October 24, 2018
Funding Connection

  • National Geographic's Participatory Science program supports participatory science through the development or innovative use of data-driven, technology-powered tools to increase understanding, preservation, and protection of our planet.
  • The Department of Defense, DARPA Accelerated Molecular Discovery opportunity solicits innovative research proposals in the area of autonomous molecular design to accelerate the discovery, validation, and optimization of new, high-performance molecules for Department of Defense needs. 
  • Read more of this week's featured opportunities
From the desk of the VPR
On September 21, 2018, the National Science Foundation posted a notice about its new Term and Condition effective October 22, 2018 . The new term and condition will be effective for any new award, or funding amendment to an existing award, made on or after the effective date. It requires K-State to report to NSF regarding a PI’s or co-PI’s suspension or sanction for violating K-State's anti-discrimination policy, including but not limited to sexual harassment.

This term and condition is consistent with K-State’s policy prohibiting discrimination, harassment, sexual violence, domestic and dating violence, and stalking found in the Policy and Procedures Manual, section 3010 . I strongly encourage you to read and reflect upon this anti-discrimination policy. Consistent with this new NSF term and condition and this policy, information regarding complaints will be shared with NSF, if necessary. 

Reports of conduct that may violate the anti-discrimination policy can be made online or by calling the Office of Institutional Equity at 785-532-6220. Departments or units interested in employee anti-discrimination training should contact the Office of Institutional Equity.

— Peter
Events and announcements
  • Please note deadlines for limited submission opportunities are coming soon! Send notifications and proposals/pre-proposals to ordlimitedsubs@ksu.edu.
  • Art Works from the National Endowment for the Arts 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.

  • The BioKansas Annual Member Reception and InvestMidwest 2019 Kickoff is November 8 at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Find more information and register.

  • The Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense will meet November 14 in Washington, D.C. to discuss how far the executive branch has come in implementing the National Blueprint for Biodefense released in 2015. RSVP to attend in person or via webcast.

  • 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.
Safety Fair and Supplier Showcase
All K-State employees are invited to attend the first-ever K-State Safety Fair and Supplier Showcase on November 1 from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. in the K-State Student Union Grand Ballroom.

Meet with suppliers, attend free training, and enjoy snacks and a chance to win prizes. Safety and emergency response representatives from the university, local, and state entities will be on hand to provide information. 

Several training sessions will be offered , including basic first aid, ALiCE, hazardous waste awareness, chemical management, and more. Please note that registration is required through HRIS for some sessions.
Agency news and trending topics
In chemistry, structure rules because it determines how a molecule behaves. But the two standard ways to map the structure of small organic molecules, such as pharmaceuticals, hormones, and vitamins, have drawbacks. This week, two research teams report they’ve adapted a third technique, commonly used to chart much larger proteins, to determine the precise shape of small organic molecules. The new technique works with vanishingly small samples, is blazing fast, and is surprisingly easy.

Two poetry collections, one memoir, one creative nonfiction book, and two novels will join the NEA Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The NEA Big Read annually supports community reading programs across the country, each designed around a single book. Through the act of sharing a book together, participants have the opportunity to broaden their understanding of the world, their community, and themselves. In total, 32 books will be available for nonprofit organizations to choose from in applying for a 2019-20 NEA Big Read grant.

Artificial intelligence is a technology of low-cost prediction and discovery. It exploits the new resource of the digital age — vast amounts of data — to identify patterns and make predictions. Much of what A.I. does today can be thought of as a prediction. What product to recommend, what ad to show you, what image is in that picture, what move should the robot make next — all are automated predictions. This concept of A.I. as an engine of predictive decision-making is the main theme of a new book by three economists at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, “ Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence” (Harvard Business Review Press). The authors, Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb, argue that A.I.-powered decision-making is poised to alter virtually every industry.

Businesses spent a total of $375 billion on research and development (R&D) performance in the United States in 2016, an increase of 5.3 percent from 2015. Funding from companies' own sources was $318 billion in 2016, an increase of 7 percent from 2015. Funding from other sources was $57 billion in 2016 and $59 billion in 2015. Of the $375 billion companies spent on R&D in 2016, $25 billion (7 percent) was spent on basic research, $61 billion (16 percent) on applied research, and $289 billion (77 percent) on development, a similar distribution to spending in 2015.

A picture might be worth a thousand words — but inventing a way to take nanoscale pictures is worth US$3-million. The inventor of a ‘super-resolution’ microscopy technique that biologists are using to reveal the hidden molecular structures of cells is one of six big winners of this year’s  Breakthrough Prizes — the most lucrative awards in science and mathematics .
Have suggestions for future issues? Email researchweekly@k-state.edu
Miss an issue? Visit our archives