April 1, 2020
Funding Connection

National Science Foundation's Directorate for Engineering
Through a  Dear Colleague Letter ,  the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Engineering announced its plans to fund workshops to identify critical needs for unique research infrastructure that can serve a research community at a national needs level, and have the potential to significantly advance engineering research. 

The  Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families plans to solicit applications for  Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Head Start Dissertation Grants  to support dissertation research by advanced graduate students who are working in partnership with Head Start programs and with faculty mentors. 

Cybersecurity and working remotely
Hello all,

As most of us are currently working remotely, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Information Technology Services, or ITS, want to provide techniques for protecting your research from cyber criminals while you’re online.

Most of us have had to make huge adjustments to our everyday work life. While these changes are inconvenient, we recognize the importance in finding effective, ethical accommodations. Since most, if not all, of these involve cyber connectivity, we must keep in mind how dangerous the online environment has become with the response to the COVID-19 virus. The current situation is a cybernetic gold rush to the online criminal who has many readily available tools to exploit any vulnerability. Even worse, criminals are targeting those on the front lines such as hospitals, first responders and researchers, expecting they will be willing to immediately pay ransoms because of the urgency.

So what does that mean for us, and how should we respond? First, look at what you have on your computers, university servers, and the cloud, then assess its value to criminals and other organizations and countries. If there’s any application to COVID-19 response, it’s of high value to them. Even if it’s not directly related, realize that if it’s important to you, it’s important to other folks who might be willing to pay a hacker a lot of money for it. Additionally, with so many people working from home, there are many more opportunities for hackers to gain access to your information. Even if you aren’t their target, that doesn’t mean they will pass up the opportunity to steal your data.

With that in mind, ITS has provided resources and updates on how to protect yourself from malicious activities. Two of these resources can be found at:

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at jonathansnowden@k-state.edu if you have any questions or concerns.

Jonathan Snowden
Facility security officer
Employees requested to assist KDHE
The State Emergency Operations Center is requesting employees from Kansas Board of Regents universities to help the Kansas Health and Environmental Services (KDHE) with COVID-19 testing in the KDHE laboratory in Topeka.

Since K-State employees are State of Kansas employees, upon agreement of K-State, an employee may provide qualified services to other state agencies for the COVID-19 emergency response. Employees who are assigned to the KDHE lab or other state agencies can be lodged in Topeka, if necessary. K-State will continue to pay these employees’ wages, and K-State will be reimbursed from the state’s emergency fund.

Employees should have the following qualifications:
  • Familiarity with basic aseptic technique and good technique handling specimens.
  • Ability to receive and log in biological samples in a safe manner.
  • Molecular preparation techniques for extraction.
  • Experience in environmental microbiology.

Interested employees should contact Marty Vanier at mvanier@bri.k-state.edu .
Events and announcements
AFOSR Virtual Office Hour
AFOSR recently a hosted a Virtual Office Hour - a Q&A session - on Twitter to answer questions about communicating with AFOSR, funding opportunities, and our grant process. We'd like to share the information with you. Please click the button below to view the event thread. If you have additional questions, please reach out to your Program Officer (PO) or send an email to Calvin Scott at  afosr.baa@us.af.mil .

Join us for our next Twitter chat on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 12 p.m.
NSF has announced that effective March 30, 2020, collaborative proposals (from multiple organizations submitted separately) can now be prepared and submitted via Research.gov. When using Research.gov to submit separately submitted collaborative proposals from multiple organizations, ALL organizations must use the same platform (Fastlane or Research.gov). The two systems can not be mixed for these submissions.

At this time, the Fastlane system is still available for these types of submissions. Please see the full message for other highlights of the Research.gov system.
NASA Base Closures - COVID-19
Closure of NASA Centers, Laboratories and Test Facilities for NASA Grant or Cooperative Agreement recipients due to Coronavirus (COVID 19) situation.

As we navigate this difficult time, the protection and care of the NASA family continues to be our top priority and the key consideration as we make decisions on how to move forward. Due to the latest developments in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, as of March 18, 2020 all NASA Centers, Laboratories and Test Facilities are temporarily closed until further notice.

Doing Business with BARDA
2019 Novel Coronavirus Medical Countermeasure Partnership Opportunities
BARDA is continuing to work with its partners to identify promising medical countermeasures and technologies to combat the 2019 novel coronavirus. Now, there are three ways your company or organization can partner with BARDA to fight the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak.

Learn more on the BARDA website .
The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is NSF’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars. This session will start with presentations on the requirements for submission, review criteria, submission protocol and evaluation resources. These will be followed by a panel of recent Kansas State University CAREER awardees who will provide tips on submitting to and receiving an award under this program. Session attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a CAREER Writing Clinic that will start after the session and end in July when the proposals are due.
3-5 p.m.
Wednesday, April 8
Via Zoom

Research Brownbag Discussions
Join Vice President for Research Peter Dorhout and staff to learn how the university is addressing the changing compliance landscape around international travel, research data management, attending conferences in embargoed nations and new regulations. Discuss your concerns or questions that you have around these topics. What is K-State doing to protect our researchers? What are best practices and protocols at this time?

All brownbags will be held from noon-1:30 p.m. on the following dates via Zoom .
  • Monday, April 13 – Topic: TBA
  • Monday, May 11 – Topic: TBA

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 360 831 780

Registration is not required. Please reach out to comply@k-state.edu with any questions.
K-State RSCAD in the news
Agency news and trending topics
The White House Office of Management and Budget issued a new directive that gives universities the flexibility they are seeking to deal with disruptions to research caused by the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s almost exactly what we asked for,” says Wendy Streitz of the Council on Governmental Relations, a nonprofit representing hundreds of research institutions. sciencemag.org

The outbreak, and the travel bans and fears that come with it, have endangered long-running research projects. smithsonianmag.com

A growing number of universities are suspending nonessential research, another sign of the vast disruption the pandemic is wreaking, with faculty members and graduate students racing to close labs. The decisions — which would have seemed unthinkable even months ago — are being swiftly implemented at Harvard, Stanford, Duke and Rice universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and elsewhere. washingtonpost.com

Did coronavirus mutate from a virus already prevalent in humans or animals or did it originate in a laboratory? eurekalert.org

Social media posts and online searches may offer vital clues about the spread of influenza — and now Covid-19. But they also risk errors and threaten privacy. knowablemagazine.org

From drug pricing to how widely the vaccine should be available, the money the U.S. government is pouring into coronavirus research will give it influence over any eventual vaccine or testing patents. Federal officials even have the “nuclear option” to use the government’s eminent domain-like authority to force drug companies to license their discoveries to competitors. news.bloomberglaw.com
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