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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

April 6, 2017

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


From the Desk of the VPR

Don't miss the latest issue of Seek, K-State's flagship magazine. 


The latest issue of Seek is arriving in mailboxes soon and is available online. The bison that meets your gaze as you look at the cover is a fitting image for this issue because the animal calls to mind the heritage K-State researchers are working to protect with long-term Konza Prairie Biological Station projects. Evaluating the effects of burning on native tallgrass prairie, the grazers that use it as a food source, and the producers that serve as stewards of our food supply and precious natural resources is both long-term and cutting-edge work, and we are proud to be defending this Home of the Range.
That's not all we're defending, though, and our magazine clarifies why Tom Daschle, former majority leader of the U.S. Senate, called K-State the "Silicon Valley of biodefense" when the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense met here in January. We have a long list of faculty and facilities conducting and housing biodefense-related research funded by government agencies and industry. Two in-depth features discuss K-State efforts to understand mosquito-borne viruses that infect both humans and animals and to attack the problem of antibiotic resistance — another problem that affects both animals and humans. Both of these pieces illustrate the many different angles from which our research, scholarly, and creative activity and discovery are protecting our state, region, nation, and world.
An array of one-page stories, research "shorts," and photos showcase more stellar K-State RSCAD. From exploring American poetry of the WWI era to directing the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification, from making K-State Polytechnic a go-to hub for unmanned aircraft systems research to helping undergraduate students conduct rural history research, our RSCAD is making a difference. We're proud to share all of this excellent work in K-State's flagship magazine and hope you'll share it widely with your different audiences. PDF files of all stories are available at New Prairie Press

— Peter

Announcements and Events icon

Announcements and Events

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

The Nebraska Nanoscale Facility comes calling, KCALSI "Science to Art" auction, Sigma Xi sponsors Science Café, Alltech Ideas Conference, and more. 
Hear From the Nebraska Nanoscale Facility

Jacob John, coordinator of the Nebraska Nanoscale Facility, which is part of the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience, is visiting K-State Friday, April 7. He will talk about the facility's state-of-the-art research instrumentation and meet with interested researchers at 12 noon in Chalmers Hall 036 (part of the Johnson Cancer Center; can be entered from the main hallway in the basement of Ackert/Chalmers Hall). The presentation is open to all. Bring a brown bag lunch and enjoy cookies provided by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Anyone interested in an individual appointment after the presentation can email Allison Stratton at orsp@ksu.edu.

KCALSI 2017 'Science to Art' Silent Auction

Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute (KCALSI) is collecting scientific images from the region and turning selected images into art. Selected artwork will be auctioned during the 2017 “Science to Art” silent auction held during KCALSI’s Annual Dinner this September. All proceeds will be donated to support STEAM (STEM + Arts) education in our community. Artwork is submitted (deadline Friday, April 28) by completing an online form. Please note:

  • Artwork is to be high resolution files only. Maximum file size is 10 MB per file and 20 MB per form. If your files are larger than 10 or 20 MB, please Dropbox your files directly to Shaylee Yount at syount@kclifesciences.org
  • Applicants whose artwork is selected will be notified by Friday, May 12. Winning artwork will be featured in online   promotion and in the 2017 Annual Dinner video (view the 2016 video). Artwork will be auctioned at the 2017 Annual Dinner. PLEASE NOTE: By submitting artwork, the researcher is committing to one video production session in Kansas City between June 28-30.
Sigma Xi Science Café

The K-State chapter of Sigma Xi, a society founded in 1886 to honor excellence in scientific investigation and encourage collaboration in all fields of science and engineering, hosts science café events on second Tuesdays during fall and spring semesters. The April 11 café is at Radina’s Coffeehouse & Roastery in Aggieville from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Craig Wolfe of Heartland Renewable Energy Society, KC Climate Coalition, and the Kansas Sierra Club will address “A Case for Climate Action.” Read more about this and other Sigma Xi events and programs.

The Alltech Ideas Conference: Disrupt the Disruptors

This May 21–24 conference in Lexington, KY, is dedicated to agriculture. A special registration rate in place for the academic community – including faculty, staff and students. Until the end of March, the rate is $200 per person. The rate will increase to $250 in April and $300 in May. This includes access to all conference sessions, interactive displays and ONE Vision. Two evening functions with dinner and entertainment are available for purchase at $50 per person per function. Register for the conference.

Research Administrators Council

The Research Administrators Council will meet April 11 from 10:30 to 12 noon in 123 Leadership Studies. Hear about the K-State Research Foundation services, a new compliance training log tool, and Certified Research Administrator certification. Read more.

Workshops and Training

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

  •     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.

USDA NIFA announced the Higher Education Challenge Grants Program this week.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture requests applications for the Higher Education Challenge Grants Program (HEC) for fiscal year 2017 to enable colleges and universities to provide the quality of education necessary to produce baccalaureate or higher degree level graduates capable of strengthening the Nation's food and agricultural scientific and professional workforce. Specifically, these grants focus on improving formal, baccalaureate or master's degree level food, agricultural, natural resources, and human sciences (FANH) education and first professional degree-level education in veterinary medicine (DVM). At the same time, HEC-funded projects improve the economic health and viability of communities through the development of degree programs emphasizing new and emerging employment opportunities. Finally, HEC projects address the national challenge to increase the number and diversity of students entering the FANH sciences.



Agency News and Trending Topics

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

Updates from NIFA and NIH, a cancer annual report, the latest in science advocacy, and more. 
NIFA Announces $2.4 Million to Relieve Veterinary Shortages

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $2.4 million in available funding to relieve veterinarian shortage situations and support veterinary services. Funding is made through NIFA’s Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. … The Veterinary Services Grant Program supports development, implementation, and sustainability of veterinary services to relieve veterinarian shortage situations in the United States and insular areas.

Annual Report to the Nation: Cancer Death Rates Continue to Decline

Overall cancer death rates continue to decrease in men, women, and children for all major racial and ethnic groups, according to the latest Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2014. The report finds that death rates during the period 2010-2014 decreased for 11 of the 16 most common types of cancer in men and for 13 of the 18 most common types of cancer in women, including lung, colorectal, female breast, and prostate cancers. Meanwhile, death rates increased for cancers of the liver, pancreas, and brain in men and for liver and uterine cancer in women. The report finds overall cancer incidence rates, or rates of new cancers, decreased in men but stabilized in women during the period 1999-2013. The Report to the Nation is released each year in a collaborative effort by the American Cancer Society; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), both parts of the Department of Health and Human Services; and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR).

Plan to Cut Funding for Biomedical Research Hits Opposition in Congress

A proposal by President Trump to cut federal spending for biomedical research by 18 percent — just months after Congress approved bipartisan legislation to increase such spending — has run into a buzz saw on Capitol Hill, with Republicans and Democrats calling it misguided. “I’m extremely concerned about the potential impact of the 18 percent cut,” said Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma and chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee responsible for the National Institutes of Health. “This committee and certainly me, personally, will be very hesitant” to go along with the proposal, he added.

International Scientific Teams Find Potential Approach Against Parasites

Research teams from the National Institutes of Health and abroad have identified the first inhibitor of an enzyme long thought to be a potential drug target for fighting disease-causing parasites and bacteria. The teams, led by NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and University of Tokyo scientists, sorted through more than 1 trillion small protein fragments called cyclic peptides to uncover two that could shut down the enzyme. The finding, reported April 3, 2017 in Nature Communications, could set the stage for the potential development of new types of antimicrobial drugs.

As Marches Approach, Science Advocates Warn Universities to Prepare for Backlash

The advocates are warning that the science marches, for all the hope they promise, also bring risks, including a costly public diminishing of science at a politically perilous moment and attacks on the work of individual participants. What’s more, those scientists say, many in universities and the research community are simply failing to appreciate the risks. "What you’ve got to do," Ms. Graumlich said, referring to her fellow university leaders, "is stop right now and assess where your weaknesses and vulnerabilities are in terms of being able to respond, and to fund the resources to be able to have experts working with you.”

Tool for Detecting Publication Bias Goes Under Spotlight

How can you tell if scientists in a certain field are publishing only positive results and throwing away dull findings? Many meta-researchers — who analyse rafts of studies to try to come up with reliable conclusions — use a graphical tool called a funnel plot to sift through the studies, checking for publication bias towards interesting findings. But statistically-minded academics took to Twitter last week to debate the utility of these plots, with some saying that they should have no place in the toolbox of meta-researchers. The prompt for this was a 21 March blogpost from Uri Simonsohn, who studies decision-making and methodology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, which argued that the funnel plot test is flawed because of a key assumption.

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