September 28, 2022

Featured Opportunities:

Dangers and Opportunities of Technology: Perspectives from the Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities Dangers and Opportunities of Technology: Perspectives from the Humanities program supports humanistic research that examines the relationship between technology and society. NEH is particularly interested in projects that examine current social and cultural issues that are significantly shaped by technology.

Racial Equity in STEM Education

The National Science Foundation's Racial Equity in STEM Education seeks to support bold, groundbreaking, and potentially transformative projects that contribute to advancing racial equity in STEM education and workforce development through practice and/or fundamental or applied research. 

Franklin Tao’s outcome

As most of you are aware, Feng “Franklin” Tao, a researcher at the University of Kansas, recently faced a trial on eight charges including wire fraud and making false statements. In May, a jury acquitted him of four of the charges, and last week, the presiding judge reversed the three wire fraud charges upon which he was convicted. She upheld the remaining conviction of making false statements to KU, writing, “Tao clearly engaged in deceitful conduct, but the government did not prove that Tao’s efforts to conceal his affiliation with or activities at FZU University amounted to a scheme to deprive KU, DOE, or NSF of money or property.”

The situation will almost certainly have additional developments, including appeals from both parties, but there’s one clear takeaway for researchers in Kansas and nationwide: take your Conflict of Interest and Commitment declarations very seriously and make certain you give them the consideration and time they deserve. Even if his remaining conviction is overturned, Tao has been on unpaid leave during the legal process and his research productivity has suffered. It is not clear what the impact will be on his ability to obtain federal funding in the future.

For you, the K-State researcher, university leadership and the Research Security and Integrity Working Group are committed to ensuring these statements are as clear and unambiguous as possible, while the federal government is attempting to standardize their required statements across the multitude of funding agencies. This should help you in understanding what’s being asked. However, you still have the final responsibility to get it right. Some advocates have argued the government is just looking for any error it can find, and not surprisingly, the federal government disagrees. In truth, you can avoid this situation by carefully documenting each transaction that involves contracts, time, and funding. It is an additional burden, but it’s the proven method to avoid unintentional errors.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to seek the advice of your college leadership, the provost’s office, or the vice president for research.

-Jonathan Snowden

Facility security officer

K-State events and announcements

DARPA Forward

DARPA Forward is taking national security innovation on the road. 

From August to December 2022, six regional events held at leading research and development universities nationwide will connect Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency leaders with new communities of talent and partnerships. The ultimate goal: to energize regional and national innovation ecosystems, fuel breakthroughs in national security, and help deliver the U.S. technological advantage. 

Virtual events will be hosted by the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab. Upcoming events will be held:

  • October 4-5, 25-26.
  • November 15-16.
  • December 13-14. 

For more information or directions, please contact Jeffrey Sheldon

The Unthinkable: Keep Calm and Carry On

Friday, Oct. 14

2:30-3:30 p.m.

Big 12 Room, K-State Student Union

Please join the K-State Global Food Systems Initiative and National Agricultural Biosecurity Center for a roundtable discussion about disaster preparedness for the K-State and Manhattan communities.

How do we react when the unthinkable happens — when the power grid goes down, cyber connections are stopped, a devastating tornado hits or an active shooter event occurs? Join us for a roundtable discussion about how a crisis could begin, what it means to be prepared, how far following the “science” can take us and the psychological impact during and after a crisis. 

Maureen Olewnik, coordinator of the Global Food Systems Initiative, and Adrian Self, operations research analyst at the National Agricultural Biosecurity Center will be hosting the discussion.

The featured panelists discussing this topic will be Gary Brase, professor and department head of psychological sciences; Chad Currier, chief information security officer; Caterina Scoglio, professor of electrical and computer engineering; and Jim Stack, professor of plant pathology.

Register to attend.

KibbleCon 2022

October 19-21

Bluemont Hotel in Manhattan, Kansas

KibbleCon is the premier pet food event of the year! This year's speaker lineup is filled with top pet food visionaries and influencers who will be discussing everything from palatability to packaging, safety to supply chains. Check out the full list of speakers and itinerary on the KibbleCon website.

Attendees can register online through Sunday, Oct. 16. To register at no cost, K-State faculty and staff should use the code, facultykc22. K-State students should use the code, studentkc22. Space is limited, so don’t delay!

Register to attend.

Do you know students with research relevant to pet food? Have them submit their poster abstract to Stephanie Pierce,, by Sept. 30 to be entered into a poster presentation competition. The top submissions will be asked to present their research at KibbleCon for a chance to win scholarships — first place will receive $500 and second place will receive $300.

Note: If COVID-19 protocols necessitate a change to the format of the event, registrants will be notified by email.

External events and announcements

NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Supplemental Funding for Space-Related Preparation and Awareness for Career Equity

The National Science Foundation, or NSF, has released a Dear Colleague Letter, or DCL, that is providing supplemental funding to active NSF awardees with projects that intersect science, technology, engineering and mathematics and space ecosystems, and that aim to improve diversity in the space workforce.

Space-related is defined as:

  • Space-direct: Programs, activities and/or projects that are used either in the space environment or directly support goods and services sued in space — e.g. space vehicles, launch pads, communications, etc.
  • Space-enabled: Programs, activities and/or projects that require direct input from space to function — e.g. satellite telecommunications and observations, global positioning, navigation, timing equipment, etc.
  • Space research: Programs, activities and/or projects that are associated with studying space e.g. research and development, educational services, planetariums, observatories, etc.

Principal Investigators with active NSF awards are eligible to submit supplemental funding requests through their respective NSF programs following the guidance specified in Chapter VI.E.5 of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide and in the DCL. Budgets should not exceed 20% of the underlying award and are subject to the availability of funds. Supplemental funding requests may be submitted at any time; there is no fixed deadline date.

Learn more.

Paleo Perspectives on Present and Projected Climate Office Hours

The NSF GEO-wide Paleo Perspectives of Present and Projected Climate program will host virtual office hours on Wednesday, September 28th from 2:00-5:00 PM EDT. P4CLIMATE program directors will present a brief overview of this new solicitation and will be available to answer solicitation-specific questions, such as expectations for the research themes and topics supported by P4CLIMATE.

Registration is required in advance for this meeting.

EAR Virtual Town Hall: Implementing a Vision for NSF Earth Sciences

1-2:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 6

NSF’s Division of Earth Sciences, or EAR, invites the Earth science community to a virtual town hall with updates on community and NSF activities, including those that address the National Academies report A Vision for NSF Earth Sciences 2020-2030: Earth in Time, the decadal vision for NSF’s Division of Earth Sciences. Join this Town Hall to hear from EAR leadership and program officers on new programs and opportunities in Earth science research, education, and infrastructure.

The town hall will be conducted virtually via Zoom. Pre-registration is required for this event.

You can submit questions you'd like EAR program officers to address during the town hall by emailing Please include the subject line “Earth in Time Town Hall Question.” We will also utilize the Q&A feature in the Zoom webinar.

Accelerating Research through International Network-to-Network Collaborations

October 11 deadline

The goals of the Accelerating Research through International Network-to-Network Collaborations, or AccelNet, program are to accelerate the process of scientific discovery and prepare the next generation of U.S. researchers for multiteam international collaborations. The AccelNet program supports strategic linkages among U.S. research networks and complementary networks abroad that will leverage research and educational resources to tackle grand research challenges that require significant coordinated international efforts. The program seeks to foster high-impact science and engineering by providing opportunities to cooperatively identify and coordinate efforts to address knowledge gaps and research needs.

This solicitation invites proposals for the creation of international networks of networks in research areas aligned with a grand challenge identified as a priority by the research community or NSF, such as the NSF Big Ideas or in an active program solicitation. AccelNet awards support the connections among research networks, rather than supporting fundamental research as the primary activity. Each network of networks is expected to engage in innovative collaborative activities that promote synergy of efforts across networks and provide professional development for U.S. students, postdoctoral scholars, and early-career researchers. Two proposal categories covered by this solicitation include design and implementation. 

It is strongly recommended that prospective PIs contact the AccelNet program officer(s) to ascertain that the focus and budget of their proposed activities are appropriate for this solicitation.

Learn more. 

2022 BioNexus KC Annual Event

5:30-9:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 20


The BioNexus KC Annual Event will unite 500 leaders for a common purpose – healthcare innovation. Immerse yourself in KC’s rich life sciences ecosystem as we stimulate collaboration and FOCUS FORWARD on the future of KC.

Learn more. 

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K-State research in the news

How to cultivate a happier retirement Daily Mail

Hemp byproducts not so ba-ba-bad for lamb feed: study Vancouver Sun

After Kansas litmus test, abortion rights in full view as November looms KCTV5

Can Kansas City park its cars and become more walkable? KCUR

Understanding reality through algorithms MIT News

Feeding Bugs The Mercury

How the drought killing Kansas corn crops could make you pay more for gas and beef KAKE

Stressed out, burned out and dropping out: Why teachers are leaving the classroom The Houston Chronicle

Agency news and trending topics

International team finds oldest known dinosaur fossil in Africa

When Christopher Griffin first saw a femur in the Zimbabwean dirt, he knew immediately that he was looking at a significant paleontology discovery. Griffin, then a graduate student working with a team of Virginia Tech and Zimbabwean paleontologists, had unearthed the fossil of the oldest known dinosaur in Africa. NSF

New grants support research on factors affecting infectious disease transmission

Headlines on COVID-19 and monkeypox underscore the importance of understanding infectious diseases and how they're transmitted. Scientists are studying these diseases, such as hand, foot and mouth disease and Lyme disease, to gain insights into how they evolve as they spread, and the social and economic effects that spread can cause. NSF

Prenatal steroid treatment may improve survival, reduce complications for extremely preterm infants

Steroid treatment before birth appears to improve survival and reduce complications among extremely preterm infants, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Antenatal steroid therapy, given to women at risk of preterm delivery, causes the fetal lungs to mature and has been shown to improve survival and reduce complications among infants born from 24 to 34 weeks of pregnancy. However, previous studies of the treatment for infants born between the 22nd and 23rd week — those at greatest risk for death and disability — were inconclusive. NIH

Natural Inspiration

On a hot day in July, evolutionary biologist Martha Muñoz is leading four undergraduate students on a scouting expedition in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. As they hike up a steep trail, Muñoz turns over rocks and pokes leaf litter to assess where they might find salamanders when they return that night. She quizzes the students about how the weather might affect their chances, then demonstrates how the crunch of leaves underfoot is an easy way to assess an area’s dryness. Too much crunch means the salamanders won’t be out that night. Science

China’s Mars rover finds hints of catastrophic floods

China’s Zhurong rover has peered deep under the surface of Mars, finding evidence of two major floods that probably shaped the region the robot has been exploring since it landed in May 2021. Nature

Job openings in the OVPR

Senior Computer Systems Specialist

This position does typical hardware and software support and also oversees the cloud-based tools that are extensively used across the OVPR and University. It provides strategic value on business continuity by maintaining existing systems while identifying potential new software solutions. This position is instrumental in the development and implementation of new software and technology solutions to support university research demands. The position leads the technical requirements for several new Software As A Service (SAAS) solutions and works closely with vendors, such as Microsoft. The position has responsibility for ensuring appropriate security standards for all systems within the central research enterprise and must work collaboratively across the university, particularly with central IT areas, and with external vendors to ensure critical controls are maintained while driving the project to successful completion.

Learn more and apply.

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