Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 10/23/2023

Specialty Crop Research Initiative

The purpose of the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) program is to address the critical needs of the specialty crop industry by awarding grants to support research and extension that address key challenges of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional and organic food production systems. Projects must address at least one of five focus areas:

  • Research in plant breeding, genetics, genomics, and other methods to improve crop characteristics
  • Efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators
  • Efforts to improve production efficiency, handling and processing, productivity, and profitability over the long term (including specialty crop policy and marketing)
  • New innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening
  • Methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in the production efficiency, handling and processing of specialty crops

In FY 2024, applicants will compete for the SCRI program in two stages. Applicants will be required to submit a pre-application containing a Stakeholder Relevance Statement (SRS). The content required in an SRS is described in Part IV § B of this Request for Pre-Applications (RFPA). Panels of industry representatives from various specialty crop sectors will conduct a review on the pre-applications and submit recommendations about which applicants should be invited to apply in the full application process. NIFA will provide details of the full-application process to invitees in a separate RFA. Review criteria for the SRS can be found in Part V § A of this RFPA.  

Deadline for Pre-applications: Dec. 8, 2023


Eligibility Requirements

Pre-applications may only be submitted by Federal agencies, national laboratories, colleges and universities, research institutions and organizations, private organizations or corporations, State Agricultural Experiment Stations, individuals, or groups consisting of two or more of these entities. 

Amount Description

This RFA is being released prior to the passage of a full appropriations act for FY 2024. Enactment of a continuing resolution, appropriations act, or other authorizing legislation may affect the availability or level of funding for this program. The amount available for support of this program in FY 2024 is approximately $75,440,000. The SCRI Pre-Application process does not result in award recommendations. However, an estimate of project costs is required. Applicants must use the information in Part II § B of this RFPA to develop the estimate. 

Funding Type