Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities, and Discovery (RSCAD) News
July 27, 2017
The weekly RSCAD newsletter provides the latest research news, funding opportunities, and academic trends.
From the Desk of the VPR
Peter Dorhout writes about the Innovation and Economic Prosperity designation K-State received from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities earlier this month.
Summer is full of conference travel and special projects along with planning for the fall semester — and I hope you even squeezed in a little vacation time (I spent my vacation time at the first week of the Boy Scout Jamboree in southern West Virginia as a volunteer staff member teaching chemistry) — so you may have missed the good news that K-State has been named an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The national designation places K-State in elite company and recognizes our institution’s level of engagement in our state and region.
APLU requires a rigorous self-assessment process to achieve the designation. During our self-study earlier this year, we engaged internal and external stakeholders through open forums, surveys, and interviews to identify our strengths and target areas of growth and improvement. Thank you to all who participated and offered valuable feedback and to the members of the steering committee for your time. We are proud of our many accomplishments in the APLU categories of Talent, Place, and Innovation, and we are looking forward to making improvements in identified growth areas of creating a culture of engagement, communicating a clear point of engagement for our external constituents, and connecting teaching and research to 21st-century needs. I will continue to share regular updates on our progress.
None of this would be possible without the many engaged, committed, and passionate people of K-State. I was not surprised by the success stories that I heard and read during the forums and in survey results. Thank you for all you do for the people of Kansas. Our office is working to ensure that we communicate the impact of your efforts and give you the tools you need to ensure continued success. You can read more about the designation and find our proposal, which includes information about our strengths and accomplishments as well as areas slated for growth and improvement, on our website at www.k-state.edu/research/iep.
Announcements and Events
Don't miss training opportunities, resources, or other events or news for K-State researchers.
Look for a new research newsletter on August 10, take a look at our new tutorial library, attend KC Animal Health Corridor events, and more.
Our research newsletter is changing! We’ll take a break next week, but look for a new weekly collection of resources for K-State research, scholarly, and creative activity and discovery on Thursday, August 10.
Speaking of resources, check out our new Tutorial Library. The collection contains recorded training sessions along with written materials and webinars to help faculty find funding from specific agencies (USDA, NIH, NSF, DoD, and more), write better proposals, address Broader Impacts requirements and formulate data management plans, work with industry, and more. The resources are accessible using your K-State eid and password.
KC Animal Health Corridor Events
Mark your calendar for KC Animal Health Corridor events during Global Animal Health Week. Find details about a Market Insights Seminar, the annual Homecoming Dinner, and in Investment Forum August 28 and 29.
CubeSats are miniature satellites that are commonly used in low Earth orbit and have been used for educational purposes; recent applications include remote sensing, scientific experimentation, or communications. The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is the Unified Combatant Command charged with manning, training, and equipping the various Special Operations Component Commands of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force of the United States Armed Forces. USSOCOM is conducting a crowdsourcing challenge to solicit concepts that advance the state of current CubeSat technologies and payloads and demonstrate applications that may benefit any of the USSOCOM missions. Find out more about the challenge.
The Stratospheric Ballooning Association (SBA) promotes and educates about high-altitude ballooning and the many applications it has in education, research, and personal enjoyment. SBA is hosting its 8th Annual Academic High-Altitude Conference in Minneapolis October 27-28. Find out more.
The Funding Connection is a weekly publication of the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs.
A new funder, the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research, seeks applications for a global food systems project.
The Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research requests applications for developing and testing existing approaches in conjunction with computational and mathematical approaches to deepen our understanding of the complex relationship between the food system, health, and the environment. Projects funded in response to this RFA will examine multiple food‐system interventions and environmental factors to address how: 1) components of a system function within the context of their environment and 2) the collective behaviors that arise from individual elements or parts of the food system work together to alleviate food insecurity and increase health outcomes. The ultimate goal of this RFA is to encourage food system level transformations that lead to positive health outcomes and increase economic opportunities within a community.
Agency News and Trending Topics
Keep abreast of funding agency updates and trending RSCAD topics that are in the news.
Breaking down barriers across disciplines, NIH's new definition of a clinical trial, the importance of social, behavioral, and economic sciences to national health and defense, and more.
Many observers hoped Senate budgetmakers would oppose cuts to the Department of Energy's (DOE's) basic and applied research programs proposed by the White House in May. But they may not have expected them to be quite so blunt about it. The detailed report that accompanies the Senate version of the so-called energy and water bill, which funds DOE, contains several passages in which Senate appropriators express their objections to cuts in unusually frank language.
NIH officials say they simply want to ensure that all clinical trials—including those testing drugs, medical devices, and behavioral interventions—meet recently bolstered standards for rigor and transparency. But Kanwisher and others say that the agency’s widening definition of clinical trials could sweep up a broad array of basic science studies, resulting in wasted resources and public confusion.
For decades, colleges have waxed poetic in strategic plans and speeches about the need to support interdisciplinary research. But many have been slow to devote administrative resources to overcome the considerable financial, bureaucratic, and cultural hurdles that prevent more faculty members from producing such scholarship. Advocates of interdisciplinary research say it is increasingly necessary in an interconnected world where solutions to global challenges are rarely found in a single discipline.
“Every powerful technology is a national security issue,” says Kevin Esvelt, an evolutionary engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, who won DARPA funding to limit the spread of gene drives. Esvelt says he also attended last month’s JASON meeting in San Diego, California, where he outlined how would-be bioterrorists might weaponize gene drives. But he is far more concerned about the potential for accidental release of gene-drive organisms by scientists, he says. “Bio-error is what I’m worried about.”
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research generated 244 new inventions and 109 patent applications in the 2016 fiscal year. These innovations included an anti-cancer drug derived from Omega-3 fatty acids, sensors to help prevent bridge collapses, gene-silencing technology that controls mosquito populations, and hand-held imaging tools to detect meat contamination. The Secretary released USDA’s annual Technology Transfer Report, which listed the technology produced through research either conducted or supported by USDA.
New Report Concludes Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Help Advance National Health, Prosperity and Defense
At the request of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has produced a report, "The Value of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences to National Priorities." The report concludes that social, behavioral and economic sciences (SBE) further NSF's mission to advance U.S. health, prosperity, welfare and defense.
The University of Missouri System has closed its $10 million medical research institute as part of an effort to cut costs. The decision to close the International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine will affect 17 full-time and part-time employees through layoffs and contract non-renewals, university spokesman Christian Basi told the Columbia Missourian in an email. The institute was closed June 30 because of its significant operating expenses and its lack of grant funding in recent years, Basi said.
This summer, scientists in California are releasing 20 million mosquitoes in an effort to shrink the population of mosquitoes that can carry diseases. It sounds counterintuitive. But the plan is to release millions of sterile male mosquitoes, which will then mate with wild female mosquitoes. The eggs the females lay won't hatch, researchers say. The project is called Debug Fresno and is being undertaken by Verily, a subsidiary of Alphabet, Google's holding company. It's the company's first field study involving sterile mosquitoes in the U.S.