Research & Education Grants
ATTENTION: When applying for this grant, please refer to the guidelines in the Call for Proposal and carefully follow the application procedures.
Research and Education projects are conducted by teams of interdisciplinary researchers specializing in sustainable agricultural systems.
At the core of sustainable agriculture research is the application of a systems approach to research that aims to understand how a complex system functions as a whole, often beginning with a conceptual model. This approach recognizes that agricultural systems are complex and that interaction among components determines characteristics of the system. Research and Education Grants encourage that systems research approach in sustainable agriculture.
What do the grants fund?
All Research and Education Grant applicants must propose systems oriented research that fits one of three grant categories:
- Production research—Focused on actual production methods, this kind of research has made up the bulk of SARE’s project portfolio in the past and has developed techniques that have become common tools for farmers.
- Postharvest/food systems research—These projects examine what happens past the farm gate such as in the markets, distribution systems and policy making. This category can serve as a funding path for social science researchers to also make a difference in our farm and food systems.See Southern SARE Seeks Social Science Proposals for more details on areas of social science interest.
- A combination of production and postharvest/food systems research—The ultimate in systems research would connect what goes on in the ground with everything that happens after a crop is harvested, including adding value, marketing, infrastructure for processing and transportation, as well as policy making.
Who can apply?
Including, but not limited to, teams of researchers from public and private institutions such as 1862 and 1890 land-grant universities, environmental agencies, historically African American universities, USDA-ARS labs, non-governmental organizations, and community based organizations.
What activities are eligible?
Research-based activities with an educational/outreach component that focus on developing sustainable agricultural systems or moving existing systems toward sustainable agriculture. To determine allowable costs for the funding, refer to the USDA-NIFA Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars, A-21: Cost Principles for Educational Activities, and A-110: Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Non-Profit Organization. Refer to additional grant regulations on the USDA website.
How much will the grants fund?
Research and Education grants award up to $300,000 for up to 3 years of project activities.
Successful proposals include:
- Systems orientation. Instead of looking at just increasing yields or reducing inputs, systems research looks at all the parts of an agricultural production system to determine how each individual component interacts with the other components.
- Farmer or end-user involvement. Producers and consumers should be part of the process from problem identification through project development, implementation, dissemination of results, and evaluation.