April 18, 2018
Funding Connection

From the desk of the VPR
I had the opportunity to attend and provide welcoming remarks at the 18th Undergraduate Research Symposium hosted by the  Developing Scholars Program on April 15.  What a pleasure to meet with and help to recognize these students for their outstanding efforts. It was also special to meet family members who shared their student’s enthusiasm for their projects and what they’ve learned by engaging in research.
Our award-winning Developing Scholars Program offers not only financial support, but also professional mentoring for students as they engage in research, scholarly, and creative activity and discovery.  Undergraduate research sets K-State apart as an institution of higher education, and it offers our students a type of learning that opens many paths to successful careers. We are fortunate to have a number of undergraduate research opportunity programs on our campus and many dedicated faculty and staff members who make them possible.  

A packed, buzzing ballroom full of people at the symposium celebrated the students’ accomplishments and helped recognize and celebrate  Anita Cortez , the force behind DSP and director of the  Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry . All of us at K-State owe her our thanks for helping engage our undergraduate students in research. She has served this institution and the students she has mentored well.  Thank you for all you have done for K-State students, Anita!

The spring 2018 issue of Seek will be hitting your mailbox soon. You can read about undergraduate research and Anita's work in this issue — and much more. Be sure to take a look!

— Peter
Events and announcements
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering will offer a special seminar, “How to Write Winning NSF Proposals (A Former Program Director’s Perspective)” on April 25 at 11:30 in the Union Big 12 Room. ZJ Pei from Texas A&M University will discuss commonly seen weaknesses in NSF proposals and key features of successful proposals. Pei served as an NSF program director for four years. 

  • An ongoing training series from the University Industry Demonstration Partnership and Academic Impressions has two remaining sessions, one of which has changed from its original date. Sessions are from 12 noon to 1:15 in the Union Wildcat Chamber. Access recorded sessions with your K-State eid and password.
  • "Negotiating Intellectual Property" is April 25 (originally April 18)
  • "Leveraging Government Involvement" is May 2

  • Applications for Summer 2018 Science Communication Fellowship training are due April 27. The fellowship is specifically designed for graduate students and post-doctoral researchers and is the Sunset Zoo Behind the Science initiative's flagship program. Find more information and a link to the application.

  • The National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program supports early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education.
  • NSF is offering a May 15, 2018 CAREER Program Webinar from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT to answer participants' questions about development and submission of proposals.
  • The Engineering Directorate’s Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET) will host its own CAREER Proposal Webinar, on Friday, April 27, 2018, 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT and will follow a similar Q&A format.

  • The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will offer a session on the NSF Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research, or EAGER, program on May 2 from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in Union 207. EAGER funding supports "high risk-high payoff" exploratory work in its early stages. Please register.
Not exhibiting at the Showcase?
You can still attend!
Curious about the  2018 Research Showcase  at K-State Olathe?

  • Faculty, staff, student or postdoctoral researchers, and others who didn't want to exhibit but would like to attend are invited to join us from 4-6:30 p.m. May 16 at 22201 W. Innovation Drive in Olathe.
  • More than 80 exhibitors are slated to attend.
  • Attending the Showcase is an excellent way to find out more about what your colleagues are doing.
Agency news and trending topics
The U.S. Congress, federal funding agencies, universities and other research institutions must take significant steps, such as a postdoc “tax” and a hard cap on how long postdocs can be funded by a lab head, to better usher young biomedical scientists into viable careers, a committee from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) concluded in a   report.

In a move few scientists anticipated, the Chinese government has decreed that all scientific data generated in China must be submitted to government-sanctioned data centers before appearing in publications. At the same time, the regulations, posted last week, call for open access and data sharing. The possibly conflicting directives puzzle researchers, who note that the yet-to-be-established data centers will have latitude in interpreting the rules. Scientists in China can still share results with overseas collaborators, says Xie Xuemei, who specializes in innovation economics at Shanghai University.

Most historians’ work will never get the Oprah treatment. But many historians have become familiar with the feeling of anonymity as their work gains attention from the news media.

It is important to understand that, even in this competitive funding environment, research is shifting to teams. And when we look more closely at the impact of the shift, we see that collaboration is proving to move science forward in important ways. How big should teams be? Some  recent literature  suggests that small teams are more likely than large teams to produce disruptive papers.

The Labor Department answered some outstanding questions about academic overtime pay last week, putting such compensation officially out of reach for adjuncts teaching online, among other workers. ... the Labor Department published a  new fact sheet  on the applicability of white-collar exemptions to common academic jobs.
Have suggestions for future issues? Email researchweekly@k-state.edu
Miss an issue? Visit our archives