Higher Education - Multicultural Scholars Grant Program

 

To increase the ethnic and cultural diversity of the food and agricultural scientific and professional work force, and to advance the educational achievement of minority Americans, by providing grants to colleges and universities that have a demonstrable capacity to attract, educate, and graduate minority students for careers as agriscience and agribusiness professionals, and have unique capabilities for achieving the objective of full representation of minority groups in the fields of agriculture, natural resources, forestry, veterinary medicine, home economics, and disciplines closely allied to the food and agricultural system.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
10.220
Federal Agency/Office
National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 RFA still pending. Approximately 30 applications, and 4 awards are anticipated. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, 34 applications were received for consideration. $945,400 was appropriated for these programs. The success rate was 14.7%. Five (5) proposals were funded, yielding a total of 29 scholarships, inclusive of special experiential learning opportunities for students. Applications addressed the following Program Areas of Emphasis: Veterinary Medicine; Agricultural Sciences and Engineering; Natural Resource Sciences Training; Human Sciences Training; Food Science and Human Nutrition Training; Agrosecurity Science Training; and Agricultural Education.
Fiscal Year 2017 In Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, 39 applications were received for consideration. The amount appropriated for these programs was $990,000. The amount available for making awards was $944,775, after the legislatively mandated set-aside. The success rate was 15%. Six (6) proposals were funded, yielding a total of 30 scholarships, inclusive of special experiential learning opportunities for students. Applications addressed the following Program Areas of Emphasis: Veterinary Medicine; Animal Science; Natural Resource Sciences Training; Food Science and Human Nutrition Training; Agrosecurity Science Training; and Agricultural Education.
Fiscal Year 2018 In FY 2018, 38 applications were received for consideration. The amount appropriated for these programs was $990,000. The amount available for making awards was $935,742, after the legislatively mandated set-aside. The success rate was 16%. Six proposals were funded, yielding a total of 38 scholarships, inclusive of special experiential learning opportunities for students.
Fiscal Year 2019 The FY 2019 panel will be held in August, 2019. The program received 24 applications and five awards are anticipated The amount appropriated for these programs was $990,000. The amount available for making awards is $935,742, after the legislatively mandated set-aside.
Fiscal Year 2020 This program is subject to congressional budget approval for FY 2020. If funding is provided, it is anticipated that similar projects will be awarded. Approximately 24 applications, and five awards are projected.
Authorization
Legislative authority for this program is contained in section 1417 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (NARETPA) (99 Stat. 1548; 7 U.S.C. 3152). USDA/NIFA administers this federal assistance grant program to support food and agricultural sciences baccalaureate and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree training of the next generation of scientists, policy makers, and educators in the Food and Agricultural Sciences. USDA initiated the Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program in FY 1994. This program, functioning collaboratively with eligible higher education institutions, is developing intellectual capital to secure the preeminence of U.S. food and agricultural systems., 7 U.S.C. 3152
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Proposals may be submitted by all U.S. colleges and universities with baccalaureate or higher degree programs in agriculture, natural resources, forestry, veterinary medicine, home economics, and disciplines closely allied to the food and agricultural system, including land-grant colleges and universities, colleges and universities having significant minority enrollments and a demonstrable capacity to carry out the teaching of food and agricultural sciences, and other colleges and universities having a demonstrable capacity to carry out the teaching of food and agricultural sciences.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Funds awarded under this program are used to support full-time undergraduate students pursing a baccalaureate degree in an area of the food and agricultural sciences or a closely allied field. Persons eligible to receive scholarships under this program are students who either are enrolled or have been accepted as full-time baccalaureate or DVM degree candidates, and who are members of groups traditionally under-represented in food and agricultural scientific and professional fields.
Credentials/Documentation
The System for Award Management (SAM) combines eight federal procurement systems, including CCR, and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance into one new system. CCR activities are conducted through SAM (the CCR website will redirect users to SAM). Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM): Each applicant (unless excepted under 2 CFR SS 25.110(b) or (c), or has an exception approved by the Federal awarding agency under 2 CFR SS 25.110(d)) is required to: (i) Be registered in SAM before submitting its application; (ii) Provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and (iii) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency. It also must state that the Federal awarding agency may not make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the Federal awarding agency is ready to make a Federal award, the Federal awarding agency may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant. Applicants must furnish the information required in the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs). Successful applicants recommended for funding must furnish the information and assurances requested during the award documentation process. These include, but are not limited to the following: Organizational Management Information - Specific management information relating to an applicant shall be submitted on a one 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 are 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." SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available as follows: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/higher-education-multicultural-scholars-program-msp RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. An environmental impact statement is required for this listing. An environmental impact assessment is not required for this listing. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372. 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.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) only accepts electronic applications which are submitted via Grants.gov in response to specific Requests for Applications (RFA). Applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process. For information about the pre-award phase of the grant lifecycle application processes see: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/learn-grants/grants-101/pre-award-phase.html. Further, applicants must follow the instructions provided in the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide, which can be assessed as follows: Adobe NIFA Applications. 2 CFR part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards and 2 CFR part 400 USDA's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards apply to this program. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/higher-education-multicultural-scholars-program-msp RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
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. 7613) 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 Competitive Request for Applications (RFA). 2 CFR 200 - Subpart C and Appendix I and 2 CFR part 400 apply to this Program. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/higher-education-multicultural-scholars-program-msp RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
Deadlines
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 30 to 60 days. Contact the National Program Leader (NPL), as indicated per CFDA Section # 152 - Headquarters Office regarding dates for specific deadlines, start and end dates, and range of approval/disapproval time. Information is also available via our website and may be obtained via the Grants.gov website. NIFA's respective links regarding general information are provided below: http://nifa.usda.gov/ http://www.grants.gov. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFA is available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/higher-education-multicultural-scholars-program-msp RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
Appeals
Not Applicable. 2 CFR Part 200 - Subparts D & E apply to this program.
Renewals
Specific details are provided in the Request for Applications (RFA), which are generally published annually. The most current RFA is available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/higher-education-multicultural-scholars-program-msp
How are proposals selected?
2 CFR part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards and 2 CFR part 400 USDA's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards apply to this program. Within guidelines established for the program as described in the Competitive Request for Application (RFA). The most current RFAs are available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/higher-education-multicultural-scholars-program-msp
How may assistance be used?
Competitive annual grants to selected U.S. institutions of higher education provide for a limited number of four-year undergraduate scholarships to support minority students pursuing baccalaureate degrees in the food and agricultural sciences. Institutions also receive an annual cost-of-education allowance for each scholar supported by a grant. The scholars are selected by the institutions and students must apply for the scholarships through procedures established by the individual institutions. No scholarship grants are made directly to students and students cannot apply directly to USDA for scholarships. Scholarship monies may be used for tuition, fees, room, board, and other educational expenses as announced in a Federal Register notice inviting applications for new awards. The institutional cost-of-education allowance may be used by the selected institutions to defray program expenses including, but not limited to, travel and publications costs incurred for student recruitment, and salaries of project personnel.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
Performance Reports: PERFORMANCE MONITORING: See above for pertinent and specific details.
Auditing
In accordance with 2 CFR Part 400 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, Subpart F-Audit Requirements nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more during the non-Federal entity's fiscal year in Federal awards must have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year in accordance with the provisions of this part. A non-Federal entity that expends less than $750,000 during the non-Federal entity's fiscal year in Federal awards is exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in SS 200.503. Relation to other audit requirements, but records must be available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Federal agency, pass-through entity, and Government Accountability Office (GAO). This program is also subject to audit by the cognizant Federal audit agency and the USDA Office of Inspector General. In accordance with 2 CFR Part 400 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, SS 200.333 Retention requirements for records. 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 (3) year period if litigation is pending or audit findings have not been resolved. 2 CFR 200 Subpart D applies to this program.
Records
In accordance with 2 CFR Part 400 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, SS 200.333 Retention requirements for records. 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 (3) year period if litigation is pending or audit findings have not been resolved. 2 CFR 200 Subpart D applies to this program.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Grants are awarded for a five (5) year period, however, scholars are supported for four (4) years during that five (5) year period. One (1) year of the grant period is available for student recruitment and for short interruptions of a scholar's educational advancement due to personal circumstances or emergencies. In accordance with statutory time limits, project periods, including no-cost extensions of time, are not to exceed five (5) years. Further details are provided in the Award document Form NIFA-2009 and the NIFA General Terms and Conditions Grants and Cooperative Agreements (dated October 2016) at: https://nifa.usda.gov/resource/nifa-general-terms-and-conditions-grants-and-cooperative-agreements-october-2016. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/higher-education-multicultural-scholars-program-msp RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database. NIFA utilizes the Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP), a secure, web-based electronic payment and information system that allows federal agencies to administer funds. Currently, ASAP is the only payment source for new NIFA grantees.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
NIFA is transitioning to a new location for Fiscal Year 2020. NIFA's New Mailing Address AFTER September 30, 2019 follows: National Institute of Food and Agriculture 6501 Beacon Drive Kansas City, MO 64133
Headquarters Office
USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader,
Institute of Youth, Family, and Community, Division of Community and Education, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2250
Washington, DC 20250-2250 US
Policy@nifa.usda.gov
Phone: (202) 720-2324
Fax: (202) 720-2030
Website Address
http://nifa.usda.gov/program/higher-education-multicultural-scholars-program-msp
Financial Information
Account Identification
12-1500-0-1-352
Obligations
(Project Grants) FY 18$935,742.00; FY 19 est $930,325.00; FY 20 est $0.00; FY 17$944,775.00; FY 16$945,400.00; - 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: (1) In terms of availability of appropriations (time), there are no time limits as to when "no-year" funds may be obligated and expended and the funds remain available for their original purposes until expended. (2) Effective in FY 2012, funding for three (3) Higher Education Programs: (Graduate Fellowships ? CFDA 10.210; Challenge ? CFDA 10.216; and Multicultural Scholars ? CFDA 10.220), were consolidated under a single funding line within the Research & Education Activities Account. However, different legislative authorities are applicable and separate Requests for Applications (RFAs) were issued under the respective CFDA numbers. (3) The President's FY 2016 Budget proposal consolidated STEM-related programs in the budgets for the Department of Education or the National Science Foundation.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
If minimum or maximum amounts of funding per competitive and/or capacity project grant, or cooperative agreement are established, these amounts will be announced in the annual Competitive Request for Application (RFA). The most current RFA is available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/higher-education-multicultural-scholars-program-msp
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
As an administrator of U.S. government support, NIFA works in partnership with grantees to ensure responsible stewardship of federal funds. Our grantees and partners are required to comply with all relevant rules and regulations. The following resources are provided to NIFA's partners and award recipients to support their adherence to federal regulations governing program performance: NIFA's primary (main) website: https://nifa.usda.gov/regulations-and-guidelines The following represent specific documents and direct links: POLICY GUIDE NIFA's Federal Assistance Policy Guide describes agency policies and procedures. https://nifa.usda.gov/policy-guide CERTIFICATIONS AND REPRESENTATIONS Certifications and representations provided through the NIFA application process. https://nifa.usda.gov/certifications-and-representations ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF USDA SUPPORT BY NIFA When acknowledging USDA support in accordance with 2 CFR Part 415, grantees must use the following acknowledgement for all projects or initiatives supported by NIFA. https://nifa.usda.gov/acknowledgment-usda-support-nifa FEDERAL REGULATIONS The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) lists all regulations published in the Federal Register. https://nifa.usda.gov/federal-regulations FOIA The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that any person has the right to request access to federal documents and information such as research data. https://nifa.usda.gov/foia NEPA POLICY AND GUIDANCE The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Policy and Guidance set the standard for identifying potential environmental impacts. https://nifa.usda.gov/nepa-policy-and-guidance OGFM ISSUED CORRESPONDENCE The Office of Grants and Financial Management occasionally issues correspondence to applicants, grantees, and/or the general public for informational or clarification purposes. https://nifa.usda.gov/ogfm-issued-correspondence RESEARCH MISCONDUCT NIFA requires that all its awardees adhere to the USDA Scientific Integrity Policy and the Federal Policy on Research Misconduct. https://nifa.usda.gov/research-misconduct NIFA'S GENERAL AWARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS Award terms and conditions are determined by statutory, regulatory, and agency requirements, as well as each grant's circumstances. Terms and conditions dictate important items related to your grant, including method of payment, reporting frequency and content, and prior approval requirements. References to the terms and conditions of awards are located on the NIFA 2009 Award Fact Sheet. NIFA's general award terms and conditions (see link below) is applicable to this program, for awards with an award date on December 26, 2014 and thereafter. https://nifa.usda.gov/resource/nifa-general-terms-and-conditions-grants-and-cooperative-agreements-october-2016.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016 Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date. Supported projects advance national STEM education achievement by supporting students representing a multicultural pool of graduates entering the future food and agricultural scientific and professional workforce; support America’s academic competitiveness in STEM by supporting scholarships in D.V.M. and/or undergraduate degree level training grounded in curricula to advance food and agricultural sciences; increase the number of qualified students from traditionally underrepresented and underserved groups pursuing undergraduate/D.V.M. degrees in training programs that have the highest chance for success; and enhance workforce diversity in STEM fields by supporting experiential learning opportunities of Multicultural Scholars (MSP) in the public and private sectors. Further information is available at https://nifa.usda.gov/program/higher-education-multicultural-scholars-program-msp.
Fiscal Year 2017 Supported projects advance national STEM education achievement by supporting students representing a multicultural pool of graduates entering the future food and agricultural scientific and professional workforce; support America’s academic competitiveness in STEM by supporting scholarships in D.V.M. and/or undergraduate degree level training grounded in curricula to advance food and agricultural sciences; increase the number of qualified students from traditionally underrepresented and underserved groups pursuing undergraduate/D.V.M. degrees in training programs that have the highest chance for success; and enhance workforce diversity in STEM fields by supporting experiential learning opportunities of Multicultural Scholars (MSP) in the public and private sectors. Further information is available at https://nifa.usda.gov/program/higher-education-multicultural-scholars-program-msp.
Fiscal Year 2018 CATCH MSP: A model for training students from underserved urban communities in sustainable terrestrial and aquatic food systems This program supports five students in a Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (SAFS) program and will develop a nationally relevant model for recruiting, educating, and graduating students in SAFS from underrepresented populations from economically disadvantaged urban neighborhoods. Fostering Agroecology and Multicultural Scholarship This program supports seven students to complete a degree in Environmental Studies (ENVS) with a Concentration in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (AGRO). Students will receive extensive mentoring to enhance both academic and career opportunities for Scholars Cyclone Scholars: Undergraduate Training Program for Underrepresented Scholars in Food Science with Emphasis in Food Safety This program supports four students and provides them with long-term professional training so that they will be capable of addressing complex issues in food safety and quality. Outdoor Leadership in the Forest Management Degree This program supports six students from underserved/underrepresented backgrounds to complete degrees in Forestry go on to become successful professionals in the field. Increasing Multiculturalism in Veterinary Medicine: Peer Mentoring and Portfolio Building The goal of this project is to increase the diversity of the food animal veterinarians and animal health specialists. The program supports six pre-veterinary students majoring in relevant subjects and two DVM students.
Fiscal Year 2019 Projects for FY 2019 will not be awarded until the first quarter of FY 2020. We anticipate projects will address current and emerging issues in research, extension/outreach, and education across the food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences. Project data is not yet available. Pertinent details to be provided by Program at a future date.
Fiscal Year 2020 Project data is not yet available. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date.