
Deadline: Continuous

The Brown Foundation, Inc.
Brown Foundation Grants (for education, arts, and community service in Texas)
Deadline: none, proposals reviewed after receipt
[Please submit proposals through the Office of Sponsored Projects via the Proposal Review Form. For questions, please call 471-6424 or email osp@austin.utexas.edu.]

U.S. – Israel Binational Science Foundation
Transformative Science Program
Deadlines: Pre-proposal, May 11, 2010; Proposal, July 15, 2010

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Research Project

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

Improved Characterization of Apatite Fission-track Annealing Kinetics, and Application to Core Complex Exhumation, Southern Basin and Range

RESEARCHER: Richard Ketcham, associate professor, Department of Geological Sciences
AGENCY: National Science Foundation
AMOUNT: $288,097

This project is designed to provide a much improved understanding and characterization of the process of fission-track annealing in the mineral apatite. Fission tracks form when uranium decays by spontaneous fission, and the damage caused by the fissioning particles anneals (is repaired) at a rate determined by the ambient temperature. Fission-track analysis has thus proven to be a powerful tool for determining the thermal history of rock bodies, and is widely used for tectonic studies, landscape evolution, and petroleum exploration, among other fields. The advances created by this research will be used to discern the nature of faulting that caused the final stages of uplift of mountain ranges in southern and west-central Arizona.

This study will vastly expand the annealing database by utilizing an efficient procedure to determine the relative annealing properties of 30 apatites with widely varying compositions and unit cell dimensions. These data will provide insight not only into compositional effects, but into the annealing mechanism itself.

The resulting new model of fission-track annealing will be used to examine the relative roles of high-angle and low-angle normal faulting in the final stages of core-complex exhumation in the Arizona Basin and Range.

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