Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) Handbook

(Last updated December 2015)

The mission of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs is to promote scholarly activity among the faculty and students of Abilene Christian University, particularly inquiry informed by a Christian perspective.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) exists to support a culture of intellectual curiosity and scholarly activity on the ACU campus. The ORSP encourages and supports scholarship by providing internal research funding through competitive Math/Science grants and similar Cullen grants designed to help faculty members launch research projects. Moreover, the ORSP aids both faculty and staff in applying for external funding by subscribing to grant databases and providing technical help with grant applications.

The ORSP serves as the clearinghouse for all academic and student services externally funded projects (grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements), whether or not they relate to research. The office also monitors areas of regulatory compliance through avenues such as convening the Internal Review Board for human subjects and animal research and providing a process for reporting research misconduct.


Abilene Christian University Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Handbook

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New in Reasearch

Dr. Ryan Jessup, Assistant Professor of Marketing

Dr. Jessup is interested in decisions.  What causes people to choose poorly?  How do learning and contextual factors influence choice?  In seeking to answer these questions, his research uses psychological models of motivation to distill the computational properties of decision making.  Computational modeling enhances research by requiring precision in theory formulation and constraining predictions.

One of Dr. Jessup’s primary streams of research concerns the behavioral differences between decisions when options are completely described vs. decisions when options must be learned about via experience.  Prior research found that individuals choose quite differently between the two paradigms but the reasons underlying the difference are poorly understood.  One of Dr. Jessup’s studies demonstrated that the reception of feedback overwhelms descriptive information, driving the behavioral differences between paradigms.  This work has led him and his colleagues (including Dr. John Homer and undergraduate researcher Allison Phillips) to build a new model that merges sophisticated decision making mechanisms with reinforcement learning in order to successfully predict behavior in both paradigms better than existing models. Dr. Jessup has previously received Cullen awards for this work and is currently seeking external funding to continue this fascinating line of research.

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