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Introduction to NIFA Mark Poth Sustainable Bioenergy Division Director

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1 Introduction to NIFA Mark Poth Sustainable Bioenergy Division Director

2 Center for International Programs
4 NIFA Institutes 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

3 NIFA Director (Acting)
Institute of Food Production and Sustainability Division of Animal Systems Division of Plant Systems - Protection Division of Plant Systems - Production Division of Agricultural Systems Institute of Bioenergy, Climate, and Environment Division of Bioenergy Division of Global Climate Change Division of Environmental Systems Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition Division of Nutrition Division of Food Safety Institute of Youth, Family, and Community Division of Community and Education Division of Youth and 4-H Division of Family and Consumer Sciences Office of Grants and Financial Management Awards Management Division Policy and Oversight Division Financial Operations Division Office of Information Technology Applications Division Operations and Administrative Systems Division Information Policy, Planning, and Training Division Equal Opportunity Staff Budget Staff Communications Staff Planning, Accountability, & Reporting Staff Center for International Programs NIFA Director (Acting) Chavonda Jacobs-Young

4 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

5 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

6 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)

7 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

8 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

9 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative
FY 2011/2012 Challenge Area RFAs Childhood Obesity Prevention Climate Change Global Food Security Food Safety Sustainable Bioenergy

10 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

11 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

12 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

13 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative
NIFA Fellowships Program RFA Offering individual fellowships for pre- and postdoctoral students – NIFA Fellows Projects to focus on the broad Challenge Areas Pre-doctoral fellowships: $75,000 for two years of support (stipend, tuition, fees, fringe, travel) Post-doctoral fellowships: $130,000 for two years of support (primarily salary; also supplies, travel, etc.)

14 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

15 AFRI Eligibility State agricultural experiment stations
Colleges and universities (including junior colleges offering associate degrees or higher) University research foundations Other research institutions and organizations Federal agencies and national laboratories Private organizations or corporations U.S. Citizens, nationals, or permanent residents Eligible institutions do not include foreign and international organizations

16 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

17 406 or Integrated Eligibility
Colleges and universities 1994 Land-Grant Institutions Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities

18 Grant Types Standard Grant
Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) Grant Conference Grant Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grant

19 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

20 FASE Grants Pre-doctoral Fellowship Grants
Postdoctoral Fellowship Grants New Investigator Grants Strengthening Grants Sabbatical Grants Equipment Grants Seed Grants Strengthening Standard

21 An Overview of Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Programs

22 I ntegrated Research Education Extension To bring the three functions of the agricultural knowledge system around a problem area or issue Please discuss that programs have different requirements of how many of the functions need to be included to be considered integrated. Some programs require that only two of the three functions are required, where as others require all three functions.

23 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 Mention that on day 2 in Plenary Session 3, there will be a presentation that will focus on Integrated Projects. The presentation will cover the definition and theory of integrated projects, characteristics of integrated projects, and description of optimal integration.

24 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

25 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)

26 AFRI Integrated Programs
Fundamental and applied research Education Extension Integrated research, extension, and/or education AFRI is authorized to solicit single-function basic and applied research, education, and extension projects and multi-functional integrated projects.

27 AFRI Integrated Programs
Authorized for appropriation of $700 million for each of fiscal years through 2012 No less than 30% will be made available for integrated programs

28 AFRI Integrated Eligibility
Colleges and universities,1994 land-grant institutions, and Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities AFRI integrated projects use the same eligibility as 406 programs

29 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 Integrated Projects maybe be proposed through many different grant types.

30 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 requirements for AFRI Integrated Projects

31 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 Key requirements for AFRI Integrated Projects

32 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 Mention that in FY 2010, integrated projects were solicited in each of the five challenge areas. In FY 2011, we intend to continue to offer integrated projects in each of the five challenge areas AND limited opportunities for integrated projects in the Foundational Program.

33 Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program (Section 406)

34 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

35 Section 406 Appropriations
2000 $39.54 M M M M M M 2006 $42.29 M M M M M M Hopefully we’ll have more information about the Section 406 programs and their fate, but feel free to talk about their current status.

36 Section 406 Eligibility Colleges and universities,1994 land-grant institutions, and Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities Eligibility is same as AFRI Integrated Projects

37 Section 406 Program Areas National Integrated Food Safety Initiative
National Integrated Water Quality Program Organic Transitions Program

38 Section 406 Program Areas Integrated Pest Management
Regional Pest Management Centers Crops at Risk Risk Avoidance & Mitigation Methyl Bromide Transitions

39 Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI)

40 Specialty Crop Research Initiative
Supports research and extension that takes a systems-based, trans-disciplinary approach to solving critical specialty crop issues, priorities or problems

41 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

42 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

43 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

44 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

45 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 Eligibility is same as 406

46 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

47 OREI Program Characteristics
Projects should plan to deliver applied production information to producers Priority concerns include biological, physical, and social sciences, including economics

48 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

49 Even More Competitive Programs…

50 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

51 Understanding the Review Process at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture

52 Overview of the Competitive Grant Proposal Process
Application Process Review Process Awards and Declines Post-Panel Administration

53 Application Process Request for Application (RFA)
Posted to the NIFA website 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.

54 Application Process Request for Application (RFA)
Are you ready to submit? DUNS Number? Has you CCR expired?

55 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

56 Application Process Develop proposal following:
Specific program goals, priorities and published deadline and guidelines provided in RFA Submit proposal electronically ( Highly recommend submitting at least 72 hr before deadline (especially fro larger more complicated applications) Late applications are NOT accepted!

57 During the Review Process
Contact NPL if you do not receive an 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 received that also overviewed anticipated timeline (contact NPL if deadline passes !)

58 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 Research vs integrated vs education etc. AFRI vs other programs

59 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

60 Role of Panelists Review up to 20 proposals; # depends on program
Provide scientific, constructive & fair evaluation Protect confidentiality Avoid Conflict of Interest

61 Protecting Confidentiality
Proposal content and identity of applicant Reviewer identity Reviews (shared with PD only) Panel proceedings

62 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

63 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

64 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

65 Evaluation Criteria (e.g., AFRI research proposals)
Scientific merit Qualifications of project personnel, adequacy of facilities, and project management Relevance and importance of topic to US Agriculture as articulated by the program’s priorities

66 Review Panel Meeting Interactive Panel discussion
Panel consensus and categorizing Outstanding High Priority Medium Priority Low Priority Do Not Fund Triage Prepare panel summary

67 Preparation of the Panel Summary

68 Panel Meeting: Final Day
Re-rank of proposals: Re-visit all categories Numerical ranking - usually only proposals ranked in top ~25%

69 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

70 Post-panel: Declined Proposals
and/or letter to the PD from National Program Leader Return of: Written reviews Panel summary Relative ranking

71 Post-panel: Recommended Awards
Phone Call Return of: reviews panel summary relative ranking (categorical ranking) Complete award paperwork

72 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

73 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

74 Thank you!

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