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USDA Announces Request for Applications for Research Programs

Release No. 0164.03
Marti Asner (202) 720-8188

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2003-Joseph J. Jen, the Agriculture Department’s Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, announced today a request for applications (RFA) for $30 million in supplemental funding under the National Research Initiative (NRI) competitive grants program. Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. ET on July 30, 2003.

“This RFA supplements the existing NRI program, which is administered by USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES),” said Jen. “Priority will be given to projects that are multistate, multi-institutional or multidisciplinary or to projects that integrate research, extension and education. Such integrated projects hold the greatest potential to produce and transfer knowledge directly to end users.”

The supplemental RFA targets five new programs: functional genomics, human nutrition and obesity, air quality, animal and plant biosecurity and training for agricultural homeland security. The new programs result from a $46 million increase in funding for the NRI in FY 2003. A portion of these funds was also used to enhance existing NRI programs in value-added food research and microbial genome sequencing.

These programs build on a foundation of ongoing research addressing key issues of national and regional importance to agriculture, forestry, human nutrition and related sciences.

The NRI supports a spectrum of research that bridges the basic and applied sciences and results in practical outcomes. Competition for grants is open to scientists at all academic institutions, Federal research agencies, and private and industrial organizations.

The complete RFA, including instructions on how to submit an application, is available online.