Introduction to NIFA Mark Poth Sustainable Bioenergy Division Director [email protected] 4 NIFA Institutes 1. 2. 3. 4. Institute of food production & sustainability Institute of food safety & nutrition Institute of bioenergy, climate, & environment Institute for youth, family, communities 1 Center Center for International Programs NIFA Director (Acting) Chavonda JacobsYoung Institute of Food Production and Sustainability Division of Animal Systems Institute of Bioenergy, Climate, and Environment Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition Division of Bioenergy Division of Nutrition Division of Plant Systems Protection Division of Global Climate Change Division of Food Safety Division of Plant Systems Production Division of Environmental Systems Division of Agricultural Systems Equal Opportunity Staff Institute of Youth, Family, and Community Office of Grants and Financial Management Office of Information Technology Division of Community and Education Awards Management Division Applications Division Division of Youth and 4-H Policy and Oversight Division Operations and Administrative Systems Division Division of Family and Consumer Sciences Financial Operations Division Information Policy, Planning, and Training Division Budget Staff Communications Staff Planning, Accountability, & Reporting Staff Center for International Programs National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) established by the 2008 Farm Bill • Research enables us to develop the knowledge needed to solve many of the issues facing our nation • Education strengthens schools and universities to train the next generation of scientists, educators, producers, and citizens • Extension brings the knowledge gained through research and education to the people who need it most – in the United States and around the world Tom Vilsack Secretary, USDA Dr. Cathie Woteki Under Secretary Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area, and the Department's Chief Scientist Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young Acting Director, NIFA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative • Authorized for appropriation of $700 million for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012 • FY 2010 funding = $262 million • FY 2011 funding = $264 million • Indirect costs capped at 22% • No less than 30% of funds will be made available for integrated programs Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Of funds allocated for research: • No less than 40% made available for applied research • No less than 60% made available for fundamental research – No less than 30% for multi-disciplinary teams – No less than 2% for equipment grants Agriculture and Food Research Initiative FY 2011/2012 Challenge Area RFAs 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Childhood Obesity Prevention Climate Change Global Food Security Food Safety Sustainable Bioenergy Agriculture and Food Research Initiative FY 2011/12 Challenge Area RFAs • • • • Significant focus on achieving measurable outcomes Offers funding for research, education, extension, and integrated projects Most grants made as continuation awards Range of award sizes; some as large at $2 million per year Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Foundational Program RFA • • • • • • Plant Health and Production and Plant Products Animal Health and Production and Animal Products Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health Renewable Energy, Natural Resources, and Environment Agriculture Systems and Technology Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Foundational Program RFA • • • Building a foundation of knowledge critical for solving current and future societal challenges Offers funding for research projects only Grants generally $500,000 or less each in total Agriculture and Food Research Initiative NIFA Fellowships Program RFA 1. Offering individual fellowships for pre- and postdoctoral students – NIFA Fellows 2. Projects to focus on the broad Challenge Areas 3. Pre-doctoral fellowships: $75,000 for two years of support (stipend, tuition, fees, fringe, travel) 4. Post-doctoral fellowships: $130,000 for two years of support (primarily salary; also supplies, travel, etc.) Project Types and Eligibility • Research Projects – basic and applied, multidisciplinary • Education Projects • Extension Projects The broader AFRI Eligibility applies to these single-function project types AFRI Eligibility 1. State agricultural experiment stations 2. Colleges and universities (including junior colleges offering associate degrees or higher) 3. University research foundations 4. Other research institutions and organizations 5. Federal agencies and national laboratories 6. Private organizations or corporations 7. U.S. Citizens, nationals, or permanent residents 8. Eligible institutions do not include foreign and international organizations Project Types and Eligibility • Integrated Projects – integration of research, education and extension (at least two of three, or all three when specified in the RFA) The 406 or Integrated Eligibility applies to this multi-functional project type 406 or Integrated Eligibility 1. Colleges and universities 2. 1994 Land-Grant Institutions 3. Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities Grant Types • Standard Grant • Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) Grant • Conference Grant • Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grant FASE Grants • Improve research, education, and extension capabilities of: – institutions in EPSCoR states – faculty from small, mid-sized, and minority-serving institutions (with limited success) – single or co-investigators beginning research, education, or extension careers – pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral scientists FASE Grants • • • • Pre-doctoral Fellowship Grants Postdoctoral Fellowship Grants New Investigator Grants Strengthening Grants – – – – Sabbatical Grants Equipment Grants Seed Grants Strengthening Standard An Overview of Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Programs I ntegrated Research Education Extension To bring the three functions of the agricultural knowledge system around a problem area or issue NIFA’s Integrated Programs The three functions should: • Be interwoven throughout the life of the project • Complement and reinforce one another • Be interdependent and necessary for the success of the project NIFA’s Integrated Programs • Agriculture and Food Research Initiative • Section 406 Integrated, Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program • Specialty Crop Research Initiative • Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative • Regional Integrated Pest Management • International Science and Education Competitive Grants Program Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) AFRI Integrated Programs • Fundamental and applied research • Education • Extension • Integrated research, extension, and/or education AFRI Integrated Programs Authorized for appropriation of $700 million for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012 No less than 30% will be made available for integrated programs AFRI Integrated Eligibility Colleges and universities,1994 land-grant institutions, and Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities AFRI Grant Types • • • • • Standard Grants Coordinated Agricultural Project Grants Planning/Coordination Grants Conference Grants Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement Grants (FASE) – Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellowship Grants – New Investigator Grants – Strengthening Grants Key Points for AFRI Integrated Projects • Must include two of the three functions (research, education, and/or extension per the RFA!) • Applications must contain objectives for each function in the project • Must budget sufficient resources to carry out the set of research, education, and/or extension activities – No more than 2/3 on a single function Key Points for AFRI Integrated Projects • Applications must provide the elements of a logic model (e.g., activities, outputs, and outcomes) in narrative form or logic model chart • Must include individuals on the project team with significant expertise in each component of the project • Applications must contain a clearly articulated management plan to ensure efficient functioning of the team AFRI Integrated Program Areas • Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area • Climate Change Challenge Area • Global Food Security Challenge Area • Food Safety Challenge Area • Sustainable Bioenergy Challenge Area • Foundational Program Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program (Section 406) Section 406 Authorized in Section 406 of the Agricultural Research, Extension and Education Reform Act of 1998 (AREERA) Provides funding for integrated, multifunctional agricultural research, education, and extension activities Section 406 Appropriations 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 $39.54 M 41.85 M 42.85 M 44.23 M 39.55 M 43.06 M 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 $42.29 M 42.29 M 41.99 M 41.99 M 45.15 M 45.15M Section 406 Eligibility Colleges and universities,1994 landgrant institutions, and Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities Section 406 Program Areas • National Integrated Food Safety Initiative • National Integrated Water Quality Program • Organic Transitions Program Section 406 Program Areas • Integrated Pest Management – Regional Pest Management Centers – Crops at Risk – Risk Avoidance & Mitigation • Methyl Bromide Transitions Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Specialty Crop Research Initiative Supports research and extension that takes a systems-based, transdisciplinary approach to solving critical specialty crop issues, priorities or problems SCRI Eligibility Federal agencies, national laboratories, colleges and universities, research institutions and organizations, private organizations or corporations, State agricultural experiment stations, individuals, or groups consisting of two or more of these entities SCRI Program Areas Projects must address at least one of five focus areas: • Plant breeding, genetics, and genomics to improve crop characteristics • Identification and addressing threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators SCRI Program Areas • Improvement of production efficiency, productivity, and profitability over the long term • New innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening • Methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in production and processing of specialty crops Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) Supports projects that will enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products OREI Eligibility State agricultural experiment stations, colleges and universities, university research foundations, other research institutions and organizations, Federal agencies, national laboratories, private organizations or corporations, individuals who are United States citizens or national, or a group consisting of two or more of these entities OREI Program Characteristics • OREI is particularly interested in projects that emphasize research and outreach that assist farmers and ranchers with whole farm planning and ecosystem integration • Fieldwork must be done on certified organic land or on land in transition to organic certification, as appropriate to project goals and objectives OREI Program Characteristics • Projects should plan to deliver applied production information to producers • Priority concerns include biological, physical, and social sciences, including economics International Science and Education Program Support research, extension, and teaching activities that will enhance the capabilities of American colleges and universities to conduct international collaborative research, extension, and teaching Even More Competitive Programs… Other Competitive Programs • Biotechnology Risk Assessment • Renewable Resource Extension Act -National Focus Funds • Rangeland Research • Biomass Research and Development • Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development • Small Business Innovation Research • Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education Understanding the Review Process at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture Overview of the Competitive Grant Proposal Process • Application Process • Review Process • Awards and Declines • Post-Panel Administration Application Process Request for Application (RFA) • Posted to the NIFA website www.nifa.usda.gov link to “Grants” page RFA defines the program… do not rely on third party or web based summaries! The RFA may include several sub programs with different requirements and deadlines. Read the RFA carefully. Application Process Request for Application (RFA) • Are you ready to submit? DUNS Number? Has you CCR expired? Application Process Request for Application (RFA) • Project Directors submit Letter of Intent (LOI) When applicable – not required for all programs. HOWEVER, if required and this is missed this will preclude submission of a full application Requirements provided in RFA Submission at the LOI deadline in advance of proposal deadline Application Process • Develop proposal following: Specific program goals, priorities and published deadline and guidelines provided in RFA • Submit proposal electronically (www.grants.gov) Highly recommend submitting at least 72 hr before deadline (especially fro larger more complicated applications) Late applications are NOT accepted! During the Review Process • Contact NPL if you do not receive an e-mail within 4 weeks acknowledging receipt of your proposal • Keep program updated of changes in address, phone number, status of other pending proposals, and COI status • Wait for notification of funding decision based on initial NPL e-mail received that also overviewed anticipated timeline (contact NPL if deadline passes !) Competitive Peer Review Process • Reviewed and rated highly by the NRC • Designed to be scholarly & fair: Review by peers & other experts Provide written & verbal evaluations • Understand the review process for your specific program (research; education; extension; integrated) to prepare a competitive proposal Program-dependent evaluation factors are critical to the success of an application Panel Member Selection • Active in Research, Education or Extension • Balanced to represent breadth of proposals and applicants: – – – – – Discipline Geography Institution Size and Type Professional Rank Gender & Ethnicity • Continuity: experience in the review process Role of Panelists • Review up to 20 proposals; # depends on program • Provide scientific, constructive & fair evaluation • Protect confidentiality • Avoid Conflict of Interest Protecting Confidentiality • Proposal content and identity of applicant • Reviewer identity • Reviews (shared with PD only) • Panel proceedings Avoiding Conflicts of Interest • Advisors and advisees (lifetime) • Collaborators and co-authors (3 years) • Institutional • Anyone who stands to materially profit from an award decision • Other personal reasons defined by the reviewer Avoiding Conflicts of Interest (cont.) • Applies to NPL, Panel Manager, panelists and ad hoc reviewers • May not participate in any aspect of evaluation • May not participate in decision regarding budget, project scope, or project duration Reviewer Evaluation of Proposals Reviewers prepare written reviews • Use RFA evaluation criteria • Address strengths and weaknesses • Make suggestions for improvement Reviewers provide individual summary rating • Excellent • Very Good • Good • Fair • Poor Evaluation Criteria (e.g., AFRI research proposals) 1. Scientific merit 2. Qualifications of project personnel, adequacy of facilities, and project management 3. Relevance and importance of topic to US Agriculture as articulated by the program’s priorities Review Panel Meeting • Interactive Panel discussion • Panel consensus and categorizing • Outstanding • High Priority • Medium Priority • Low Priority • Do Not Fund • Triage • Prepare panel summary Preparation of the Panel Summary • POSITIVE Aspects • NEGATIVE Aspects • SYNTHESIS Panel Meeting: Final Day Re-rank of proposals: • Re-visit all categories • Numerical ranking - usually only proposals ranked in top ~25% Funding of ranked applications • Budgets may be adjusted as recommended by the panel • NPL and PM make decisions to fund eligible projects “below the line” from set aside funds ( AFRI Strengthening and New Investigator grants) • NPL and Panel Manager prepare funding list according to panel ranking for review and approval by Division Director and Assistant Director Post-panel: Declined Proposals • E-mail and/or letter to the PD from National Program Leader • Return of: • Written reviews • • Panel summary Relative ranking Post-panel: Recommended Awards • Phone Call • Return of: – reviews – panel summary – relative ranking (categorical ranking) • Complete award paperwork Post-panel • NPL Approved Budget and determines recommended award amount Collects and prepares paperwork (with program staff) including assurance statements, Current Research Information System initial report Feedback and consultation on declined proposals Reporting performance, summaries, success stories & highlights (USDA, Congress, White House - OSTP, OMB, others) Program communication including outreach & promotion Meets annually with all funded Project Directors Post-panel • OGFM Reviews all award materials (Terms and conditions, assurance statements, reviews, etc.) Reviews Budget for compliance (indirect rates, match if required, etc.) Makes payments using ASAP system Withholds payments for inadequate progress and failure to meet terms and conditions requirements Conducts financial audits Thank you!