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Research and Education Grants

Grants to USA Individuals, IHEs, Nonprofits, and For-Profits
in Northeast States to Promote Sustainable Agriculture

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Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

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Grants starting at $30,000 to northeast USA individuals connected with IHEs, agricultural nonprofits, farms, agricultural experiment stations, private consultancies, or agricultural businesses for education and research to promote agricultural sustainability. Pre-proposals are due July 6. Applications are accepted for projects in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) is a USDA program offering competitive grants for new ideas in agriculture that improve profits, stewardship, and positive connections between farms and their communities.

This grant program funds projects that result in farmers gaining knowledge and skills they can apply to make verifiable changes that lead to greater sustainability. Projects may be submitted with or without an applied research component, but all projects must have an outcome-based education program for farmers.

Please note that Northeast SARE now offers a research only track for novel approaches in sustainable agriculture. The research should establish the feasibility of the novel approaches with the expectation the new information will be used later in educational programs that promote farmer adoption.

Projects must explore and improve on sustainable practices in agriculture or seek wider adoption or mainstreaming of sustainable practices. Practices to be adopted may be related to production, marketing, finances, or social/quality of life issues. There are seven sections in a preproposal, each with a word limit. Competitive preproposals are clear, specific, and show that the applicant understands outcome funding.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 170933

Number of Grants:

Five to ten awards are made each year, depending on available funding.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Awards range from $30,000 to $200,000, depending on content and duration; the average award is $146,000.

Term of Contract:

Typically projects run two to three years. The maximum project length is four years.

Applicants are advised not to plan the project start date before September 2018.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

There is no requirement that applicants have a specific affiliation, but they must have the institutional connections and support needed to carry out their project. Typically, proposals come from university and extension staff, the agricultural nonprofit sector, and people who work on research farms and experiment stations, but proposals from private consultants or agriculture-related businesses will be considered.

Applicants must have the skills needed to oversee and carry out their proposed project; be credible and experienced in the science of agriculture and agricultural sustainability; understand the importance of profitability, good stewardship, and quality of life for farmers and farm communities; and demonstrate a firm grasp of current opportunities and concerns in sustainable agriculture.

Applicants whose project includes a research component should have experience doing agricultural research, preferably research in cooperation with commercial farmers.

The application must be for work to benefit farmers in the twelve Northeast SARE states, USDA’s northeast region.

Pre-Application Information:

Preproposals are required for Northeast SARE Research and Education grants. Only applicants with an approved preproposal can submit a full proposal; typically about a third of preproposal applicants are invited to submit full proposals.

The preproposal is a short preliminary concept document that allows SARE reviewers to select the most promising projects that offer strong justifications, a clear performance target, and effective approaches.

Process and Timeline:

-June 1, 2017: On line application system opens for submissions at 12:00 AM ET.

-July 6, 2017: Deadline for preproposals for 2018 awards at 11:59 PM ET.

-August 18, 2017: Applicants will be notified about whether or not they are invited to submit a full proposal and receive instructions for submitting full proposal.

-September 1, 2017: The review team provides feedback about invited preproposals to point out areas of concern that should be addressed in the full proposal. The team also provides feedback on preproposals not invited with a focus on key concerns or omissions, but this information will be sent later, by the end of September.

-October 24, 2017: Deadline for full proposals for 2018 awards.

-February 23, 2018: Awards will be announced to applicants, but funding will not be available to carry out the work until UVM receives the funds from USDA. This could take as long as September 1, 2018, so it is best not to plan the project start date before September 2018.

Grant Overview:

See the Research and Education webinar:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit a Preproposal Online:

Northeast SARE
University of Vermont
140 Kennedy Drive, Suite 201
South Burlington, VT 05403


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Connecticut;   Delaware;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New York City;   New York;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   Vermont;   Washington, DC;   West Virginia