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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

June 15, 2017

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

IconData Delivery

Our new K-State Consolidated Award Tracking System and Research Awards Dashboards help campus users access and explore data.  



Past research focus group and task force reports indicated a need for flexible data reporting processes that allow campus users to manipulate data and view real-time updates. The Office of the Vice President for Research is pleased to unveil the K-State Consolidated Award Tracking System, or K-CATS, in response to this need.

K-CATS is a collaborative effort between the Office of PreAward Services and K-State Information Technology Services. The reporting solution provides unparalleled insight into sponsored research activity at K-State.

Research Awards Dashboards  are now accessible to the entire K-State community. The dashboards offer users data discovery and exploration and the ability to build customized reports by month or quarter of the fiscal year and by college or department. Users can also see year-to-date award totals by college and award totals from specific sponsors or funding agencies. PreAward Services will continue to produce PDF versions of quarterly and annual reports.

We hope you’ll take time to explore the new dashboards; simple instructions are available on the Research Awards Dashboards web page. Please send feedback or questions to research@ksu.edu.

Announcements and Events icon

Announcements and Events

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

Note a June 19 USDA grantsmanship webinar, important AFRI funding opportunity modifications, and an inventory request from the University Select Agent Program.


Food Safety and Nutrition Grantsmanship Webinar

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is presenting a webinar titled “Food Safety and Nutrition Grantsmanship Webinar” from 3:00 to 4:00 pm Eastern on June 19, 2017. As a result of attending this seminar, participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss the differences between the Improving Food Safety, Improving Food Quality, Understanding Antimicrobial Resistance, and Function and Efficacy of Nutrients AFRI Foundational program areas;
  2. Prepare a proposal for one of the AFRI Foundational Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health Programs; and
  3. Think like a panelist when drafting and editing proposals. 
Inventory time!

Researchers are asked to review inventories and notify the University Select Agent Program by July 1 if using certain biological toxins. Read more and view a list of toxins. Contact Julie Johnson for details at jajohns@k-state.edu or 785-532-3248.

AFRI Modifications

Three application packages for Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, or AFRI, funding opportunities have been modified. If you downloaded application packages from any of these opportunities from www.grants.gov before May 22, 2017, you MUST download and use the new application package to avoid generating an error message that prevents successful submission. The affected opportunities are as follows:

  1. Foundational Program; Funding Opportunity # USDA-NIFA-AFRI-006351
  2. Resilient Agroecosystems in a Changing Climate Challenge Area; Funding Opportunity # USDA-NIFA-AFRI-006353
  3. Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area; Funding Opportunity # USDA-NIFA-AFRI-006304

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. 

Xiaochen Angela Zhang from the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications explores how public uses social media to cope with crises.



A K-State researcher is exploring how communicators can help ensure that members of the public behave appropriately in a crisis.

Xiaochen Angela Zhang, assistant professor in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, built on her previous work examining the effects of self-affirmation on public perceptions of crisis and designed a project to enhance understanding of how communicators can encourage self-protection in times of crisis. “Post-Crisis Self-Affirmation: Publics’ Emotions and Responses” used one survey and one experiment to examine the effects of encouraging individuals to see themselves positively in a corporate crisis and in a natural disaster.

Zhang’s approach was designed to bridge gaps in the crisis communication field. Current crisis communication scholarship is often focused on restoring reputation and on corporate communications rather than governmental or emergency response systems. Zhang hopes her work will help increase post-crisis engagement to ensure relevant information is communicated to the public so people can participate in rescue or rebuilding activities.

“Studies from this project offer insights into how publics engage in social media communicative behaviors to cope with crises as well as the psychology and emotions underlying these behaviors,” Zhang said.

“It also helps to understand how organizational leaders can provide instructional information or behavioral recommendations to publics in need of help in crisis situations,” she said.

Zhang presented one study from the project at the 2017 International Communication Association annual conference in San Diego last month and will present more of her findings later this summer at the 2017 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications annual conference in Chicago. She has one article under review and is preparing another for submission, and she is working to identify new collaborations and funding sources.

“This research stream may increase K-State’s prominence in the risk and crisis communication field and overall research reputation both nationally and internationally,” Zhang said.

In addition to bringing notoriety to K-State, Zhang’s research has many practical applications. She is already working with a colleague from St. John Fisher College to examining social media functions such as the Facebook safety check feature to help members of the public during crises, and she is exploring the possibility of a project involving risk perceptions and resident involvement with the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF. She said her work could also be used to improve K-State disaster alert systems.

“The research results could be used toward building effective communication channels such as on social media and crafting effective messages to improve public safety in crises,” Zhang said.

Zhang’s work was supported by A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications and a University Small Research Grant from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs in spring 2016


Funding Highlights

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

Art history and conservation opportunities are available from the Kress Foundation. 



The Kress Foundation has three opportunities that are due October 1. The History of Art Program supports scholarly projects that will enhance the understanding and appreciation of European art and architecture. The Digital Resources Grants Program supports efforts to integrate new technologies into the practice of art history and the creation of important online resources in art history, including both textual and visual resources. The Conservation Grants Program supports the professional practice of art conservation, including conservation research, scholarly publications, international conferences and symposia.


Agency News and Trending Topics

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

News from NIH, MLA, USDA, and NSF — plus the future of university presses, the Human Project, and more. 


NIH: Launching the Next Generation Researchers Initiative to Strengthen the Biomedical Research Enterprise

We are shifting toward a bold, more focused approach to bolster support to early- and mid-career investigators while we continue to work with experts on approaches to evaluate our research portfolio. In recognition of the call for such action in the 21st Century Cures Act, we are naming this effort the Next Generation Researchers Initiative.

NIH Scraps Plans for Cap on Research Grants

Following backlash from the scientific community, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has decided to drop a controversial proposal to cap the number of grants from the agency that an investigator can hold at once. The NIH announced on 8 June that it will instead create a special fund — drawn from its existing budget — for early- and mid-career scientists in an attempt to lower the average age of the researchers it supports.

New Chief of the Modern Language Association Sees Signs of Hope

Paula M. Krebs, the newly appointed executive director of the Modern Language Association, is well-acquainted with the gloom and doom attached to the fields that her organization represents. But she sees some positive signs for the humanities as she prepares to guide the MLA in expanding its membership, making the case for more tenure-track jobs, championing the importance of language study, and strengthening efforts to be more inclusive of adjunct faculty members.

NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Suggestions for Enhancing the Quality of CAREER Proposals

Read guidance and tips on research design and methodology, integration of research and education, evaluation, and advisory boards.

USDA Announces $6 Million for Sustainable Energy Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced up to $6 million in available funding for research to support the next generation of sustainable biofuels and biomaterials. Funding is made through USDA’s Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI), a joint initiative with the Department of Energy. See also: Departments of Agriculture and Energy Announce Up to $9 Million Through the Interagency Biomass Research and Development Initiative

Former DOE Officials, Industry Leaders Urge Congress to Protect Agency’s Research Budget

Former Republican officials, oil executives and business leaders are warning Congress and Energy Secretary Rick Perry that proposed budget cuts would have a devastating impact on national security and the economy.

NSF Offers Arm’s-Length Defense of Trump’s 2018 Request

President Donald Trump’s proposal for an 11.3% cut in spending at the National Science Foundation (NSF) may be dead on arrival in Congress. But that doesn’t mean congressional appropriators will be able to avoid any squeeze on NSF’s budget.

10,000 New Yorkers. 2 Decades. A Data Trove About ‘Everything.’

Your phone, in all likelihood, knows more about you than your doctor. Your credit card company knows your likes and dislikes better than your closest friend. Google knows your thoughts, and even completes your sentences. Your telephone service provider knows where you are at all times. Facebook, for many, knows more than the rest combined. But Paul W. Glimcher, a neuro-economist at New York University, looks at all that data and sees a “train wreck.” For all of Silicon Valley’s cheerleading of “big data,” Mr. Glimcher said it had yet to be used to effectively solve some of society’s most vexing problems. So he was intrigued when Miyoung Chun, the executive vice president for science programs at the Kavli Foundation and a leader of the Obama administration’s Brain Initiative, approached him five years ago about what the future of big data might look like. The answer he came up with was the Human Project.

The Future of the University Press: A Forum

We asked publishers, press directors, editors, scholars, and other insiders for their views on the state and future of academic publishing. Of the people we contacted, including the heads of nearly every one of the Association of American University Presses’ 143 members, 46 sent back responses to our questions. We got back a surprisingly wide range of views — and good ideas on how university presses are preparing for an uncertain future.

Powering Agriculture Gender Guides Available

Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development announces the release of a series of six topical guides focused on integrating gender into the development and deployment of clean energy solutions for the agricultural sector. The practical guides can assist innovators and others working in the clean energy/agriculture nexus and related fields to better reach and serve women. 

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