OVPR Style Guide

Last update: June 2023

A style guide is used to ensure consistency in messaging, which in turns aids comprehension, increases the professionalism of written content, and ultimately helps build the reputation and brand of an organization.

The Associated Press Stylebook is the primary style guide for The University of Texas at Austin because much of its writing is intended for external readers — prospective students and their parents, donors and prospective donors, government officials, business leaders, news reporters and editors, and the public at large.

The UT Style Guide includes commonly used elements of AP style as well as some elements that are specific to UT Austin, including:

  • How to refer to UT on first and second references
  • Use of the serial/Oxford comma
  • How to reference degrees, disciplines, majors, colleges and schools
  • When to capitalize the titles of staff, faculty and administrative leaders
  • How to reference the campus and buildings, including the J.J. Pickle Research Campus

OVPR Style Rules

OVPR written communications should adhere to the UT Style Guide and AP Stylebook. Exceptions can be made for social media channels that have limited character space as well as informal communications to small groups of colleagues.

Here is guidance on commonly used terms in OVPR that are not addressed by the AP or UT style guides.

What do we call ourselves?

Our official name is the Office of the Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors and the full office name should be used on first reference. Office of Research can be used on second reference. In internal communications or on second reference, use “OVPR” as the acronym, not VPR and never OVPRSCE. When using “OVPR” do not precede it with “the.”

Dan Jaffe’s title is vice president for research and when used with the office name should read like this:

Dan Jaffe
Vice President
Office of the Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors

Jennifer Lyon Gardner is the deputy vice president for research and when used with the office name should read like this:

Jennifer Lyon Gardner
Deputy Vice President
Office of the Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors

TEXAS Research is an informal name that we use on social media channels and for marketing and branding purposes and generally refers to the entire UT research enterprise. If you are active on social media, you are encouraged to use #TexasResearch on UT research-related posts. Note that Texas is lowercase in the hashtag for better accessibility for visually impaired individuals.


Official and approved OVPR logos are located in this box folder. If you’d like to use the TEXAS Research logo on marketing items like T-shirts, mugs or pens, please fill out Research Communications’ support request form.

Principal Investigator vs. Researcher

Principal Investigator or PI is the formal term used to denote the individual with responsibility for the conduct of research or scholarly activity, including all regulatory compliance requirements, review, and reporting of the research or other externally funded sponsored activity. A PI is authorized to apply for research funding through UT’s Office of Sponsored Projects. This term is commonly used to refer to researchers in general. However, researchers in some disciplines, particularly the arts and humanities, do not refer to themselves as PIs.

Using “researcher” is more inclusive and can be more effective when trying to increase attendance at workshops or providing online/print resources and support.

PI is acceptable on second reference and anytime PI status is a requirement for participation or access.


OVPR entities, including Research Development, Office of Sponsored Projects and Office of Research Support and Compliance, should be written out on first reference. Acronyms (RD, OSP and ORSC) can be used on second reference.

Per AP Style, don’t follow the full name of an organization or company with an abbreviation or acronym in parentheses or set off by dashes. If an abbreviation or acronym would not be clear on second reference without this arrangement, don’t use it.

Voice & Tone

OVPR staff should defer to UT Austin guidance on voice and tone for all public-facing written content.
Here are examples of OVPR content that use appropriate voice and tone:

If you have questions about style guidance or have recommendations for additional style guide entries, please email researchcomms@austin.utexas.edu.

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