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Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI)

Grants to USA Agencies, IHEs, Organizations, Corporations,
and Individuals for Research Related to Specialty Crops

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

Deadline Date:

10/15/19 5:00 PM ET Receipt


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Grants to USA Federal agencies, IHEs, national laboratories, research institutions, private organizations and corporations, cooperative extension services, and individuals to develop and disseminate research tools to address the needs of the specialty crop industry. New applicants are advised to complete required registrations early.

The purpose of the SCRI program is to address the critical needs of the specialty crop industry (as defined in Appendix III) by awarding grants to support research and extension that address key challenges of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional and organic food production systems. Except for Research and Extension Planning Projects, the SCRI program only considers projects that integrate research and extension activities. Applicants are strongly encouraged to propose a unique approach to solving problems facing the specialty crop industry using a systems approach.

The philosophy of the SCRI program is: Truly effective, long-term solutions to specialty crop industry challenges can best be achieved by understanding and treating those problems as complex systems of many interacting components. This perspective requires projects that are larger in scope and complexity, and that demand more resources than have traditionally been allocated to individual research and extension projects. In doing so, projects should focus on entire primary systems (as defined in Appendix III) or on areas where two or more primary systems overlap.

Meeting the challenges faced by these industries can best be handled by considering the full breadth of system components (see example components listed for each primary system), rather than treating each component in isolation and ignoring important interactions and conflicts among components that may reduce the viability of component-specific solutions in the long term.

It is anticipated that successful applications will:

1. Engage stakeholders in collaborative ways to identify those priorities of greatest need;
2. Bring together multi-state, multi-institutional teams of biological, physical, and social scientists to develop strategies and actions emphasizing systems-based, trans-disciplinary approaches for meeting the identified priorities;
3. Address priorities through research and extension;
4. Present plans for documenting the impacts of funded applications that include stakeholder involvement; and
5. Include explicit mechanisms to communicate results to producers and the public.

For details on the five focus areas, see:

The SCRI program offers three project types in FY 2020. The three SCRI project type include:

1. Standard Research and Extension Projects (SREPs)
2. Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAPs)
3. Research and Extension Planning Projects

For details on each of these program types, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182312

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

It is anticipated that most funded SREPs/CAPS for FY 2020 will be close to the historical median over the project period.

Standard Research and Extension Projects (SREPs):
-Budget: Normally, Federal funds will not exceed $1,000,000 per year. Requests less than $250,000 per project are discouraged.
-Mean award: $1,980,070
-Median award: $1,846,428
-Minimum award: $226,905
-Maximum award: $6,010,232

Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAPs):
-Budget: Normally, Federal funds will not exceed $2,000,000 per year.
-Mean award: $5,008,679 vi.
-Median award: $4,438,003
-Minimum award: $1,912,178
-Maximum award: $10,898,772

Research and Extension Planning Projects
-Budget: Federal funds up to $50,000 per project

Term of Contract:

Standard Research and Extension Projects (SREPs): The project period us up to four years.

Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAPs): The project period is up to four years.

Research and Extension Planning Projects: The project period is one year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Pre-Applications may only be submitted by Federal agencies, national laboratories, colleges and universities, research institutions and organizations, private organizations or corporations, State Agricultural Experiment Stations, Cooperative Extension Services, individuals, or groups consisting of two or more of these entities.

Centers of Excellence cannot be requested in the pre-application phase.

Pre-Application Information:

Application: 5:00 P.M. Eastern, October 15, 2019
Letter of Intent: Not Required
Applicants Comments: Within six months from the issuance of this notice
(NIFA may not consider comments received after the sixth month)

In FY 2020, applicants will compete for the SCRI program in two stages. Applicants will be required to submit a pre-application containing a Stakeholder Relevance Statement (SRS). The content required in an SRS is described in Part IV § B of this RFPA. Panels of industry representatives from various specialty crop sectors will review and rank the pre-applications for merit, relevance and impact. The industry representatives for each specialty crop sector will decide which pre- applicants should be invited to submit full applications. NIFA will provide details of the full-application process to invitees in a separate RFA.

Steps to Obtain Application Materials

- Step One: Register New Users to must register early with prior to
submitting an application. Register Here:
- Step Two: Download and Install Adobe Reader
- Step Three: Find Application Using this funding opportunity number USDA-NIFA-SCRI-006810
Search for application here: Opportunity Package.
- Step Four: Assess Readiness Contact an AR prior to starting an application to assess the
organization’s readiness to submit an electronic application.

In accordance with Section 1492 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3371), as amended by section 7614 of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, for grants awarded after December 22, 2018, the recipient of an award from the SCRI program must provide funds, in-kind contributions, or a combination of both, from sources other than funds provided through such grant in an amount that is at least equal to the amount awarded by NIFA.

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For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

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

Programmatic Contact:

Tom Bewick, National Program Leader
P: (202) 401-3356
F: (202) 401-4888

Contact for Electronic Access

NIFA’s Mailing Address:

Before September 30, 2019:
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
800 9th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024

After September 30, 2019:
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
6501 Beacon Drive
Kansas City, MO 64133

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

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