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Deadline: March 20, 2017

U.S. Department of Agriculture: Hispanic Serving Institutions Program

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is requesting applications for the Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Education Grants Program for fiscal year (FY) 2017 to promote and strengthen the ability of HSIs to carry out higher education programs that attract, retain, and graduate outstanding students capable of enhancing the nation’s food, natural resources, human sciences and agricultural scientific and professional workforce. Through the HSI Education Grants Program, grant activities support the creation, adaptation, and adoption of learning materials and teaching strategies to operationalize what we know about how students learn. NIFA encourages projects that develop content suitable for delivery through eXtension (https://extension.org). The HSI Education Grants Program also supports projects that integrates social and biological sciences to provide experiential learning opportunities for students in applied research and related community development programs. Incorporation of social and behavioral sciences is important for addressing many of the challenges facing agriculture and rural communities, such as increasing global demand for food production in the face of limited natural resources; improving health and reducing obesity; and increasing economic opportunities.

NIFA is soliciting applications for the HSI Education Grants Program that meet the following characteristics and/or conditions:

  • Strengthen institutional capacities to develop and enhance faculty, curriculum, methods of instruction, and infrastructure including libraries and scientific instrumentation to serve underrepresented students in an identified State, regional, national, or international educational need areas in the FANH sciences;
  • Recruit, retain, and support undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented groups to prepare them for careers in FANH sciences sectors
  • Facilitate cooperative initiatives between two or more HSIs or between HSIs and public or the private sector to maximize the development and use of resources and to improve the FANH sciences teaching programs
  • Support the activities of HSIs to enhance educational equity for underrepresented students

Eligible institutions may, within the Educational Need Area targeted for support, propose projects in any discipline(s) or subject matter area(s) of the FANH sciences, including basic, applied, and developmental teaching activities in food and fiber, agricultural, renewable energy and natural resources, forestry, and physical and social sciences, or rural economic, community, or business development including activities relating to the following:

  • Animal health, production, and well-being
  • Plant health and production
  • Animal and plant germ plasm collection and preservation
  • Aquaculture
  • Food safety
  • Soil and water conservation and improvement
  • Forestry, horticulture, and range management
  • Nutritional sciences and promotion
  • Farm enhancement, including financial management, input efficiency, and profitability
  • Home economics
  • Rural human ecology
  • Youth development and agricultural education, including 4–H clubs
  • Expansion of domestic and international markets for agricultural commodities and products, including
  • agricultural trade barrier identification and analysis
  • Information management and technology transfer related to agriculture
  • Biotechnology related to agriculture
  • The processing, distributing, marketing, and utilization of food and agricultural products

Applicants should consider projects that meet various Educational Need Areas:

  • Curricula Design, Materials Development, and Library Resources (including development of courses of study and degree programs)
  • Faculty Preparation and Enhancement for Teaching
  • Instruction Delivery Systems
  • Scientific Instrumentation for Teaching
  • Student Experiential Learning
  • Student Recruitment and Retention

Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with a USDA agency to leverage grant funds and/or contribute towards overall goals and objectives.

Amount: Approximately $9,200,000 is available. There are four grant types for the HSIs Education Grants Program:

  1. Regular: The Regular grant type supports targeted original scientific Education/Teaching Projects. These grants will be up to $250,000 for a period of up to four years.
  2. Bridge: Bridge Grants are only available to organizations that have not previously been successful in obtaining competitive regular grants from the HSI Education Grants Program. The purpose of the Bridge Grant is to help enhance institutional capacity; and to collect information to demonstrate how reviewer comments have been addressed and strengthen the competitiveness of future applications. Bridge grants will be funded for up to $250,000 for a project duration of four years.
  3. Collaborative Grants support at least one additional partner or a multi-partner approach to enhance education/teaching programs. Collaborative Grants should build linkages to generate a critical mass of expertise, skill and technology to address education/teaching programs related to the FANH sciences. Collaborative Grants must not exceed $250,000 per year up to 4 years. Budgets must not exceed $1,000,000, including indirect costs.
  4. Conference Grants: Conference Grants support scientific meetings that bring together educators to identify research, education/teaching, and/or extension needs, update information, or advance an area of education/teaching. Individual conference grants must not exceed $50,000 for up to two years.

Eligibility: Applications may only be submitted by HSIs.

Link: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/hispanic-serving-institutions-education-grants-program-hsi

Note: Grant deadlines vary by project type:

  • Regular Grants Deadline: Monday, March 20, 2017
  • Bridge Grants Deadline: Monday, March 20, 2017
  • Collaboration Grants Deadline: Tuesday, March 21, 2017
  • Conference Grants Deadline: Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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