U.S. Department of Agriculture: Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program
The Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program (TCRGP) aims to: (1) Enhance the institutional infrastructure and faculty expertise in planning and carrying out appropriate applied research projects that address concerns and needs of tribal and reservation communities; (2) Forge better institutional and faculty collaborations with other land-grant institutions as well as with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and other research institutions of higher learning; (3) Address the food, agricultural, natural resources, and human sciences (FANH) concerns of reservation communities through scientific inquiry and discovery; and (4) Give American Indian students better prospects for employment and educational achievement by engaging them in laboratory and/or field research domestically or internationally in the food, agriculture, and natural resource sciences.
TCRGP also focuses on development of leadership skills, knowledge, and qualities that are necessary to prepare students to be globally competitive with other students for agricultural and related careers in the private sector, government, and academia. TCRGP intern-focused applications must demonstrably incorporate a leadership development component that equips students with technical and leadership abilities upon graduation. Specific activities may include:
- Developing practical applications to increase understanding of leadership roles, including critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills; ethics and professionalism; and working in teams
- Connecting the academic classroom experience with daily leadership roles and organizational activities
- Providing opportunities for mentoring and shadowing
- Organizing leadership academies, workshops, trainings, etc.
- Area of Expertise. This grant seeks to enhance existing research completed or near completed for TCRGP New Discovery and Applied Faculty/Community grants that have been awarded in the past five years. It is designed for 1994 Land-grants that have or are developing focused areas of expertise in one or more of the FANH sciences. This grant is intended to support a research endeavor where existing research, extension, and education resources have already developed some level of expertise in an areas that is important to their students and communities they serve.
- New Discovery-Regular. These projects should be on a level of research complexity that could lead to an enhancement in the body of scientific knowledge and problem solving on relevant issues. Applicants are expected to possess robust research capacity and faculty expertise to conduct scientific inquiry. Proposed projects are expected to meet the standards of scientific rigor recognized by the greater research community. Research undertakings should be at a standard where results may help solve problems of a regional, state, or national level. Data and results should be of a quality appropriate for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. New Discovery projects are also expected to offer meaningful research involvement for 1994 land-grant institution students.
- Applied Faculty/Community Research. Funds support faculty and student research that addresses practical community needs and opportunities. Investigations should result in knowledge or best practices useful to the tribal community and readily available to college extension offices, teaching faculty, and community development organizations. Research may be on skillful adaptations of existing knowledge to address unique community needs requiring a culturally sensitive approach.
- Student Research. Funds support students in designing and implementing their own research projects. Project Directors and research collaborators will mentor and train students in research ethics, scientific method, data collection and analysis, presenting posters, and publicly sharing research findings. Funded projects should lead to an increase in the number of American Indian students participating in research and gaining scientific skills and knowledge.
All applications must include one of four research partners from the list below. The application must contain a signed collaboration agreement indicating the role the partner will play. Additional partnerships are optional. Approved collaborators are:
- An 1862 or 1890 land-grant institution
- The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) headquarters, state, or regional laboratory
- A Non-land-grant College of Agriculture (NLGCA)
- A forestry school funded under the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Research Program
Amount: Approximately $3,700,000 is available to make up to awards dependent upon funding option, as follows:
- Area of Expertise grants award a maximum of $500,000
- New Discovery – Regular grants award a maximum of $220,000
Capacity Building Option
- Applied Faculty/Community grants award a maximum of $95,000
- Student Led Research grants award a maximum of $60,000
Eligibility: Tribal Colleges or Universities designated as 1994s under the Equity Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994.
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