Welcome...

Welcome to the Kansas NSF EPSCoR (KNE) news and announcements blog. Stay up-to-date with all the happenings, discoveries, events and funding opportunities associated with KNE. Enter your email in the "Follow by email" box below an to the right to stay notified of new posts. Feel free to leave comments.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

2018 Spring Semester begins with a Collaborative MAPS Course

   
   The Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant and Soils across Kansas (MAPS)  collaborative course started last week for undergraduate and graduate students from across Kansas enrolled.  Biology 890d at KSU and Biology 701 at KU make up this educational collaboration that is specifically designed to study the structure and functions of microbiomes. Every Tuesday and Thursday, students and professors from the University of Kansas (KU), Kansas State University (KSU), Wichita State University (WSU) and Fort Hays State University (FHSU) meet in a common area on their campus to participate in a ZOOM video conference learning experience.  The goal of the class is to review existing information on linkages between and feed backs among plant, soil and freshwater microbiomes. The lead Instructors Walter Dodds, from KSU, and Jim Bever, from KU, plan to facilitate an in depth review of existing literature on this rapidly expanding area of research. Each member of the Kansas EPSCoR MAPS research team has a role in presenting their research and assigning key papers for students to read as part of the effort to achieve this goal. Using what they learn from the faculty presentations and class discussions, students will then prepare individual reports and lead discussions on key papers that reflect their area of interest. The final product from the class will be a publication-quality review manuscript to be submitted following the course.  All students who have continued participation on the manuscript will be listed as co-authors.


Education and outreach funding is provided by the Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006 titled: "Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Systems across Kansas."  The grant's educational objectives are designed to enhance STEM education in Kansas by supporting activities that will lead to an expanded STEM workforce or prepare a new generation for STEM careers in the areas of aquatic, plant and soil microbiome environments and ecological systems.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Informational Webinar for the EPSCoR RII Track-4

NSF EPSCoR would like to invite interested faculty to participate in an informational webinar on the FY18 competition for EPSCoR’s RII Track-4 awards at 2:00pm (EST) on either Thursday, January 11, or Friday, January 12.  All attendees are encouraged to review the program solicitation - NSF 18-526 prior to the webinar.

This virtual meeting/webinar will consist of both an audio portion via teleconference and a presentation component via WebEx. In addition to a computer connection for the visual part of the meeting, you will need a separate phone connection to participate in the teleconference. (Cell phones/iPhones are NOT recommended due to the increased likelihood of connectivity issues and interference.)

Click the Meeting ID 743011839 to connect to the Webinar
Audio Component – Teleconference:
Direct (Toll Free) Call-in Number: 888-680-8032
* Password: EPSCoR

The meeting will be open 15 minutes prior to the start time for you to login/call-in. You are encouraged to login/call-in early to ensure connectivity.

Web Ex Instructions
To join the meeting directly through WebEx: 
1. Click the link (above) for the meeting you are attending.  
2. When requested, enter your name and email address.
3. Click "Join." 
4. You are now in the “web” portion of the webinar. 

WebEx will automatically setup Meeting Manager the first time you join a meeting using WebEx. To save time, we strongly encourage you to setup prior to the meeting to ensure connectivity. To set up the meeting manager, click this link: https://nsf.webex.com/nsf/meetingcenter/mcsetup.php. 

Trouble shooting issues:

If you cannot access the direct login link for the webinar, you can still login through WebEx. To join the online meeting through the WebEx Website: 

1. Click NSF WebEx link: https://nsf.webex.com
2. Enter the WebEx meeting ID (743011839), then click “Join Meeting.” 
3. When requested, enter your name and email address and password; it is EPSCoR18! 
4. Click "Join"
5. Be sure to call in as well: 888-680-8032, Password: EPSCoR

Administrative Support: If you have any questions about WebEx meeting access, please contact
Liz Lawrence at least 24 hours prior to the webinar (Email: elawrenc@nsf.gov; Phone: 703-292-8997)

For Technical Assistance:
On the left navigation bar, click "Support". 

The playback of UCF (Universal Communications Format) rich media files requires appropriate players. To view this type of rich media file in the meeting, please check whether you have the players installed on your computer by going to https://nsf.webex.com/nsf/systemdiagnosis.php.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Limited Submission Funding Opportunity: EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track 4: EPSCoR Research Fellows (RII Track-4)

     The Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) promotes scientific progress nationwide and offers a number of funding tracks for researchers. The EPSCoR RII Track-4 provides opportunities for non-tenured investigators to visit the nation’s premier private, governmental, or academic research centers and build research collaborations.  During these visits, the EPSCoR Research Fellows will have the unique opportunity "to learn new techniques, develop new collaborations or advance existing partnerships, benefit from access to unique equipment and facilities, and/or shift their research toward potentially transformative new directions."  These Fellowship experiences are designed to enhance the Fellows’ research trajectories well beyond the award period.  These Fellowships can also improve the research capacity of their institutions and jurisdictions.  This opportunity is open to non-tenured faculty who have an appointment at an institution of higher education or an early-career career-track appointment at an eligible non-degree-granting institution.

Please work with your institutional research office to meet the limited submission proposal requirements.

Submission Deadline: March 13, 2018 by 5 pm of submitter's local time. 

For more information click on the following link:  NSF EPSCoR Track-4

Monday, December 11, 2017

MAPS Outreach Team Teaches a Lesson on Seed Dispersal to 3rd graders

Teaching students at New Your Elementary
   As part of the RII Track 1 EPSCoR Award, Microbiomes in Aquatic, Plants and Soils across Kansas, Education and Outreach (MAPS), education and outreach initiatives, Dr. Peggy Schultz has designed interactive elementary lessons related to the research.  On December 6, 2017, Dr. Schultz traveled with Ben Kerbs and Rebecca Wagoner, her lab assistants, as well as Tita Soberon, Project Teaching Adviser, to New York Elementary in Lawrence, KS to present a lesson on Seed Dispersal to Mr. John Bode’s third grade class.  The goals of the lesson were to 1) allow students to discover and learn the many ways seeds are dispersed; 2) examine different seeds and their dispersal methods; and 3) understand how animals aid seed dispersal.
Students create and test their seeds
    After a brief introduction on what plants need to live, students played a game of tag simulating how squirrels gather acorns for the winter and what happens to the nuts, or seeds, when they encounter their natural predators. If tagged in the game, students had to stop and dump their acorns at the tagged spot. This represented one way animals disperse seeds.  Back in the classroom, students played a game that involved rolling in feathers to simulate how seeds can be transported in an animal’s fur. Then, Ben and Rebecca led brief small group lessons demonstrating how some real seeds float, fly, explode and roll in order to disperse.  Following the small group discussions, students designed and created their own seed.  Once finished constructing their seed, they tested their creation on ramps, in water and in a breeze to see which method of dispersal worked best.  As the lesson concluded, Mr. Bode led the class discussion to check for understanding and to make connections between the seed dispersal lesson and other science topics the class had studied so far this year.  The students really enjoyed the lesson and hoped that Dr. Schultz and her team would come back again.
     This Seed Dispersal lesson was designed to align with the Kansas 3rd grade Next Generation Science Standards.  As part of the MAPS outreach, Dr. Schultz plans to teach this lesson and others to more 3rd grade classrooms in the spring of 2018.

Education and outreach funding is provided by the Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006 titled: "Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Systems across Kansas." The grant's educational objectives are designed to enhance STEM education in Kansas by supporting activities that will lead to an expanded STEM workforce or prepare a new generation for STEM careers in the areas of aquatic, plant and soil microbiome environments and ecological systems.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

MAPS Graduate Student Research Opportunities


    Dr. Amy Burgin, Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies and Associate Scientist, Kansas Biological Survey at the University of Kansas is recruiting graduate students to be a part of a unique research opportunity as part of the Kansas EPSCoR Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Ecosystems Across Kansas (MAPS) Award. Interested students will study the microbiomes of linked aquatic, plant and soil ecosystems that span the pronounced precipitation gradient as well as the hydrologic gradient across Kansas. Dr. Burgin's specific work focuses on" understanding how changes in nutrient loading will alter N cycling rates in rivers and the propensity for harmful algal blooms in reservoirs." This is a team-based science opportunity and interested students can contact Dr. Burgin at: burginam@ku.edu

For more information about this research opportunity go to:


Education and outreach funding is provided by the Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006 titled: "Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Systems across Kansas." The grant's educational objectives are designed to enhance STEM education in Kansas by supporting activities that will lead to an expanded STEM workforce or prepare a new generation for STEM careers in the areas of aquatic, plant and soil microbiome environments and ecological systems.


Monday, November 13, 2017

First Award Letter of Intent Submission Deadline Extended


Related to the current Kansas NSF EPSCoR focus of
microbiomes as broadly construed to be in aquatic, plant and/or soil systems. 

A Research Program for Tenure Track
Faculty Early in their Careers

Submission Deadlines:

Letters of Intent Due by 5:00 pm on Thursday, November 30, 2017

Proposals are still due by 5:00 pm on TUESDAY, January 23, 2018 

2017-2018 First Awards information

Efforts to widely disseminate this opportunity are greatly appreciated. 

*Those that have already submitted an LOI need not re-submit

Education and outreach funding is provided by the Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006 titled: "Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Systems across Kansas."  The grant's educational objectives are designed to enhance STEM education in Kansas by supporting activities that will lead to an expanded STEM workforce or prepare a new generation for STEM careers in the areas of aquatic, plant and soil microbiome environments and ecological systems.

Friday, October 20, 2017

NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Track-2 Funding Opportunity

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS 
for

This solicitation is now available and remains relatively unchanged from last year.   

Submission Deadlines:

Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):November 27, 2017
Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):January 26, 2018

    The RII Track-2 FEC seeks to build inter-jurisdictional collaborative teams of EPSCoR investigators to participate in investigator-driven research in scientific focus areas consistent with NSF priorities. Projects must include researchers from at least two RII eligible EPSCoR jurisdictions who without the assistance of the other team and complementary resources would not be in a position to tackle the projects as well or rapidly alone.
    The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) research and education activities should include and integrate a variety of individuals, institutions, sectors and programs to broaden participation throughout the project. Proposals must reflect an integrated comprehensive vision to drive discovery and build sustainable STEM capacity that exemplifies individual, institutional, geographic, and disciplinary diversity with an emphasis on developing a diverse early-career faculty.

The topic for the FY 2018, RII Track-2 FEC proposals is Understanding the relationship between genome and phenome.

The full request for proposals with submission instructions can be downloaded as a PDF here: