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U.S. Department of Agriculture: Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative

Deadline: March 24, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) established the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) under which the Secretary of Agriculture may make competitive grants for fundamental and applied research, extension, and education to address food and agricultural sciences in six priority areas. The six priority areas include: 1) plant health and production and plant products; 2) animal health and production and animal products; 3) food safety, nutrition, and health; 4) bioenergy, natural resources, and environment; 5) agriculture systems and technology; and 6) agriculture economics and rural communities.

The Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (ELI) will provide fellowships to undergraduate students, predoctoral candidates, postdoctoral scholars, and professional development opportunities for secondary school teachers and educational professionals (PD-STEP). Each of these opportunities has a different deadline date for proposals. The Research and Extension Experiential Learning for Undergraduates (REEU) Fellowships program is detailed below:

The REEU Fellowships promote research and extension experiential learning for undergraduates such that upon graduation they may enter the agriculture workforce with exceptional skills. The experiential learning initiative for undergraduates will provide fellowship opportunities for undergraduate students at colleges and universities, including those from underrepresented ethnicities and economically disadvantaged groups at minority-serving institutions, community colleges, and other universities. The REEU Fellowships program will support integrated projects that address one or more of the following Challenge and Foundational Areas, including projects that contain associated elements of the human sciences (e.g. disciplines that address issues challenging individuals, youth, families, and communities):

  1. Projects aligned with one of the six AFRI Challenge Areas: Agricultural and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change; Childhood Obesity Prevention; Food Safety; Food Security; Sustainable Bioenergy; and Water Resources.
  2. Projects aligned with one of the six AFRI Foundational areas (above, paragraph 1).

Non-exhaustive examples of experiential projects include: (a) research and extension
apprenticeships, internships, or similar participatory learning within the six AFRI
priority areas; (b) practicums in agricultural laboratories, farms or Cooperative
Extension Programs; (c) externships in the private or public sector; and (d) study
abroad focused on global food security issues to develop global competency skills.

Participating fellows are expected to build their skills necessary for graduate studies; explore the opportunities available in the academe, business, government and other career paths; and forge mentorships with professional and business leaders and faculty.

Amount: Up to $300,000 total for project periods of up to 4 years.

Eligibility: Colleges and universities; 1994 Land-Grant Institutions; and Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities.

Link: http://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-food-agriculture-natural-resources-and

Note: Other deadlines included in this funding announcement are: February 11, 2016 (for the Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships Programs), and March 18, 2016 (for the PD-STEP program).

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