7 CFR § 3430.304 - Project Types and priorities.

§ 3430.304 Project Types and priorities.

For each RFA, NIFA may develop and include the appropriate types of projects and focus areas to address the needs of scientists and educators in advanced or early stages of their careers and the differences in institutional capabilities. Types of projects will be revisited periodically based on stakeholder input and as deemed appropriate by NIFA. Types of projects under AFRI include, but are not limited to, the following.

(a) Project Types -

(1) Research projects. Single-function fundamental and applied Research Projects are conducted by individual investigators, co-investigators within the same discipline, or multidisciplinary teams.

(2) Education projects. Single-function Education Projects provide funding to conduct classroom instruction, laboratory instruction, and practicum experience in the food and agricultural sciences and other related educational matters. Projects may include faculty development, student recruitment and services, curriculum development, instructional materials and equipment, and innovative teaching methods.

(3) Extension Projects. Single-function Extension Projects provide funding for programs and activities that deliver science-based knowledge and informal educational programs to people, enabling them to make practical decisions.

(4) Integrated Projects. Multifunction Integrated Projects bring together at least two of the three components of the agricultural knowledge system (i.e., research, education, and extension) around a problem or issue. The functions addressed in the project should be interwoven throughout the life of the project and act to complement and reinforce one another. The proposed research component of an Integrated Project should address knowledge gaps that are critical to the development of practices and programs to address the stated problem. The proposed education component of an Integrated Project should strengthen institutional capacities and result in curricula and related products that will be sustained beyond the life of the project. The proposed extension component of an Integrated Project should lead to measurable, documented changes in learning, actions, or conditions in an identified audience or stakeholder group. Appropriate project activities will be discussed in the RFA.

(b) Grant Types -

(1) Standard Grants. Standard Grants support targeted, original scientific Research, Education, Extension, or Integrated Projects.

(2) Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) Grants. A CAP is a type of Research, Education, Extension, or Integrated Project that supports large-scale multi-million dollar projects that promote collaboration, open communication, and the exchange of information; reduce duplication of effort; and coordinate activities among individuals, institutions, States, and regions. Integrated CAP grants address problems through multi-function projects that incorporate at least two of the three components of the agricultural knowledge system (i.e., research, extension and education). Please note that there occasionally may be programs in which an Integrated CAP Grant is required to address all three components of the agricultural knowledge system. In a CAP, participants serve as a team that conducts targeted research, education and/or extension in response to emerging or priority area(s) of national need. A CAP contains the needed science-based expertise in research, education, and/or extension, as well as expertise from principle stakeholders and partners, to accomplish project goals and objectives.

(3) Planning/Coordination Grants. Planning/Coordination Grants provide assistance to applicants in the development of quality future CAP applications. Applications must articulate benefits accrued from formal planning activities and provide evidence of a high likelihood that quality future applications will be submitted. These activities can take the form of workshops or symposia that bring together biological, physical, and social scientists and others as appropriate, including end-users and technology providers, to identify research, education, and/or extension needs, foster collaboration, and create networking opportunities. These events and the information they generate should be used to build teams that can develop applications to address priorities identified in the RFA.

(4) Conference grants. AFRI provides partial or total funding for a limited number of scientific meetings that bring together scientists to identify research, education, or extension needs within the scope of AFRI.

(5) FASE Grants.

(i) General. FASE Grants are designed to help institutions develop competitive Research, Education, Extension, and Integrated Projects and to attract new scientists into careers in high-priority areas in agriculture, food, and environmental sciences. The FASE grants provide funding for new investigators, pre- and postdoctoral fellowships, and strengthening grants. FASE grants will be awarded as follows:

(A) To an institution to allow for the improvement of the research, development, technology transfer, education, and extension capacity of the institution through the acquisition of special research equipment and the improvement of agricultural research, education, and extension;

(B) To single investigators or coinvestigators who are beginning research, education, or extension careers and do not have an extensive publication record;

(C) To ensure that the faculty of small, mid-sized, and minority-serving institutions who have not previously been successful in obtaining competitive grants under this subsection receive a portion of the grants; and

(D) To improve research, extension, and education capabilities in USDA EPSCoR States, as defined in § 3430.302.

(ii) Types of FASE Grants.

(A) New Investigator Grant. These awards support Project Directors who meet the eligibility criteria of § 3430.303.

(B) Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellowship Grants. Doctoral candidates and individuals who recently have received or will soon receive their doctoral degree, and meet the eligibility criteria of § 3430.303, may submit proposals for pre- and postdoctoral fellowships.

(C) Strengthening Grants. Strengthening awards consist of the following four types of grants.

(1) Strengthening Standard and CAP Grant. These grants provide funding to eligible entities, as defined in § 3430.303, who submitted meritorious Standard Grant or CAP Grant applications that were highly ranked but were below the funding line.

(2) Equipment Grant. These grants provide funding for the purchase of one major piece of equipment. The amount requested shall not exceed 50 percent of the cost of the equipment. Unless eligible for a waiver (as described in § 3430.306(b)(2)), the Project Director is responsible for securing the required non-Federal funds. No installation, maintenance, warranty, or insurance expenses may be paid from these awards, nor may these costs be part of the matching funds.

(3) Seed Grant. A Seed grant is intended to provide funds to enable investigators to collect preliminary data in preparation for applying for a Standard Research, Standard Education, Standard Extension, or Integrated Grant. The grants are not intended to fund stand-alone projects, but rather projects that will lead to further work applicable to one of the priority areas in AFRI.

(4) Sabbatical grants. A Sabbatical grant is intended to provide an opportunity for faculty to enhance their capabilities through sabbatical leaves.