US Department of Agriculture
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Competitive Grants Program
The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is charged with funding research, education, and extension grants and integrated research, extension, and education grants that address key problems of National, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of agriculture, including farm efficiency and profitability, ranching, renewable energy, forestry (both urban and agroforestry), aquaculture, rural communities and entrepreneurship, human nutrition, food safety, biotechnology, and conventional breeding. Providing this support requires that AFRI advances fundamental sciences in support of agriculture and coordinates opportunities to build on these discoveries. This will necessitate efforts in education and extension that deliver science-based knowledge to people, allowing them to make informed practical decisions.
Section 7406 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246) (i.e., the 2008 Farm Bill) amends subsection (b) of the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act (7 U.S.C. 450i(b)) to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a new competitive grant program to provide funding for fundamental and applied research, extension, and education to address food and agricultural sciences. AFRI supersedes the National Research Initiative. AFRI Grants shall be awarded to address priorities in United States agriculture in the following areas:
A) Plant health and production and plant products;
To the maximum extent practicable, NIFA, in coordination with the Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (REE), will make grants for high priority research, education, and extension, taking into consideration, when available, the determinations made by the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board. The authority to carry out this program has been delegated to NIFA through the Undersecretary for REE.
The program authorizes grants for FY 2009-12, of which the Secretary may retain no more than 4 percent for administrative costs. Funds will be available for obligation for a two-year period beginning in the fiscal year for which funds are first made available. Grants will be awarded on the basis of merit, quality, and relevance and may have terms of up to 10 years.
Subject to the availability of appropriations to carry out the AFRI program, the Secretary may award grants to State agricultural experiment stations; colleges and universities; university research foundations; other research institutions and organizations; Federal agencies; national laboratories; private organizations or corporations; individuals; or any group consisting of two or more of the aforementioned entities. Please see the details in the Request for Applications.