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Please contact Cliff Schulenberg (; 491-0296) for assistance with budgeting and application.  For additional information about the application process:

Newly added opportunities are denoted in red.

External Funding Opportunities

South Central Sun Grant Program 2020 RFA (Pre-proposal Deadline 8/15/2020)

The South Central Sun Grant Program (SC SGP) is pleased to announce the SC SGP USDA-NIFA Funded Request for Applications for the Regional Competitive Grants Program.

The 2020-2024 SC SGP Regional Competitive Grants Program RFA that will be released on July 1, 2020 aims to select research proposals that will be funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). The SGP-SCR will be awarding approximately $2.0 million for six 3-year projects.

Regional Competitive Grants Program Timeline (subject to change)
Release RFA July 1, 2020
Pre-proposals due date August 15, 2020
Responses to PI by September 1, 2020
Full Proposals due date October 1, 2020

To receive a copy of the RFA, please send an email to with SC SGP 2020 RFA in the subject line.

USDA-NRCS Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production (Deadline 7/6/2020))


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) requests applications for the Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The anticipated amount available for UAIP in FY 2020 is approximately $3,000,000.

Key Dates

Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 06, 2020 through Applications received after this deadline will not be considered for funding.

A webinar (June 3) will be held to provide an overview of the UAIP program purpose, project types, eligibility, and basic requirements for the submission of an application.

USDA-NIFA Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship (NNF) Grants Program (Deadline: 6/22/2020)


The Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship Grants Program (NNF) is designated for graduate degree (masters and doctoral) programs and postgraduate training of the next generation of policy makers, researchers, and educators in the food and agricultural sciences. Functioning collaboratively with eligible higher education institutions, this competitive grants program develops intellectual capital to ensure the preeminence of U.S. food and agricultural systems.

USDA-NIFA Farm Business Management and Benchmarking Competitive Grants Program (Deadline: 6/5/2020)

NIFA will use this solicitation to request applications for the FBMB program for two funding cycles, Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 and FY 2021 to improve the farm management knowledge and skills of agricultural producers, and maintain the national, publicly available farm financial management database to support improved farm management. At this time, NIFA requests applications for the FY 2020 funding cycle. The anticipated amount available for grants in FY 2020 is approximately $1,850,000.

USDA-NIFA Renewable Resources Extension Act-National Focus Fund Projects (Deadline: 6/28/2020))

NIFA requests applications for the Renewable Resource Extension Act (RREA) – National Focus Fund Projects (NFF) for fiscal year (FY) 2020 to provide for expanded and comprehensive extension programs for forest and rangeland renewable resources at a national, regional, or institutional level. The anticipated amount available for grants in FY 2020 is approximately $300,000.

Western SARE Call for Proposals (Deadline: varies)

Western SARE has three Calls for Proposals open:
• Research and Education Pre-Proposal
• Professional Development
• Research to Grassroots

Research & Education:
This grant program involves scientists, agricultural producers, and others using interdisciplinary approaches to advance sustainable agriculture at local and regional levels. With the collaboration of producers, projects must integrate rigorous research and education aiming to advance the three components of sustainable agriculture- environmental, economic, and social- and use innovative educational outreach to disseminate new knowledge to students, producers, and other agricultural stakeholders. Research and Education projects are limited to $350,000 for up to three years. Research and Education Pre-Proposals will be reviewed according to the criteria included in the Call for Pre-Proposals. Applicants of successful submissions will be notified prior to the full-proposal competition and be invited to submit a full proposal for this program.

Professional Development: 
This grant program focuses on training agricultural professionals to help them spread knowledge about sustainable agriculture concepts and practices. PDP Grants are limited to $75,000. Grants can run for up to three years, with the final year to be focused on project evaluation.

Research to Grassroots:
These grants are built on the SARE concept that results of applied research are used to train agricultural professionals and producers in the latest principles of sustainable agriculture.  Successful R2GR projects will take the research results from previously funded SARE projects and bring those results into the field through education to ag professionals and producers. The maximum for each project’s funding is $75,000.

Please read each Call for Proposal carefully for full details and deadlines.

USDA - NIFA Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program (Deadline 6/4/2020)

NIFA requests applications for the Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program (FASLP) for fiscal year (FY) 2020 & 2021 to increase knowledge of agriculture and improve the nutritional health of children. The anticipated amount available to fund grants under this authority is approximately $960,000 in Fiscal Year 2020.

Fulbright US Scholar Programs (Deadline: 9/15/2020)

As Fulbright Canada celebrates its 30th anniversary, a new US Scholars application cycle is opening. For 2021/2022, Fulbright Canada is offering close to 50 Research opportunities at top Canadian Institutions in more than 10 different fields. Our grants support research with colleagues across Canada for a 4 to 9 month period. Applications are accepted through September 15th, 2020.

USDA-NIFA AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program (Deadline: varies, see RFA)

The AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program supports grants in six AFRI priority areas to advance knowledge in both fundamental and applied sciences important to agriculture. The six priority areas are: Plant Health and Production and Plant Products; Animal Health and Production and Animal Products; Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health; Bioenergy, Natural Resources, and Environment; Agriculture Systems and Technology; and Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities. Research-only, extension-only, and integrated research, education and/or extension projects are solicited in this Request for Applications (RFA). See Foundational and Applied Science RFA for specific details.

FFAR Fellowship Program (Deadline: Varies, See RFA)

The FFAR Fellowship Program was established to provide professional development and career guidance to the next generation of food and agriculture scientists across the Foundation for Food and Agriculture’s Challenge Areas and strategic initiatives.

The portal for receipt of applications will open by November 1, 2019. Complete applications must be received by February 17 for the Stipend + Professional Development category, and by April 15 for the Professional Development category. Fellows will be notified on March 11 or the Stipend + Professional Development category, and on May 4 for the Professional Development category.


NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Education and Human Resources (Deadline: varies, see RFA)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) plays a leadership role in developing and implementing efforts to enhance and improve STEM
education in the United States. Through the NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) initiative, the agency continues to make a
substantial commitment to the highest caliber undergraduate STEM education through a Foundation-wide framework of investments. The
IUSE: EHR is a core NSF STEM education program that seeks to promote novel, creative, and transformative approaches to generating and
using new knowledge about STEM teaching and learning to improve STEM education for undergraduate students. The program is open to
application from all institutions of higher education and associated organizations. NSF places high value on educating students to be leaders
and innovators in emerging and rapidly changing STEM fields as well as educating a scientifically literate public. In pursuit of this goal, IUSE:
EHR supports projects that seek to bring recent advances in STEM knowledge into undergraduate education, that adapt, improve, and
incorporate evidence-based practices into STEM teaching and learning, and that lay the groundwork for institutional improvement in STEM
education. In addition to innovative work at the frontier of STEM education, this program also encourages replication of research studies at
different types of institutions and with different student bodies to produce deeper knowledge about the effectiveness and transferability of

The IUSE: EHR program features two tracks: (1) Engaged Student Learning and (2) Institutional and Community Transformation. Several
levels of scope, scale, and funding are available within each track.

USDA-NIFA Higher Education Challenge (HEC) Grants Program (Deadline: 3/24/2021)

NIFA requests applications for the Higher Education Challenge (HEC) Grants Program for fiscal years (FY) 2020 and 2021 to enable colleges and universities to provide the quality of education necessary to produce baccalaureate or higher degree level graduates capable of strengthening the nation’s food and agricultural scientific and professional workforce. The anticipated amount available for grants in FYs 2020 and 2021 are approximately $4.5 million each year.

USDA-NIFA AFRI Education and Workforce Development (Deadline: varies, see RFA)

The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Education and Workforce Development (EWD) focuses on developing the next generation of research, education, and extension professionals in the food and agricultural sciences. In FY 2019, EWD invites applications in five areas: professional development for agricultural literacy; training of undergraduate students in research and extension; fellowships for predoctoral candidates; fellowships for postdoctoral scholars, and a brand new program for agricultural workforce training. See EWD Request for Applications for specific details.

FFAR ROAR (Deadline: Rolling)

The Rapid Outcomes from Agricultural Research (ROAR) program, created by FFAR, provides nimble deployment of funds to support research and outreach in response to emerging or unanticipated threats to the nation’s food supply or agricultural systems. ROAR participants, including but not limited to university researchers, farmers or producers, commodity groups and government officials, may apply for funds prior to an outbreak for development of diagnostics, monitoring and mitigation strategies, or enter into an agreement with FFAR that enables the quick release of funds should an outbreak occur. In this way, the ROAR program supports pre-outbreak efforts, and in the case of an outbreak, fills the gap until traditional, longer-term funding sources can be secured.

Up to $150,000 per one-year grant is available from FFAR, with the requirement that recipients provide equal or greater matching funds from non-U.S. federal sources.

NSF Plant Genome Research Program - PGRP (Deadline: Rolling)

The Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP) supports genome-scale research in plant genomics that addresses challenging questions of biological importance and of relevance to society. The Program encourages the development of innovative tools, technologies and resources that push the boundaries of research capabilities and permit the community to answer seemingly intractable and pressing questions on a genome-wide scale. Emphasis
is placed on the creativity of the approach and the scale and depth of the question being addressed. Data produced by plant genomics should be usable, accessible, integrated across scales and of high impact across biology. Training and career advancement in plant genomics is featured as an essential element of scientific progress. The PGRP continues to focus on plants of economic importance and biological processes and interactions that will have broad impact on the scientific research community and society in general.
Four funding opportunities are currently available:
1. Genome-scale plant research and/or tool development to address fundamental biological questions in plants of economic importance on a genome-wide scale (RESEARCH-PGR);
2. Plant Transformation Challenge Grants to overcome constraints in plant transformation through breakthrough discoveries (TRANSFORM-PGR);
3. Data Mining Challenge Grants to mine, reuse and unleash new information from available large-scale datasets (MINE-PGR);
4. Career Advancement to build new careers in plant genomics as early career awards (ECA-PGR) or midcareer awards (MCA-PGR).

NSF Plant Biotic Interactions (Deadline: Rolling)

The Plant Biotic Interactions (PBI) program supports research on the processes that mediate beneficial and antagonistic interactions between plants and their viral, bacterial, oomycete, fungal, plant, and invertebrate symbionts, pathogens and pests. This joint NSF/NIFA program supports projects focused on current and emerging model and non-model systems, and agriculturally relevant plants. The program’s scope extends from fundamental mechanisms to translational efforts, with the latter seeking to put into agricultural practice insights gained from basic research on the mechanisms that govern plant biotic interactions. Projects must be strongly justified in terms of fundamental biological processes and/or relevance to agriculture and may be purely fundamental or applied or include aspects of both perspectives. All types of symbiosis are appropriate, including commensalism, mutualism, parasitism, and host-pathogen interactions. Research may focus on the biology of the plant host, its pathogens, pests or symbionts, interactions among these, or on the function of plant-associated microbiomes. The program welcomes proposals on the dynamics of initiation, transmission, maintenance and outcome of these complex associations, including studies of metabolic interactions, immune recognition and signaling, host-symbiont regulation, reciprocal responses among interacting species and mechanisms associated with self/non-self recognition such as those in pollen-pistil interactions. Explanatory frameworks should include molecular, genomic, metabolic, cellular, network and organismal processes, with projects guided by hypothesis and/or discovery driven experimental approaches. Strictly ecological projects that do not address underlying mechanisms are not appropriate for this program. Quantitative modeling in concert with experimental work is encouraged. Overall, the program seeks to support research that will deepen our understanding of the fundamental processes that mediate interactions between plants and the organisms with which they intimately associate and advance the application of that knowledge to benefit agriculture.

NSF Division of Environmental Biology Core Track (Deadline: Rolling)

The Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) Core Track supports research and training on evolutionary and ecological processes acting at the level of populations, species, communities, and ecosystems. DEB encourages research that elucidates fundamental principles that identify and explain the unity and diversity of life and its interactions with the environment over space and time. Research may incorporate field, laboratory, or collection-based approaches; observational or manipulative studies; synthesis activities; phylogenetic discovery projects; or theoretical approaches involving analytical, statistical, or computational modeling. Proposals should be submitted to the core clusters (Ecosystem Sciences, Evolutionary Processes, Population and Community Ecology, and Systematics and Biodiversity Sciences). DEB also encourages interdisciplinary proposals that cross conceptual boundaries and integrate over levels of biological organization or across multiple spatial and temporal scales. Research addressing ecology and ecosystem science in the marine biome should be directed to the Biological Oceanography Program in the Division of Ocean Sciences; research addressing evolution and systematics in the marine biome should be directed to the Evolutionary Processes or Systematics and Biodiversity Science programs in DEB.

RAFI Grants (Deadline: Rolling)

There are two funds under the control of the RAFI that have the ability to support grants.  The “Sal Forbes” Research and Development Fund is a restricted fund named for RAAA’s first Executive Secretary and founding member.  The second is the General Fund and the disbursements from this fund may be used for any purpose which the Foundation Board of Directors deems important in advancing the Red Angus breed.  More information about the Red Angus Foundation, Inc. can be found on your website.


NSF Research Coordination Networks General Proposals (Deadline: Rolling)

The goal of the RCN program is to advance a field or create new directions in research or education by supporting groups of investigators to communicate and coordinate their research, training and educational activities across disciplinary, organizational, geographic and international boundaries. RCN provides opportunities to foster new collaborations, including international partnerships, and address interdisciplinary topics. Innovative ideas for implementing novel networking strategies, collaborative technologies, and development of community standards for data and meta-data are especially encouraged. RCN awards are not meant to support existing networks; nor are they meant to support the activities of established collaborations. RCN awards do not support primary research. RCN supports the means by which investigators can share information and ideas, coordinate ongoing or planned research activities, foster synthesis and new collaborations, develop community standards, and in other ways advance science and education through communication and sharing of ideas.

Proposed networking activities directed to the RCN program should focus on a theme to give coherence to the collaboration, such as a broad research question or particular technologies or approaches.

Participating core programs in the Directorates for Biological Sciences (BIO), Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Geosciences (GEO), Engineering (ENG) and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) will accept General (non-targeted) RCN proposals. Some submission deadlines for the general RCN proposals vary by program; consult program websites. BIO is joined by the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) in the Undergraduate Biology Education (RCN-UBE) track described below.

Army Research Laboratory Broad Agency Announcement for Basic and Applied Scientific Research (Deadline: Rolling)

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is the Department of the Army’s corporate laboratory and sole fundamental research laboratory. It is dedicated to scientific discovery, technological innovation, and the transition of knowledge products. ARL is situated within the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM) – a U.S. Army Materiel
Command (AMC) Major Subordinate Command (MSC). The ARL mission is to “Discover, innovate, and transition Science and Technology (S&T) to ensure dominant strategic land power”. To accomplish its mission, ARL executes fundamental research to address enduring S&T challenges identified by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology [ASA(ALT)] and by priorities articulated by the Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA).

The ARL BAA seeks proposals from institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, foreign organizations, foreign public entities, and for-profit organizations (i.e. large and small businesses) for research based on the following S&T campaigns: Computational Sciences, Materials Research, Sciences for Maneuver, Information Sciences, Sciences for Lethality and Protection, Human Sciences, and Assessment and Analysis. Further details are described in the ARL Technical Strategy and in the ARL S&T Campaigns located at These documents are subject to periodic refinements which may result in taxonomy inconsistencies. These inconsistencies should not affect the efficacy of the BAA to present a complete portfolio of essential ARL research.

Army Research Office Broad Agency Announcement for Basic and Applied Scientific Research (Deadline: Rolling)

The purpose of this Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) is to solicit research proposals in the engineering, physical, life, and information sciences for submission to the Army Research Office (ARO) for consideration for possible funding.

Proposals are sought from institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, foreign organizations, foreign public entities, and for-profit organizations (i.e. large and small businesses) for scientific research in mechanical sciences, mathematical sciences, electronics, computing science, physics, chemistry, life sciences, materials science, network
science, and environmental sciences. Proposals will be evaluated only for fundamental scientific study and experimentation directed toward advancing the scientific state of the art or increasing basic knowledge and understanding. Proposals focused on specific devices or components are beyond the scope of this BAA.

Other Funding Opportunities

Syngenta Crop Challenge (FY 2021)

Sign up now for the 2021 Crop Challenge. You will be emailed as soon as the challenge details and data are available. You will also be automatically registered with IdeaConnection, and be one step away from many more challenges like this one.

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