May 2, 2018
Funding Connection

ORSP opportunities: DC early career faculty trip
Twenty-two early career tenure-track faculty members from the colleges of Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Human Ecology, and Veterinary Medicine traveled to Washington, DC April 24-26 to visit federal funding agencies and learn more about the types of research funding available from each agency. The faculty members also had individual meetings with one or more funding program officers at the agencies to discuss and get specific feedback on their own research ideas.

Accompanying the group was the planning committee, associate deans Corwin, Minton, and Toews, from Arts and Sciences, Agriculture, and Human Ecology, respectively. Engineering associate dean Maghirang also served on the planning committee but was unable to make the trip. The trip was organized by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and three of our staff members also traveled with the group.

Individuals and small groups visited a wide range of funding agencies, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Department of Energy, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research. A small group also made a visit to the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences to discuss common areas of interest in hopes of stimulating future collaborations.

We were joined in DC and on agency visits by our consultants from McAllister & Quinn so that they can better understand faculty research interests and fine-tune their assistance.

Pre-trip activities included two group orientation sessions to better prepare faculty to take advantage of this opportunity and maximize the benefits of meeting with funding agency officials. A post-trip debriefing will gather feedback and suggestions for improving the experience for possible future visits.

The Office of the Vice President for Research has tracked the outcomes regarding proposal submission and awards for previous cohorts of travelers from 2013 through 2017. Preliminary analysis indicates benefits such as funding success for faculty in disciplines historically underrepresented in research award data and increased success with award programs aimed specifically at early career faculty. Multiple previous DC travelers also report receiving invitations to serve on grant review panels as a direct outcome of the experience.

Thank you to all of our travelers. We look forward to supporting your success!

— Beth Montelone, senior associate vice president for research
Events and announcements
  • Looking for guidance on Broader Impacts? The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will offer an info session and exhibition on May 9 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the Union Flint Hills Room. Please register.

  • The Technical Assistance to Brownfields center at K-State is co-sponsoring a webinar on May 9 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST to discuss the Brownfields Utilization, Investment and local Development, or BUILD Act. U.S. EPA officials and other experts will discuss increased eligibility for funding, additional liability protections, and changes to grant programs. Find more information and register.

  • Navigating a Kansas Water Future: A Research and Collaboration/Networking Event will be held May 14, 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the University of Kansas in Beren Auditorium at the Earth Energy & Environment Center. Please RSVP by May 2 to Doug Bornemann ( by sending a picture, email address, and a short (~100 word) bio for inclusion in the program materials to help potential collaborators associate a face with your name and research interests.

  • 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. A May 15, 2018 CAREER Program Webinar from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT will answer participants' questions about development and submission of proposals.

  • The Biosecurity Research Institute will host the 2018 Midwest Area Biosafety Network Symposium August 6-8. Symposium organizers are seeking abstracts for scientific program presentations. The deadline is May 15. Find more information.
Finding K-State research
The spring 2018 issue of Seek, K-State's flagship research magazine, has arrived!

Access and share it by:

  • Reading features on the Seek website and sharing links;
  • Linking to the Seek website from your department or college website;
  • Downloading PDF files of individual features from New Prairie Press and sending them to others;
  • Downloading the PDF of the full magazine from either of the above sites and sending it to others; or
  • Picking up a hard copy in the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, PreAward Services, or the Berney Family Welcome Center.

Need copies of the magazine for an event? Email Sarah Hancock at
Agency news and trending topics
An independent panel convened by the National Institutes of Health outlined several recommendations to improve research to end the obesity epidemic, emphasizing the need for an expanded approach to obesity research. They note that additional methods are needed to assess obesity prevention interventions occurring at the community level.

“It is a distinct honor to be nominated by President Donald J. Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities,” said Jon Parrish Peede. “I particularly value this vote of bipartisan support and will work with my NEH colleagues to ensure that all Americans have access to our country’s cultural resources.”

For more than a decade, Dickersin's paper was missing along with about 80 others. Sometimes, the ex-editors would try to find out who had the rights to the articles, whether they could just take copies and put them on their own website. “We don’t want to do that," they’d always conclude. “We don’t want to get in trouble.” Finally, Dickersin went to the librarians at Johns Hopkins University, where she is a professor, for help—and that's how she found  Portico . Portico is like a Wayback Machine for scholarly publications. The digital preservation service ingests, meta-tags, preserves, manages, and updates content for publishers and libraries, and then provides access to those archives. The company soon signed on to the project and got permission from Taylor & Francis to make the future archives open-access.

Multinational financial services firm  Wells Fargo & Company  has announced that it will provide $200 billion in financing to sustainable businesses and projects by 2030. Announced during the  CECP  CEO Force for Good Investor Forum, the commitment includes more than $100 billion to support the transition to a low-carbon economy, including funding for clean technologies and renewables, green bonds, and alternative modes of transportation. The remainder will support companies and projects focused on sustainable agriculture, recycling, conservation, and other environmentally beneficial activities.

These clusters of living brain cells are popularly known as minibrains, though scientists prefer to call them cerebral organoids. At the moment, they remain extremely rudimentary versions of an actual human brain and are used primarily to study brain development and disorders like autism. But minibrain research is progressing so quickly that scientists need to start thinking about the potential implications now, says  Nita Farahany , a professor of law and philosophy at Duke University and the director of Duke Science and Society.
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