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Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)

AFRI
Number: 10.310
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Program Information 

Program Number/Title (010):
10.310 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)
Federal Agency (030):
National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Department of Agriculture
Authorization (040):
Competitive, Special and Facilities Research Grant Act, Section 2(2)(b), [7 U.S.C. 450i]., 7 U.S.C 450i.
Objectives (050):
To establish a new competitive grant program to provide funding for fundamental and applied research, extension, and education to address food and agricultural sciences.
Types of Assistance (060):
Project Grants
Uses and Use Restrictions (070):
Grant funds must be used for allowable costs necessary to conduct approved fundamental and applied research, extension and education objectives to address food and agricultural sciences. The competitive grants program shall address the following areas:
A) Plant health and production and plant products;
B) Animal health and production and animal products;
C) Food safety, nutrition, and health;
D) Renewable energy, natural resources, and environment;
E) Agriculture systems and technology; and
F) Agriculture economics and rural communities.

Funds shall not be used for the construction of a new building or facility or the acquisition, expansion, remodeling, or alteration of an existing building or facility (including site grading and improvement, and architect fees). Funds may not be used for any purposes other than those approved in the grant award documents. Funds shall not be used for the construction of a new building or facility or the acquisition, expansion, remodeling, or alteration of an existing building or facility (including site grading and improvement, and architect fees).

Funds may not be used for any purposes other than those approved in the grant award documents.

Indirect cost is not allowable if awarded as an equipment, conference, or post-doc fellowship grant.

Section 720 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012 (Pub.L. No. 112-55) limits indirect costs to 30 percent of the total Federal funds provided under each award. Therefore, when preparing budgets, applicants should limit their requests for recovery of indirect costs to the lesser of their institution’s official negotiated indirect cost rate or the equivalent of 30 percent of total Federal funds awarded.

Special Note on Indirect Costs as in-kind matching contributions:
Indirect costs may be claimed under the Federal portion of the award budget or, alternatively, indirect costs may be claimed as a matching contribution (if no indirect costs are requested under the Federal portion of the award budget). However, unless explicitly authorized in the RFA, indirect costs may not be claimed on both the Federal portion of the award budget and as a matching contribution, unless the total claimed on both the Federal portion of the award budget and as a matching contribution does not exceed the maximum allowed indirect costs or the institution’s negotiated indirect cost rate, whichever is less. An awardee may split the allocation between the Federal and non-Federal portions of the budget only if the total amount of indirect costs charged to the project does not exceed the maximum allowed indirect costs or the institution’s negotiated indirect cost rate, whichever is less. For example, if an awardees' indirect costs are capped at 30 percent pursuant to FY 2012 appropriated funds, Section 720 of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012 (Division A of Pub. L. 112-55), the awardee may request 15 percent of the indirect costs on both the Federal portion of the award and as a matching contribution. Or, the awardee may request any similar percentage that, when combined, does not exceed the maximum indirect cost rate of 30 percent. Fully discretionary.
Eligibility Requirements (080)
Applicant Eligibility (081):
This initiative supports integrated and non-integrated programs. Please refer to Part III, A of the current Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Request for Applications for the complete eligibility requirements.
Beneficiary Eligibility (082):
This initiative supports integrated and non-integrated programs. Please refer to Part III, A of the current Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Request for Applications (RFA) for the complete eligibility requirements.
Credentials/Documentation (083):
No Credentials or documentation are required. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.
Application and Award Process (090)
Preapplication Coordination (091):
All RFAs are published on the Agency’s website and Grants.gov. Applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process. Please see the following Grants.gov link for more information: http://www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp. An environmental impact statement is required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedures (092):
OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Applications should be submitted as outlined in the RFA. Applications must follow the instructions provided per Grants.Gov and in the Agency guide to submitting applications via Grants.gov. This information collection is approved under OMB Control No. 0524-0039, “CSREES Application Kit for Research and Extension Programs.”
Award Procedure (093):
Applications are subjected to a system of peer and merit review in accordance with section 103 of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7613) by a panel of qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the NIFA Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) shall make grants to those responsible, eligible applicants whose applications are judged most meritorious under the procedures set forth in the RFA. This information collection is approved under OMB Control No. 0524-0039, “CSREES Application Kit for Research and Extension Programs.

Reviewers will be selected based upon training and experience in relevant scientific, extension, or education fields, taking into account the following factors:

(a) The level of relevant formal scientific, technical education, or extension experience of the individual, as well as the extent to which an individual is engaged in relevant research, education, or extension activities;

(b) the need to include as reviewers experts from various areas of specialization within relevant scientific, education, or extension fields;

(c) the need to include as reviewers other experts (e.g., producers, range or forest managers/operators, and consumers) who can assess relevance of the applications to targeted audiences and to program needs;

(d) the need to include as reviewers experts from a variety of organizational types (e.g., colleges, universities, industry, state and Federal agencies, private profit and non-profit organizations) and geographic locations;

(e) the need to maintain a balanced composition of reviewers with regard to minority and female representation and an equitable age distribution; and

(f) the need to include reviewers who can judge the effective usefulness to producers and the general public of each application.
Deadlines (094):
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time (095):
:094 Deadlines:
Dates for specific deadlines are announced in the RFA each fiscal year.

:095 Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:
From 30 to 180 days.
Appeals (096):
Not Applicable.
Renewals (097):
Not Applicable.
Assistance Consideration (100)
Formula and Matching Requirements (101):
This program has no statutory formula.
Matching Requirements: Percent: 50.%. Funds are awarded competitively. No formula grants are awarded under this authority.

For equipment grants – Unless criteria is met to qualify for waiver by the Secretary, matching shall not exceed 50 percent of the cost of the special research equipment or other equipment acquired using funds from the grant.

For applied research – if the grant is commodity-specific; and not of national scope, the grant recipient is required to match USDA funds awarded on a dollar-for-dollar basis from non-Federal sources with cash and/or in-kind contributions.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance (102):
The term of a competitive grant under this program may not exceed ten (10) years. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.
Post Assistance Requirements (110)
Reports (111):
Grantees are to submit initial project information and annual summary reports to NIFA’s electronic, Web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submissions of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects. The details of the reporting requirements are included in the award terms and conditions. NIFA uses the SF-425, Federal Financial Report to monitor cash. Grantees are to submit initial project information and annual summary reports to NIFA’s electronic, Web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submissions of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects. The details of the reporting requirements are included in the award terms and conditions. Quarterly “Reports of Federal Cash Transactions” (SF-272) are required by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) (www.dpm.psc.gov) and are submitted online through the DHHS Payment Management System (PMS) website. If you become delinquent in these reports, you will not be able to access your funds.

A final “Financial Status Report” (SF-269) or "Federal Financial Report" (SF-425) is due within 90 days of the expiration date of the grant and should be submitted to the address listed below, in accordance with instructions contained in 2 CFR 3430.55 (also refer to Section 3015.82 of the Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations).

Awards Management Division (AMD)
Office of Grants and Financial Management (OGFM)
National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
STOP 2271
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-2271
Telephone: (202) 401-4986. Grantees are to submit initial project information and annual summary reports to NIFA’s electronic, Web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submissions of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects. The details of the reporting requirements are included in the award terms and conditions.
Audits (112):
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. Audits will be conducted in accordance with guidelines established in the revised OMB Circular No. A-133, “Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-profit Organizations,” and implemented in 7 CFR 3052. This program is also subject to audit by the cognizant Federal audit agency and the USDA Office of Inspector General.
Records (113):
In accordance with the Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Non-profit Organizations [2 CFR 215, Subpart C, Section 215.53, (OMB Circular A-110)] grantees shall maintain separate records for each grant to ensure that funds are used for authorized purposes. Grant-related records are subject to inspection during the life of the grant and must be retained at least three (3) years. Records must be retained beyond the three-year period if litigation is pending or audit findings have not been resolved.
Financial Information (120)
Obligations (122):
(Project Grants) FY 12 $244,022,058; FY 13 est $252,933,804; and FY 14 est $355,529,473 - The difference between the appropriation and obligation numbers reflects legislative authorized set-asides deducted as appropriate, and in some cases the availability of obligational authority from prior years.

This program represents no year funds. Represents new 2012 funds only. Does not include carryover.

These funds are no-year.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance (123):
Minimum and maximum amounts of funding per grant are established by the annual program announcement or RFA.
Program Accomplishments (130):
Fiscal Year 2013: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2014: (A) Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change:

For FY 2014, there will be no Request for Applications published and no new awards are anticipated to be made. It is expected that AFRI will provide $27,387,261 to fund continuation awards made in 2010-2012.

(B) Food Security:

The FY '14 funding level is $6 – $10.375 million (President’s budget).
It is anticipate that 100 applications will be received, 6 awards made, and a 6% success rate achieved. Pertinent details will be provided by Program at a future date.

(C) Food Safety:
In 2014, the Challenge Area anticipates receiving $6 million for new awards, and anticipates making $14,981,438 available for continuation awards.

(D) Sustainable Bioenergy:

For FY2014, the anticipated RFA release date is November 1, 2013

(E) NIFA Fellowship Grant Program:

RFA pending. Approximately 300 applications, and 50 awards are anticipated. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date.

(F) Childhood Obesity Prevention:
No Current Data Available for Fiscal Year 2014. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date.

(G) - Foundational

Not available. Pertinent data to be provided at a future date.

(H) Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID):
In FY 2014, $11 million of total funding is anticipated. The submission deadline is November 20, 2013. The peer panel will take place in early 2014. About 110 submissions are anticipated.

(I) Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy: a Joint Research (USDA & DOE):
Not available.. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date. Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature (140):
7 CFR Part 3430, Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-formula Grant Programs – General Grant Administrative Provisions and Program-Specific Administrative Provisions; 2 CFR Part 215, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Non-profit Organizations (OMB Circular A-110); 2 CFR Part 220, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions (OMB Circular A-21); 2 CFR Part 225, Cost Principles for State, Local, and Indian Tribal Governments (OMB Circular A-87); 2 CFR Part 230, Cost Principles for Non-profit Organizations (OMB Circular A-122); 7 CFR Part 3015, USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations; 7 CFR Part 3017, Government wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) and Government wide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Grants); 7 CFR Part 3018, New Restrictions on Lobbying; and 7 CFR Part 3019, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-profit Organizations.
Information Contacts (150)
Regional or Local Office (151) :
None.
Headquarters Office (152):
USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Food Production and Sustainablity, Division of Animal Systems, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2240, Telephone: (202) 401-6134; Fax: (202) 1602.

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS:

USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Bioenergy, Climate, and Environment, Division of Global Climate Change, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2210, Telephine: (202) 401-4926; Fax: (202) 401-1705;

USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Food Production and Sustainablity, Division of Plant Systems-Protection, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2240, Telephone: (202) 401-4939; Fax: (202) 401-1782:

USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition, Division of Food Safety, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2225, Telephone: (202) 401-1954; Fax: (202) 401-4888;

USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Bioenergy, Climate, and Environment, Division of Bioenergy, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2210, Telephone: (202) 401-5244; Fax: (202) 401-2653;

AND

USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition, Division of Nutrition, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2225, Telephone: (202) 401-2138; Fax: (202) 401-6488.

, Washington, District of Columbia 20250-2240 Phone: (202) 401-6134 Fax: (202) 401-1602
Website Address (153):
http://www.nifa.usda.gov/
Examples of Funded Projects (170):
Fiscal Year 2013: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2014: (A) Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change:

No information available. Awards for FY '13 have not yet been made. Pertinent data will be provided by Program at a future date.

(B) Food Security:

No data is available. Pertinent data will be provided by Program at a future date.

(C) Food Safety:
Information Not Yet Available. Pertinent data will be provided by Program at a future date.

(D) Sustainable Bioenergy:

No information available. Awards have not yet been made. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date.

(E) NIFA Fellowship Grant Program:

Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date.

(F) Childhood Obesity Prevention:
No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2014. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date.

(G) - Foundational

No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2014. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date.

(H) Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID):
No information to report. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date.

(I) Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy: a Joint Research (USDA & DOE):
Not available.. Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date. Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available
Criteria for Selecting Proposals (180):
Within guidelines established for the program as described in the RFAs.