November 14, 2018
Funding Connection

From the desk of the VPR
Thanksgiving will soon be upon us, and Research Weekly will be taking a break next week. This is my opportunity to express to campus my thanks for the many talents we have.  I hope you will take a moment to reflect on those for whom you are thankful.

As you have read in this weekly summary of research activities and opportunities, K-State has had an incredibly productive year in exploring big questions and contributing to the broader base of knowledge.  As measured by grant proposals, the campus exceeded its prior record of submissions; as measured by contracts awarded, we also exceeded previous one-year totals. Faculty, students, and staff generated record numbers of disclosures of invention in fiscal year 2018, and we have developed key partnerships with industry that have supported collaborations on projects, donations of equipment or software, and student internships that provided critical hands-on experiences with their future professions.

I am very thankful for the teams of outstanding people we have in and associated with the Office of the Vice President for Research who have helped to make this possible.

Another measure of research excellence is the recognition our faculty and staff receive for their contributions to their respective fields. Many of you have received a note from me this year congratulating you on an award or honor, but I know that I have missed a few that don’t get reported to me — I’m sorry if I missed your recognition. By my accounting, I have written more notes this year than ever before, which is a testament to how you are impacting your disciplines. Congratulations on your accomplishments! I am thankful for your commitment to research, scholarship, and creative discovery. 

As you traverse rivers and navigate the woods next week, or simply gather in Manhattan with family or friends, I hope your travels are safe. Please take time to reflect on the great things you have done and the people with whom you have worked.

Thank you for all you do.

Events and announcements
  • Research Weekly will be on hiatus next week because of the Thanksgiving holiday. Enjoy!

  • It's all about water: All interested faculty are invited to join a monthly gathering on the third Thursday in Waters Hall 137 to share K-State water research across disciplines. This month's meeting is November 15. Ramesh Dhungel from agronomy will present "Next Generation Landscape Evapotranspiration Tools: Are They Feasible?" Find more information.

  • Fulbright Information Session on November 29, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in Union 207 will give a brief overview of submission requirements and include a panel of K-State Fulbright Scholar awardees who will discuss their experience. Please register.

Concept paper opportunity
The Office of the Vice President for Research invites individuals or teams to have a prospective proposal vetted by our consultants, McAllister & Quinn.

Teams with promising concepts can receive guidance from M&Q on additional potential funding, and high-priority concepts/teams will be selected to work directly with M&Q on a full proposal.

Concept papers are due November 30 and will be pre-reviewed by OVPR. Criteria include:
  • Alignment with unit, college, and university 2025 research goals
  • Lead PI is at K-State (collaborators can be elsewhere)
  • PIs or PI teams have not been previously funded
  • Proposals are to the Department of Defense, including CDMRP and MURI, or the Department of Energy

All concept papers should be routed through the Associate Dean for Research of the PI's home college.

Questions? Contact the Office of Research Development at or 785-532-6195.
Agency news and trending topics
The new PAPPG is for proposals submitted or due on or after January 28, 2019.

I have heard many irritating suggestions on scholarly productivity in my time, but none get my blood aboil faster than this bit of wrongness: You must rise at some ungodly hour — 5 a.m., better yet make it 4 or 4:30 — and then force yourself to write for two or three hours. Maybe even four. It’s ridiculous advice.

The results of the political experiment are in. At least 11 candidates with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering or medicine won election to the US House of Representatives on 6 November — including several who had never before run for political office.wire

The world is about to say au revoir to Le Grand K, a  cylinder  of platinum and iridium that has long reigned over the world's system of weight measurement. Le Grand K was forged in 1879 and is held in a locked vault outside Paris — revered and kept under lock and key because its mass, a little over two pounds, is the official definition of the  kilogram . But this is will soon change. On Nov. 16, the international  General Conference on Weights and Measures  will meet in Versailles to vote on whether to redefine the kilogram.

Google has announced a program that, in partnership with other organizations, will support artificial intelligence research and engineering focused on developing solutions to a range of global challenges.

The end of malaria. Restored island habitats. Resiliency for species threatened by climate change. Many envisioned environmental applications of newly developed gene-editing techniques such as CRISPR might provide profound benefits for ecosystems and society. But depending on the type and scale of the edit, gene-edited organisms intentionally released into the environment could also deliver off-target mutations, evolutionary resistance, ecological disturbance, and extinctions. Hence, there are ongoing conversations about the responsible application of CRISPR, especially relative to the limitations of current global governance structures to safeguard its use.
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