Grants for Agricultural Research_Competitive Research Grants

 

To support research, education and extension grants that address key problems of national, regional and multistate importance in sustaining all components of agriculture (farming, ranching, forestry, aquaculture, rural communities, human nutrition and obesity, food and fiber processing, etc.) Providing this support to US agriculture requires that the NRI advance fundamental. Building on these discoveries will necessitate new efforts in education and extension that deliver science-based knowledge to people, allowing them to make informed practical decisions. All grants were awarded on a competitive basis.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
10.206
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
PROJECT GRANTS
Program Accomplishments
Not Applicable.
Authorization
Competitive, Special and Facilities Research Grant Act, Section 2(2)(b), [7 U.S.C. 450i] ., 7 U.S.C 450i.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
For research projects, the eligibility requirements for the NRI were as follows: except where otherwise prohibited by law, State agricultural experiment stations, all colleges and universities, other research institutions and organizations, Federal agencies, national laboratories, private organizations or corporations, and individuals were eligible to apply for and to receive a competitive grant. The Agricultural Research Enhancement Awards (AREA) have some notable differences from these requirements. See Part II C, 2. of Fiscal Year (FY) ’08 Requests for Applications (RFAs).

For integrated projects, the eligibility requirements for the NRI were as follows: except where otherwise prohibited by law, State agricultural experiment stations, all colleges and universities, research foundations maintained by colleges or universities, private research organizations with established and demonstrated capacities to perform research or technology transfer, Federal research agencies, and national laboratories were eligible to apply for and receive a competitive grant. The bridge grants have some notable differences from these requirements. See Part II, C, 3(b) of Fiscal Year (FY) ’08 RFAs for details.

Unsolicited applications were not considered and applications from scientists at non-United States organizations were not accepted. Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply provided such organizations were necessary for the conduct of the project.
Beneficiary Eligibility
For research grants eligibility includes State Agricultural Experiment Stations, U.S. colleges/universities, other U.S. research institutions and organizations, Federal agencies, national laboratories, private organizations or corporations, and individuals. For integrated research, education and extension grants eligibility includes State Agricultural Experiment Stations, U.S. colleges/universities, research foundations maintained by colleges or universities, private research organizations with established and demonstrated capacities to perform research or technology transfer, Federal research agencies and national laboratories. Proposals from scientists at non-U.S. organizations will not be considered for support.
Credentials/Documentation
A Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number must be obtained - A DUNS number is a unique number that identifies an organization. It has been adopted by the Federal government to help track how Federal grant money is distributed. If your organization does not have a DUNS number, call the special Dun & Bradstreet hotline at 1-866-705-5711 to receive one free of charge. You will receive a DUNS number within several days of your request. Please note, individual proprietorships (i.e. farmers, ranchers) can request and receive a DUNS number, but must register with Grants.gov as an organization, not as an individual.

Registration with Central Contractor Registry (CCR) is required - The CCR is the central government repository for organizations working with the Federal government. If your organization is not already registered, identify the primary contact who should register your organization. When your organization registers with CCR, it will be required to designate an e-Business Point of Contact (e-Business POC). The e-Business POC authorizes individuals to submit grant applications on behalf of the organization and creates a special password called a Marketing Partner ID Number (M-PIN) to verify individuals authorized to submit grant applications for the organization. Visit the CCR Web site at http://www.ccr.gov to begin this process. It may take several days to collect the information needed for your organization’s registration. The CCR Assistance Center can be reached at 888-227-2423. This information collection is approved under OMB Control No. 0524-0039, “NIFA Application Kit for Research and Extension Programs.”

Applicants must furnish the information required in the RFAs. Successful applicants recommended for funding must furnish the information and assurances requested during the award documentation process. These include, but were not limited to the following:

Organizational Management Information - Specific management information relating to an applicant shall be submitted on a one (1) time basis, with updates on an as needed basis, as part of the responsibility determination prior to the award of a grant identified under this RFA, if such information has not been provided previously under this or another NIFA program. NIFA will provide copies of forms recommended for use in fulfilling these requirements as part of the preaward process. Although an applicant may be eligible based on its status as one of these entities, there were factors which may exclude an applicant from receiving Federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits under this program (e.g., debarment or suspension of an individual involved or a determination that an applicant is not responsible based on submitted organizational management information). This information collection is approved under OMB Circular Control No. 0524-0026, “Assurance of Compliance with the Department of Agriculture Regulations Assuring Civil Rights, Compliance and Organization Information.”. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
All RFAs were 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
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. 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. This information collection is approved under OMB Control No. 0524-0039, “NIFA Application Kit for Research and Extension Programs.”
Award Procedure
Applications were 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. 7613) by a panel of qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who were 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 were judged most meritorious under the procedures set forth in the RFA. This information collection is approved under OMB Control No. 0524-0039, “NIFA Application Kit for Research and Extension Programs. Reviewers were 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.
Deadlines
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
094 Deadlines:
Dates for specific deadlines were announced in the RFA each fiscal year (FY).

:095 Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:
From 30 to 180 days.
Appeals
Not Applicable.
Renewals
Proposals for renewal, were submitted at the announced deadline. Renewals were treated in competition with all other pending proposals. Authority has been repealed Repealed per Section 7406 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) was established to replace NRI. (See CFDA 10.310.).
How are proposals selected?
Within guidelines established for the program as described in the RFAs.
How may assistance be used?
NIFA Competitive Programs Unit administers the NRI. The purpose of the NRI Competitive Grants Program was to support research grants and integrated research, extension, and education grants that address key problems of National, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of agriculture (farming, ranching, forestry including urban and agroforestry, aquaculture, rural communities, human nutrition, processing, etc.). Providing this support requires that NRI advances fundamental sciences in support of agriculture and coordinates opportunities to build on these discoveries. Building on these discoveries will necessitate new efforts in education and extension that deliver science-based knowledge to people, allowing them to make informed practical decisions. Hence, the NRI accepted applications for fundamental research, mission-linked research, and integrated research, extension, and education projects. However, applicants should know that the NRI utilized no more than twenty-two percent (22%) of available funds to support integrated projects and that these funds were not distributed uniformly, but targeted to specific priorities. Targeted priorities for integrated projects were clearly identified within the detailed descriptions of program offerings [see Part II, E of the Fiscal Year (FY) ’08 Request for Applications (RFAs)]. Funds may not be used for the renovation or refurbishment of research spaces (including energy retrofitting); purchase or installations of fixed equipment in such spaces; or planning, repair, rehabilitation, acquisition, or construction of buildings or facilities. Fully discretionary.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
Grantees were required to submit annual and summary progress reports via NIFA’ Current Research Information System (CRIS). This reporting requirement was approved under OMB Control No. 0524-0042, “NIFA Current Research Information System (CRIS).” CRIS is an electronic, web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submission of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects.

Quarterly “Reports of Federal Cash Transactions” (SF-272) were required by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) (www.dpm.psc.gov) and were submitted online through the DHHS Payment Management System (PMS) website. If you become delinquent in these reports, you will not be able to access your funds. NIFA uses the SF-425, Federal Financial Report to monitor cash. Grantees were required to submit annual and summary progress reports via NIFA’ Current Research Information System (CRIS). This reporting requirement was approved under OMB Control No. 0524-0042, “NIFA Current Research Information System (CRIS).” CRIS is an electronic, web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submission of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects.

Quarterly “Reports of Federal Cash Transactions” (SF-272) were required by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) (www.dpm.psc.gov) and were submitted online through the DHHS Payment Management System (PMS) website. If you become delinquent in these reports, you will not be able to access your funds. 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 Branch
Office of Extramural Programs
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
STOP 2271
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-2271
Telephone: (202) 401-4986. Grantees were required to submit annual and summary progress reports via NIFA’ Current Research Information System (CRIS). This reporting requirement was approved under OMB Control No. 0524-0042, “NIFA Current Research Information System (CRIS).” CRIS is an electronic, web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submission of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects.

Quarterly “Reports of Federal Cash Transactions” (SF-272) were required by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) (www.dpm.psc.gov) and were submitted online through the DHHS Payment Management System (PMS) website. If you become delinquent in these reports, you will not be able to access your funds.
Auditing
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. 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 were used for authorized purposes. Grant-related records were 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.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
Matching Requirements: Funds were awarded competitively. No formula grants were awarded under this authority.

For equipment grants – Unless criteria was met to qualify for waiver by the Secretary, matching shall not exceed 50 percent of the cost of the special research equipment or other equipment acquired using funds from the grant.

For applied research – if the grant was commodity-specific; and not of national scope, the grant recipient was required to match USDA funds awarded on a dollar-for-dollar basis from non-Federal sources with cash and/or in-kind contributions.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Normally, competitive research projects were supported for periods of up to four (4) years. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None.
Headquarters Office
USDA, NIFA, Competitive Programs, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, District of Columbia 20250-2240 Phone: (202) 401-1782.
Website Address
http://nifa.usda.gov
Financial Information
Account Identification
12-1500-0-1-352.
Obligations
(Project Grants) FY 14 $0; FY 15 est $0; and FY 16 est $0 - NOTES:
Program has not been funded since FY 2008. However, this CFDA is NOT being archived. Statutory time limit for awards has not yet been reached.

See CFDA 10.310 for current Agricultural & Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Grants.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Minimum and maximum amounts of funding per grant were established by the annual program announcement or RFA.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR Part 3430, Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-Formula Federal Assistance Programs – General Award Administrative Provisions; 2 CFR Part 215, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Non-profit Organizations (OMB Circular A-110); 2 CFR Part 220, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions (OMB Circular A-21); 2 CFR Part 225, Cost Principles for State, Local, and Indian Tribal Governments (OMB Circular A-87); 2 CFR Part 230, Cost Principles for Non-profit Organizations (OMB Circular A-122); 7 CFR Part 3015, USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations; 7 CFR Part 3017, Government wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) and Government wide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Grants); 7 CFR Part 3018, New Restrictions on Lobbying; and 7 CFR Part 3019, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-profit Organizations.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.