January 31, 2018
Funding Connection

Meet Joe Barbercheck
Joe Barbercheck joined K-State in November 2017 as associate director of research safety and industrial hygiene for the Department of Environmental Health and Safety , or EHS. He recently took time to answer a few questions about himself and how he and his department work with K-State researchers.

What is your background?
I hold undergraduate degrees in molecular biology and neuroscience and a master’s degree in microbiology and immunology from Tulane University. I also hold an MBA in operations from the Boston University Questrom School of Business. Prior to coming to K-State, I was associate director of research safety at Boston University. I began my career as a bench scientist developing animal models of disease associated with emerging and re-emerging viral pathogens. Because of that experience, I’m sensitive to how critical research processes are, the timing of experiments, and the pressure scientists can experience when conducting research. I bring that perspective to EHS, so as we’re developing policies and programs, I’m looking through the lens of what is practicable for researchers. We’re here to support the creation of knowledge and innovation. 

What are the responsibilities of your position?  
I am responsible for programs in EHS that are aimed at supporting the safe conduct of research across the research mission at K-State — research in the field, in the lab, and so on. I work with department health and safety committees and campus committees to make sure they have the tools they need to do self-assessments, inventories, and monitor their own progress.

By “safe conduct of research,” we mean identifying hazards and mitigating risk wherever we can. We take as broad a view of that as possible. That could be indoor air quality monitoring, respiratory protection, chemical or biological hazards—anything faculty, staff or students at K-State might encounter in a research setting.

Events and announcements
  • Proposals for Faculty Development Awards and University Small Research Grants are due March 5. Attend an information session to learn about the application and review process February 8 or 21 at 3:30 p.m. in Union 207. Find more information.

  • The K-State Applied Statistics in Agriculture Conference invites presentation proposals by February 16. Find more information.

  • Nominate an individual from research, academia, industry, or government for the KC Animal Health Corridor Homecoming Iron Paw Award. Nominations must be submitted by February 23. Find more information.

  • The Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute has issued a Call for Abstracts for the Third Annual Midwest Bioinformatics Conference April 11-12 at the University of Missouri Bond Life Sciences Center. Deadline for an on-stage presentation opportunity is March 12; poster session deadline is April 2. Register for the conference and indicate interest in submitting an abstract or add "poster submission" at the bottom of the form.

  • The KC Animal Health Corridor is now accepting applications for the tenth annual KC Animal Health Investment Forum on August 21, 2018. Application deadline is Friday, April 6. Find more information.

Who — and what — is your ADR?
Each college has a research contact. In most colleges, that contact is the associate dean for research, also known as an ADR. The ADRs meet once a month with staff from the Office of the Vice President for Research. Responsibilities of the ADRs include the following.

  • Disseminating and collecting information relevant to K-State researchers;
  • Identifying faculty for a variety of opportunities;
  • Facilitating proposal development;
  • Coordinating collaborative ventures such as the trip to Washington D.C. for early career faculty; and
  • Evaluating internal proposals for limited submission opportunities.

ADRs are crucial in helping faculty and colleges meet their research, scholarly, and creative activity and discovery goals. Contacts are as follows:

Thank you to this group for their help in growing K-State research! Please note that an updated list of college research contacts is maintained on our website.
Agency news and trending topics
Due dates of January 23, 2018 and later have not changed.

NSF Public Access Policy
The National Science Foundation has updated its  Frequently Asked Questions for Public Access. Find details about the public access policy, information about who must comply and how to meet the requirements, and more.

After hundreds of hours in space, former astronaut James Reilly is set to keep his eyes peeled on the US landscape. President Donald Trump will nominate Reilly to lead the US Geological Survey (USGS), the White House announced on 26 January. Reilly is now a technical adviser for the US Air Force’s National Security Space Institute. If confirmed by the Senate, he would be the second person with a PhD in science to be nominated by Trump to lead a major science agency.

Scientists looking for jobs after completing their training may soon have a new tool that helps them evaluate various career paths. The new tool uses a method that was developed by scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health. The method differs from others in that it separates employment trends in biomedical science by sector, type, and job specifics. The creators hope this novel approach will be useful throughout NIH, as well as for academic and research institutions around the world.

Women lose out when reviewers are asked to assess the researcher, rather than the research, on a grant application, according to a study on gender bias. Training reviewers to recognize unconscious biases seems to correct this imbalance, despite previous work suggesting that it increased bias instead.

Right now, the US has exactly 19,816 clinical trials open and ready to recruit patients—trials of promising new therapeutics to fight everything from HIV to cancer to Alzheimer’s. About 18,000 of them will get stuck on the tarmac because they won’t get enough people enrolled. And a third of those will never get off the ground at all, for the same reason. So where are all the patients? Well, the vast majority of them either don’t know the trials exist, or don’t know they can participate. ... [A] new company,  Antidote,  does for clinical trials what Kayak and Orbitz and Priceline did for travel.
Have suggestions for future issues? Email researchweekly@k-state.edu
Miss an issue? Visit our archives