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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

March 16, 2017

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


ORSP Opportunities

Beth Montelone writes about upcoming information sessions offered by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and campus partners.

Greetings from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. ORSP strives to provide a series of information sessions and workshops that target large awards and help polish the skills faculty members need to be successful in a highly competitive environment. I wanted to share some details on upcoming sessions and the partners we are working with to offer them.

NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) program, Wednesday, March 29, 3 to 5 p.m., K-State Alumni Center 3rd floor Lecture Room: This program seeks to develop long-term partnerships among industry, academe, and government. The Wheat Genomics Resource Center is such a partnership, and Will Zorilla of the WGRC will help conduct the information session. Read the NSF solicitation. Registration is required.

NSF CAREER Workshop co-sponsored by Engineering Research and Graduate Programs, Wednesday, April 19, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Engineering Hall, Ice Conference Room: The NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program is a very prestigious and highly competitive award for junior faculty members. The session will provide information on submitting to the program, feature a panel of recent awardees, and offer the opportunity for attendees to submit an abstract for review and receive feedback. Registration is required.

Broader Impacts Information Session and Exhibits, Wednesday, May 10, 3 to 5 p.m., Union Flint Hills Room: Learn about programs existing at K-State that can be leveraged to help meet the “broader impacts” and outreach components that are required for many research funding opportunities. These programs offer existing recruitment and retention mechanisms for students from underrepresented groups or public outreach channels that can be included into proposals. Registration is required.

We look forward to seeing you at these events! Our development directors and I are always available to help with team development, proposal development, and training. Please contact us at 532-6195.

— Beth

Announcements and Events icon

Announcements and Events

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

Mark your calendar with a March 27 meeting for all science and research communicators, register for the 2nd Annual Midwest Bioinformatics Conference, and more.
Calling all Science and Research Communicators

All who are interested in science and/or research communication at K-State are invited to attend a meeting at 2 p.m. Monday, March 27, in 227 K-State Student Union. This group is gathering with the aim of enhancing and organizing the various efforts on campus. We'll hear short presentations about different efforts and discuss how to proceed. Read the details. 

Bioinformatics Conference

The 2nd Annual Midwest Bioinformatics 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.

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

Funding Highlights

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

Grand Challenges Explorations from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offers opportunities for researchers in many disciplines.


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is inviting proposals for the latest round of  Grand Challenges Explorations. This program fosters early-stage discovery research to expand the pipeline of ideas for solving our greatest global health and development challenges. Applicants can be at any experience level; in any discipline; and from any organization, including colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and for-profit companies. Initial grants will be US $100,000 each, and projects showing promise will have the opportunity to receive additional funding of up to US $1 million. The topic areas this year are: Health Systems Strengthening: Ensuring Effective Health Supply Chains; New Approaches for Improving Timeliness of Routine Immunizations in Low Resource Settings; Wearables and Technology for Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Behavior Change; and Innovations for Integrated Diagnostics Systems.


Agency News and Trending Topics

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

Updates from NIH and NIFA, research deregulation, digital humanities training opportunities, disappearing bananas, and more. 
Mid-Career Investigators and Shifting Demographics of NIH Grant Recipients

While NIH policies focus on early stage investigators, we also recognize that it is in our interest to make sure that we continue to support outstanding scientists at all stages of their career. Many of us have heard mid-career investigators express concerns about difficulties staying funded. In a 2016 blog post we looked at data to answer the frequent question, “Is it more difficult to renew a grant than to get one in the first place?”

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Big Data Funding Opportunity and Behavioral Science Grants

$1.35 million will provide agricultural producers with training and data to strengthen their business management skills, and $500,000 will help pinpoint motivators that drive farmers to adopt conservation practices and identify the roadblocks. 

Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG): "Women's History Month: Women's Role in the Fight for Environmental Justice"

In honor of Women's History Month, the EJ IWG is focusing on the central role women have played in the environmental justice movement along with the challenges still facing them today. Since the inception of the EJ Movement in the US, women have played a critical role in advocating for overburdened and underserved communities. … In this webinar, we will lift up pioneering women who helped establish environmental justice within the Environmental Protection Agency and provide a framework to begin to understand some of the challenges that are facing women in the context of environmental justice. The webinar will also highlight organizations that are carrying out projects aimed at providing resources, training, capacity building and other assistance to women. The webinar is Thursday March 23rd, at 2:00pm to 3:30pm Eastern; register today.

Long-Sought Research Deregulation Is Upon Us. Don’t Squander the Moment.

It has been a 40-year labor: Regulatory systems are not easy to undo. Nevertheless, in January the federal government opened the door for universities to deregulate vast portions of research in the social sciences, law, and the humanities. This long-sought and welcome reform of the regulations requiring administrative oversight of federally funded human-subject research on college campuses limits the scope of institutional review board, or IRB, management by exempting low-risk research with human subjects from the board’s review.

Digital Humanities Training Opportunities and Challenges

For the past two years, right around this time, I’ve compiled a post gathering the various Digital Humanities training opportunities that take place during the summer months (2015, 2016). This year, Katherine D. Harris beat me to it on her blog. One thing that that becomes clear, as Katherine notes, is that although there are many opportunities, many of them are either not geared towards beginners in digital humanities or are prohibitively expensive for most faculty.

CRISPR, Microbes and More Are Joining the War Against Crop Killers

For several decades, the agrochemical industry has simply rolled out new chemicals to replace the old ones. But for many crops, the pipeline is drying up. The rate of discovery of pesticides has “gone almost to zero in the last ten years or so”, says Sara Olson, a senior research analyst at Lux Research in Boston, Massachusetts, which specializes in emerging technologies. New chemicals are difficult and expensive to find and develop. And once one is in use, pests will soon develop resistance to it, unless its application is carefully managed. So scientists are pursuing alternatives that may reduce or replace synthetic pesticides. They are particularly interested in biological solutions, including microbes, genetic engineering and biomolecules. Even major chemical companies see enough promise to invest in the work.

NIH-Funded Scientists Deploy CRISPR to Preserve Photoreceptors in Mice

Silencing a gene called Nrl in mice prevents the loss of cells from degenerative diseases of the retina, according to a new study. The findings could lead to novel therapies for preventing vision loss from human diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa. The study was conducted by researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and was published online today in Nature Communications.

Big Data Unites the Study of Stars With Cancer Research

The collaboration between astronomers and oncologists began at a cross-disciplinary meeting in Cambridge to discuss data management.

Dogs Use Deception to Get Treats, Study Shows

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that dogs, in addition to looking adorable in sweaters, possess fairly sophisticated cognitive abilities. They recognize emotion, for example, and respond negatively to antisocial behavior between humans. Man’s best friend can also get pretty tricksy when it comes to scoring snacks. As Brian Owens reports for New Scientist, a recent study found that dogs are capable of using deceptive tactics to get their favorite treats. The study, published in the journal Animal Cognition, was led by Marianne Heberlein of the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Experimental Studies at the University of Zürich. Heberlein told Owens that the idea for the study was born when she observed her pet pooches engaging in deceptive behavior; one sometimes pretends to see something interesting outside, prompting the other to give up his sleeping spot.

Animal Groups Battle USDA

Animal rights groups are up in arms over the thousands of animal welfare documents missing from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) website.

Humans Made the Banana Perfect—But Soon, It'll Be Gone

Economically, growing just a single clone of bananas was genius. Biologically, it posed problems.

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.

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