January 24, 2018
Funding Connection

Revisions to the Common Rule
The Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, issued an update to the current regulations governing research involving human subjects, known as the Common Rule (45 CFR 46, The Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects). The final rule was published on January 19, 2017, with an effective date of January 19, 2018. These changes are the first substantial changes since the Common Rule was originally adopted in 1991. The changes are intended to “modernize, strengthen and make more effective” the regulations governing research involving human subjects.

In October 2017, HHS submitted a request to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget asking for a one-year implementation delay to meet new requirements. On January 17, 2018, HHS announced that a six-month delay has been accepted, thus moving the effective date to July 19, 2018. 

Events and announcements
  • Our office has received a number of questions about the effects of a government shutdown. Congress re-opened the government after a brief shutdown earlier this week, but the new agreement lasts only until February 8. In case a new shutdown situation arises, we want researchers to know how they will be affected. Read more.

  • The Kansas Science Communication Initiative invites all who are interested in science communication to a January 25 social and a January 31 meeting. Find the details or view the full KSCI events calendar.

  • Join a two-session grant writing workshop for postdocs and graduate students on February 14,1:00-4:00 p.m., and February 15, 2:00-5:00 p.m., in the Hale Library Hemisphere Room. Workshop includes an orientation and advice on writing narrative and project summary, budget justifications, developing goals, and more. Please register.

  • The Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute has issued a Call for Abstracts for the Third Annual Midwest Bioinformatics Conference April 11-12 at the University of Missouri Bond Life Sciences Center. Deadline for an on-stage presentation opportunity is March 12; poster session deadline is April 2. Register for the conference and indicate interest in submitting an abstract or add "poster submission" at the bottom of the form.

  • The KC Animal Health Corridor is now accepting applications for the tenth annual KC Animal Health Investment Forum on August 21, 2018. Application deadline is Friday, April 6. Find more information.

FDA and USRG: Call for proposals
The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs invites proposals for the spring 2018 Faculty Development Awards and University Small Research Grants for Kansas State University tenured or tenure-track faculty who are interested in receiving assistance in their scholarly activities and professional development. Faculty must have at least some percentage of their appointment devoted to research to be eligible for the funds.

  • The President’s Faculty Development Awards (FDA) program provides support for travel to international meetings (primarily at international locations) or to meet with program officers from potential external sponsors. 

  • The University Small Research Grants (USRG) program is a “seed” grant program to support early research, scholarly activity, and other creative efforts. 

  • Faculty seeking support for travel/projects occurring between July 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018 should apply in the spring competition (due March 5, 2018). For travel/projects occurring between December 31, 2018 and July 1 of 2019, faculty should apply in the fall competition (due October 1, 2018).

Please attend an FDA and USRG Information Session to hear about changes to this semester’s application and review process based on input from the USRG/FDA Focus Group. The session will be offered at two different times:

Thursday, February 8 at 3:30 p.m. in Union 207
Wednesday, February 21 at 3:30 p.m. in Union 207
Agency news and trending topics
The US government shutdown that began on 20 January is over, after Congress approved legislation on 22 January to fund government operations until 8 February.

Psychologist Daniël Lakens of Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands is known for speaking his mind, and after he read an article titled “ Redefine Statistical Significance” on 22 July 2017, Lakens didn’t pull any punches: “ Very disappointed such a large group of smart people would give such horribly bad advice,” he tweeted. In the paper, posted on the preprint server PsyArXiv, 70 prominent scientists argued in favor of lowering a widely used threshold for statistical significance in experimental studies: The so-called p-value should be below 0.005 instead of the accepted 0.05,  as a way to reduce the rate of false positive findings and improve the reproducibility of science . Lakens, 37, thought it was a disastrous idea. A lower α, or significance level, would require much bigger sample sizes, making many studies impossible. Besides, he says, “Why prescribe a single p-value, when science is so diverse?”

Scientists discover something new every day. But science policy trends can take decades to reveal themselves. That’s why the bottom line in  the newest edition of an indispensible statistical tome  from the National Science Foundation (NSF)—that China continues to close the gap with the United States in the international race for scientific supremacy—will sound very familiar to those who follow these trends.

The National Institutes of Health will launch an effort aimed at removing barriers that slow the adoption of genome editing for treating patients. This program, Somatic Cell Genome Editing, plans to award researchers approximately $190 million over six years beginning this year, pending availability of funds. These researchers will collaborate to improve the delivery mechanisms for targeting gene editing tools in patients, develop new and improved genome editors, develop assays for testing the safety and efficacy of the genome editing tools in animal and human cells, and assemble a genome editing toolkit containing the resulting knowledge, methods, and tools to be shared with the scientific community.
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