September 26, 2018
Funding Connection

  • Supported by the Department of State and the US Agency for International Development, the Jefferson Science Fellows program engages the American academic science, technology, engineering, and medical communities in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy and international development programming.
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation invites proposals for the latest round of the Grand Challenges Explorations Initiative. Six topics are outlined focusing on key global health and development problems.
  • Read more of this week's featured opportunities
October is officially Biosafety Month, and the Kansas State University Research Compliance Office (URCO) is happy to join the sponsor of this event, the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA), in the celebration.  

Biosafety Month is an annual occurrence and is currently in its fifth year.  The theme for this October is “Promoting a Culture of Biosafety and Responsibility” with the social media tag #getyourcultureon

Biosafety Month is meant to be an opportunity for both individuals and organizations at
K-State to review and enhance their biosafety and biosecurity standards, and ABSA suggests a number of activities, including:

  • Enhancing biosafety training;
  • Promoting the development of comprehensive biosafety standard operating procedures;
  • Engaging senior leadership to advocate for biosafety programs;
  • Supporting researchers to take an active role in biosafety efforts in their laboratories;
  • Encouraging institutions to develop non-punitive incident reporting systems and provide lessons learned;
  • Highlighting successes in the conduct of ethical and safe research; and
  • Promoting public transparency. 

In addition to posting biosafety news at #getyourcultureon, please email URCO any of your own biosafety success stories at  comply@ksu.edu , and we will feature them on our website .

URCO looks forward to the month ahead and is excited to use the momentum to further enhance  K-State’s own culture of biosafety.  


— Cheryl Doerr, associate vice president for research compliance
Events and announcements
  • BRI Research Fellows Lecture and discussion with science communicators:
  • Claire Panosian, M.D. and professor emeritus of medicine-infectious diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, will present "L.A. Tropical Doc — Parasite Tales from a Temperate City" September 27 at 3:30 the Lecture Hall of Pat Roberts Hall.
  • Prior to the lecture (1:30, same location), Panosian will meet with those interested in science communication. Please register.
  • Find details about both events on the Biosecurity Research Institute events calendar.

  • Identifying Graduate Fellowship Opportunities on September 27 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in Union 207 will discuss key funding opportunities from a range of agencies, including fellowships in the humanities and social sciences. Please register.



  • The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research will expand and refine the FFAR Challenge Areas for 2019. Provide input on the realignment and the training needs of the next generation of agricultural researchers and find registration information for FFAR's public meeting on October 12, 2018.

  • So, you think you can dance (your Ph.D.)? This is the 11th year of the “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest sponsored by AAAS and Science, challenging scientists to explain their research without PowerPoint slides or jargon—in fact with no talking at all. The deadline for submissions is January 14, 2019. Find instructions.
Science Communication Week: November 5-10
Save the date for Science Communication Week events!
Here's a quick rundown.

  • Exploring food: Community events surrounding the book "The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats" will include a discussion at Manhattan Public Library, a talk by author Daniel Stone, and a panel discussion with K-State experts. Stone's book focuses on the exploits of David Fairchild, a late 19th-century explorer who traveled the world and introduced mangoes, avocados, seedless grapes, and many other foods — and some invasive species — to America. He was also the son of K-State president George Fairchild.

  • Science communication training: Jory Weintraub, science communication director with the Duke Initiative for Science and Society and senior lecturing fellow at Duke University, will provide a science communication workshop for faculty and students. Seats are limited; register soon!

  • Science on Tap and Research and the State: Tendai Gadzikwa from chemistry will present at the Tallgrass Tap House, and K-State graduate students will present posters and compete to represent K-State at the annual Capitol Graduate Research Summit.


  • Improv and speed dating: Get out of your comfort zone and learn to say yes! Join an improv workshop with K-State's own On the Spot Improv troupe. Seize an opportunity to practice new skills by participating in a "speed dating" event in which researchers communicate their work to K-State communications staff. Seats are limited; register soon!
Agency news and trending topics
In an attempt to bolster the U.S. government’s defenses against biological threats, President Donald Trump’s administration yesterday announced a strategy to better coordinate the often overlapping efforts of 15 departments and agencies and 16 branches of the intelligence community. “Our National Biodefense Strategy will address the full range of biological threats, including those that are naturally occurring, deliberate, and accidental—a first for the United States Government,” Trump said in a statement. He pledged the change would “promote a more efficient, coordinated, and accountable biodefense enterprise.”

For much of the United States, September played out as follows: Rain tonight, followed by more rain in the morning. Watch for occasional drizzle and downpours, which will be interspersed with rain.

It had been hiding in plain sight. The original letter — long thought lost — in which Galileo Galilei first set down his arguments against the church’s doctrine that the Sun orbits the Earth has been discovered in a misdated library catalogue in London. Its unearthing and analysis expose critical new details about the saga that led to the astronomer’s condemnation for heresy in 1633.

The retractions keep stacking up for Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, whose high-profile research on the psychology of diet has turned out to be riddled with errors. The latest blow fell on Wednesday, when the JAMA Network, a group of journals published by the American Medical Association, announced that six of Wansink’s papers, appearing in three journals, had been retracted.
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