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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 29, 2017

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

IconManaging Students' Intellectual Property

Students working in research labs or participating in sponsored research projects must assign intellectual property to the K-State Research Foundation. Chris Brandt writes about a new agreement from KSURF to protect both faculty and student researchers.



One of our goals in K-State2025 is to expand opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in high-impact experiential learning and research. K-State offers many opportunities undergraduates because we know that research enhances classroom learning.

K-State faculty and staff are investigating new and inventive solutions to many problems. These research efforts may generate significant intellectual property that could be valuable in the marketplace. Before students can participate in these research efforts, they should understand the issues surrounding intellectual property. Sharing a discovery prematurely may jeopardize the ability to protect an invention, so students must be able to keep the research and results confidential.

K-State is rolling out a newly developed IP Assignment Agreement for Students (PDF) to help protect researchers and inventors. As a general policy, K-State makes no claim on ownership of intellectual property developed by undergraduate students; furthermore, undergraduate students are never obligated to participate in projects or activities that require the assignment of students’ intellectual property to K-State or to any other entity. But undergraduates working in some research labs or participating in sponsored research projects are required to assign their intellectual property to the Kansas State University Research Foundation, or KSURF. Some industry partners may also require this step.

The new agreement also helps students because it allows KSURF to treat students’ intellectual property contributions according to K-State’s current intellectual property policy and to share resulting royalties, if any, with the students as if they were university employees.


We are here to help! Visit us online or contact KSURF anytime with questions at Tech.Transfer@ksu.edu or 785-532-5720.

— Chris Brandt

Announcements and Events icon

Announcements and Events

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

Catch up on NSF relocation news or register for a free FBI/USDA-APHIS course at K-State in early August. 


Holiday Hiatus

RSCAD Momentum will take a break next week. Enjoy celebrating the Fourth! 

NSF Move and Downtime

The National Science Foundation is moving its Data Center IT servers to the Foundation’s new headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, from June 30 at 8:00 PM EDT through July 4 at 6:00 PM EDT, to prepare for NSF staff relocation in August 2017. The NSF website, FastLane, and Research.gov will be unavailable from Friday, June 30 at 8:00 PM EDT until Tuesday, July 4 at 6:00 PM EDT. During this outage period, there will be no access to these websites, proposals cannot be submitted in FastLane, and project reports and cash requests cannot be submitted in Research.gov. However, previously saved information and uploaded documents in FastLane and Research.gov, including in-process proposals and reports, will be accessible after the Data Center move. This move has been scheduled around a holiday weekend to minimize the systems downtime and reduce the impact on the research community and NSF staff. Find more information.

Free Joint Investigations Course

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate (WMDD)-Biological Countermeasures Unit (BCU) and the United States Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) have launched a new curriculum to teach the basics of animal and plant diseases and joint investigations. K-State will host the free Animal/Plant Health Joint Criminal-Epidemiological Investigations Course August 8-9, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Union. Registration is required. Find more information and register.


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. 

Jonathan Herington explores food labelling and high-risk research. 



A K-State philosophy professor who specializes in public health ethics is applying his work on the concepts of security and emergency to prominent national policy debates. Jonathan Herington, assistant professor of philosophy, is exploring issues surrounding “dual-use” research and food labelling regulations. 

Herington made three presentations last summer. At the Australasian Association of Philosophy conference, Herington delivered “Against the Right to Know: The failure of consumer autonomy to justify mandatory food labelling,” in which he argued that mandatory labels for genetic modification, country-of-origin, or labor practices  often fail to promote consumer autonomy. Other talks at Australian National University and Monash University addressed the connection between security and formulation of complex life plans and explored justifications for the conduct of “dual-use” research, including work with highly pathogenic organisms that pose grave risk of intentional misuse or unintentional harm. 

“Against the Right to Know” is currently under review at a journal of social and political philosophy, and Herington is co-principal investigator of a funding proposal to the National Science Foundation on issues surrounding dual-use research. His future projects include work on the ethics of public health emergencies, the justification for mandatory food labels, and the role of community values in decision-making on the conduct of scientific research. This final project is supported by the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Star Recognition Program funded by Michelle Munson and Serban Simu through the KSU Foundation.

Herington said he aims to contribute to contemporary policy debates on mandatory food labelling and the conduct of high-risk research. His work also enhances K-State’s reputation as a global food systems leader. 

“My work on food labelling practices dovetails with the university’s long-term strategic interest in global food systems research and will help establish K-State’s profile in the nascent field of the philosophy of food,” he said. 

Herington's travel was supported by the department of philosophy and a Faculty Development Award from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs in spring of 2016.


Funding Highlights

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

Find out more about the National Science Foundation's Science, Technology, and Society Program in this week's Funding Connection.



The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Program supports research that uses historical, philosophical, and social scientific methods to investigate the intellectual, material, and social facets of the scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical (STEM) disciplines. It encompasses a broad spectrum of STS topics including interdisciplinary studies of ethics, equity, governance, and policy issues that are closely related to STEM disciplines, including medical science.



Agency News and Trending Topics

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

How to help postdoctoral researchers with children, make more compelling conference presentations, understand finance through the humanities, and more.


Helping Postdocs With Children

The new report, called “Parents in the Pipeline: Retaining Postdoctoral Researchers With Families,” is based on the first-ever national survey of postdocs with children, which yielded responses from 741 postdocs about 800 birth and adoption experiences. A handful of participants participated in follow-up phone interviews, and the report relies on additional association data about postdoc benefit policies nationally. The paper urges institutions to update outdated policies to reflect a new reality: that the average postdoc spends four to five years in that position and most are nearing 40 years old by the time they find a permanent job -- meaning postdocs increasingly are parents.

Seeds of Innovation: News and Opportunities from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture

Read about a new program to support fam animal welfare research, a call for reviewers, news about Senate Agriculture Committee testimony, and more.

Scientists in Limbo as US Supreme Court Allows Modified Travel Ban

The US Supreme Court has reinstated a limited version of President Donald Trump’s temporary order banning travellers from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. The court will hear a legal challenge to the ban in October. The court’s decision, announced on 26 June, casts doubt on the fate of students and scientists from these countries who hope to study or work in the United States. It bars citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from travelling to the United States unless they have a “bona fide” connection with a person or entity in the country.

EPA and Army Move to Rescind 2015 'Waters of the U.S.' Definition

The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Army (the agencies) are proposing a rule to rescind the Clean Water Rule and re-codify the regulatory text that existed prior to 2015 defining "waters of the United States" or WOTUS. The pre-publication version of the proposed rule is available online.

Tell Me a Story! A Plea for More Compelling Conference Presentations

Stories aren’t a mode of communication restricted to fictional tales. They are the most effective way to package information so that others can process and remember it (which is really the whole point of communication, right?). It’s difficult to recall a series of random facts; it’s much easier to recall the details of an engaging story.

Where Finance Meets Humanity

Here's a thought: What if a wider reading of the humanities can help you understand finance? We talk to Harvard Business School Professor and economist Mihir Desai who wrote a book about just that, called "The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return."

Kindred Biosciences, Inc. Opening New KC Animal Health Corridor Location

The KC Animal Health Corridor announced today that Kindred Bioscience, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on saving and improving the lives of pets, will open a new 180,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in Elwood, Kan., near St. Joseph, Mo.

Cancer Studies Pass Reproducibility Test

A high-profile project aiming to test reproducibility in cancer biology has released a second batch of results, and this time the news is good: Most of the experiments from two key cancer papers could be repeated.

Intuition Harnessed in the Name of Particle Packing

For a cognitive skill that plays such a large part in science, intuition gets a raw deal. It is often dismissed as the irrational flipside of reasoned deduction: at best a problem-solving method engineered by evolution as a ‘good enough’ tool to deal with the mundane choices of life, at worst guesswork that proves no more reliable than random chance. But the intuition that many scientists, and anyone else making decisions in the light of experience, draws on is more a distillate from a well of implicit knowledge.


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