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Office of the Vice President for Research
120 Fairchild Hall
1601 Vattier St.


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

February 16, 2017

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

IconInvention 101

Kansas State University Research Foundation President/CEO Chris Brandt explains the technology transfer process and how KSURF works with researchers to protect and promote K-State inventions.

As a land-grant institution, K-State has a responsibility to ensure that its results benefit the general public. The Kansas State University Research Foundation, or KSURF, works with K-State researchers to share new technologies and discoveries with the widest possible audience through commercialization of new products and global solutions to benefit society. The technology transfer process follows a few basic steps.


The first step is always the most difficult: developing an invention. A common question is what counts as an invention. An invention can be any novel device, method, process, machine, composition, or any improvement thereof. We also count discoveries and creative activities from any field as inventions. We have seen inventions in areas including software programs, plant varieties, biological materials, and even dance routines.

Disclosing Your Invention

After you have developed something you believe to be novel, the next step toward maximizing the potential value of your invention begins with an initial disclosure to KSURF. Through this process, KSURF can record the invention, determine what form of intellectual property is involved and how to best protect it, establish accurate inventorship as well as ownership interests in the invention, and evaluate the invention’s commercial potential. Find the disclosure form to submit your invention.

Evaluating Your Invention

When you submit an innovation disclosure to KSURF, KSURF begins a review process to explore its commercial potential. We evaluate the patentability, marketability, and technological merit of each new disclosure. The evaluation process is typically completed within 2 to 3 months.

Protecting Your Invention

When the decision has been made to commercialize your invention, KSURF handles the appropriate patent, trademark, or copyright filings. A patent application must be filed prior to ANY public disclosure to maximize the potential value of your invention. A public disclosure is any publication, conference presentation, poster session, or even submission of an abstract. In most cases, KSURF will begin by filing a provisional patent application for the invention. A provisional application is a faster, less expensive application used to establish a priority date with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. After filing a provisional patent application, we have 12 months to file a complete application and any foreign applications.

Commercialization/Licensing Your Invention

When KSURF has determined that your invention has commercial potential, we work with our partner organization, the K-State Institute for Commercialization (KSU-IC), to establish a commercialization strategy. As part of that strategy, we work with you to develop a targeted list of potential partners. In addition to licensing, discussing an invention with industry can lead to opportunities for sponsored research to further advance your invention. Finding the right licensee can take months or even years, but the benefits are well worth the investment.

Where to get started?

We are here to help! Visit our website or contact KSURF anytime with questions at Tech.Transfer@ksu.edu or 785-532-5720.

— Chris

Announcements and Events icon

Announcements and Events

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

Nominate a colleague for the Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards, find upcoming workshops and training sessions, and register for the Research Showcase.
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. 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
2017 Research Showcase

K-State RSCAD is hitting the road this spring! Register by March 1 to join the team headed to K-State Olathe on May 17.

  • Represent K-State to Greater KC companies
  • Meet many possible collaborators in a short time
  • Establish new funding streams
  • Find out more about what your colleagues are doing
Workshops and Training

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

  • Grant writing workshop for grad students, postdocs, and junior faculty: February 16 and 17
  • FDA and USRG internal grant program info session: February 20 at 3:30, Union 207
  • Research communication workshop: March 7
  • NSF CAREER workshop: April 19
  • Broader Impacts info session and exhibition: May 10

RSCAD Results

ORSP awards Faculty Development Awards and University Small Research Grants each semester. Find out how K-State faculty used the funds to jump-start their projects. 

Ashley Rhodes and Tim Rozell develop tools to help undergraduate biology and physiology students learn.
As students learn to identify and solve complex problems such as those in biology and physiology, they must simultaneously understand and apply many concepts. Rote memorization doesn’t help under such circumstances, but the cognitive flexibility that leads to lasting, measurable learning is difficult to teach.

Ashley Rhodes, teaching associate professor in the Division of Biology, and Tim Rozell, professor of animal sciences and industry, developed a tool to help students progress beyond introductory approaches to learning. They created an online graphical library of technically correct biological and physiological structures that students can download and manipulate with simple software. The tool helps students create and manipulate structures and predict outcomes. Scenario-based assignments guide students in building and then contrasting healthy structures with those that have been affected by disease or trauma. Rhodes and Rozell used the library in BIOL 340, Structure and Function of the Human Body, and ASI 533, Anatomy and Physiology, during fall 2016 and spring 2017 semesters. More than 300 intermediate biology and physiology students are enrolled in these two courses every semester.

Using the interactive graphics library benefitted students in two ways. First, students became aware of their misperceptions, which motivated them to formulate specific questions and seek help. Second, students saw how small changes at the cellular level can lead to big problems for a physiological system. Rhodes was pleased with the results.

“K-State students benefitted because they were presented with a new way of learning material that emphasized use and application over memorization,” said Rhodes.

“Many of the students involved in this project are aiming for jobs in a health care-related field, and these students will be better prepared to diagnose and treat a variety of problems,” she said.

Rozell said he enjoyed working with Rhodes on this creative curriculum development project. He said Rhodes is known for examining the prior knowledge level of her students, then tailoring assignments accordingly. This project developed from that approach.

“Our previous research led us to believe that students with lower prior knowledge can greatly benefit from a more hands-on assignment in which they can manipulate structures and examine them from multiple angles physically, rather than being forced to do that mentally. Even for students with higher prior knowledge, the process should enhance and expand on their foundational knowledge and allow them to better apply basic concepts to problems in physiology,” Rozell said.

“This has been an interesting project and has already led to several new strategies that I've incorporated into my own teaching. It has also provided several opportunities for increased consistency in teaching programs from different departments on campus,” he said.

A University Small Research Grant from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs in spring 2016 supported this project.


Funding Highlights

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

The Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program has released its new request for applications.

The Department of State's Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program released its RFA for this year's round of proposals, which are due August 1. This program offers more than 500 teaching, research, and combination teaching/research awards in more than 125 countries. Fulbright is also offering more opportunities for flexible, multi-country grants. Visit the 2018-2019 Catalog of Awards to find opportunities in specific countries. 


Agency News and Trending Topics

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

NASA RFI, new NIH peer review videos, the next American farm bust, and more. 
NASA Request for Information (RFI) on Human Health Countermeasures and Space Radiobiology Topics

NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP) investigates and mitigates the highest risks to astronaut health and performance in exploration missions. The goal of the HRP is to provide human health and performance countermeasures, knowledge, technologies, and tools to enable safe, reliable, and productive human space exploration, and to ensure safe and productive human spaceflight. The scope of these goals includes both the successful completion of exploration missions and the preservation of astronaut health over the life of the astronaut. To support formulation of a solicitation scheduled to be released in March 2017, NASA is seeking feedback regarding the set of Human Health Countermeasures and Space Radiobiology Research Topics listed in the RFI. 

New Peer Review Videos for Applicants and Reviewers

NIH’s Center for Scientific Review posted recordings of their most recent webinar series on peer review.

The Next American Farm Bust Is Upon Us

The Farm Belt is hurtling toward a milestone: Soon there will be fewer than two million farms in America for the first time since pioneers moved westward after the Louisiana Purchase. Across the heartland, a multiyear slump in prices for corn, wheat and other farm commodities brought on by a glut of grain world-wide is pushing many farmers further into debt. Some are shutting down, raising concerns that the next few years could bring the biggest wave of farm closures since the 1980s.

Pig Welfare Symposium Call for Scientific Poster Abstracts

The National Pork Board is pleased to offer a scientific poster session as part of the 2017 Pig Welfare Symposium (PWS). The symposium will provide a forum for sharing ideas, learning from other segments of the industry and fostering dialogue on animal welfare-related issues. Specific objectives of the symposium are to improve the well-being of pigs by disseminating recent research findings and recommendations, raising awareness of current and emerging issues, and identifying potential solutions. The National Pork Board invites you to present your scientific work in a poster session at the PWS to share research results with producers and facilitate discussion and networking. We are currently accepting abstracts for the poster presentations. Abstract deadline: June 15, 2017 at 5 p.m. CDT

Heavyweight Funders Back Central Site for Life-Sciences Preprints

A coalition of biomedical funders and scientists is throwing its weight behind a ‘one-stop shop’ for all life-sciences preprints — a move that its backers argue should clarify any confusion and make it easier to mine the preprint literature for insights.

Lawsuit Aims to Force USDA to Repost Scrubbed Animal Welfare Records

Put the records back on the internet. That’s the demand made in a lawsuit filed today against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) by an animal law expert at Harvard University, together with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and several other animal welfare groups. The plaintiffs allege that USDA violated the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) earlier this month when it removed thousands of animal welfare inspection reports and other records from a publicly accessible website.

IACUC Conference

IACUC 101 and PRIM&R IACUC Conference are set for March 19-21 in New Orleans, LA. View conference programs and find other information. 

'March for Science' Organizer Says It's About the Public, Not the Scientists

On April 22, scientists and their supporters will hold a March for Science to advocate for science and evidence-based research in policies. The main march will be held in Washington, D.C., and satellite marches will be held in other cities, as they were with the Women’s March the day after the inauguration. And the march’s organizers say they aren’t just fighting for more funding for science, or more influence in policy, but also to raise awareness about the type of research they’re doing.

Research Spotlight

Raymond "Bob" Rowland, Kansas State University professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, has created a way to protect swine offspring from the devastating PRRS virus during reproduction.

Seek research magazine cover

Read Seek, K-State's flagship research magazine