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Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities, and Discovery (RSCAD) News

March 9, 2017

The weekly RSCAD newsletter provides the latest research news, funding opportunities, and academic trends. 

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The Business of RSCAD

Kent Glasscock of the Kansas State Institute for Commercialization discusses how his team supports RSCAD, economic development, and K-State's land-grant mission. 

 

 

The KSU Institute for Commercialization (KSU-IC) exists to help advance the land-grant mission of Kansas State University. KSU-IC responsibilities include:

  1. the world-wide licensing/commercialization of innovation and discovery emanating from the university’s research enterprise,
  2. corporate engagement for the purpose of generating funded university research and economic private sector partnerships, and
  3. local and regional economic development.

All KSU-IC activities begin with faculty — whether it is discovery, corporate engagement, or economic development, all opportunities are faculty-generated in one way or another. Each year, the IC averages nearly 350 unique faculty interactions that yield inspiring opportunities for both individual faculty and the university. In the last five years, these opportunities have allowed the IC to generate $14,710,000 in corporate-generated cash royalties, funded research, and distributed startup company realized equity. 

National rankings are sometimes over-valued, but they do provide some sense of relative performance. According to the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), K-State does an excellent job in getting researcher discoveries in use across America and around the world. According to the latest available AUTM data, K-State ranks 42nd in the country among the top 100 public research universities and university systems for the rate of licensing per discovery disclosure, 33rd in total discovery revenue generated, and 16th in revenue generated per active license. These are particularly note-worthy rankings because perhaps half of the public research universities have a substantial capabilities in the lucrative human health/medical/medical device discovery arenas.

Although the economic development element of the land-grant mission is often overlooked, it is very much of interest to local, state, and federal policymakers. Using the tremendous talent of K-State faculty and staff to advance the Kansas economy is an important story for the university. We are exceedingly effective in this realm. In the last five years, the talents of faculty and staff have allowed the IC to attract to Manhattan and to Kansas companies that have: 

  1. invested more than $91,000,000 in facilities and operations,
  2. generated nearly 400 continuing new jobs with an average wage with benefits of $82,200, and
  3. maintained active aggregate annual payroll of $31,100,000.

K-State clearly continues to do its land-grant job of being a positive force for the Kansas economy. 

If you’re interested in hearing more or finding out how we can help you, please contact us at 532-3900 or ic@k-state.edu

— Kent

Announcements and Events icon

Announcements and Events

Don't miss training opportunities, resources, and other events or news for K-State researchers.

Register for the 2nd Annual Midwest Bioinformatic Conference, check out our new Research Resources Database, learn about upcoming workshops and training, and more
Bioinformatics Conference

The 2nd Annual Midwest Bioinformatic Conference is April 13-14 at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. The meeting showcases practical approaches to collecting, organizing, and preparing data for a broad range of analyses applied in human and animal health. Registration is $25 for students or postdocs and $75 for non-students or industry. Major goals are to bring bioinformatics-minded researchers from academia and industry together to identify potential collaborations and to provide an opportunity for students to learn about employment opportunities in the region. A poster session and mock interviews are included. Find more information and register.

Research Resources Database

If you missed VPR Dorhout’s column in last week’s issue, be sure to check out our new Research Resources Database. This tool allows internal and external users to access information about K-State research infrastructure, including instrumentation, equipment, and facilities. Now that we’re past the beta testing phase, additions are needed to make the database more robust. Find instructions for adding your resources on the website.

Workshops and Training

Info sessions, training opportunities, and workshops are listed on our events calendar. Upcoming events:

  • NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) Program info session: March 29
  • NSF CAREER workshop: April 19
  • Broader Impacts info session and exhibition: May 10
Reminder: Higuchi Awards

The KU Office of Research invites nominations for the 2017 Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards. Faculty or staff at any Kansas Regents institutions may nominate a colleague. Complete nominations must be received by April 7, 2017. Required nomination materials have changed this year, so read the guidelines carefully. The awards and fields are:

  • The Balfour Jeffrey Research Award in the field of the humanities and social sciences
  • The Olin Pettish Research Award in the field of basic sciences
  • The Dolph Simons Research Award in the field of biomedical sciences
  • The Irvin Youngberg Research Award in the field of applied sciences

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Funding Highlights

The Funding Connection is a weekly publication of the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs.

Find out about two Department of Defense programs: The Defense University Research Instrumentation Program for equipment and the Minerva Research Initiative for social sciences.

 

The Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) seeks proposals from universities to purchase equipment and instrumentation supporting research in areas of interest to the Army Research Office (ARO), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). Another focus of DURIP is to provide equipment and instrumentation to enhance research-related education in areas of interest to these three offices. Therefore, proposals must address the impact of the equipment or instrumentation on an institution’s ability to educate students through research in disciplines important to DoD missions. Awards typically range from $50k to $1.5 million.

The DoD Minerva Research Initiativeemphasizes questions of strategic importance to U.S. national security policy. It seeks to increase the Department’s intellectual capital in the social sciences and improve its ability to address future challenges and build bridges between the Department and the social science community. Minerva brings together universities and other research institutions around the world and supports multidisciplinary and cross-institutional projects addressing specific interest areas determined by the Department of Defense. The Minerva program aims to promote a candid and constructive relationship between DoD and the social science academic community. The specific research areas of interest this year are:  Sociality, Security & Interconnectivity; Understanding the Social Impact of Autonomy; Societal Resilience & Sociopolitical (In)stability; Power & Deterrence for Shaping Operations; and Military Cyber Defense.

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Agency News and Trending Topics

Keep abreast of funding agency updates and trending RSCAD topics that are in the news. 

Scientists are invited to a NASA Fundamental Physics Workshop, a bird flu outbreak is found at a Tennessee farm, JSTOR Labs unveils a new search tool, and more.
NASA Fundamental Physics Workshop

The 2017 NASA Fundamental Physics Workshop will be held May 31 - June 2, 2017, at the Fess Parker, a Doubletree by Hilton Resort, in Santa Barbara, CA. The workshop will provide a forum for NASA fundamental physics investigators to present results and discuss research ideas for future space experimentation with interested international and US colleagues in the areas of Atomic and Molecular Physics (DAMOP community), Fundamental Forces and Symmetries, Dusty Plasma Physics, and Condensed Matter Physics. During the workshop, NASA/JPL will discuss plans for engaging the BECCAL U.S. science community through a regular investigator solicitation and also through the selection of Science Definition Team members during the BECCAL early formulation activities. Also, discussions will be held regarding collaborations with NSF and CASIS, the ISS US National Laboratory manager. All interested scientists, researchers and NASA/NSF managers are invited to participate. The participation of the current NASA-funded investigators are strongly encouraged and kindly requested.

Bird Flu Outbreak Found at a Tennessee Farm

A farm in southern Tennessee that produces chickens for Tyson Foods was ordered to cull its flock after federal officials on Sunday identified an outbreak of lethal avian influenza there, the first time the disease has struck this year.

The Topsy Turvy World of Political Science in Trump’s America

The crux of the issue is this: When the country’s most pressing and partisan issues fall within your purview, can you advocate for change without seeming to lose objectivity? Sticky. And it just gets gluey-er. The scientific community isn’t too sure the social sciences really “count,” and academia in general enforces rigid and esoteric priorities. But a rising trend among political scientists has them taking their ideas outside the ivory tower, directly to citizens.

Something Amazing from JSTOR Labs

I happened on a nifty new tool today, the JSTOR Labs Text Analyzer, thanks to the kind of serendipty my Twitter community seems to promote. Basically, you upload a document (something you wrote, a text you're reading, an article PDF, a syllabus, even) and . . . something magical happens. The analyzer finds patterns in the text and looks for similar documents. The words used in the pattern appear on one side. There are sliders for how much you want to emphasize some concepts. There's a collection of keywords roughly sorted by type, and you choose which ones are most relevant to your interests or decide which ones aren't of interest. You can even add your own words.  If you want your results to emphasize current content, there's a checkbox for that. Results can be limited to the JSTOR content your library subscribes to, or you can search it all to see what you might want to obtain through interlibrary loan. It only surfaces JSTOR content, but that's a lot of good material.

We Need More ‘Useless’ Knowledge

Supporting applied and not-yet-applied research is not just smart but a social imperative. In order to enable and encourage the full cycle of scientific innovation, which feeds into society in numerous important ways, it is more productive to think of developing a solid portfolio of research in much the same way as we approach well-managed financial resources. Such a balanced portfolio would contain predictable and stable short-term investments, as well as long-term bets that are intrinsically more risky but can potentially earn off-the-scale rewards. A healthy and balanced ecosystem would support the full spectrum of scholarship, nourishing a complex web of interdependencies and feedback loops.

Nature Special: Challenges in Irreproducible Research

There is growing alarm about results that cannot be reproduced. Explanations include increased levels of scrutiny, complexity of experiments and statistics, and pressures on researchers. Journals, scientists, institutions and funders all have a part in tackling reproducibility. Nature has taken substantive steps to improve the transparency and robustness in what we publish, and to promote awareness within the scientific community.

Climate Change Will Hurt Ag Productivity

According to a new study, the agriculture sector needs to ramp up its response to climate change, especially in the Midwest. Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports. (audio story)

What Trump’s New Travel Ban Means for Science

Many scientists affected by the first policy have struggled to understand whether it is safe for them to leave the United States to visit family, attend scientific conferences or conduct research. The new policy may not offer these people much comfort, says Stefano Bertuzzi, executive director of the American Society for Microbiology in Washington DC. “I think there's so much uncertainty that even if they could [travel], I don't think they would,” he says. And there are many scientists whose movements will still be restricted under the new ban, which takes effect on 16 March. Among them are researchers who need to renew their visas, or those who are working or studying in the United States on a single-entry visa, says Brendan Delaney, an immigration lawyer at Leavy, Frank & Delaney in Bethesda, Maryland. Although the 6 March order allows US immigration officials to grant waivers to the ban on a case-by-case basis, he adds, it is not clear how this process would work — or how often such exceptions would be allowed.

China Pledges to Cut Pollution and Boost Food Safety

China’s central government is laying plans to curb pollution, increase food and drug safety, and boost scientific research—though supporting details are scarce.

Research Spotlight

Waithaka Mwangi, an associate professor in the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, talks about his work and "mind-blowing" collaborations on bovine anitbodies and their reported capability to neutralize HIV.

Seek

Read Seek, K-State's research magazine