February 28, 2018
Funding Connection

  • The National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship Program supports individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both, with recipients producing articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources. 
  • The National Science Foundation Cognitive Neuroscience Program seeks highly innovative proposals aimed at advancing a rigorous understanding of the neural mechanisms of human cognition, including attention, learning, memory, decision-making, language, social cognition, and emotions.
  • Read more of this week's featured opportunities
From the desk of the VPR
In January, we shared news about the federal government’s implementation of regulations to protect Controlled Unclassified Information , or CUI. Our goal was to inform our faculty and staff so all of us can be better prepared to meet safeguarding requirements for grants, other contracts, or activities in which the university receives or generates information that is deemed by the government to be CUI. 

The article provided food for thought and generated some questions. Some of the questions we can answer only with the “best answer today,” and some we can’t answer at all yet. Implementation of CUI regulations by affected federal agencies remains largely unclear. The requirement has been published in the Federal Register, but most of the affected federal agencies have not developed or shared implementation plans or timelines. 

In the realm of our research at K-State, one question has been whether the new regulation affects all grants. The answer is no. The number of grants affected appears to be relatively low, with some colleges affected more than others. 

Navigating new regulations is always a challenge, but our office has established a working group of campus stakeholders to help keep us abreast of developments. At this point, we know that as part of the proposal and contract process, the principal investigator and sponsor will be queried to determine whether CUI is involved. In most cases, the investigator won’t know the answer during the proposal stage. The goal will be to identify if CUI is involved early in the process. If CUI is not involved, K-State will work to remove clauses or add language indicating that CUI is not involved in the project early in the contract negotiation process. If CUI is involved, K-State will work with the sponsor to identify CUI so we can properly safeguard it.

Basic information about CUI is available on our CUI web page , and we will share more information as it becomes available.

— Peter
Events and announcements

  • All faculty are invited to celebrate K-State research, scholarly and creative activity and discovery endeavors of women at the beginning of Women's History month on Thursday, March 1. Gather for the College of Arts and Sciences Thirsty Thursday from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Antler Room at Blue Moose, 100 Town Center Mall. Find more information.

  • Letters of intent to apply for the Centers of Excellence Awards from the Johnson Cancer Research Center are due March 1, as are applications for other awards. Find more information.

  • The Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking peer reviewers. DOJ draws peer reviewers from diverse disciplines, backgrounds, and regions of the country and is looking for research and technical experts in trafficking in persons, firearms violence, mass shootings, terrorism, school safety, gangs, persistently violent communities, and hate crime. Reviewers should have specialized knowledge in the research process, research design, survey design, statistical analysis, and knowledge of content areas. Find more information.

  • A preview of the Research.gov Proposal Preparation and Submission Site is available. Proposal submission will not be enabled during the preview release — proposals prepared in FastLane will continue to be available in FastLane — but the preview will allow time for users to become familiar with the site and enable early feedback to NSF. Find more information.

  • Join a special edition Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous, or LASER, mini-symposium combining art, biology, and digital technologies on the theme of interfacing with the non-human on March 9. Activities will begin with student demonstrations in Willard 217 then move to the Beach Museum of Art. Find more information.
Register for the Research Showcase
Faculty are invited to register as exhibitors at the 2018 K-State Research Showcase at K-State Olathe on May 16. The event will help exhibitors connect with prospective industry partners and find out more about what K-State colleagues are doing.

Registered exhibitors will also be able to:

  • Visit select Kansas City companies in the morning before lunch and showcase setup at K-State Olathe; and
  • Compete for an Excellence in Innovation and Economic Engagement Award.
Agency news and trending topics
Earlier this month, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a new collaboration with three major cloud vendors to provide computing credits for academic research. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure each committed up to $3 million over three years in computing time on their platforms for academic research as part of the new NSF initiative, making some of the world's most powerful "big data" platforms far more readily available to power the next generation of research.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has increased the monthly stipend awarded through its fellowships program to $5,000 a month, for a maximum stipend award of $60,000 for a twelve-month fellowship project. NEH Fellowships support advanced research in the humanities toward the production of articles, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources in the humanities. ... The next application deadline is April 11, 2018.

Developing a universal influenza vaccine — a vaccine that can provide durable protection for all age groups against multiple influenza strains, including those that might cause a pandemic — is a priority for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Writing in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, NIAID officials detail the Institute’s new strategic plan for addressing the research areas essential to creating a safe and effective universal influenza vaccine.

A plan by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) to close its overseas offices,  first reported on the Science | Business website, is getting mixed reviews in the scientific community. Last week, NSF announced it would shutter its outposts in Beijing, Brussels, and Tokyo by summer; two U.S. staff will return to the agency’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, and local staff will be reassigned to U.S. embassies. The change reflects a desire for NSF to be “more strategic and focused” in its international affairs, says Rebecca Keiser, head of NSF’s international office.
In a paper published on 22 February on the bioRxiv preprint server, a team led by Daniel Acuna, a machine-learning researcher at Syracuse University in New York, report using an algorithm to crunch through hundreds of thousands of biomedical papers, searching for duplicate images. If journal editors adopted similar methods, they might be able to more easily screen images before publication — something that currently requires considerable effort and is done by only a few publications.

Only now, after decades of gradual progress, are researchers finally close to building quantum computers powerful enough to do things that conventional computers cannot. It’s a landmark somewhat theatrically dubbed “quantum supremacy.” 
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