Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Education and Workforce Development

Funding Agency:
US Department of Agriculture

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. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) requests applications for the AFRI’s Education and Workforce Development program areas to support:

1.     professional development opportunities for K-14 educational professionals;

2.     non-formal education that cultivates food and agricultural interest in youth;

3.     workforce training at community, junior, and technical colleges;

4.     training of undergraduate students in research and extension;

5.     fellowships for predoctoral candidates and postdoctoral scholars.

This RFA solicits Standard Grants and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants, whereas project types solicited in this RFA are Research, Education, Extension, and Integrated Research, Education, and/or Extension projects. Grant types and project types solicited vary by program area priority, and not all grant types are solicited within each program area priority. See Part I C (Program Area Description) for grant and project types solicited by each specific program area priority and Part II C for a description of each individual grant type and project type.

Grants.gov link

 

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

1. Professional Development for Agricultural Literacy (A7501)

Deadlines: Sep. 14, 2023; Sep. 12, 2024

The PDAL program area priority seeks to increase the number of K-14 educational professionals trained in the food and agricultural sciences. Participants (teachers, post-baccalaureate preservice teachers, counselors, administrators) are expected to develop and apply skills necessary for integrating food and agricultural science concepts in their classes; explore the opportunities available in food and agricultural science career paths; and/or forge mentorships with professional and business leaders, and faculty at four-year institutions.

2. Agricultural Workforce Training (A7601)

Deadlines: Sep. 21, 2023; Sep. 19, 2024

The AWT program area priority seeks to develop a workforce ready for the field as well as industry jobs in the food and agricultural sector. Through the development of new workforce training programs, or the expansion, improvement, or renewal of existing workforce training programs at community, junior, and technical colleges/institutes, this program will expand jobbased experiential learning opportunities, acquisition of industry-accepted credentials and occupational competencies for students to enable a work-ready labor force for the 21st century. Proposals aimed towards developing baccalaureate or graduate degree programs or pathways towards these degrees are not supported under this program area priority.

3. Food and Agricultural Non-formal Education (A7801)

Deadlines: Dec. 7, 2023; Dec. 5, 2024

Major advances in agricultural productivity and rural prosperity in the past have resulted from transformative technologies such as breeding tools and strategies, mechanization, and prudent use of agrochemicals. There are several emerging technologies that hold a similar promise. This program area priority will support content development and activities for non-formal education to foster development of technology-savvy youth. Projects must develop activities that cultivate interest and competencies in STEM and in food and agricultural sciences supported by the six Farm Bill Priority areas of AFRI. Data science, including artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics as well as gene editing and biotechnology will be supported in this program area priority.

4. Research and Extension Experiences for Undergraduates (A7401)

Deadlines: Aug. 17, 2023; Aug. 15, 2024

The REEU program area priority promotes research and extension learning experiences for undergraduates such that upon graduation they may enter the agricultural workforce with exceptional skills. This initiative allows colleges and universities to provide opportunities for undergraduate students, including those from underrepresented and economically disadvantaged groups, minority-serving institutions, community colleges, and universities. Projects must provide undergraduate students with experiential learning opportunities that include significant research, extension, and/or education components in the food and agricultural sciences.

5. Predoctoral Fellowships (A7101)

Deadlines: Oct. 26, 2023; Oct. 24, 2024

The Predoctoral Fellowships program area priority help develop new scientists and professionals to enter research, education, and/or extension fields within the food and agricultural sciences within the private sector, government, or academia. The aim of these fellowships is to cultivate future leaders who can solve emerging agricultural challenges of the 21st century. NIFA is particularly interested in supporting fellows that address (1) sustainable agricultural intensification; (2) agricultural climate adaptation; (3) food and nutrition translation; (4) value-added innovation; and (5) agricultural science policy leadership.

6. Postdoctoral Fellowships (A7201)

Deadlines: Sep. 7, 2023; Sep. 5, 2024

The Postdoctoral Fellowships program area priority helps to develop new scientists and professionals to enter research, education, and/or extension fields within the food and agricultural sciences within the private sector, government, or academia. The aim of these fellowships is to cultivate future leaders who can solve emerging agricultural challenges of the 21st century. NIFA is particularly interested in supporting fellows that address (1) sustainable agricultural intensification; (2) agricultural climate adaptation; (3) food and nutrition translation; (4) value-added innovation; and (5) agricultural science policy leadership.

Eligibility Requirements

Applications may only be submitted by eligible entities. Eligibility is linked to the project type as specified below. Note that this RFA lists the general eligibility requirements for AFRI but only integrated and applicable FASE grants are relevant for this RFA.

1. Research, Education or Extension Projects Eligible applicants for single-function Research, Education or Extension Projects include: a) State Agricultural Experiment Station; b) colleges and universities (including junior colleges offering associate degrees or higher); c) university research foundations; d) other research institutions and organizations; e) Federal agencies, f) national laboratories; g) private organizations or corporations; h) individuals who are U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents; and i) any group consisting of two or more entities identified in a) through h). Eligible institutions do not include foreign and international organizations. 

2. Integrated Projects Eligible applicants for Integrated Projects include: a) Colleges and universities; b) 1994 Land-Grant Institutions; and c) Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities (see https://nifa.usda.gov/hispanic-serving-agricultural-colleges-and-univers...). For item a) under Integrated Projects, the terms "college" and "university" mean an educational institution in any state which i) admits as regular students only persons having a certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the recognized equivalent of such a certificate; ii) is legally authorized within such state to provide a program of education beyond secondary education; iii) provides an educational program for which a bachelor’s degree or any other higher degree is awarded; iv) is a public or other nonprofit institution; and v) is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association. A research foundation maintained by a college or university is eligible to receive an award under this program.

3. Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement Grants Part II, C.2 contains the eligibility details for Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants. Note that under the FASE program, only Strengthening Coordinated Agricultural Project Grants are solicited in this RFA.

In accordance with Part III, Section 5 of NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide, duplicate, essentially duplicate or predominantly overlapping applications submitted to one or more program areas within the AFRI (including FASE Grants) in any one fiscal year will not be reviewed. In addition, applicants may not submit to AFRI an application that is considered duplicate, essentially duplicate, or predominantly overlapping with an application submitted to another NIFA program in the same fiscal year.

Funding Type

Grant

Eligibility

Faculty

Category

Curriculum Development
Environmental & Life Sciences
Social Sciences

External Deadline

August 17, 2023