November 20, 2019
Funding Connection

NSF’s  Environmental Convergence Opportunities in Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems   solicitation will support activities that substantially advance our capabilities to address environmental and sustainability grand challenges by integrating the expertise and fundamental advancements of chemical processes, transport phenomena, and bioengineering. 

The Noble Research Institute’s  Lloyd Noble Scholars in Agriculture  program offers the opportunity for graduate students to work alongside agricultural professionals at one of the nation's foremost agricultural consultation and research organizations. 

From the desk of the VPR
As the days continue to grow shorter, one of my favorite holidays is soon upon us: Thanksgiving. Whether you spend it with your family, friends, or just contemplating by yourself, I hope you have an enjoyable day to reflect.

For me, it is a day during which I take stock in those people who have impacted me and the university in a positive way and for whom I am truly thankful. I hope you will take time to consider those members of our K-State family who have impacted you as well.

This past year, K-State faculty and staff submitted a record number of research proposals – more than 3,000. Their success rate for funding was more than 50%, yielding nearly 1,600 funded grants and contracts. Those are outstanding record-setting statistics for us, and I’m thankful for the many talented researchers we have on campus. Grant funding isn’t the only measure of success for our community of scholars, and our faculty are being recognized with honors and awards at amazing rates. One of my favorite regular activities is to send personal notes to each scholar who is recognized by an award – if I missed you this year, please forgive my oversight and let me know about your accomplishments.

During the past year, we undertook an effort to upgrade our proposal submission and grants management systems and processes. We engaged with stakeholders across campus to develop, test, and refine a system that will improve what we do and how we do it. I am very thankful for everyone who took up the task and helped us achieve success – this was a hard thing to do, but we needed to do it. Thank you!

One last major project this year was to create a single, one-stop-shop for faculty, staff, and students to disclose an invention, develop a patent, license a technology, or build a research relationship with a corporate sponsor. The newly-constituted K-State Research Foundation, a merger of several entities and partners on campus and in the community, will be a critical leading organization for us as we fulfill our land-grant mission to take our new discoveries and innovations out to the people. I’m thankful for all the staff, partners, and stakeholders, along with the collective boards of directors, for all that they have done to make this a reality. We’ve already been noticed in the broader research community for what we’ve done.

Thank you to all our campus leaders who helped make all of this possible. I am fortunate to have a team of incredible people who accomplished so much this year.

Whether you find yourself heading over the river or through the woods this holiday season, travel safely. If your loved ones are coming to you, may their travels be uneventful. In any case, let us all be thankful for the time we have together.

Events and announcements
International travel reminders
International travel is important for faculty, staff, and graduate students engaged in university-related business, but doing so safely must be a priority. To help with this, the University Research Compliance Office, or URCO, has an export controls website dedicated to international travel. On the site you will find resources to:

  • Determine if your travel might be export controlled by filling out and submitting an international travel export control review sheet
  • Find out if there might be any conflict of interest concerns
  • Learn about registering with the State Department for travel to high-risk locations
  • Determine if your travel is to an embargoed country and therefore prohibited
  • Learn about the ITS Loaner Laptop Program
Prior to traveling, please coordinate with URCO. More information can be found at 
Loaner Laptop Program

Traveling with a loaner laptop reduces the risk of data and identity theft. S tarting December 1, 2019, K-State Information Technology Services will have 10 laptops available to be checked out by faculty or staff who travel to high risk countries .
To reserve a loaner laptop: 
  1. Request a loaner laptop at least one week prior to travel by calling 785-532-4918.
  2. Pick up the loaner laptop from ITS equipment checkout, currently located behind the Cat's Pause Lounge in the K-State Student Union. 
  3. Upon your return, move any data stored on the laptop during travel to a flash drive or external hard drive.*  
  4. The laptop will be erased/re-imaged upon return by ITS staff.

Included with the laptop will be a case, charger and international power adapter.

For security reasons, travel laptops have limited software and functionality. The laptop applications and software will include a web browser, the Microsoft Office suite, antivirus software, Zoom and access to the virtual private network, or VPN.

The loaner laptop program is free to faculty and staff, however, the individual borrowing the laptop will be responsible for replacement costs due to damage, loss, or theft.

*ITS is not responsible for any lost data.
This week: The Future of Food: Food Systems, Podcasts and Farewells
Jay Weeks is a recent graduate in the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University where his research focused on soil chemistry.
Fulbright Scholar Seminar
4 p.m.
Dec. 3
324 Ackert Hall

Rudramurthy G Renukaiah, a Fulbright Fellow in biotechnology with research experience on molecular diagnostics, will visit Kansas State University on Dec. 03 2019. Renukaiah is from India and he is currently working on  antivirals for rabies  at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. During the visit, Renukaiah will dis cuss his research work on s creening and characterization of small molecule inhibitors against rabies,  and share his Fulbright experience and Indian culture. His research seminar will be at 4 p.m., Dec. 3 in 324 Ackert Hall. 

3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 5
207 K-State Student Union

The Fulbright Scholar Program offers nearly 500 teaching, research or combination teaching/research awards in more than 125 countries. The session will open with a brief overview of the submission requirements. This presentation will be followed by a panel of K-State Fulbright Scholar awardees. The panel members will talk about their experience, the logistics of setting up an extended stay in another country, and provide tips for the Fulbright Scholars submission. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions. For questions about this event, email .

Agency news and trending topics
Researchers used artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate stem cell-derived “patches” of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) tissue for implanting into the eyes of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness.

An  NSF-supported  team of astronomers found new evidence of the occurrence of a kilonova -- a cosmic explosion that creates massive amounts of gold and platinum -- that went unnoticed during initial observations of a gamma-ray burst spotted in August 2016 but was confirmed after examination of data from the 2017 LIGO detection of gravitational waves..

Every hawk, sparrow, pigeon and penguin alive today has ancestral roots dating back to the Jurassic, when the first birds were just another form of raptor-like dinosaur. Dozens of fossils uncovered and described during the last three decades have illuminated much of this deep history, but the rock record can still yield surprises.

A mysterious disease is starting to kill American beeches, one of eastern North America's most important trees, and has spread rapidly from the Great Lakes to New England. But scientists disagree about what is causing the ailment, dubbed beech leaf disease. .
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