April 8, 2020
Funding Connection

The Spencer Foundation’s  Conference Grant Program  provides support to scholars to organize small research conferences, focused symposia, or other forms of convenings around important issues in education. 

The National Science Foundation’s   Disrupting Operations of Illicit Supply Networks  supports fundamental research to enable transformative change in our ability to detect, disrupt and disable illicit supply networks that traffic in persons, and tangible and virtual goods. 

ORD Opportunities: Researchers holding current Faculty Development Awards, Global Food Systems Seed Grants, or University Small Research Grants
We have had a number of questions about these grants, such as whether spending must be completed by previously announced deadlines and whether reports are due on previously announced dates. Because of the COVID-19 situation, we are making accommodations in both areas as follows:

  1. Spending GFS and USRG funds: Since the funds are transferred to the departments, there is no pressure to spend by the end of the current fiscal year or have the funds swept. Once the university is back under full operations, we will announce new spending and project completion deadlines.
  2. FDA awards where travel has been cancelled or postponed: If your conference has been postponed, please contact ord@k-state.edu with details so that we know when to expect your funds to be spent. We will let you know when your final report is due to our office. For FDA awardees whose conference has been either cancelled or converted to an online format, please contact ord@k-state.edu with details. If the conference was cancelled, we will consider a revised proposal for a substitute conference that provides similar professional benefit to the cancelled one. If the conference was made online only, contact ord@k-state.edu as obviously the expenses you incur to participate are much less.
  3. Reporting deadlines: We will extend reporting for all USRGs and GFS Seed Grants currently in effect and any FDAs from the fall for those whose conferences have been postponed. Once the university is back under full operations, we will announce new reporting deadlines.

New Spring 2020 FDA, GFS, and USRG applications: No new FDA applications are being reviewed due to the situation since so many conferences have already been postponed. Applicants were urged to resubmit in the appropriate completion for their rescheduled conference. GFS and USRG proposals are being reviewed and awardees will be notified of changes in reporting and funding period dates when awards are made.

Please send any questions not addressed by this announcement to  ord@k-state.edu .
Teleconferencing and working with sponsors
While  Zoom  is K-State’s primary solution for teleconferencing, several sponsors have indicated challenges with Zoom and have requested an alternative teleconferencing solution. If an alternative to Zoom is required by the sponsor, K-State Information Technology Services recommends that you use Microsoft Teams, which is part of Office 365. You can access Teams via your K-State Office 365 account or by downloading the Microsoft Teams desktop client.
K-State still recommends Zoom for standard teleconferencing needs, but is providing this alternative if it is needed. It is highly recommended that you follow best practices when utilizing Zoom, both when setting up and during the actual meeting. Find additional guidance and best practices in the IT News  Update on Zoom security features
Microsoft Teams resources:
If you have any specific questions regarding Zoom or Teams please contact  security@k-state.edu .
CARES Act Opportunities
National Endowment for the Arts CARES Act Guidelines
The National Endowment for the Arts has posted the applications guidelines for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds almost a month earlier than originally planned. Implementation of the CARES Act and quickly providing those funds to arts organizations to preserve jobs and keep their doors open is the top priority of the Arts Endowment.
The  application guidelines  can be found on the National Endowment for the Arts website.
Events and announcements
Research Brown Bag Discussions
Across the nation, faculty are grappling with how to maintain research productivity during a time of a public health crisis. Federal funding agencies and private sector supporters are trying to understand how to make progress as well. We have been providing updates from funders as they come in, but this is still a complex environment to understand. Our Brown Bag virtual lunch series will focus on responding to changes and guidance about how to secure funding into the future.

All brownbags will be held from noon-1:30 p.m. on the following dates via Zoom .
  • Monday, April 13 – Open discussion about federal funding updates and general Q&A. 
  • Monday, May 11 – Topic: TBA

Registration is now required . Please register to attend by 10 a.m. on Monday, April 13.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Please reach out to comply@k-state.edu with any questions.
USDA APHIS NBAF Scientist Training Program
Apply now for admission to the program for the fall 2020 semester. Applications are due to K-State by 5 p.m. May 18, 2020.

The purpose of the USDA APHIS NBAF Scientist Training Program, or NSTP, is to build the necessary technical and subject matter expertise to support the 
Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL) at the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, KS. In addition to serving as an international reference laboratory for foot and mouth disease virus and a national reference laboratory for other foreign animal diseases such as classical swine fever and African swine fever viruses, FADDL’s mission will expand to include emerging and zoonotic diseases, including BSL-4 pathogens. 

NSTP fellows will receive the following for a maximum of five years.
  • Full tuition and supplementary support to complete an MS, PhD, or DVM/PhD program in target laboratory-based fields of study such as microbiology, virology, molecular biology, diagnostics, and bioinformatics;
  • A stipend ($50,000 annually for PhD or DVM/PhD students; $35,000 annually for MS students) and health benefits (Kansas Board of Regents GRA health insurance plan);
  • Materials and supplies ($20,000 annually);
  • Travel support ($5,000 annually); and
  • Publication costs ($1,000 annually).

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.
USDA AMS Grant Program Webinars and Call for Peer Reviewers
AMS will host webinars for farmers, producer groups, and other potential applicants to provide an overview of the application process, program purposes, eligibility, and application requirements. Webinars are scheduled to start in April 2020. For specific dates and registration instructions, please visit the AMS  Grants Webinar   webpage.

AMS is also seeking subject matter experts to evaluate applications for five AMS grant programs. Reviewing applications takes approximately six weeks. Non-federal reviewers will be compensated for their time.

If you are interested in serving as a reviewer, visit  How to Become an Application Reviewer  and  Apply to be an AMS Application Reviewer  to enroll.

The AMS Grants Division works to support improving domestic and international opportunities for U.S. growers and producers and with a variety of organizations to support rural America and the nation’s agricultural sector. For additional information visit the  AMS Grants & Opportunities web page

For more information, please contact Patrick Kelley at  Patrick.Kelley@usda.gov .
USDA Announces Survey to Evaluate Performance Measures for Grant Programs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is conducting a survey of applicants, recipients, and stakeholders to evaluate existing performance measures for its grant programs. The survey, conducted in partnership with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Foundation and Grant Thornton, will be open March 31 through May 12, 2020, and we'd love to hear from you.
The goal of this collaboration is to identify performance measures that accurately reflect the work and accomplishments of grant recipients and improve AMS’s ability to report grant program impacts. The survey will collect stakeholder feedback about the relevance, achievability, and measurability of performance outcomes and indicators. Survey results will help inform the development of performance measures, which will allow AMS to understand the impacts of each grant, harmonize measures across programs where possible, and decrease the burden for grant applicants, recipients, subrecipients, and AMS staff.
The online survey will allow stakeholders to provide feedback on the following grant programs:
  • Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
  • Specialty Crop Multi-State Program.
  • Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program.
  • Acer Access and Development Program.
  • Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives.
  • Sheep Production and Marketing Program.
  • Federal State Marketing Improvement Program.
  • Regional Food System Partnerships.

You are encouraged to provide feedback for any and all grant programs and performance measures relevant to your work. Feel free to share this opportunity as we’re looking for feedback from a broad audience of experienced AMS grant recipients, stakeholders, and interested applicants to help refine the way we measure and evaluate the success of our grant programs. Your thoughtful feedback about personal or organizational experience will help our performance measures better tell the story of the projects funded by AMS grants. Your input is greatly appreciated!
For more information, contact Megan Haidet ( margaret.haidet@usda.gov ).
K-State RSCAD in the news
Agency news and trending topics
Last year, NSF spent about $10 million on 118 RAPID awards. Based on an average award size of $89,000—there’s a $200,000 cap—the new stimulus funds could give 840 scientists an opportunity to launch studies relating to COVID-19. And the program’s history—it began in 1990 as part of a broader initiative and was reformulated in 2009—suggests their chances of success are very high. sciencemag.org

NIH is slated to receive an additional $945 million to combat Covid-19 under the Senate’s economic relief package, bringing the agency’s total influx of coronavirus money to nearly $1.8 billion. The Senate is aiming to vote Wednesday on the  spending plan , after reaching a deal with the White House. It’s the third coronavirus response legislation, and if enacted, the $2 trillion package would mark the biggest economic rescue measure in U.S. history to bolster the economy and respond to the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would receive an additional $4.3 billion, and the Food and Drug Administration would get $80 million. bloomberglaw.com

The $2 trillion stimulus package that the U.S. Senate is working to approve today is aimed at helping the country cope with the massive impact of the coronavirus pandemic. But it also includes at least $1.25 billion for federal research agencies to support scientists trying to better understand coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In addition, it extends a financial hand to universities that have shut down because of the pandemic, some of which could go to support research that has been disrupted. sciencemag.org

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

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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