United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
Grants to USA colleges and universities to offer quality undergraduate and graduate degree tracks that will strengthen the country's agricultural and food-related professional and scientific workforce. Applicants should contact program staff and register with the grant portal prior to applying. Funding is intended for projects that will help faculty at IHEs inspire their students and take learning to a new level. Funding is available for Planning and Standard Grants, and for Collaborative Grants, Type 1 and 2.
The purpose of HEC is to strengthen institutional capacities, including curriculum, faculty, scientific instrumentation, instruction delivery systems, and student recruitment and retention, to respond to identified State, regional, national, or international educational needs in the food and agricultural sciences, or in rural economic, community, and business development.
Specifically, applications submitted to this grants program must state how the funded project will address the HEC Program Goals.
The HEC projects are expected to: (a) produce measurable impacts aligned with HEC program goals, (b) promote innovative, educational practices within the food and agricultural sciences that improve how students learn, and (c) include a rigorous evaluation component to assess that project outcomes are met. Institutions must demonstrate capacity for, and a significant ongoing commitment to, the teaching of food, agricultural and human sciences generally, and to the specific need and/or discipline(s) for which a grant is requested. Projects should encourage academic institutions, in partnership with organizations and employers, to work collectively to identify and address a state or regional challenge or opportunity facing the food and agricultural sciences education and workforce community. Additionally, projects should encourage broad participation of students traditionally underrepresented in the food and agricultural sciences. An application must convince a peer panel of a compelling educational challenge; clearly indicate how the methodology is both unique and with merit; offer significant promise of adoption by others; and include a plan for how the project impacts will be sustained once grant funds end.
For additional information about project and grant types, see: https://nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/rfa/FY21-Higher-Education-Challenge-HEC-Mod2-RFA-508.pdf#page=10
HEC Program Goals can be found at https://nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/rfa/FY21-Higher-Education-Challenge-HEC-Mod2-RFA-508.pdf#page=6.
GrantWatch ID#: 181100
2 total grants for Planning Activity, Standard, and Collaborative; 2 Collaborative 2 grant; and 1 other HEC grant type.
- Planning Activity – Approx. $30,000;
- Standard – Approx. $150,000;
- Collaborative 1 (CG1) – Approx. $300,000;
- Collaborative 2 (CG2) – Approx.$750,000
- Planning Activity grants are up to 24 months in duration.
- Standard grants are 24 to 36 months in duration.
- Collaborative 1 grants are 24 to 36 months in duration.
- Collaborative 2 grants are 36 months in duration.
There are no limits on the total grant program funds that may be awarded to any one institution/organization in successive years of this competition. Successful award recipients may apply for additional awards in subsequent years either as a lead applicant or collaborator.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Applicants may submit written comments to Policy@usda.gov (email is for comments only).
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 419205
Mail Stop 10000
Kansas City, MO 64141-6205
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