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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

May 11, 2017

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

IconFrom the Desk of the VPR

Peter Dorhout celebrates commencement and next week's K-State Research Showcase, which you can still attend in person or through the K-State Mobile App.


Commencement is upon us! Whether we are celebrating the accomplishments of our undergraduate or graduate students in RSCAD, the next few days will afford us the opportunity to reflect on why we come to campus every day. We help create new knowledge, address global issues, and train the next generation of new members of the workforce, but we also learn along the way. Although I am no longer "in the lab," I appreciate the opportunity to visit with students sharing their scholarly work at the end-of-semester showcase sessions and awards celebrations. A special thank you goes out to all the faculty and staff who helped mentor our graduating students.

For our students: if you are graduating or returning next semester (or this summer), please remember to familiarize yourself with the safety protocols of your new jobs or internships. Every organization will have their own policies and procedures regarding safe operating procedures, and I hope our training has built a foundation upon which you can grow your safety perspectives in your working or next learning environments. Apply your safety perspectives to your recreational activities this summer as well. Maybe it's the Boy Scout in me, but please be prepared for any activity, be safe, and have fun.  app

Speaking of fun, it's not too late to join us at K-State Olathe for the 2017 Research Showcase. Please register by May 12 if you'd like to join us. Whether you can attend in person or not, find our event on the K-State Mobile App. Choose the Faculty & Staff or the Family & Friends persona to find event information or to see what you'll be missing on May 17.

— Peter 

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Announcements and Events

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

Don't miss the last chance to register for the research showcase, free access to extensive university-industry partnership resources, and a KCALSI series.
Last Chance: Register to attend the Research Showcase

Faculty and staff who aren't exhibiting are welcome to attend the K-State Research Showcase at K-State Olathe on May 17. Please register by May 12. To find the schedule, exhibitor and company information, and more, consult our website or download the K-State Mobile App from The App Store or Google Play and choose the Faculty & Staff or Family & Friends persona.

Access Partnership Resources

K-State is a member of the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership, or UIDP. The organization provides extensive resources on issues affecting university-industry relations. Because our membership is institutional, anyone at K-State can register for free access to quick guides, case studies, and more on topics including catalyzing engagement, developing and negotiating agreements, and navigating subcontracting issues.

Collaborate2Cure: Mitochondrial Dysfunction

The Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute offers a weekly series of brief presentations with audience participation. Register to join the Monday meetings (5 to 6 p.m. presentations; 6 to 7 p.m. networking) either via Zoom or in person at the KUMC Fairway Campus.


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. 

Huston Gibson presents at International Association for Community Development conference.


Huston Gibson, associate professor in landscape architecture and regional and community planning, presented “Transforming Global Climate Change Action Through Sustainable Community Development” at the International Association for Community Development conference in Auckland, New Zealand earlier this year.

Gibson’s paper described and compared how community practitioners in both urban and rural settings are addressing sustainability action in the U.S. and Australia. Gibson presented information about planning strategies gathered from face-to-face interviews, paying particular attention to challenging situations in which people resist addressing or even acknowledging climate change. His findings emphasized the importance of education, persistence, framing, and word choice and revealed that some people who are working to promote climate action intentionally avoid the nomenclature altogether. Gibson also discussed the implications of his findings on community development practice.

Attending the conference offered Gibson opportunities to network with many new potential collaborators. He has already initiated a collaborative project with one newly met colleague in New Zealand intended to lead to future conference presentations and publications, and he consulted with the editor of a book to which he is contributing to a chapter. Gibson also learned from conference sessions and has integrated new material into his PLAN 415 course, World Cities. Publicizing K-State programs was another benefit.

“As the director of our online Community Development programs, I was able to widely advertise our online Master of Science in Community Development and new online Graduate Certificate in Community Development to a diverse array of international audience members working in the community development field,” Gibson said.

Gibson’s travel was supported by the department of landscape architecture and regional and community planning in the College of Architecture, Planning and Design and a Faculty Development Award from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs in fall of 2016.

Gibson is grateful for the support. “The conference was extremely educational and beneficial for developing future endeavors. I certainly appreciate the FDA travel funds, as I likely would not have attended without them,” he said.


Funding Highlights

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

Learn about a disease modeling project from NIH in this week's featured opportunity. 


The National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Modeling of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) Research Projects (R01) seeks innovative research that will develop and apply computational tools and methods for modeling interactions between infectious agents and their hosts, disease spread, prediction systems and response strategies. The models should be useful to researchers, policymakers, or public health workers who want to better understand and respond to infectious diseases. This research opportunity encourages applications from institutions/organizations that propose to provide the scientific and public health communities better resources, knowledge, and tools to improve their ability to prepare for, identify, detect, control, and prevent the spread of infectious diseases caused by naturally occurring or intentionally released pathogens, including those relevant to biodefense.


Agency News and Trending Topics

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

NIH limits on how much a scientist can receive, a new NEA report on industrial design, the spring 2017 issue of the NEH magazine, and more. 
Hall Family Foundation Pledges $750,000 to Bioscience Research

Several local grants will further cement Kansas City’s status as a key node for bioscience research. The Hall Family Foundation will provide $750,000 in grants to the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute Inc. during the next three years, KCALSI announced Monday. Specifically, the money will be used to further KCALSI’s One Health vision, encouraging collaborative research to improve health for humans and animals. The grants will come in five $50,000 increments a year for three years.

NIH to Limit the Amount of Grant Money a Scientist Can Receive

For the first time, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) will restrict the amount of funding that an individual scientist can hold at any one time, on the basis of a point system. The move, announced on 2 May, is part of an ongoing effort to make obtaining grants easier for early- and mid-career scientists, who face much tougher odds than their more-experienced colleagues.

NIH Grant Limits Rile Biomedical Research Community

A decision by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to limit its grant support for individual researchers has sparked concerns that the policy could discourage collaboration or divert funding from the best science. The move has alarmed some researchers who agree with the NIH’s stated aim of freeing up money for young scientists, who often struggle to obtain research grants.

A Reminder of Your Roles as Applicants and Reviewers in Maintaining the Confidentiality of Peer Review

Imagine this: you’re a reviewer on an NIH study section, and receive a greeting card from the Principal Investigator (PI) on an application you are reviewing. A note written inside the card asks that your look favorably upon the application, and in return, the PI would put in a good word with his friend serving on your promotion committee. Do you accept the offer, or just ignore it? Or, do you report it?

Industrial Design is Key to Growth of Manufacturing Sector

Another example of the arts positively impacting business is the growing recognition among manufacturers of the value of industrial design and design thinking. To advance design as an asset for improving manufactured products and processes, the National Endowment for the Arts has published Industrial Design: A Competitive Edge for U.S. Manufacturing Success in the Global Economy. In addition, new findings from the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account, a partnership of the NEA and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), include industrial design employment and compensation by state.

Silicon Valley’s Mission to Save California Ag From Dying of Thirst

Silicon Valley, the nation’s most powerful tech hub, sits in the middle of California’s most productive farmland. To the east lies the Central Valley, growing crops like almonds and walnuts; to the north is Napa Valley, with its world-famous grapes; and to the south is the Central Coast, the “salad bowl of the world.” Despite their proximity, the agriculture and technology sectors haven’t had much interaction. Though both are powerful forces in the state—ag a long-time influencer, tech a newer one—the cultural divide between the two is vast. But bridging that gap could help solve one of agriculture’s most pernicious problems: water scarcity. Technologists are betting their solutions will ensure a steady stream of revenue for both industries in an increasingly dry world.

What Did Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, and E.B. White Have in Common?

St. Nicholas, a literary magazine for children, inspired them all.

Money Still Missing as the Plan to Synthesize a Human Genome Takes Another Step Forward

Tuesday morning, more than 200 biologists, businesspeople, and ethicists will converge on the New York Genome Center in New York City to jump-start what they hope will be biology’s next blockbuster: Genome Project-write (GP-write), a still-unfunded sequel to the Human Genome Project where instead of reading a human genome, scientists create one from scratch and incorporate it into cells for various research and medical purposes. For example, proponents suggest that they could design a synthetic genome to make human cells resistant to viral infections, radiation, and cancer. Those cells could be used immediately for industrial drug production. With additional genome tinkering to avoid rejection by the immune system, they could be used clinically as a universal stem cell therapy.

Treasury Unveils New Website to Track Federal Spending

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today launched the Beta.USAspending.gov website to put important data into the hands of taxpayers by empowering them to track how their tax dollars are spent. The new site is designed to follow federal agency spending and, for the first time, links spending data to awards distributed by the government. “The new site provides taxpayers with the ability to track nearly $4 trillion in government spending from Washington, D.C. directly into their communities and cities,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “Furthermore, greater access to data will drive better decision making and strengthen accountability and transparency – qualities central to the Administration’s focus on a more innovative and effective government.

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