October 10, 2018
Funding Connection

From the desk of the VPR
Starting two years ago this fall, our office has been documenting the need and exploring options for an improved electronic research administration (eRA) system that will enhance how research is facilitated on campus.  A task force in FY17 prioritized needs for an eRA system that manages workflow and provides timely reports for faculty and staff. This is even more critical as K-State adopts its budget modernization plans.

Last year, we partnered with Microsoft to develop a Research Awards Dashboard for research administrative staff in colleges and departments. That was just the beginning. This past summer, we continued partnering with Microsoft to improve our reporting systems and data warehouse. We also recently purchased and will be implementing Cayuse SP, and we will be partnering with the company on the development of its next system.

Our recently created Research Administration System web page provides more details about the testing and implementation of Cayuse SP this year. We will also provide periodic updates on the page.  Please provide your feedback on how we are doing with eRA improvements to  research@ksu.edu .

— Peter
Events and announcements
  • Please note the following limited submission opportunities from the Office of Research Development. Send all notifications and proposals/pre-proposals stipulated below to ordlimitedsubs@ksu.edu.
  • Art Works is the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) principal grants program. Through project-based funding, NEA supports public engagement with, and access to, various forms of excellent art across the nation, the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, learning in the arts at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life. Notifications and internal pre-proposals are due November 6, 2018 and December 4, 2018, respectively. Find limited submission guidance.
  • NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track 4: EPSCoR Research Fellows (RII Track-4) provides opportunities for non-tenured investigators to further develop their individual research potential through extended collaborative visits to the nation’s premier private, governmental, or academic research centers. Notifications and internal pre-proposals are due November 7, 2018 and December 5, 2018, respectively. Find more information on limited submissions.

  • A Grants 101 and Writing Workshop for Humanities and Social Science Faculty from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. October 30 in Union 227 will cover topics including finding funding opportunities, interacting with program officers, developing your elevator speech, and building budgets. The session will conclude with a writing workshop led by The Writing Center, a division of the Department of English. Registered participants will receive brief writing prompts beforehand that will be discussed during the workshop. Find more information and register.

  • Science Communication Week is November 5-10.
  • Register now for workshops with Jory Weintraub, Science Communication Director with the Duke Initiative for Science & Society, On the Spot Improv, and more.
  • Also plan to attend a Global Food Systems Initiative-sponsored author talk and panel discussion of "The Food Explorer" about David Fairchild, K-State alumnus and Manhattan native who traveled the globe and introduced avocados, mangoes, seedless grapes, and more to the American plate, by National Geographic writer Daniel Stone.
  • Find more information and register for workshops.

  • The Laboratory Safety Renovation Program will accept proposals from October 10 through November 16. The program will award $500,000 from deferred maintenance support funds; proposals require a one-to-one department match and will be reviewed by the Laboratory Renovation Working Group. Find more information.
Miss a training? Find help here
The Office of Research Development offers a variety of workshops, information sessions, and training opportunities.

If you missed a training because of schedule conflicts, our Tutorial Library can help. Log in with your K-State eid and password to find recorded sessions and downloadable handouts on the following.

  • Grant writing
  • Finding funding from USDA and DoD
  • NSF basics plus specific awards and initiatives
  • How to succeed with NIH
  • Satisfying broader impacts, developing data management plans, and communicating your research
  • The Fulbright Scholar Program
  • Working with Industry
Agency news and trending topics
A physician and literary scholar, Rita Charon helped develop the field of narrative medicine, which aims to strengthen clinical practice through recognizing, absorbing, and interpreting patients’ stories. On October 15, Charon, a professor of medicine at Columbia University, will deliver this year’s  Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities , "To See the Suffering: The Humanities Have What Medicine Needs."

Often, the awarding of a Nobel Prize triggers a round of carping about whom else should have shared in the prize. This year's "Nobel" prize for economics — officially, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel — has sparked a rarer controversy. Some economists argue that one winner's work is wrongheaded and has compromised humanity's ability to deal with the existential threat of climate change.

Scientists do not receive enough peer-review training. To improve this situation, a small group of editors ... developed a peer-review workflow  to guide reviewers in delivering useful and thorough analyses that can really help authors to improve their papers. We suggest that you perform three readings of a paper, concentrating on a different element each time. At every point, remember to classify your comments as major or minor flaws. Major flaws will need considerable time to explain or correct.

As government funding for higher education falls and the cost of administration rises, universities and research departments are increasingly keen to find other sources of revenue. This pushes academics to spend more and more time finding private sponsors, who have many reasons for funding research. Sometimes the reason is simply charitable — a way to give back to the school. Sometimes it is personally motivated — parents who lost a child to a rare disease may fund research for that disease. And sometimes it is commercial — for-profit companies eager to use the talent and insight of researchers to advance the science, as well as the economics, of the commercial entity. In each case of private sponsorship, the best institutions devise ways to minimize any bias, or any suggestion of bias.

The Rick and Morty  scientific prank is the work of Farooq Ali Khan—an undergraduate college professor and PhD student in Hyderabad, India—and it highlights a serious problem for serious scientific research. There are hundreds of academic and scientific journals out there, many of them with good reputations and a process for peer review. But for every legitimate journal, there are a dozen predatory institutions that will publish anything sight unseen or demand money from the authors to publish.
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