Grants for Agricultural Research, Special Research Grants

To carry out research, to facilitate or expand promising breakthroughs in areas of the food and agricultural sciences of importance to the nation and to facilitate or expand on-going State-Federal food and agricultural research programs.

Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
10.200
Federal Agency
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Types of Assistance
PROJECT GRANTS
Uses and Use Restrictions
Grant funds must be used for allowable costs necessary to conduct approved fundamental and applied research, extension and education objectives to address food and agricultural sciences. Awards are generally limited to high priority problems of a regional or national scope. NIFA has determined that grant funds awarded under this authority may not be used for the renovation or refurbishment of research, education, or extension space; the purchase or installation of fixed equipment in such space; or the planning, repair, rehabilitation, acquisition, or construction of buildings or facilities.
Funds may not be used for any purposes other than those approved in the grant award documents.
Funds shall not be used for tuition remission.
Indirect Costs are generally not allowable for this program.
Generally, there are no matching requirements associated with Special Research Grant programs and matching resources will not be factored into the review process as evaluation criteria.
Please refer to RFA, Part IV.D. – Applications – Funding Restrictions for specific details.
Exceptions to the general rules, as related to Indirect Cost and matching requirements, are indicated below, as deemed appropriate and necessary.

The following programs are EXCEPTIONS to the general rules:
(1) Critical Agricultural Materials (Pub. L. 95-592)
(2) Federal Administration - Research
(3) Pest Management Alternatives (aka PMAP)
(4) Supplemental and Alternative Crops [ 7 U.S.C. 3319d (c)].
(5) Policy Research Centers (Section 1419A of 7 U.S.C. 3155) and
(6) Rangeland Research

For the above-referenced EXCEPTIONS to the general rule, [i.e. #'s (1) thru (5)], the following provisions are applicable:
Section 720 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012 (Pub.L. No. 112-55) limits indirect costs to 30 percent of the total Federal funds provided under each award. Therefore, when preparing budgets, applicants should limit their requests for recovery of indirect costs to the lesser of their institution’s official negotiated indirect cost rate or the equivalent of 30 percent of total Federal funds awarded. Therefore, when preparing budgets, applicants should limit their requests for recovery of indirect costs to the lesser of their institution’s official negotiated indirect cost rate or the equivalent of 30 percent of total Federal funds awarded.
Special Note on Indirect Costs as in-kind matching contributions:
Indirect costs may be claimed under the Federal portion of the award budget or, alternatively, indirect costs may be claimed as a matching contribution (if no indirect costs are requested under the Federal portion of the award budget). However, unless explicitly authorized in the RFA, indirect costs may not be claimed on both the Federal portion of the award budget and as a matching contribution, unless the total claimed on both the Federal portion of the award budget and as a matching contribution does not exceed the maximum allowed indirect costs or the institution’s negotiated indirect cost rate, whichever is less. An awardee may split the allocation between the Federal and non-Federal portions of the budget only if the total amount of indirect costs charged to the project does not exceed the maximum allowed indirect costs or the institution’s negotiated indirect cost rate, whichever is less. For example, if an awardees' indirect costs are capped at 30 percent pursuant to FY 2012 appropriated funds, Section 720 of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012 (Division A of Pub. L. 112-55), the awardee may request 15 percent of the indirect costs on both the Federal portion of the award and as a matching contribution. Or, the awardee may request any similar percentage that, when combined, does not exceed the maximum indirect cost rate of 30 percent.

Exception # 6:
For the Rangeland Research program the following provisions are applicable:
Per 7 CFR 3401.5, Indirect Cost is allowable if the award is made to a Federal lab.
Pursuant to Section 1480 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 as amended [7 USC 3333(b)(1)], applicants are required to provide 50 percent matching funds from non-federal sources for all proposed Federal funds sought in the application. Non-federal matching contributions, such as cash and third party in kind, are accepted under this program as qualified by 7 USC 3015 and 7 USC 3019. Foregone indirect costs cannot be used as part of the required match. Fully discretionary.
Authorization
Section 2 (c), Public Law 89-106, 7 U.S.C. 450i(c), as amended.
Eligibility Requirements
Applicant Eligibility
Special Research Grants: State agricultural experiment stations, all colleges and universities, other research institutions and organizations, Federal agencies, private organizations or corporations and individuals having a demonstrable capacity to conduct research activities to facilitate or expand promising breakthroughs in areas of the food and agricultural sciences of importance to the United States.
Beneficiary Eligibility
For Special Research Grants: State agricultural experiment stations, all colleges and universities, other research institutions and organizations, Federal agencies, private organizations or corporations and individuals having a demonstrable capacity to conduct research activities to facilitate or expand promising breakthroughs in areas of the food and agricultural sciences of importance to the United States.
Credentials/Documentation
Proposals must be signed electronically by an official authorized to commit the institution or organization in business and financial affairs and who can commit the organization to certain proposal certifications. Prior to the award of a standard or continuation grant by NIFA, any proposed project shall have undergone a review arranged by the grantee as specified in Subpart C of 7 CFR 3400. For research projects, such review must be a scientific peer review conducted in accordance with §3400.21. For education and extension projects, such review must be a merit review conducted in accordance with §3400.22. A notice of completion of review shall be conveyed in writing to NIFA either as part of the submitted proposal or prior to the issuance of an award, at the option of NIFA. The written notice constitutes certification by the applicant that a review in compliance with these regulations has occurred. Applicants are not required to submit results of the review to NIFA; however, proper documentation of the review process and results should be retained by the applicant.

SPECIAL NOTE:
Also see CFDA Section 903: for further details. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.
Application and Award Process
Preapplication Coordination
All RFAs are published on the Agency’s website and Grants.gov. Applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process. Please see the following Grants.gov link for more information: http://www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp. An environmental impact statement is required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Applications should be submitted as outlined in the RFA. Applications must follow the instructions provided per Grants.Gov and in the Agency guide to submitting applications via Grants.gov.
Award Procedure
Applications are subjected to a system of peer and merit review in accordance with section 103 of the Agricultural Research, Extension and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 1613) by a panel of qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the NIFA Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) shall make grants to those responsible, eligible applicants whose applications are judged most meritorious under the procedures set forth in the RFA.
Reviewers will be selected based upon training and experience in relevant scientific, extension, or education fields, taking into account the following factors: (a) 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; (b) the need to include as reviewers experts from various areas of specialization within relevant scientific, education, or extension fields; (c) the need to include as reviewers other experts (e.g., producers, range or forest managers/operators, and consumers) who can assess relevance of the applications to targeted audiences and to program needs; (d) the need to include as reviewers experts from a variety of organizational types (e.g., colleges, universities, industry, state and Federal agencies, private profit and non-profit organizations) and geographic locations; (e) the need to maintain a balanced composition of reviewers with regard to minority and female representation and an equitable age distribution; and (f) the need to include reviewers who can judge the effective usefulness to producers and the general public of each application.
Evaluation Criteria will be delineated in the RFA.
Deadlines
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
Section :094 - Deadlines:
Specific deadline dates are announced on the Agency’s website: http://www.nifa.usda.gov
Contact the headquarters, as appropriate, for application deadlines. See Section : 152 for specific details.
Further, dates for specific deadlines are announced in the RFA each fiscal year.
Section :095 - Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:
From 30 to 180 days.
Appeals
Not Applicable.
Renewals
Specific details are provided in the Request for Applications (RFA) each fiscal year.
Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements. Funds are awarded competitively. No formula grants are awarded under Subtitle K of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 [7 U.S.C. 3319e].
Generally, NIFA does NOT require matching or cost sharing support for this program.
However, the Rangeland Research Program is an EXCEPTION to the general rule. The following represents pertinent information regarding the Rangeland Research Program [ 7 U.S.C. 3333(a)(1)]:
Pursuant to Section 1480 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 as amended [7 USC 3333(b)(1)], applicants are required to provide 50 percent matching funds from non-federal sources for all proposed Federal funds sought in the application. Non-federal matching contributions, such as cash and third party in kind, are accepted under this program as qualified by 7 USC 3015 and 7 USC 3019.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The term of competitive project grants and/or cooperative agreements under this program may not exceed three (3) years. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.
Post Assistance Requirements
Reports
Grantees are to submit initial project information and annual summary reports to NIFA’s electronic, Web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submissions of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects. The details of the reporting requirements are included in the award terms and conditions. Cash reports are not applicable. Grantees are to submit initial project information and annual summary reports to NIFA’s electronic, Web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submissions of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects. The details of the reporting requirements are included in the award terms and conditions. A final “Financial Status Report” (SF-269) or “Federal Financial Report” (SF-425) is due within 90 days of the expiration date of the grant and should be submitted to the Awards Management Branch, Office of Extramural Programs at the address listed below, in accordance with instructions contained in 2 CFR 3430.55 (also refer to Section 3015.82 of the Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations).

Awards Management Division
Office of Grants and Financial Management
National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
U.S. Department of Agriculture
STOP 2271
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-2271
Telephone: (202) 401-4986. Grantees are to submit initial project information and annual summary reports to NIFA’s electronic, Web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submissions of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects. The details of the reporting requirements are included in the award terms and conditions.
Audits
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. Audits will be conducted in accordance with guidelines established in the revised OMB Circular No. A-133 and implemented in 7 CFR 3052. This program is also subject to audit by the cognizant Federal audit agency and the USDA Office of Inspector General.
Records
In accordance with the Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Non-profit Organizations [2 CFR 215, Subpart C, Section 215.53, (OMB Circular A-110)] grantees shall maintain separate records for each grant to ensure that funds are used for authorized purposes. Grant-related records are subject to inspection during the life of the grant and must be retained at least three (3) years. Records must be retained beyond the three-year period if litigation is pending or audit findings have not been resolved.
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2013: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2014: (A) Expert IPM Decision Support System:

No project data available. Pertinent details to be provided by Program at a future date.

NOTE:
In FY 2014, this program is consolidated under Integrated Activities, Crop Protection/Pest Management Program.

(B) Global Change, UV-B Monitoring

The program anticipates making one non-competitive award to operate and manage USDA’s ultraviolet radiation climatology network, and to conduct, in collaboration with other institution, research on ultraviolet radiation effects on agriculturally relevant crops. Coupled with economic models, effects research and simulations will enable us to project regional and national climate change impacts on agriculture.

(C) Integrated Pest Management & Biological Control

Pertinent details to be provided by Program at a future date.

NOTE:
In FY 2014, this program is consolidated under Integrated Activities, Crop Protection/Pest Management Program.


(D) Interregional Research Project # 4 - Minor Crop Pest Management (IR-4) Program

For the FY 2014 award cycle, it is expected that $11,000,000 may be available to be awarded. 5 applications are expected from the regional centers. A diverse panel will review the applications and recommend funding. A total of 5 awards may be made. Funds support research on pesticides for use in specialty crops and minor crops.

(E) Pest Management Alternatives

It is expected that the PMAP program will not be offered in 2014.

NOTE:
In FY 2014, this program is consolidated under Integrated Activities, Crop Protection/Pest Management Program.

(F) Other - Potato Breeding Research

Pertinent details to be provided by Program at a future date.

NOTE:
Obligations reported under Other Special Research Grants

(G) Critical Agricultural Materials

FY 2014 Critical Agricultural Materials program is contingent upon the re-authorization of the Farm Bill.

(H) Aquaculture Centers

Continued regional aquaculture research, demonstration and extension education projects based on regional industry priorities and needs. It is anticipated that 80 pre-proposals will be received and 10 proposals will be funded in FY 2014.

(I) Supplemental and Alternative Crops (aka Canola Research)

Pertinent details to be provided by Program at a future date

(J) Policy Research Centers (aka Agriculture and Rural Policy Research)

The centers will continue to produce high quality and relevant policy briefs.

(K) Rangeland Research Program (aka Joe Skeen Institute for Rangeland Restoration)

No data, zeroed out in FY2014.

(L) Forest Products Research Program

Pertient data to be provided by Program at a future date.

NOTE:
Obligations reported under Other Special Research Grants. Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available
Financial Information
Account Identification
12-1500-0-1-352.
Obligations
(Project Grants) FY 12 $28,779,117; FY 13 est $22,658,138; and FY 14 est $16,211,989 - The difference between the appropriation and obligation numbers reflects legislative authorized set-asides deducted as appropriate, and in some cases the availability of obligational authority from prior years.
NOTES:
In FY 2014, various Pest Management Programs are consolidated under Integrated Activities, Crop Protection/Pest Management Program.
Obligations for the Forest Products and Potato Breeding Research Programs are reported under Other Special Research Grants.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
If minimum or maximum amounts of funding per competitive project grant or cooperative agreement are established, these will be announced in the annual program announcement or Request for Application (RFA).
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR Part 3430, Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-formula Grant Programs – General Grant Administrative Provisions and Program-Specific Administrative Provisions; 7 CFR Part 3015, USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations; 7 CFR Part 3017, Government wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) ; 7 CFR Part 3018, New Restrictions on Lobbying; 7 CFR Part 3019, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-profit Organizations; and 7 CFR Part 3021— USDA implementation of Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-free Workplace (Financial Assistance).
Information Contacts
Regional or Local Office
None.
Headquarters Office
USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Food Production and Sustainablity, Division of Plant Systems-Protection, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2240, Telephone: (202) 401-4939, Fax: (202) 1782.

ADDITIONAL CONTACT:

USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Bioenergy, Climate, and Environment, Division of Bioenergy, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2210, Washington, District of Columbia, 20250-2210 , Telephone: (202) 401-5244, Fax: (202) 401-2653.



, Washington , District of Columbia 20250-2240 Phone: (202) 401-4939
Website Address
http://www.nifa.usda.gov/
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2013: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2014: (A) Expert IPM Decision Support System:

No project data available. Pertinent details to be provided by Program at a future date.

(B) Global Change, UV-B Monitoring

The USDA has long been concerned about high levels of ultraviolet radiation from the Sun, which are known to have harmful effects on agricultural crops, rangelands, forest ecosystems, humans, and livestock. The purpose of this program is to support research which:
• generates an uninterrupted stream of climatology data;
• determines mechanisms and symptoms of plant and animal response; and
• applies tightly integrated crop and climate models to assess regional and national impacts (both biological and economic) of multiple plant stressors.

(C) Integrated Pest Management & Biological Control

Pertinent details to be provided by Program at a future date.

(D) Interregional Research Project # 4 - Minor Crop Pest Management (IR-4) Program

Interregional Research Project No. 4 Minor Crop Pest Management for the North Central - This project will continue to support the North Central Regional IR-4 Center. Since the plant protection industry has little economic incentive to develop registrations for specialty crop chemicals, IR-4 develops the data that provide legal, effective, safe and IPM-compatible pest control agents for minor and specialty crops. Without this program, many specialty crops could no longer be produced in the US or would be greatly compromised in cost and quality. This project’s objectives for minor and specialty crops are to obtain pesticide clearances for food uses, further the development and adoption of biopesticides, and conduct research to protect ornamental crops. There are five regions that can apply for IR-4 funding.

(E) Pest Management Alternatives

No data is available. Pertinent details to be provided by Program at a future date.

(F) Other - Potato Breeding Research

Pertinent details to be provided by Program at a future date.

(G) Critical Agricultural Materials

FY 2014 Critical Agricultural Materials program is contingent upon the re-authorization of the Farm Bill.

(H) Aquaculture Centers

Continued regional aquaculture research, demonstration and extension education projects Continued regional aquaculture research, demonstration and extension education projects based on regional industry priorities and needs. Funded regional projects are anticipated to advance commercial aquaculture development by solving critical problems and bottlenecks to support successful enterprises with new science-based knowledge, improved practices and tools, and new technologies for a wide diversity of aquaculture species, production systems, marketing outlets, and aquatic environments in the Nation.

(I) Supplemental and Alternative Crops (aka Canola Research)

Pertinent details to be provided by Program at a future date

(J) Policy Research Centers (aka Agriculture and Rural Policy Research)

No funding for NIFA for new projects.

(K) Rangeland Research Program (aka Joe Skeen Institute for Rangeland Restoration)

No data, zeroed out in FY2014.

(L) Forest Products Research Program

It is anticipated that $1,500,000 will be available. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date. Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
Within guidelines established for the program as described in the Request for Application (RFA).
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