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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 23, 2017

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


From the Desk of the VPR

Time is running out to register for the Research Showcase. Another item to remember: How to RAMP up safety.


The Research Showcase and a word about safety are the foundations for my column this week.

2017 K-State Research Showcase

Greater Kansas City is a growing region with strong interests in life sciences, agriculture and animal health, analytics, engineering, construction, architecture, and software. Our RSCAD strengths are an excellent match to the area's needs. The Research Showcase in May is designed to inform Greater KC industry of our capabilities and help our researchers take advantage of growing opportunities in our own backyard.

Industry demand for academic research partners is high, and our faculty members have much to offer. They can help solve immediate problems, develop long-term strategy, and shorten R&D cycles for industry. As you've read in RSCAD Momentum in the past two weeks, we have a team of experts available in PreAward Services and at the K-State Research Foundation to help faculty with agreements and protections of intellectual property. Our goal is to make these collaborations easy/easier for you.

The registration deadline for faculty is March 1 to ensure we have time to create professional-looking materials that list our exhibitors and their areas of expertise and to help us inform company representatives whom they will meet when they attend. This power networking event will offer a chance to meet many people in a brief amount of time, and postdocs or grad students are welcome to represent labs or research groups. They could use the experience. Our planning group is also happy to invite industry reps you know. There's a place for that info on the registration form.

RAMP Up Safety

Recognize hazards, Assess risks, Minimize risks, Prepare for emergencies. No matter the nature of our RSCAD pursuits, safety is critical in all that we do and in all that we teach our students. A recent incident at Bristol University in the UK illustrates how even the best prepared experiment can go south, but proper prior planning and understanding how to act when things do go wrong can lead to a safe outcome. While mistakes were made in Bristol, the student knew how to mitigate the danger and report it to the supervisor before anyone was injured. It was incredibly responsible and highlighted the value of fostering a culture of safety and being prepared for an emergency.

— Peter

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 Research Showcase by March 1, find out about upcoming videos in NSF Science 360 featuring K-State researchers, nominate a colleague for a 2017 Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Award, and learn about spring workshops and training opportunities.
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
Research Video

Student-made videos featuring work of National Science Foundation-funded K-State researches will be featured by NSF's Science 360 News in the coming weeks. Many thanks to Tom Hallaq in Journalism and Mass Communications and Han Yu in English for supporting students in their efforts to learn how to create effective videos, news releases, and social media posts about research. Thank you to the researchers, too, for the time they invested in these projects. Here's when to find them:

  • Climate variability: A Grassland Bird's Changing World; Alice Boyle — March 2
  • Cell migration; Jocelyn McDonald — March 7
  • Atlantic molly, fish that adapt to extreme environments; Michi Tobler — March 15
  • Free radical molecules and inhibitors to fight Alzheimers, ALS, and Parkinsons; Christopher Culbertson — March 21
  • Physport, a research-based tool to help physics teachers; Eleanor Sayre — March 30
  • Polyploidy, the condition of having more than one set of chromosomes, in Phlox species; Carolyn Ferguson — Apil 7
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
Workshops and Training

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

  • Research communication workshop: March 7
  • NSF CAREER workshop: April 19
  • Broader impacts info session and exhibition: May 10

Funding Highlights

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

NSF's Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers Program is this week's highlight.

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) Program strives to develop long-term partnerships among industry, academe, and government to promote research programs of mutual interest, contribute to the nation's research infrastructure base, enhance the intellectual capacity of the engineering or science workforce through the integration of research and education, and facilitate technology transfer. Proposals for IUCRCs addressing any precompetitive research areas identified among the science and technology priorities for the nation are welcome. The Centers are catalyzed by an investment from NSF with primary support derived from the private and public sector. NSF takes a supporting role in the development and evolution of the IUCRC, providing a framework for membership and operations as well as requirements derived from extensive Center experience and evaluation.


Agency News and Trending Topics

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

Humanities indicators, Bill Gates on bio-terrorism, drones and citizen science, a new continent, and more.
Science Magazine 2017 Data Stories Contest is Open

The Data Stories Contest is back for 2017. Wow us with your best data! And when we say “wow,” we mean just that: Make us laugh, make us cry, make us gasp with delight at the stunning discoveries and probing insights you can bring to life with data visualization. Last year’s entries sparked a fire—now it’s time to build it higher! All entries should be in video format, and all videos should last no more than 90 seconds. Other than that, no holds barred. You can narrate, animate, or even act out your data points to tell us your bigger story. Entries are accepted until April 14.

Humanities Indicators: Research and Development Expenditures at Colleges and Universities

Data on the levels and sources of funding for research and development at the nation’s colleges and universities reveal modest investment in the humanities relative to other fields, as well as the much greater dependence of humanities research on direct institutional support.

Bill Gates Warns Tens of Millions Could Be Killed By Bio-Terrorism

Gates, who has spent much of the last 20 years funding a global health campaign, said: "We ignore the link between health security and international security at our peril." Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft who has spent billions in a philanthropic drive to improve health worldwide, said: "The next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus ... or a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu."

Drones Are Turning Civilians Into An Air Force of Citizen Scientists

Despite the trouble, drone science is appealing to researchers. Drones are popular, and cloud storage is cheap. But before they deploy an air force of buzzing quadcopters, scientists who recruit citizen pilots need to make sure they are clear about what kind of data they require.

Geologists Spy an Eighth Continent: Zealandia

Beneath the waves in the southwest Pacific Ocean lies a mostly hidden realm — dubbed Zealandia — that deserves to be called a continent, geologists say. Geophysical data suggest that a region spanning 5 million square kilometres, which includes New Zealand and New Caledonia, is a single, intact piece of continental crust and is geologically separate from Australia, a team of scientists from New Zealand, Australia and New Caledonia argue in the March/April issue of GSA Today.

In a Walt Whitman Novel, Lost for 165 Years, Clues to ‘Leaves of Grass’

The 36,000-word “Life and Adventures of Jack Engle,” which was discovered last summer by a graduate student, is being republished online on Monday by The Walt Whitman Quarterly Review and in book form by the University of Iowa Press. A quasi-Dickensian tale of an orphan’s adventures, it features a villainous lawyer, virtuous Quakers, glad-handing politicians, a sultry Spanish dancer and more than a few unlikely plot twists and jarring narrative shifts. “This is Whitman’s take on the city mystery novel, a popular genre of the day that pitted the ‘upper 10 thousand’ — what we would call the 1 percent — against the lower million,” said David S. Reynolds, a Whitman expert at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Job-Killing Computerization Sets Its Sights on the University Researcher

Computers, of course, have been making steady progress toward replacing human beings in a variety of arenas. Some of the economic upheavals have already been felt, and corporate leaders, including Bill Gates and Elon Musk, have been warning of far greater job losses. A chief obstacle to computerized systems’ assuming a greater role as scientists concerns the comprehension of vast troves of existing published research. And for that, breakthroughs are just beginning to occur in a key task: reading and understanding the pictures, tables, and charts that accompany journal articles.

Ebola Funding Surge Hides Falling Investment in Other Neglected Diseases

Global funding for research on neglected diseases — which include tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria — is at its lowest level since 2007, according to the annual G-FINDER investment report by Policy Cures Research, a health-policy analysis firm in Sydney, Australia.

Researchers Are Divided as FDA Moves to Regulate Gene Editing

The FDA is responsible for ensuring the safety of food and drugs sold to Americans, and for years it has defined that oversight to require its approval when genes are added to animals whose products might be consumed. The change it proposed last month would expand that authority to cover new technologies such as CRISPR that enable gene-specific editing, potentially enabling changes not found in any known species. To supporters, the FDA is simply trying to keep up with the science. To detractors, it's a reach for authority so broad as to go beyond any reasonable definition of the FDA's mandate.

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