December 12, 2018
Funding Connection

  • The National Science Foundation Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier conceptualizes work in the future that will be enabled or improved by advances in intelligent technology and their synergistic integration with human skill to achieve broad participation in the workforce and improve the social, economic, and environmental well-being of society.
  • The National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowships program offers grants in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) to published creative writers that enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement.
  • Read more of this week's featured opportunities
From the desk of the VPR
Thoughts on the end of the semester, with apologies to H.W. Longfellow:

I heard Anderson’s bells on commencement day,
Their old familiar tunes play,
Hailing to all who heard their song,
Of peace on earth, good will to Wildcats.

I thought how as the day had come,
The belfries atop old K-State tone
Rolled along the unbroken song,
Of peace on earth, good will to Wildcats.

And in quietude I bowed my head,
“The semester has ended,” I softly said,
And students finished, graduated with hopes
Of peace on earth, good will to Wildcats.

Now on to finishing papers, reports, and books,
Refreshing class notes in our little nooks;
Time with family and friends, we dream
Of peace on earth, good will to all people.

May you have a safe and peaceful holiday season, wherever you find yourselves.
May we have peace on earth and share good will with all people.

Events and announcements

  • National Science Foundation CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop will be held April 1-2, 2019, in Washington, D.C. The workshop aims to provide individuals who plan to submit a CAREER Award proposal to a program in the Engineering Directorate with a CAREER proposal review experience and a forum in which they can interact with NSF program directors and recent awardees. The workshop is limited to 300 participants; applications are due January 21, 2019.

  • Potential government shutdown: A short-term spending bill extended funding for about a dozen federal agencies to December 21. A partial government shutdown remains a possibility; prudent management requires that we are prepared for contingencies that may arise.
  • Should a shutdown occur, you will receive guidance as soon as possible about the impact on grant activities, including continuing expenditure of grant funds, submission of grant proposals, and delays in receipt of awards.
  • Funding agencies are developing plans to address this situation, although specific guidance has not yet been distributed. You may receive specific guidance directly from your federal sponsor's program management office.
  • Read a Q&A about government shutdowns

  • This is the final edition of Research Weekly for 2018. We will return on January 9. Happy holidays to all!
Wrapping up 2018
'Tis the season of the 2018 list story.
Here are a few pieces that attempt to wrap up 2018. What are your favorites? Share them on Twitter and tag K-State Research ( @KState_RSCAD ).

This year taught us more about distant planets and our own world, about the ways we’re influencing our environment and the ways we’re changing ourselves. A whole lot of stuff happened, and last January seems like it was, well, a year ago. Scientists publish incrementally—sometimes a new paper shatters our understanding of a topic, and other times it merely adds a bit to what we know. Science is the pursuit of understanding, performing more tests and building more advanced tools in order to reveal the truths inherent to our universe. It’s worth taking a step back, then, and thinking about what grander stories have emerged from all of these smaller steps and new results.

The Ten Best Science Books of 2018 from Smithsonian Magazine
These titles explore the wide-ranging implications of new discoveries and experiments, while grounding them in historical context.

The Times’s staff critics give their choices of the best fiction and nonfiction works of the year. 

The Ten Best Children's Books of 2018 from Smithsonian Magazine
[Smithsonian Magazine] picks deliver feminist history, folklore reimagined and an adventurous romp through awe-inspiring destinations.

Books for Budding Scientists from Science Magazine
From audacious space missions and quantum physics to clean cookstoves and coral nurseries, this year's finalists for the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prizes for Excellence in Science Books dare to go where few children's titles have gone before.

At the movies, 2018 was the year of  Black Panther,  the year of more  Incredibles and  Avengers,  more  Star Wars  and  Mission: Impossible . But it was also the year of intimate stories of youth and love. It was the year of period pieces and fantasies, crushing tragedies and raucous comedies. Bob Mondello, Linda Holmes and Glen Weldon would never agree on a single list of best movies of the year. But here are 15 of the movies we admired and will remember.
Agency news and trending topics
Congress voted to delay the threat of a partial government shutdown until Dec. 21 as lawmakers try to avoid political sniping in the midst of the public mourning for former President George H.W. Bush. The main sticking point in the spending negotiations is President Trump's demand for $5 billion for construction of a wall along the Southwest border between the United States and Mexico.

Lawmakers unveiled the much-anticipated farm bill compromise Monday night, ending the months-long impasse over whether a critical piece of legislation that provides subsidies to farmers and helps needy Americans buy groceries could pass before the lame duck session concludes at the end of the year.

Research universities rely on government agencies for funding, but the latest word on those agencies’ science policies doesn’t reach campuses instantly. That’s why a few universities have created senior leadership roles dedicated to communicating between Capitol Hill and campus research laboratories.

As the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) shifts into the war-weary city of Butembo, public-health workers are trying to stamp out new infections from an inadvertent source: unregulated health centres.

Terminology and concepts from computer science and engineering are becoming more common in biology labs as scientists re-engineer the activity of cells for specific applications. They are gaining unprecedented capabilities both from genetic-editing tools that have been around for a while, such as those that use viruses or proteins called zinc fingers, and from new CRISPR–Cas9 technology that allows more-targeted editing of DNA.

Graduate school, especially in the humanities, perpetuates the myth of the solitary genius. Laboring over your dissertation, you become the great writer scratching out a manuscript in a musty garret by the flickering light of a lone candle. … Here’s the trouble: It just ain’t so. Writing is collaborative, and scholarly writing especially so. In the acknowledgements pages of scholarly books, you can see the writer thanking not only librarians and archivists, but also — and crucially — the people who have been reading drafts all along, making suggestions, editing, shaping.
Large investors commonly use offshore funds to maximize returns, in part by reducing the taxes investors would otherwise pay to their home nations. Though offshore investments can be legal, they are controversial—partly because the funds' activities are nearly always tightly held secrets. … Specifically, offshore investments can have impacts that diminish or negate the high-minded social experiments, education, and research backed by science funders, according to a  Science  investigation. And their routine use of offshore funds raises questions about transparency, accountability, and social responsibility.

To woo Amazon, universities across the country floated future investments in fields that align with the company’s needs, and they appeared open to collaboration — with one another and with industry.
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