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CAES Research

External Funding Resources and Opportunities

Logic Model: Your Guide to Transforming Ideas into a Grant Proposal

Most of USDA grant proposals require an accompanying logic model. The wording and thought processes needed to complete a logic model are not intuitive for many. A webinar by Dr. Milton Newberry of the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication was presented to faculty on May 20, 2016. A link to the PowerPoint can be found here, while the video can be found here.

This lecture-based workshop will provide a foundational overview of logic models and their use in grant proposals. Here, participants will learn about the rationale for using a logic model, the theory grounding logic models, each component of a model, and how a logic model can be used to develop a grant proposal.

NIFA Systems Grantsmanship Workshops


Current Funding Opportunities

FY17 USDA NIFA Water for Food Production Systems


Letters of Intent Deadline: May 17, 2017

Full Proposal Deadline: August 2, 2017


 In FY17, NIFA is looking for large Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAP) not to exceed $5.2 million total per project (including indirect costs) for project periods of up to 5 years. The program anticipates making up to 7 new awards. Applications must address at least one of the following priorities:

• Use of transformative discoveries such as classical/conventional breeding as well as genomics, nanotechnology, sensors, modeling, microbiome manipulation, and data-driven decision tools to develop drought- and flood-tolerant cultivars, intensify food production improve crop and livestock health, or reduce overall water use across food production systems.

• Innovative ways to sustainably secure and more efficiently use water to produce food given competing resource demands, varying annual and within season availability, and compromised or limited water quality.

• Targeted activities/interventions beyond simple information delivery to overcome barriers, disincentives, and institutional or legal impediments so that more sustainable management practices are adopted and acceptance encouraged.

• Safe use of non-traditional water sources such as agricultural runoff, recycled, treated, produced, and brackish waters as appropriate across food system supply chains, including production, processing, distribution, and consumption, so that total amounts of fresh water used are reduced.


A total of $34 million is expected to be available for new grants in this RFA, making it a substantial program.

FY17 USDA NIFA Food Safety Challenge Area

eResearch Portal Submission Deadline: June 14, 2017

Proposal Deadline: June 21, 2017

The goal of this integrated program is to empower transdisciplinary teams to develop, refine, and disseminate science-based knowledge about food and agricultural management and production practices that can reduce or eliminate the threat and risk of antimicrobial resistance. This approach helps to better understand, characterize and mitigate antimicrobial resistance across the food chain. 

This year, a single Priority Area is being supported: Effective Mitigation Strategies for Antimicrobial Resistance. Integrated Grants must not exceed $1.2 million total per project (including indirect costs) for project periods of up to 4 years. The program anticipates making up to 8 new awards. 

The full RFA can be found here.

FY17 USDA NIFA Aquaculture Special Research Program

eResearch Portal Submission Deadline: June 21, 2017

Proposal Deadline: June 28, 2017

The purpose of the Aquaculture Research program is to support the development of an environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture industry in the U.S. and generate new science-based information and innovation to address industry constraints. Over the long term, results of projects supported by this program may help improve the profitability of the U.S. aquaculture industry, reduce the U.S. trade deficit, increase domestic food security, provide markets for U.S.-produced grain products, increase domestic aquaculture business investment opportunities, and provide more jobs for rural and coastal America. The Aquaculture Research program will fund projects that directly address major constraints to the U.S. aquaculture industry and focus on one or more of the following program priorities: (1) genetics of commercial aquaculture species; (2) critical disease issues impacting aquaculture species; (3) design of environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture production systems; and (4) economic research for increasing aquaculture profitability.

The full RFA can be found here.

FY17 USDA NIFA Sustainable Bioenergy and Bioproducts

eResearch Portal Submission Deadline: June 21, 2017

Proposal Deadline: June 28, 2017

The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Sustainable Bioenergy and Bioproducts (SBEBP) Challenge Area is designed to achieve the long term goal of advancing bioeconomy by facilitiating development of regional systems for the sustainable production of bioenergy, industrial chemicals, and biobased products from renewable sources and building a strong workforce, increasing stakeholder engagement, and informing policy makers. In FY 2017, this Challenge Area is soliciting applications in two priority areas: 1) Lignin or nano-cellulosic co-products from biomass feedstocks; and 2) Biomass feedstock genetic development and evaluation.

The full RFA can be found here.

FY17 USDA NIFA Resilient Agroecosystems in a Changing Climate

eResearch Portal Submission Deadline: July 6, 2017

Proposal Deadline: July 13, 2017

The  AFRI Resilient Agroecosystems in a Changing Climate (RACC) Challenge Area focuses on sustainable increase in agricultural productivity and the availability and accessibility of safe and nutritious food. In FY 2017, the AFRI RACC Challenge Area will invest in one priority area, Climate, Land Use, and Land Management. Through these investments, NIFA will address the understanding of underlying processes, drivers and consequences of land use change, including biophysical and biogeochemical processes, climate feedbacks and environmental outcomes, and social, behavioral, economic and land use interaction.

The full RFA can be found here.

FY18-19 U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative

Letters of Intent Deadline: July 14, 2017

The USWBSI has published the call for FY18-19 Letters of Intent (LOI) for Coordinated Projects.  The Coordinated Projects are split into two categories as indicated below:

Category 1 – Commodity-based and VDHR-Nurseries Coordinated Project 

Category 2 – FHB Management’s Integrated Management Coordinated Project (IM-CP)  

Select the category of the CP for which you plan to submit a Letter of Intent, and click on the hyperlink to view the instructions.  You can also access these documents on the USWBSI’s home page.

FY17 Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI)

Mandatory 4-Page Concept Papers Deadline: July 7, 2017

eResearch Portal Full Proposal Submission Deadline: September 15, 2017

Proposal Deadline: September 22, 2017

The BRDI RFA requires that funded projects address at least one of the three legislatively mandated technical areas: (A) Feedstocks development, (B) Biofuels and biobased products development, and (C) Biofuels development analysis. These priorities are described in more detail on pp. 7-9 of the RFA. 

Proposals can be for 1 to 3 years with total Federal funds from $500,000 to $2 million; last year's average award was $1.45 million. 


Other restrictions:

- Prime Recipient cost share must be at least 20% of the total allowable costs for research and development (R&D) projects, and 50% of the total allowable costs for demonstration and commercial application projects, and must come from non-Federal sources.

- A PI can be the lead/primary PI on only one Full Application.

- All proposals must be submitted through EERE Exchange.

The full RFA can be found here.

FY17 USDA AFRI Foundational Program

Various Deadlines; please see the full RFA here.

Letters of Intent (LOI) are mandatory for the Social Implications of Emerging Technologies, CARE, and Exploratory programs, but not for the other programs. The earliest full proposal deadline is June 8, with most others in mid-June through mid-July (about 1 month earlier than last year on average). It is anticipated that approximately $150.2 million are available to support this Program. This is an increase of 15% compared with last year, and is a step in the right direction in support of basic agricultural research. The actual amount of funding available will be a little larger, since there are certain targeted "commodity board topics" included in the RFA that will be co-funded by select commodity boards and NIFA; this year, the National Peanut Board is the only participant. Several Program Priority Areas in the RFA have been reorganized compared with last year, so please review the RFA carefully. Most programs fund single-function research proposals at a total of $500,000 for 4 or 5 years, but there are a few programs requesting integrated proposals and/or at a higher funding level.

NSF Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison With Industry (GOALI)

Click on this link to learn more about Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI), the program that promotes university-industry partnerships by making project funds or fellowships/traineeships available to support an eclectic mix of industry-university linkages.