March 14, 2018
Funding Connection

From the desk of the VPR
One of the best parts of my job is promoting the excellent work of K-State researchers. It’s fairly easy to give talks and highlight overall research strength and provide examples of individual successes, but making sure Kansans know the impact our research has on their everyday lives is a more difficult task

Our office is proud to unveil a new campaign to help solve this problem. Influence Tomorrow is designed to showcase our history of innovation and demonstrate how we carry our land-grant legacy forward as we improve lives and economic well-being in Kansas. The video, stories, and highlighted capabilities demonstrate the value of K-State research. We’ve invested in a 12-week digital ad and social media campaign to distribute our work across the state to citizens. The site will not remain static; we’ll add new content throughout the campaign, plus we have follow-up videos in the works. 

You can help us build on this campaign by sharing the video and website with your audiences and stakeholders and by continuing to do the work in which we take great pride. I hope you will also utilize your social media networks — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or even the old tried and true face-to-face — to share what’s happening at K-State. Thank you for providing us with excellent material, and thanks to the team at the Division of Communications and Marketing who worked with our office to create the video and website. 

We look forward to influencing many more tomorrows in Kansas! 

Events and announcements
  • Research Weekly and the Funding Connection will not be published next week. Have a good Spring Break!

  • Faculty who have registered as exhibitors at the 2018 K-State Research Showcase are eligible to compete for the Excellence in Innovation and Economic Engagement Award. The winner will be announced and recognized at the Showcase and will receive a $1,000 grant to advance their efforts. A brief narrative application is due April 1. Find more information about how to apply or register for the Research Showcase

  • The Kansas Science Communication Initiative is sponsoring two events in March.
  • Seminar: “Cli-Fi: Climate Science and Politics in Human Stories.” March 15, 12 noon to 1:00 p.m., Ackert 324.
  • Research colloquium: Jon Herington and Scott Tanona from philosophy will discuss mandatory GMO labeling and a framework for thinking about whether scientists have a responsibility to communicate with the public. March 27, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., Union 207.
  • Find more information about science communication events. 

  • Register for a workshop dedicated to the National Science Foundation CAREER award 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. March 28 in Union 207. Participants will hear presentations on requirements, review criteria, and more, plus a panel of experienced reviewers will answer questions. Those who register and attend are also eligible to participate in a CAREER proposal writing clinic. Find out more in the March 7 issue of Research Weekly.

  • K-State will host the American Society of Mammalogists annual meeting in June; registration and abstract submission are open through March 31. Find more information.

  • Enter the Naturejobs #ScientistAtWork Photo Competition 2018. Winners will be announced and profiled alongside their images in the April 26 issue of Nature magazine and will receive a year’s personal print and online subscription to Nature. The competition runs from March 1 until midnight GMT on March 31. Entrants must not be professional photographers.

  • The Biosecurity Research Institute is participating in K-State Open House on April 7. Hear a presentation from the director, watch a video about science in containment, and participate in interactive activities in the training lab in Pat Roberts Hall from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Find more information. 
How industry partnerships build prosperity
Serving as a center of innovation and having a large number of highly educated residents promotes economic prosperity. This premise is the foundation of the Manhattan area community and Kansas State University’s Knowledge Based Economic Development partnership, or KBED. Our unique, award-winning partnership is focused on identifying areas of strength and creatively capitalizing on those through university-private sector strategic partnerships.

Although not a traditional part of how faculty members view their role in advancing the land-grant mission, identifying potential partners and participating in company attraction, retention, and growth efforts can concomitantly advance faculty members’ interests. 

When industry partners establish a physical presence near the university, faculty members can receive tremendous benefits both in advancing their research efforts and in providing invaluable experiences and career opportunities for their students. A physical presence provides opportunities for face-to-face relationships and meetings, which can result in additional research collaboration and support, consulting opportunities, employment opportunities for students, and a closer relationship with the industry partner. These benefits ultimately create win-win situations for all stakeholders.   

KBED is staffed by the K-State Institute for Commercialization and serves as a resource and provides services to both faculty and companies to ensure mutually beneficial relationships. KBED can assist with coordination of hosting visits for the company by providing community tours and information, support for identification of potential locations for the company, assistance with state/local incentives and processes, access to talent, and project management for the K-State relationship. The relationship between the faculty member and the private sector serves as the conduit to create and sustain economic development, and it sets K-State and Manhattan apart from similar universities and communities. 

Find out more about the KBED partnership and contact us to explore a local presence for your industry partner. 
Agency news and trending topics
Hawking was probably the best-known scientist in the world. He was a theoretical physicist whose early work on black holes transformed how scientists think about the nature of the universe.

Experts consider that given their potential to cause a public health emergency and the absence of efficacious drugs and/or vaccines, there is an urgent need for accelerated research and development for:
  • Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF)
  • Ebola virus disease and Marburg virus disease
  • Lassa fever
  • Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
  • Nipah and henipaviral diseases
  • Rift Valley fever (RVF)
  • Zika
  • "Disease X"

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including NIH, operates under the "Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018" ... This Act (CR) continues government operations through March 23, 2018, at 99.3209 percent of the FY 2017 enacted level. Continuing the procedures identified under  NOT-OD-17-086  and consistent with NIH practices during the CRs of FY  2006-2017 , the NIH will issue non-competing research grant awards at a level below that indicated on the most recent Notice of Award (generally up to 90% of the previously committed level). Upward adjustments to awarded levels will be considered after FY 2018 appropriations are enacted, but NIH expects institutions to monitor expenditures carefully during this period. See also: Guidance on Salary Limitation for Grants and Cooperative Agreements FY 2018. Effective January 7, 2018, the salary limitation for Executive Level II is $189,600.

Visit the blog for analysis of FY 2017 NIH grant data, including number of applications and awards, size of awards, funding of different grant types, etc.; for a request for input on the draft NIH strategic plan for data science; and more.

After letting Russian science languish for years, Vladimir Putin has started to pay more attention. At a meeting of the Council for Science and Education last month, the Russian president promised that science and innovation are now top priorities. The presidential election on 18 March is likely to extend Putin’s reign by another six years, but scientists inside and outside Russia wonder whether the country can reclaim its rich science legacy of Soviet times.

There’s hope for a tastier, healthier, more robust tomorrow: high-tech new food preservation methods that fend off the bad stuff (bacteria, spoilage) while protecting the good (flavor, texture, nutrients). Scientists are experimenting with everything from microwave sterilization to blasts of plasma to ensure food stays appetizing longer—even without refrigeration.

From Russian “bots” to charges of fake news, headlines are awash in stories about dubious information going viral. You might think that bots—automated systems that can share information online—are to blame. But a new study shows that people are the prime culprits when it comes to the propagation of misinformation through social networks. And they’re good at it, too: Tweets containing falsehoods reach 1500 people on Twitter six times faster than truthful tweets, the research reveals.
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