2023 SPSD Collaborative Soil Science Research

Funding Agency:
US Department of Agriculture

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is announcing the potential availability of funding for agreements for the purposes of supporting cooperative research in soil science and soil survey. The purpose of the 2023 Soil Survey Cooperative Research Proposals is to promote research that informs and improves soil survey. As such, each proposal must include significant collaboration with soil survey personnel (such as National Soil Survey Center Research staff, Major Land Resource Area (MLRA) Soil Survey or Regional offices). The proposal’s deliverables and their connection to soil survey must be clearly explained.

The FY23 cooperative soil science research priorities were developed through iterative meetings and feedback gathered in conjunction with the 2022 Regional Conferences of the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS). We expect that this funding opportunity will select at least one proposal for funding from each region. The work should have regional application and fill gaps in soil survey knowledge and databases. We expect to fund approximately up to $3,000,000 of cooperative research depending on funding availability. Eligibility is limited to institutions of higher education in the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) network (http://www.cesu.psu.edu/). Proposals are requested for competitive consideration of awards for projects 2-3 years in duration. Individual proposals must have a total cost between $50,000 and $500,000.

Deadline: July 22, 2023

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Proposals submitted under this request must be aligned with one or more components of the Soil and Plant Science Division and NCSS priorities, which are:

  • Soil Health and DSPs
  • Novel Use of Legacy Data
  • Change Detection
  • Research Support for Dynamic Soil Survey
  • Soil Climate
  • Mid-infrared (MIR) spectral application tools

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility for this opportunity is limited to the following entity types:

a. Private institutions of higher education that are part of a CESU network.

b. Public and State-controlled institutions of higher education that are part of a CESU network.

An applicant organization may submit more than one application for different projects or proposing different approaches. In the case of applications submitted as revisions or corrections to a previously submitted application under this NFO, the agency will consider the last application submitted prior to the established deadline.

Amount Description

The estimated funding floor for this opportunity is $50,000 and the estimated funding ceiling is $500,000.

Funding Type





Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

July 22, 2023