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Grants to USA IHEs to Enhance Education Related
to the Agricultural and Food Sciences

Higher Education Challenge (HEC) Grants Program

Agency Type:

Federal

Funding Source:

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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

Deadline Date:

06/06/22 5:00 PM Eastern

Description:

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Grants to USA colleges and universities to offer quality undergraduate and graduate degree tracks that will strengthen the country's agricultural and food-related professional and scientific workforce. Applicants should contact program staff and register with the grant portal prior to applying. Funding is intended for projects that will help faculty at IHEs inspire their students and take learning to a new level. Funding is available for Planning and Standard Grants, and for Collaborative Grants, Type 1 and 2.

The purpose of HEC is to strengthen institutional capacities, including curriculum, faculty, scientific instrumentation, instruction delivery systems, and student recruitment and retention, to respond to identified State, regional, national, or international educational needs in the food and agricultural sciences, or in rural economic, community, and business development.

Specifically, applications submitted to this grants program must state how the funded project will address the HEC Program Goals:

  1. To strengthen institutional capacities, including curriculum, faculty, scientific instrumentation, instruction delivery systems, and student recruitment and retention, to respond to identified State, regional, national, or international educational needs in the food and agricultural sciences, or in rural economic, community, and business development;
  2. To attract and support undergraduate and graduate students in order to educate the students in national need areas of the food and agricultural sciences, or in rural economic, community, and business development;
  3. To facilitate cooperative initiatives between two or more eligible institutions, or between eligible institutions and units of State government or organizations in the private sector, to maximize the development and use of resources such as faculty, facilities, and equipment to improve food and agricultural sciences teaching programs, or teaching programs emphasizing rural economic, community, and business development;
  4. To design and implement food and agricultural programs, or programs emphasizing rural economic, community, and business development, to build teaching, research, and extension capacity at colleges and universities having significant minority enrollments;
  5. To conduct undergraduate scholarship programs to meet national and international needs for training food and agricultural scientists and professionals, or professionals in rural economic, community, and business development; and
  6. To increase the number and diversity of students who will pursue and complete a postsecondary degree in the food and agricultural sciences.
  7. To enhance the quality of instruction for baccalaureate degrees, master’s degrees, and first professional degrees in veterinary sciences, in order to help meet current and future workforce needs in the food and agricultural sciences.
  8. To conduct graduate and postdoctoral fellowship programs to attract highly promising individuals to research or teaching careers in the food and agricultural sciences.

The HEC projects are expected to: (a) produce measurable impacts aligned with HEC program goals, (b) promote innovative, educational practices within the food and agricultural sciences that improve how students learn, and (c) include a rigorous evaluation component to assess that project outcomes are met. Institutions must demonstrate capacity for, and a significant ongoing commitment to, the teaching of food, agricultural and human sciences generally, and to the specific need and/or discipline(s) for which a grant is requested. Projects should encourage academic institutions, in partnership with organizations and employers, to work collectively to identify and address a state or regional challenge or opportunity facing the food and agricultural sciences education and workforce community. Additionally, projects should encourage broad participation of students traditionally underrepresented in the food and agricultural sciences. An application must convince a peer panel of a compelling educational challenge; clearly indicate how the methodology is both unique and with merit; offer significant promise of adoption by others; and include a plan for how the project impacts will be sustained once grant funds end. 

For information about project and grant types, see: https://www.nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/2022-04/FY22-HEC-RFA-508.pdf#page=11

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181100

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$4,500,000

Number of Grants:

2 total grants for Planning Activity, Standard, and Collaborative (CG1); 2 Collaborative 2 Grant (CG2), and 1 other HEC grant type

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Planning Activity – Approx. $30,000;
- Standard – Approx. $150,000;
- Collaborative 1 (CG1) – Approx. $300,000;
- Collaborative 2 (CG2) – Approx.$750,000

Term of Contract:

- Planning Activity – Up to 36 months;
- Standard – 36 to 48 months;
- Collaborative 1 (CG1) – 36 to 48 months;
- Collaborative 2 (CG2) – 36 to 48 months

There are no limits on the total grant program funds that may be awarded to any one institution/organization in successive years of this competition. Successful award recipients may apply for additional awards in subsequent years either as a lead applicant or collaborator.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants for the HEC must meet all the requirements discussed in this RFA. Applications may be submitted by:
1. U.S. public or private nonprofit colleges and universities offering a baccalaureate or first professional degree in at least one discipline or area of the food and agricultural sciences;
2. Land-grant colleges and universities, (including land grant institutions in the Insular Areas);
3. Colleges and universities having significant minority enrollments and a demonstrable capacity to carry out the teaching of food and agricultural sciences; and
4. Other colleges and universities having a demonstrable capacity to carry out the teaching of food and agricultural sciences.

Global Engagement: NIFA supports global engagement that advances U.S. agricultural goals. NIFA recognizes that collaboration with international partners may be necessary to attain the agency's goals for U.S. agriculture, promote global competence of the nation’s future agricultural workforce, and promote safe and nutritious food security in a growing world. Therefore, although application to this RFA is limited to eligible U.S. institutions, applicants may collaborate with international partners, to include subcontracts to international partners or other institutions. Applications must clearly demonstrate benefits to the U.S.

Detailed eligibility information can be found at https://www.nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/2022-04/FY22-HEC-RFA-508.pdf#page=16

Funding restrictions can be found at https://www.nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/2022-04/FY22-HEC-RFA-508.pdf#page=27

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be received by 5:00 P.M. Eastern, June 6, 2022

Applicants must apply through Grants.gov. New users to Grants.gov must register early prior to submitting an application.

Applicants should contact an Authorized Representative (AR) prior to starting an application to assess the organization’s readiness to submit an electronic application.

There is no limit on the number of applications that may be submitted by an applicant institution. However, a successful applicant institution/organization will only be awarded a maximum of two grants per year under this program. No more than one CG2 grant will be awarded to an institution/organization in any one, annual HEC grants program competition, and generally, an individual academic (or other) unit (a college, school of agriculture, etc.) within the institution/organization may only have one active, CG2 grant in effect at any time.

View this opportunity on Grants.gov:
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=339652

For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the Grants.gov page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Applicants may submit written comments to Policy@usda.gov (email is for comments only).

Programmatic Contact
Irma Lawrence
ILawrence@usda.gov
816-926-1905

For electronic access problems: grantapplicationquestions@usda.gov

Grants.gov Online Support:
support@grants.gov
Telephone support: 800-518-4726
TollFree or 606-545-5035

National Institute of Food and Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 419205
Mail Stop 10000
Kansas City, MO 64141-6205

CFDA Number:

10.217

Funding or Pin Number:

USDA-NIFA-CGP-009106

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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