|Volume 21, Number 2||Fall, 1994|
The Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 (more popularly known as the Farm Bill) designated the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as the lead Federal agency for higher education in the food and agricultural sciences. The 1977 Act defines food and agricultural sciences as academic programs concerned with the production, processing, marketing, distribution, conservation, consumption, and research and development of food, forest, and agriculture-related products and services. These academic programs include preveterinary medicine programs at the baccalaureate level and first professional degree programs, such as the DVM, in veterinary medicine.
In response to the 1977 Act, USDA established the Office of Higher Education Programs (HEP) in the early 1980s. The role of HEP is to provide national leadership to: 1) achieve and maintain excellence in college and university programs in the food and agricultural sciences; 2) produce outstanding graduates to satisfy the nation's requirements for scientific and professional expertise; and 3) enhance the complementarity or synergism of research and teaching. Information specific to individual grant programs is given below.
Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate Fellowship Program
Purpose: This program was initiated in FY 1984 to help meet the Nation's ongoing need for food and agricultural scientific and professional expertise. The program is intended to encourage outstanding students to pursue and complete graduate degrees in areas of the food and agricultural sciences for which development of scientific and professional expertise is designated as a national need.
Eligibility: Proposals may be submitted by all U.S. colleges and universities that 1) confer a graduate degree in at least one area of the food and agricultural sciences targeted for national needs fellowships, 2) have a significant ongoing commitment to the food and agricultural sciences generally, and 3) have a significant ongoing commitment to the specific subject area for which a grant application is made.
Targeted National Needs Areas
- Even-numbered Fiscal Years: Animal biotechnology, food science and/or human nutrition, management and marketing--agribusiness, food, and forest products
- Odd-numbered Fiscal Years: Plant biotechnology, water science, engineering--food, forest, biological, and agricultural
Awards: Each proposal may request from 2 to 4 fellows. Fellows must be U.S. citizens or nationals and newly recruited graduate students at the degree level and in the national need area supported by the grant. Doctoral fellows are supported for three years at $17,000 annually; Master's fellows are supported for two years at $10,000 annually. In addition, the grantee institution is awarded a $1,000 per year cost-of-education institution allowance.
Opportunities for Veterinary Medicine: Faculty from colleges and schools of veterinary medicine are particularly well-suited to compete in 2 of the targeted national need areas: animal biotechnology and food science. Although not specifically designed to do so, about one-half of the annual grants awarded in animal biotechnology have typically supported USDA fellows in colleges and schools of veterinary medicine. Similarly, opportunities are great for veterinary medicine faculty to seek fellowship support for their graduate students who have interests in food safety.
Funding: $3.5 million for FY 1994
Contact person: Dr. Wm. Jay Jackman
Higher Education Challenge Grants Program
Purpose: This program was initiated in FY 1990 to strengthen and enhance teaching programs in the food and agricultural sciences. It is intended that projects supported under this program will address a state, regional, national, or international education need, involve a creative or novel approach toward addressing that need, encourage and facilitate better working relationships in the university science and education community, and result in benefits which will likely transcend project duration and USDA support.
Eligibility: Proposals may be submitted by all U.S. colleges and universities that 1) have a demonstrable capacity to teach the food and agricultural sciences to at least the baccalaureate level, 2) have a significant on-going commitment to the food and agricultural sciences generally, and 3) have a significant on-going commitment to the specific subject area for which a grant application is made.
Targeted Areas of Support: Proposals must address one or more of the following targeted areas: curricular design and materials development; faculty preparation and enhancement for teaching; instruction delivery systems; student experiential learning.
Awards: Proposals may request a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $80,000 for projects ranging from one- to three-years duration. Dollar-for-dollar matching funds from a non-Federal source are required.
Opportunities for Veterinary Medicine: Veterinary medicine faculty have been quite successful using the Challenge Grants Program as an incentive to revitalize curricula and to improve faculty teaching skills. Examples of successful Challenge projects include: development and delivery of a distance education aquatic pathobiology course; production of lifelike, full size, flexible teaching models of food animals; development of case studies, and training faculty to use the cases, for senior student rotations; and training faculty in uses of multimedia instruction--digital capturing, courseware authoring, and presentation.
Funding: $1.5 million for FY 1994
Contact person: Dr. Wm. Jay Jackman
1890 Institution Capacity Building Grants Program
Purpose: This program was initiated in FY 1990 to build the teaching and research capacities of the 1890 institutions and Tuskegee University through cooperative linkages with Federal and non-Federal entities. The program addresses the need to 1) attract more minority students into the food and agricultural sciences, 2) expand the linkages among the 1890 institutions and with other colleges and universities, and 3) more firmly establish the 1890 land-grant institutions as full partners in the food and agricultural sciences and higher education system.
Eligibility: Proposals may be submitted by any of the sixteen 1890 land-grant institutions and Tuskegee University.
Targeted Areas of Support: Teaching proposals must address one or more of the following targeted areas:
- Curricula design and materials development
- Faculty preparation and enhancement for teaching
- Innovative instruction delivery systems
- Scientific instrumentation for teaching
- Student experiential learning
- Student recruitment and retention
Research proposals must address one or more of the following targeted areas:
- Studies and experimentation in food and agricultural sciences
- Centralized research support systems
- Technology delivery systems
- Other creative proposals
Awards: Teaching proposals may request a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $225,000 for projects ranging from one- to three-years duration. Research proposals may request a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $350,000 for projects ranging from one-to three-years duration. Non-Federal matching support is strongly encouraged .
Opportunities for Veterinary Medicine: Collaborations between the 1890 land-grant institutions and other institutions are encouraged in this program. Veterinary medicine faculty have the opportunity, under this program, to collaborate with the faculty from these historically Black institutions in faculty exchange programs, cooperative research initiatives, efforts to recruit minority DVM students, and many other innovative partnership ventures.
Funding: $10.55 million for FY 1994
Contact Person: Mr. Richard Hood
Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program
Purpose: This new program is being designed to attract and educate more minorities for careers as agriscience and agribusiness professionals. The purposes of the program are to increase the ethnic and cultural diversity of the food and agricultural scientific and professional work force and to advance the educational achievements of minority Americans.
Eligibility: The department-wide initiative will be open to all U.S. colleges and universities with baccalaureate and higher degree programs in agriculture, forestry and natural resources, home economics, veterinary medicine, and closely allied disciplines.
Awards: The program provides support for the recruitment and education of minority undergraduate and first professional degree students. Annual scholarships are approximately $6,000. Approximately 75% of each scholarship is funded by the grant; the remaining funds must be provided by the grantee institution. Institutions will also receive an annual cost-of-education allowance for each scholar supported by a grant.
Funding: $1 million for FY 1994
Contact Person: Dr. Jeffrey L. Gilmore
Program Managers' Names and Addresses
Dr. Jeffrey L. Gilmore
Grants Program Manager
Dr. Wm. Jay Jackman
Grants Program Specialist
Mr. Richard M. Hood
Grants Program Specialist
Office of Higher Education Programs
Cooperative State Research Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Room 310-E, Aerospace Center
901 D Street, S.W., Ag Box 2251
Washington, D.C. 20250-2251
Voice: (202) 401-1790 Fax: (202) 401-1770
"Typical" Annual Schedule of RFPs, Deadlines, Panels, Awards.Program Mailing Date Postmark Date Peer Review Notification of Application Submissions Panel Dates Awards/Decline Kits
Challenge Oct. 12 Jan. 14 Mar. 7-11 Summer Grants Program
Capacity Oct. 15 Jan. 28 Mar. 21-25 Summer Building
Fellowships Feb. 28 Apr. 29 June 8-10 Summer
Multi-cultural Apr. 30 June 15 July 11-15 Summer Scholars