Grant Opportunities

USDA-NIFA: Agriculture & Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants- US

USDA-NIFA: Agriculture & Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants- US

Deadline: 1-Jul-21

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is seeking applications for Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Competitive Grants Program – Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) to support research, education, and extension work by awarding grants to solve key problems of local, regional, national, and global importance in sustaining conventional, organic, and urban agricultural systems.

NIFA seeks creative and visionary applications that take a systems approach and that will significantly improve the supply of abundant, affordable, safe, nutritious, and accessible food while providing sustainable opportunities for expansion of the bio-economy through the novel animal, crop, and forest products and supporting technologies. These approaches must demonstrate current and future social, behavioural, economic, health, and environmental impacts.

Additionally, the outcomes of the work being proposed must result in societal benefits, including the promotion of rural prosperity and enhancement of quality of life for those involved in food and agricultural value chains from production to utilization and consumption.

Program Goals

This AFRI RFA aligns with the following six USDA Strategic Goals:

Strategic Goal 2: Maximize the ability of American agricultural producers to prosper by feeding and clothing the world;
Strategic Goal 3: Promote American agricultural products and exports;
Strategic Goal 4: Facilitate rural prosperity and economic development;
Strategic Goal 5: Strengthen the stewardship of private lands through technology and research;
Strategic Goal 6: Ensure the productive and sustainable use of our National Forest System Lands;
Strategic Goal 7: Provide all Americans access to a safe, nutritious, and secure food supply.
Funding Information

The amount available for new grants in this FY 2021 SAS RFA is approximately $150 million, for awards of up to approximately $10 million each.
Priority Areas

Sustainable Agricultural Systems;
Sustainable Agricultural Systems Program Evaluation.
Eligibility Criteria

Applications may only be submitted by eligible entities. Failure to meet an eligibility criterion by the application deadline may result in the application being excluded from consideration or, even though an application may be reviewed, will preclude NIFA from making an award.
Eligibility is linked to the project type as specified below.
Research, Education or Extension Projects: Eligible applicants for single-function Research, Education or Extension Projects include:
State Agricultural Experiment Station;
colleges and universities (including junior colleges offering associate degrees or higher);
university research foundations;
other research institutions and organizations;
Federal agencies;
national laboratories;
private organizations or corporations;
individuals who are U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents; and
any group consisting of two or more entities identified above.
Eligible institutions do not include foreign and international organizations.
Integrated Projects: Eligible applicants for Integrated Projects include:
colleges and universities;
1994 Land-Grant Institutions; and
Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities
Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement Grants
Part II, C(2) of this RFA contains the eligibility details for Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants. Note that under the FASE program, Strengthening Coordinated Agricultural Project and Strengthening Standard Grants are solicited in this RFA.
Application Review

NIFA selects reviewers for the review panel based upon their training and experience in relevant scientific, extension, or education fields, taking into account the following factors:

The level of relevant formal scientific, technical education, or extension experience of the individual, as well as the extent to which an individual is engaged in relevant research, education, or extension activities;
The need to include experts from various areas of specialization within relevant scientific, education, or extension fields;
The need to include other experts (e.g., producers, range or forest managers/operators, and consumers) who can assess the relevance of the applications to targeted audiences and program needs;
The need to include experts from a variety of organizational types (e.g., colleges, universities, industry, state and federal agencies, and private profit and non-profit organizations) and geographic locations;
The need to maintain a balanced composition with regard to minority and female representation and equitable age distribution; and
The need to include reviewers who can judge the effective use of each application to producers and the general public.
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