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Group Title: National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program, 1994
Title: National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program, 1994 (part 1)
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 Material Information
Title: National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program, 1994 (part 1)
Alternate Title: Program description and guidelines for proposal preparation and submission
Program description
Application kit
Physical Description: 2 v. : ; 28 cm. +
Language: English
Creator: National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program (United States. Cooperative State Research Service)
Publisher: National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program, Cooperative State Research Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Washington, D.C.
Publication Date: 1994
 Subjects
Subject: Proposal writing for grants -- United States   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: Application kit dated September 1992.
General Note: "Includes descriptions for the following new programs: Water Resources Assessment and Protection, Biological Control Research, Assessing Pest Control Strategies, Agricultural Systems"--Pt. 2.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00085570
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 31521099

Table of Contents
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    Table of Contents
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    Program description
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    Specific guidelines for proposal preparation and submission
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Full Text









CONTENTS


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

INTRODUCTION .............
AUTHORITY ...............
APPLICABLE REGULATIONS ..
RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES ..

TYPES OF PROPOSALS ............

PROJECT TYPES .................
CONVENTIONAL PROJECTS
Standard Research Grants
Conferences ...........
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH
ENHANCEMENT AWARDS ...
Postdoctoral Fellowships ..
New Investigator Awards
Strengthening Awards ....


SPECIFIC RESEARCH DIVISIONS ....................
NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Plant Responses to the Environment ..........
Forest/Range/Crop/Aquatic Ecosystems ........
Improved Utilization of Wood and Wood Fiber ..
Soils and Soil Biology ...................
NUTRITION, FOOD SAFETY, AND HEALTH ......
Improving Human Nutrition for Optimal Health ..
Ensuring Food Safety ....................
ANIM ALS .................................
Enhancing Reproductive Efficiency ..........
Improving Animal Growth and
Development ..........................
Identifying Genetic Mechanisms and
Gene M apping .........................
Sustaining Animal Health and Well-Being .....
PLANTS ..................................
Plant/Pest Interactions ....................
Pathology .......................
Entomology .....................
Nematology .....................
W eed Science ....................
Genomes, Genetics and Diversity ............
Plant Genome ....................
Plant Genetic Mechanisms ...........
Plant Growth and Development .............


..........
..........
..........
..........


...........
...........
...........



...........

..........

..........
. . . . . .








Energy and M etabolism .......................... .................... 17
Photosynthesis and Respiration ...................................... 17
Nitrogen Fixation/Nitrogen
M etabolism .................................................... 18
Alcohol Fuels Research ......................... ..... .... ............. 18
MARKETS, TRADE, AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT ............................... 19
M markets and Trade .................................................... 19
Rural Development .................................................... 20
PROCESSING FOR ADDING VALUE OR DEVELOPING NEW PRODUCTS .............. 21
Enhancing Value and Use of Agricultural and Forest Products ..................... 21
Food Characterization/Process/Product Research .......................... 21
Non-Food Characterization/Process/ Product Research ...................... 22
STRENGTHENING AWARDS .............. ................................... 23
Research Career Enhancement Awards ...................................... 23
Equipment Grants ..................................................... 24
Seed Grants ......................................................... 24
Strengthening Standard Research Project Awards .... ...... .. ................ 25

HOW TO OBTAIN APPLICATION MATERIALS .................................... 25.


SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION

OVERVIEW ..... .... ......................................................... 26
GENERAL ELIGIBILITY .................................................... 26
TYPES OF GRANTS ....................................................... 27

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS ...... .............................................. 27
FORMAT AND CONTENTS FOR TYPES OF PROJECTS ............................ 28
CONVENTIONAL PROJECTS ........................................... 28
Standard Research Grants .... ..... ...................... .......... 28
Research Conference Applications .................................... 34
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH ENHANCEMENT AWARDS (AREA) APPLICATIONS .35
Postdoctoral Fellowships .......................................... 35
New Investigator Awards .......................................... 35
Strengthening Awards ............................................ 36
Research Career Enhancement Awards ........................... 36
Equipment Grants .......................................... 36
Seed Grants .............................................. 37
Strengthening Standard Research Project Awards .................... 37
W HAT TO SUBM IT ........................................................ 38
W HERE TO SUBMIT ....................................................... 39
W HEN TO SUBM IT ........................................................ 40

SCIENTIFIC PEER REVIEW OF APPLICATIONS ....................................... 42
REVIEW PROCESS ........................................................ 42
EVALUATION FACTORS ................................................... 42
PROPOSAL DISPOSITION ................................................... 44






GRANT AWARDS ..............................
MANAGEMENT INFORMATION ..............
NOTICE OF GRANT AWARD ................
OBLIGATIONS ...........................
POST-AWARD ADMINISTRATION .................
CONDITIONS AND CHANGES ...............
RELEASE OF INFORMATION ................
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION ...........
CHECKLIST ..................................
NEPA DETERMINATION .........................
CONFLICT OF INTEREST LIST ....................
PROJECT SUMMARY PAGE ......................


i


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NATIONAL RESEARCH INITIATIVE
COMPETITIVE GRANTS PROGRAM


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION


INTRODUCTION


Applications are invited for competitive grant awards
in agricultural, forest and related environmental
sciences under the National Research Initiative
Competitive Grants Program (NRICGP) administered
by the Office of Grants and Program Systems,
Cooperative State Research Service (CSRS), for fiscal
year 1994.

AUTHORITY

The authority for this program is contained in section
2(b) of the Act of August 4, 1965, as amended by
Section 1615 of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation,
and Trade Act of 1990 (FACT Act) (7 U.S.C. 450i(b))
(1965 Act, as amended). Under this program, subject
to the availability of funds, the Secretary may award
competitive research grants, for periods not to exceed
five years, for the support of research projects to
further the programs of the Department of Agriculture
(USDA). Proposals may be submitted by any State
agricultural experiment station, college, university,
other research institution or organization, Federal
agency, private organization, corporation, or
individual. Proposals from scientists at non-United
States organizations will not be considered for
support.

It is expected that Congress, in the Agriculture, Rural
Development, Food and Drug Administration, and
Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1994, will
prohibit CSRS from using the funds available for
the NRICGP for fiscal year 1994 to pay indirect
costs exceeding 14 per centum of the total Federal
funds provided under each award on
competitively-awarded research grants.


APPLICABLE REGULATIONS

Regulations applicable to this program include the
following: (a) the regulations governing the NRICGP,
7 CFR Part 3200, which set forth procedures to be
followed when submitting grant proposals, rules
governing the evaluation of proposals and the
awarding of grants, and regulations relating to the
post-award administration of grant projects; (b) the
USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations, 7
CFR Part 3015; and (c) the USDA Uniform
Administrative Requirements for Grants and
Cooperative Agreements to State and Local
Governments, 7 CFR Part 3016.

Section 1402 of the National Agricultural Research,
Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as
amended by Section 1602 of the FACT Act, requires
that research supported by the NRICGP address,
among other things, one or more of the following
purposes of agricultural research and extension: (1)
continue to satisfy human food and fiber needs; (2)
enhance the long-term viability and competitiveness of
the food production and agricultural system of the
United States within the global economy; (3) expand
economic opportunities in rural America and enhance
the quality of life for farmers, rural citizens and
society as a whole; (4) improve the productivity of the
American agricultural system and develop new
agricultural crops and new uses for agricultural
commodities; (5) develop information and systems to
enhance the environment and the natural resource base
upon which a sustainable agricultural economy
depends; or (6) enhance human health by fostering
the availability and affordability of a safe, wholesome








and nutritious food supply that meets the needs and
preferences of the consumer and by assisting farmers
and other rural residents in the detection and
prevention of health and safety concerns.

Section 1404 of the National Agricultural Research,
Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as
amended by Section 1603 of the FACT Act, defines
"sustainable agriculture" as an integrated system of.
plant and animal production practices having a site-
specific application that will, over the long term: (1)
satisfy human food and fiber needs; (2) enhance
environmental quality and the natural resource base
upon which the agricultural economy depends; (3)
make the most efficient use ofnonrenewable resources
and on-farm resources and integrate, where
appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; (4)
sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and
(5) enhance the quality of life for farmers and society
as a whole.

The NRICGP recognizes the importance of sustaining
all components of agriculture (farming, forestry, rural
communities, human nutrition, processing, etc.).

Specific Research Divisions to be Supported and
Their Funding for Fiscal Year 1994

CSRS is soliciting proposals, subject to the
availability of funds, for support of high priority
research of importance to agriculture, forestry, and
related environmental sciences, in the following
Research Divisions (anticipated FY 1994 funding
follows in parentheses):

* Natural Resources and Environment
(S17.039M)

* Nutrition, Food Safety, and Health ($7.573M)

* Animals ($23.666 M)

* Plants ($37.866 M)


* Markets, Trade, and
($3.787 M)

* Processing for Adding
New Products ($ 7.101


Rural Development


Value
M)


or Developing


Pursuant to the provisions of Section 2(b)(10) of the
Act of August 4, 1965, as amended by Section 1615
of the FACT Act (1965 Act, as amended) no less than
10 percent (anticipated FY 1994 funding, $9.230 M)
of the available funds listed above will be made
available for Agricultural Research Enhancement
Awards (excluding New Investigator Awards), and no
more than 2 percent (anticipated FY 1994 funding,
$1.846 M) of the available funds listed above will be
made available for equipment grants. Further, no less
than 30 percent (anticipated FY 1994 funding,
$27.690 M) of the funds listed above shall be made
available for grants for research to be conducted by
multidisciplinary teams, and no less than 20 percent
(anticipated FY 1994 funding, $18.460 M) of the
funds listed above shall be made available for grants
for mission-linked research.

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES

The opportunities for research in the above areas have
been underscored as a means of providing the
scientific and technological advances urgently needed
for meeting major challenges now facing agriculture
in the United States. Many agricultural and scientific
communities, among them the Board on Agriculture
of the National Research Council, the State
Experiment Station Committee on Organization and
Policy, the Joint Council on Food and Agricultural
Sciences, the National Agricultural Research and
Extension Users Advisory Board, user communities,
USDA agencies, and professional and scientific
groups have called for an increased investment in
competitively awarded research as a means of
providing new knowledge for improved national
agricultural competitiveness, sustainability, and
economic performance; for credible environmental
stewardship; for improved human health; and for the
revitalization of rural communities.

Research is needed which will form a broad base of
knowledge for cost-effective prevention and solution
of problems associated with agricultural practices,
particularly for developing production systems that
are sustainable both environmentally and
economically; for developing means to protect natural
resources and wildlife; for optimizing national and
international economic factors; for optimizing
livestock and crop health, quality, and productivity;








for protecting human health and food safety; for
finding new uses of agricultural products; for adding
value to all stages of agricultural products; and for
enhancing competitiveness of agricultural products
and revitalizing rural economies.

While basic guidelines are provided to assist members
of the scientific community in assessing their interest
in the program areas and to describe areas where new
information is vitally needed, the guidelines are not
meant to establish boundaries or to discourage the
creativity of potential applicants. The USDA
encourages submission of innovative projects that are
"high-risk", as well as innovative proposals with
potential for more immediate application.

For research addressing biological issues,
agriculturally important organism(s) should be used to
accomplish the research objectives. The use of other
organisms as experimental model systems MUST be
justified relative to the goals of the appropriate
research program areas and to the long-term objectives
of USDA.

In order to focus limited resources in selected areas of
fundamental and mission-linked research that have the
potential to expand the knowledge base needed,
research in the following six specific research
divisions will be supported:

Natural Resources and the Environment. Increased
knowledge is necessary for prudent management of
our nation's natural resources and for addressing
potential environmental problems such as excess UV-
B radiation and global change. Accordingly, in the
area of Natural Resources and the Environment,
research programs will include: Plant Responses to
the Environment, Forest/Rangeland/Crop/Aquatic
Ecosystems, Improved Utilization of Wood and
Wood Fiber and Soils and Soil Biology.

Nutrition, Food Safety, and Health. In response to
the increased awareness of the dependency of health
maintenance on optimum nutrition and food quality,
research activities with the goal of improving human
nutrition for optimal health will continue to be
supported. Research proposals will also be supported
in food safety, specifically focusing on microbial
agents responsible for food-borne illness and on


detection methodologies for these agents and naturally
occurring toxins in food.

Animals. Animal agricultural research will benefit
the American public by enhancing animal production
efficiency in concert with sound environmental
practices, and ensuring competitiveness of U.S. food
production from animals. Improved animal products
and health and well-being will also be important
outcomes. Accordingly, research areas supported by
the Division will include: Enhancing Reproductive
Efficiency; Improving Animal Growth and
Development; Identifying Genetic Mechanisms and
Gene Mapping; and Sustaining Animal Health and
Well-Being.

Plants. The Plant Genome program will continue to
provide opportunities in mission-oriented research
targeted for the identification, characterization,
alteration, and manipulation of genes controlling plant
traits important to agriculture and forestry. This
program area is part of the larger USDA Plant
Genome Research Program. It is expected that studies
in the Plants Division will contribute to more
efficient and enhanced production of feed stocks for
use as biofuels. Other NRICGP programs in the FY
93 Plants Division (Nitrogen Fixation/Nitrogen
Metabolism; Photosynthesis and Respiration; Plant
Genetic Mechanisms; Plant Growth and Development;
Plant Pest Interactions; and Alcohol Fuels) will
continue in FY 1994.

Markets, Trade, and Rural Development. New
knowledge is essential to improve the competitiveness
of the U.S. agricultural, aquacultural, and forest
product sectors in domestic and foreign markets while
meeting societal goals for the use of sustainable
production and processing practices. Additional
knowledge is needed to enable rural communities to
develop revitalization strategies in response to the
industrial restructuring occurring in rural America and
preserve the quality of rural living. This Division will
support research in two areas: (1) Markets and Trade
and (2) Rural Development.

Processing for Adding Value or Developing New
Products. In response to a growing awareness of the
need to enhance the competitive value and quality of
U.S. agricultural and forest products, research is







needed to develop new uses for agricultural and forest
materials and to increase the value of food and non-
food products. Accordingly, research will be
supported in the Enhancing Value and Use of
Agricultural and Forest Products program.


IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT ADDITIONAL
PROGRAMS, IN ADDITION TO THOSE
DESCRIBED IN THIS DOCUMENT, WILL BE
DETAILED IN A SUPPLEMENTAL RELEASE.


TYPES OF PROPOSALS


Under the NRICGP, CSRS may make project grants,
including renewals to existing NRICGP-funded
projects, to support research, including research
conferences, and to improve research capabilities in
selected areas related to the food and agricultural
sciences. 7 CFR 3200.1 (a) states that each year
CSRS will announce through publication of a Notice
the high priority research areas and categories to
improve research capabilities for which proposals will
be solicited and the extent to which funds are
available.

The NRICGP solicits proposals that are single or
multidisciplinary; fundamental or mission-linked. The
following definitions apply:

* Fundamental Research: Research that tests
scientific hypotheses and provides basic
knowledge that supports applied research and from
which major conceptual breakthroughs are
expected to occur.

* Mission-linked Research: Research on
specifically identified agricultural problems which,
through a continuum of efforts, provides
information and technology that may be '


transferred to users and may relate to a product or
process.

SMultidisciplinary Research: Research in which
scientists from two or more disciplines are
collaborating closely. These collaborations, where
appropriate, may integrate the biological, physical,
chemical and/or social sciences.

Note to Multidisciplinary Research Teams: The
NRICGP recognizes the value of research performed
as a team effort and recommends the following be
taken into consideration when assembling a research
team and constructing a proposal: In order to be
competitive, the number of objectives and the level of
personnel involved in the proposal should be
appropriate to the NRICGP program area and to the
research proposed. A clear management strategy
should be provided which identifies the contribution of
each member of the team. Participation should be
limited to those investigators integral to. the proposed
research and should not include investigators or
objectives peripheral to the hypothesis being tested.
It is unlikely that requests for more than three years
of funding will be supported


PROJECT TYPES


The project types for which proposals are solicited
include:

I. CONVENTIONAL PROJECTS

(a) Standard Research Grants: Research will be
supported that is fundamental or mission-linked
conducted by individual investigators, co-investigators
within the same discipline, or multidisciplinary


teams. Any State agricultural experiment station,
college, university, other research institution or
organization, Federal agency, private organization,
corporation or individual may apply. The research
proposed must be solicited specifically in the research
program areas described herein.

See the Section "Guidelines for Proposal
Preparation and Submission" in this booklet for







complete details on what to submit for a Standard
Research Grant.

(b) Conferences: Scientific meetings that bring
together scientists to identify research needs, update
information, or advance an area of research are
recognized as integral parts of research efforts.
Support for a limited number of such meetings
covering subject matter encompassed by this
solicitation will be considered for partial or, if modest,
total support. These proposals should be submitted to
the appropriate research program areas described in
this solicitation. Applicants considering submission
under this category are strongly advised to consult the
appropriate NRICGP staff before preparation and
submission of the proposal. Any State agricultural
experiment station, college or university, other
research institution or organization, Federal agency,
private organization, corporation, or individual is an
eligible applicant in this area.

See the Section "Guidelines for Proposal
Preparation and Submission" in this booklet for
complete details on what to submit for a Conference
Grant.

I. AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH
ENHANCEMENT AWARDS

In order to contribute to the enhancement of research
capabilities in the research program areas described
herein, applications are solicited for competitive grants
to be awarded in the following categories:

(a) Postdoctoral Fellowships: In accordance with
Section 2(b)(3)(D) of the 1965 Act, as amended,
individuals who have recently received or will soon
receive their doctoral degree are encouraged to submit
proposals. These proposals must be submitted
directly by the individual and not through an
institution. The following requirements apply: (1)
the doctoral degree must be received after January 1,
1991, and no later than June 15, 1994; (2) the
individual must be a citizen of the United States; (3)
the proposal must contain documentation that (a)
arrangements have been made with an established
investigator to serve as mentor who will supply
necessary facilities, space and materials for conduct
of the research and (b) that the host institution has
been informed of these arrangements and concurs


with them; and (4) the research proposed must be
solicited in and directly submitted to one of the
program areas described in this document; The
proposal should initiate the individual's independent
research program, rather than supplement or augment
research programs in the laboratory of the mentor.
Postdoctoral awards are limited to a total award of
$80,000 and two year's duration and are not
renewable. Funds should be requested primarily for
salary support, although limited expenditures for
supplies, travel, and publication are allowable costs.
An institutional allowance (not to exceed $2400/year)
and a special allowance to cover taxes, benefits, etc.
(not to exceed $3600/year) are also allowable costs
within the $80,000 maximum award. A separate peer
review panel will not be assembled for the purpose of
reviewing these proposals. Proposals should be
submitted to the appropriate research program
area described in this solicitation by the designated
deadline for that particular program area.

Applicants are urged to contact program staff
concerning questions related to eligibility, budget,
and similar matters.

See the Section "Guidelines for Proposal
Preparation and Submission" in this booklet for
complete details on what to submit for a Postdoctoral
Fellowship.

(b) New Investigator Awards: Pursuant to Section
2(b)(3)(E) of the 1965 Act, as amended, investigators
or co-investigators who have completed graduate or
post-doctoral training, and are beginning their
independent research careers are encouraged to submit
proposals as new investigators. All individuals who
have not received competitively-awarded Federal
research funds beyond the level ofpre- or postdoctoral
research awards, and who have less than five years of
post-graduate research experience, are eligible for this
award. The proposal must contain documentation
which lists all prior Federal research support. All
principal and co-principal investigators must meet
all New Investigator eligibility requirements as
described within this section. Research colleagues
who do not meet eligibility requirements should be
designated only as collaborators and should not be
listed on the Application Cover Page. The research
proposed shall be appropriate to one of the program
areas described in this document, and the proposal








must be submitted directly to that program area at
the designated deadline date. A separate peer
review panel will not be assembled for the purpose of
reviewing these proposals.

See the Section "Guidelines for Proposal
Preparation and Submission" in this booklet for
complete details on what to submit for a New
Investigator Award.

(c) Strengthening Awards: Pursuant to Sections
2(b)(3)(D) and (F) of the 1965 Act, as amended,
proposals are solicited that request funds for Research
Career Enhancement Awards, Equipment Grants, Seed
Grants, or Strengthening Standard Research Project
Awards. Research Career Enhancement Awards, Seed
Grants, and Strengthening Standard Research Project


Awards will be available to ensure that faculty of
small and mid-sized academic institutions who have
not previously been successful in obtaining
competitive grants under Section 2(b) of the 1965 Act,
as amended (Competitive Research Grants Program),
receive a portion of the grants. Also, investigators at
institutions in USDA EPSCoR states are eligible for
these awards and are encouraged to apply. See
program area 80.0 for eligibility requirements.

The project subject for any Strengthening Award
shall be appropriate to one of the research
program areas described in this document. More
specific description of the Strengthening Awards
Program is found under Program Area 80.0.


SPECIFIC RESEARCH DIVISIONS


The following specific Research Divisions and the
program areas therein and guidelines are provided as
a base from which proposals for both Conventional
Projects and Agricultural Research Enhancement
Awards shall be developed:

NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE
ENVIRONMENT

Knowledge is needed in the area of natural resources
and the environment to address contemporary issues
of importance, not only for agriculture, but for society
as a whole. Biological systems, including humans, are
influenced markedly by the environment. Further, the
impact of possible environmental changes on the
sustainability and economic viability of agriculture
and forestry, and the need to enhance the stewardship
of natural resources and to minimize negative
environmental consequences require expanded
knowledge in diverse scientific disciplines.

A strong scientific basis is needed for understanding
the impact of potential global change. As a part of
the U.S. Global Change Research Program, this
Division of the NRICGP will support research
relevant to projected global change. Such research is
solicited in three programs: Forest/Range/Crop/
Aquatic Ecosystems; Plant Responses to the
Environment; and Soils and Soil Biology.


In previous years the NRICGP solicited proposals in
a Water Quality program. There is also a CSRS-
administered Special Grants Water Quality program.
To avoid the confusion which has resulted from two
programs with the same name, programs in the
Natural Resources and Environment Division of the
NRICGP have been restructured. Research on
wetland, riparian or buffer ecosystems in relation to
water quality at the ecosystem level will now be
supported in the Forest/Range/Crop/Aquatic
Ecosystem program; research that addresses
plant/water contaminant interactions at the whole
plant, cellular and molecular levels will now be
supported in the Plant Responses to the Environment
program; and research on soil and microbial processes
in relation to water quality will now be supported in
a new program, Soils and Soil Biology. While the
Special Grants Water Quality program will continue
to be administered by CSRS, it is anticipated that all
topics previously supported in the NRICGP Water
Quality program will be accepted in one of the
reconfigured program areas.

22.1- Plant Responses to the Environment

The goal of this program is to understand the
fundamental mechanisms of the plant's response to
environmental factors, both natural and anthropogenic.
Environmental factors may include water, temperature,








light (including UV-B), nutrient, and atmospheric
chemical composition (including carbon dioxide and
other greenhouse gases, ozone and sulfur dioxide).
Mechanisms may be studied at the whole plant,
cellular, or molecular levels. It is recommended,
however, that studies at the cellular and molecular
levels be considered in relation to the response at the
level of the whole plant. Proposals are encouraged
that are based on testable hypotheses and that go
beyond descriptive levels of experimentation.
Hypotheses that consider single or multiple factors are
appropriate. When the aim of the proposal is to
substantially further the understanding of biological
mechanisms related to plant response to the
environment, inclusion of models is appropriate.
Examples of research to be supported include but are
not limited to: (a) expression and regulation of genes
and gene products that are relevant in plant response
to environmental factors; (b) identification of
physiological, biochemical, cellular, morphological,
and phenological changes that take place in plants in
response to environmental signals; and (c) the
interactions of multiple factors and how they affect
plant physiological processes.

In contrast to previous years, ecosystem level studies
specifically directed toward understanding the
response to the environmental factors listed above
should be submitted to the Forest/Range/Crop/Aquatic
Ecosystem Program (23.0). Program areas that
support studies directed toward understanding aspects
of plant biology that do not emphasize an
environmental component are described in the Plant
Division (51.0-54.0).

23.0 Forest/Range/Crop/Aquatic Ecosystems

Environmental quality and the capacity of the
environment to provide life-sustaining products such
as food, fiber, clean air and water is inextricably
linked to the condition of biological systems, of which
humans are a component. Thus, the integrity and
function of ecosystems must be sustained to meet the
social and economic needs of future generations. The
Ecosystems Program is therefore designed to increase
our understanding of interactions between abiotic and
biotic components of ecosystems and to provide the
basic information needed to assess environmental
conditions and the sustainability of agriculture within


an ecosystem context. Research supported by this
program will address the needs of agricultural
planning, the effects of agricultural practices on
environmental quality and sustainability, or the
functional integrity of natural ecosystems.

Basic research provides the necessary linkage between
the condition of the environment, the value that
society places on the sustainability of a quality
environment, and the application of technologies and
management practices to optimize our stewardship of
the environment. This area will support research on
the structure, function and sustainability of forest,
rangeland, crop, or aquatic (including riparian,
wetland and estuarine areas, but not oceanic)
ecosystems. Proposals will examine ecosystem
response to natural (e.g., wind, flood, fire, pest
outbreak) and/or anthropogenic (e.g., ozone, climate
change, management) disturbance. Proposals which
integrate single- or multi-disciplinary basic research
designed to understand how materials, energy, and
water flow through and interact with the environment
are encouraged. Each proposal must have as its focus
at least one specific issue which will be answered in
an ecosystem context (e.g., develop an accurate
carbon budget, determine the effect of agricultural
chemical exposure on wildlife fecundity). The
presentation of conceptual models providing
compartmentalization schemes within which all
functional components of the ecosystem (e.g., rates of
nutrient transfer, capacity for nutrient conservation,
level of redundancy of function, etc.) can be
integrated are encouraged. Conceptual model
integration should provide an effects interaction and
characterization framework within which indicators of
ecosystem function can be related to specific changes
in ecosystem condition (e.g., growth, morbidity,
mortality).

Examples of research topics to be examined include
but are not limited to: (a) plant community structure
and successional development; (b) support systems for
wildlife (e.g., habitat requirements, community
ecology); (c) microbial communities in the soil, or
associated with plants (rhizosphere or phyllosphere),
or water bodies; (d) landscape-scale interactions
(proposals using GIS approaches at the landscape
scale [10s of km2 to 1000s of km2] are encouraged,
but must be placed in the context of discrete, testable








hypotheses of regional or national significance for
ecosystem response); (e) developing indicators of
environmental condition that will predict ecosystem
sustainability, aid in policy assessments and are
applicable regionally or nationally; (f) valuation of
ecosystems or ecosystem components; (g) effects of
socio-economic decisions on ecosystem structure and
function; and (h) nutrient cycling.

Modeling proposals will be considered when the
problem being addressed is of national significance
(i.e., applicability to multiple ecosystems) or when the
model developed will serve as a tool to interpret
research results and hence to increase understanding
of ecosystem function. Pure modeling proposals will
be considered only if the investigators) can show (via
literature review) that further experimental research is
not likely to advance understanding of the field, and
that modeling approaches represent a reasonable
alternative which may provide new and useful insights
into a particular problem of national significance.

Proposals addressing soil or sediment processes
independent of an ecosystem context should be
submitted to the Soils and Soil Biology Program
(25.0). Proposals examining whole plant responses to
the environment should be submitted to the Plant
Responses to the Environment Program (22.0).
Proposals examining the biology or ecology of weed
interactions within the ecosystem should be submitted
to the Weed Science Program (51.4). Investigators
should contact the NRICGP program director to
discuss the suitability of a specific proposal prior to
submission.

24.0 Improved Utilization of Wood and Wood
Fiber

This program area encourages research on critical
barriers to improved wood utilization, providing the
scientific base from which new research and
development can proceed. Research to enhance value
or develop new products for improving the
competitive value and quality of U. S. forestry
products is also encouraged. The program area will
place emphasis on wood chemistry,
physical/mechanical properties of wood and basic
wood processing, structural wood engineering and
forest engineering practices.


Wood chemistry and biochemistry represent
important areas where new fundamental knowledge
offers potential for expanding efficient wood
utilization. Research is needed that advances
understanding of the principles governing the
biological, physical, or chemical reactions in wood
and wood-based materials. Examples of research
topics include, but are not limited to: conversion to
products; deterioration mechanisms; recycling of wood
fiber; new wood treatment chemistry; lignocellulosic
polymer modification; surface chemistry; adhesion
and properties of adhesives; and pharmaceutical
chemistry.

Physical/mechanical properties of wood and basic
wood processing technology constitute an area of
investigation in which an improved base of scientific
knowledge can ensure future development of new
materials, products, and processes. Research is
encouraged that advances an understanding of the
structure and physical properties of wood and
develops innovative processes and products for more
efficient conversion of wood-based materials into
primary and value-added products. Examples of such
research include, but are not limited to: anatomy and
ultrastructure; wood formation; viscoelasticity; heat
and mass transfer phenomena; lignocellulosic
modification; particle/fiber consolidation;processing of
engineered composite products from recycled wood
fiber; surface and defect evaluation methods; non-
destructive property evaluation; and other aspects of
material science.

Structural wood engineering relates to the structural
performance of wood and wood-based materials as
individual components and in systems. Significant
improvements in the use of wood will depend on the
development of an expanded scientific base of
knowledge. The goal of research in this area is to
stimulate innovative approaches in the structural use
of wood. Examples of relevant research include, but
are not limited to: systems response to static and
dynamic forces; performance modeling and behavior
of wood/non-wood composites; new approaches in
fasteners and connectors; moisture and environmental
effects; and basic failure mechanisms.

Forest engineering research that emphasizes the
impact of engineering practices upon forest operations








and resources will be considered in this program area.
Research on the development of equipment,
instrumentation and control systems should have a
significant focus on effects of equipment and
instrumentation on wood quality or wood products.
Examples of such research include, but are not limited
to: impact of harvesting equipment on the forest
environment; studies of engineering-system-related
stand regeneration; relationships of forest engineering
to trees, stands, and soils; ergonomics of forest system
components; and systems for controlling and
monitoring equipment.

25.0 Soils and Soil Biology

Soils provide physical support, water and nutrients to
terrestrial plants and are recipients of plant and animal
(including human) materials. As such, soils serve as
the location of key interactions between the abiotic
and biotic components of terrestrial ecosystems. It is
here that many of the essentials for the production of
biomass are obtained and here that nutrients from
dead biomass are recycled into usable forms. We
must further our understanding of the basic
mechanisms contributing to the immense diversity in
soil chemical, physical and biological characteristics
if we are to succeed in both sustaining agricultural
production and maintaining or improving
environmental quality.

Linkages among abiotic and biotic processes within
soils and sediments regulate the flows of materials and
energy through and between ecosystem components.
However, the mechanisms controlling individual and
coupled soil processes in the field remain poorly
understood. This program will support research on
chemical, physical, or biological processes of managed
and unmanaged soils and sediments. Genetic and
molecular biology proposals will also be accepted to
examine the existing capacities or community
structures of natural soil biota. Problem areas include,
but are not limited to: (a) ecology and community
dynamics of belowground biota (including roots,
mycorrhizae, bacteria, fungi and soil fauna) and their
interactions within the soil environment; (b) soil
surface and weathering chemistry; (c) basic
biochemical, genetic, and molecular mechanisms
employed by the natural flora and fauna in the uptake,
degradation, or transformation of agrichemicals,


including in competition with introduced biota; (d) the
feedbacks of soils, sediments and associated biota in
relationship to atmospheric composition and climate;
(e) the coupling of processes in soils; and (f)
development of approaches to relate static soil
characteristics to soil properties or fluxes to and from
the soil (e.g., estimating trace gas emission potentials
from spatial associations of soil texture, moisture and
carbon content; development of quantifiable indices of
soil quality).

Other NRICGP and CSRS programs support research
examining specific soil biota or biological processes.
Proposals which include soil and/or soil biota as a
component of a larger ecosystem-level investigation
should be submitted to the Forest/Range/Crop/Aquatic
Ecosystem Program (23.0). Proposals that concern
the biology ofplant parasitic nematodes in soil should
be submitted to the program in Nematology (51.3).
Investigators should contact the NRICGP program
director to discuss the suitability of a specific
proposal prior to submission.


NUTRITION, FOOD SAFETY, AND
HEALTH

Health maintenance of the U.S. citizen depends
significantly on the quality and quantity of the
country's food supply and the nutrients consumed by
individuals. Research will be supported which will
contribute to the improvement of human nutrition by
increasing our understanding of requirements of
nutrients and factors which impact optimal human
nutrition. Data generated from these studies and those
conducted to better understand food consumer
attitudes and behavior will form the scientific basis for
dietary recommendations, as well as for new
developments by the food industry in response to the
needs engendered by those recommendations. Safety
of food products is of paramount importance to the
producer, processor, distributor, and consumer. In
response to this need, research in' food safety,
particularly focusing on the pathogenesis, detection,
and prevention and control of food-borne disease-
causing microorganisms is being solicited.








31.0 Improving Human Nutrition for Optimal
Health

Our need to understand the interrelationships between
human nutrition and optimal health serves as an
impetus for research which will improve our
understanding of optimal nutrition in the normal
healthy human population. The primary objective of
this program is to support research that will
contribute to our understanding of optimal human
nutrition, including specific nutrient requirements of
individuals and different age groups and the factors
affecting these requirements. In addition, a scientific
understanding of the critical role of food consumer
attitudes and behavior is needed.

Examples of research that will be emphasized include:
(a) bioavailability of nutrients; (b) the
interrelationships among nutrients; (c) nutrient
requirements of healthy individuals across all age
groups; (d) mechanisms underlying the relationship
between diet and health maintenance, such as the
effect of nutrients on the immune system, and the
effects of nutrients on human health and longevity; (e)
the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying
nutrient requirements, including the influence of
specific nutrients on gene expression; and (f) food
consumer behavior, including identification of.
obstacles to adopting healthful food habits, and
development of methods to convey knowledge to
target audiences, and to ascertain societal concerns
and factors that affect food choices. A better
understanding of optimal human nutrition and food
consumer behavior will contribute to the USDA's
emphasis on nutrition education and research.

Proposals dealing with processing techniques in food
technology should be clearly oriented toward
determining effects on diet and nutrition. Proposals
that concern utilization or production of a food
commodity should emphasize the relationship to
specific human nutrition concerns or attitudes and
behavior of food consumers. In addition, the use of
model systems, whether biological, mathematical, or
economic, must be justified and set in the context of
the goals of improving human nutrition.

Support will not be provided for research concerned
with nutrient requirements and infectious disease


states, demonstration or action projects, or for surveys
of the nutritional status of population groups.

32.0 Ensuring Food Safety

The evaluation of safety at critical control points is a
primary concern throughout production and processing
of foods from all sources. Detection of contaminants
and toxicants that compromise the safety of food
products will reduce this risk to the consumer. The
objectives of this program are to increase our
understanding of the disease-causing microorganisms
that contaminate food with the goal of decreasing
food-borne illnesses and to provide improved
detection methods to eliminate these hazards.
Proposals are solicited for research in the following
areas: (a) mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis in
humans and control of food-borne microorganisms.
Proposals may address either pre- or post-
harvest/slaughter origin of the microbial agent. Such
proposals should clearly address areas of microbial
food safety and not plant or animal health issues; and
(b) development of rapid reliable detection and
quantification methods for pathogenic microorganisms
and naturally occurring toxins in foods. Model
systems, either biological or economic, must clearly
address food safety concerns and be justified along
program guidelines.


ANIMALS

Research across the broad scope of animal agriculture
is needed urgently for competitive and sustainable
food and fiber production from animals. The critical
need for a better understanding of the biology of
animal production performance necessitates a broad
scientific approach that will contribute to integrated
food animal management systems. To accomplish
this, research will be supported that has one or more
of the following goals: (a) enhancing reproductive
efficiency; (b) improving animal growth and
development; (c) identifying genetic mechanisms and
mapping genes; and (d) sustaining animal health and
well-being. Emphasis should be given to innovative
approaches to research questions related to animals
primarily raised for food or fiber, including
aquaculture species, or that otherwise contribute
significantly to the agricultural enterprise of the








country. The use of experimental model systems
should be justified relative to the objectives of the
specific research program area. Multidisciplinary
research is encouraged, especially research that
integrates relevant scientific disciplines and links
together components of food animal production
systems.

41.0 Enhancing Reproductive Efficiency

Suboptimal reproductive performance in animals of
agricultural importance, including aquaculture species,
is a major factor limiting more efficient animal
production New knowledge in this area is
imperative to control, or possibly reduce, animal
production costs and provide product cost benefits to
consumers. Furthermore, research techniques
developed to foster and control reproductive
phenomena will be a key determinant in the future
application of biotechnologies. Therefore, the primary
objective of this program area is to increase our
knowledge of reproductive biology in animals of
agricultural importance with the goal of increasing
reproductive efficiency and improving overall
reproductive management.

This program will consider for support innovative
research on: (a) mechanisms affecting embryo
survival, endocrinological control of embryo
development, mechanisms of embryo-maternal
interactions, embryo implantation and development of
optimal embryo culture methods; (b) factors
controlling ovarian function, including follicular
development, ovulation, and corpus luteum formation
and function; (c) factors controlling male reproductive
function; (d) gamete physiology, including oogenesis
and spermatogenesis, gamete maturation, mechanisms
regulating gamete survival in vivo or in vitro, and
fertilization; (e) parturition, postpartum interval to
conception, and neonatal survival.

Because alterations in animal behavior and animal
well-being may impair fecundity, this program also
encourages research on the mechanisms controlling
animal responses to physical and biological stresses
that impinge upon reproductive processes. Research
should contribute to an understanding of the causes,


consequences, and avoidance of stress, rather than
merely describing tle physiological effects of stress
on reproductive efficiency.

Model systems should be justified in terms of the
program guidelines. Multidisciplinary research is
encouraged.

42.0 Improving Animal Growth and
Development

Suboptimal growth and development are limiting
factors in animal productivity, and basic information
regarding developmental processes in animals of
agricultural importance, including aquaculture species,
is largely lacking. The primary objective of the
program is to increase our understanding of the
biological mechanisms underlying animal growth,
development, lactation and egg production. New
knowledge in these areas is needed to improve
animal production and the control and manipulation of
muscling, growth, metabolism and mammary function.
In addition, research is needed to identify biological
mechanisms for directing nutrient partitioning towards
more protein and less fat deposition.

The following categories of research will be
emphasized: (a) cell proliferation and differentiation
(e.g., mechanisms controlling the cell cycle; genetic
regulation of cell differentiation); (b) genetic
mechanisms underlying growth and development; (c)
metabolic regulators such as growth factors and their
role in nutrient partitioning; (d) synthesis and
degradation (turnover) of protein and lipid at the
cellular or tissue level; (e) metabolic and nutritional
aspects of growth and development including rumen
microfloral ecology and metabolism; (f) cellular and
molecular aspects of the effects of genetic
composition and/or environment on growth and
development. Model systems should be justified in
terms of the program guidelines. Multidisciplinary
research is encouraged.

Proposals concerning the developmental biology of
the immune system and proposals addressing research
on disease agents (biotic or abiotic) should be
submitted to Sustaining Animal Health and Well-Being








(Program 44.0). Proposals dealing essentially with
aspects of reproduction should be submitted to the
Enhancing Reproductive Efficiency Program (41.0).

43.0 Identifying Genetic Mechanisms and
Gene MaDDing

Increased information about the control of physiologic
and metabolic functions is needed to realize the full
genetic potential of food and fiber animals. The
primary objective of this program is to increase our
understanding of the structure, organization, function,
regulation, and expression of genes in agriculturally
important animals, including aquaculture species.
Increased knowledge in this area would aid in
maintaining the genetic diversity of animals,
improving animal productivity and efficiency,
matching genetic backgrounds to desired traits,
integrating quantitative and molecular genetic
information, and use of transgenic methodology.

The program will emphasize but not limit research to
the following areas: (a) gene mapping and the
identification, isolation, and characterization of
agriculturally important genes, their products, and
their regulatory mechanisms, including those
controlling growth; (b) identification and mapping of
DNA segregation markers, including quantitative trait
loci (QTL) and variable number tandem repeats
(VNTR); (c) interactions between nuclear and
organellar genes and the molecular basis of genetic
replication; (d) development and application of
methods to modify the animal genome, e.g.,
embryonic stem cells and transgenics; (e) genome
organization, including the organization of the
immune system, e.g., immunogenetics; (f)
identification of genetic diversity; and (g) genetic
localization of economically important traits (marker
assisted selection) including those for genetic diseases.
Model systems, either biological or economic, must be
justified in terms of the program guidelines.
Multidisciplinary research is encouraged.

Proposals on the genetics of animal-associated
microbes should be submitted to the Sustaining
Animal Health and Well-Being Program (44.0).


44.0 Sustaining Animal Health and Well-Being

The improvement of animal health will increase the
efficiency of animal production systems, reduce
barriers to international trade in foods of animal
origin, and assure high-quality foods for consumers.
A major limiting factor in animal agriculture,
however, is the lack of basic information about
infectious and noninfectious causes of disease in
animals of agricultural importance, including
aquaculture species. Research to ensure animal well-
being throughout the food production cycle is also
needed to address societal concerns about animal well-
being, decrease animal health-care costs, and
improve production efficiencies. The primary
objective of this program is to increase our ability to
sustain animal health and well-being and to prevent
animal disease. Increased knowledge in these areas
will result in decreased contamination of food
products of animal origin, decreased use of
antimicrobial agents, more effective immunizations
and diagnostic methods to provide assistance with
preventive herd health management schemes,
enhanced animal well-being, and a more efficient use
of natural resources. The overall result will be
improved efficiency and sustainability of the animal
production unit and its environmental setting.

This program will emphasize but not limit research to
the following areas: (a) mechanisms that alter the
normal physiologic state at the molecular, cellular or
organ level to produce disease resulting from either
biotic or abiotic causes; (b) cellular mechanisms of
disease resistance, including developmental and
molecular immunology of animal pathogens; (c)
microbial genetics; (d) pathogenesis; (e) both host
and microbial factors influencing colonization of
mucosal surfaces; (f) host-environment or host-agent
interactions that compromise host defense systems or
cause predisposition to disease; (g) epidemiologic
studies on animal diseases that provide insight into
etiologic factors and/or disease control; (h) research
that supports the development or evaluation of
diagnostic tests and immunizations for emerging or
reemerging disease problems such as tuberculosis
(proposals involving reagent development per se need








to be justified in terms of the program guidelines); (i)
studies on economic models that address the costs of
animal disease and the cost/benefit ratios of animal
disease prevention and therapy.

Animal well-being research can provide important
information regarding how animals interact with the
production environment and respond to agricultural
practices. Research is encouraged on, but not limited
to, the mechanisms controlling animal responses to
physical and biological stresses (including quantitative
behavioral, physiological, immunological and
neurobiological responses to stress) and the
development of objective indicators to measure
animal well-being.

Model systems should be justified in terms of the
program guidelines. Multidisciplinary research is
encouraged.

Animal genetics proposals should be directed to the
Identifying Genetic Mechanisms And Gene Mapping
Program (43.0).

PLANTS

Additional knowledge in a broad range of plant
sciences is critical for improvement of crop and forest
quality; productivity, including that of feedstock for
use as biofuels; sustainability; and for addressing the
environmental impact of agricultural practices.
Innovative research on plant systems will be supported
in the following areas: (a) plant pest interactions; (b)
genomes, genetics, and diversity; (c) plant growth and
development; (d) energy and metabolism; and (e)
alcohol fuels .

51.0 Plant/Pest Interactions
(51.1, 51.2, 51.3, 51.4)

Damage resulting from pathogens, weeds, arthropods
and nematodes, is a major limiting factor to crop and
forest quality and productivity and the sustainability
of agriculture and forestry. In addition to direct
damage to food and fiber products, certain plant
pathogens can introduce dangerous mycotoxins into
the food chain of humans and farm animals. In some
situations, plant pests can be controlled by chemical
pesticides, but chemical application can be expensive


and some have negative environmental consequences.
Understanding plant/pest and pest-natural
enemy/antagonist interactions has significantly
improved our ability to develop successful and
environmentally-safe control strategies that lead to
sustainable agricultural or forest systems. However,
despite considerable successful research on plant/pest
interactions and biological control, a major void
exists in our understanding of the basis of plant
susceptibility and mechanisms of resistance to pests,
and the basic biology of both the pest species and
biotic agents that suppress pests and/or protect plant
health.

The broad goal of this topic area is to support
research on the nature of stresses encountered by
plants and their responses, or the responses of
biological control agents, during interactions of plants
with other plants, including weeds; with pathogens
such as fungi, viruses, bacteria, and nematodes; and
with arthropod pests such as insects and mites. The
research supported in this topic area will focus on the
identification of novel pest control strategies that are
effective, compatible with social and environmental
concerns, and enhance the sustainability of
agriculture and forestry. Within this context, research
which emphasizes the following is encouraged: (a)
how plant-pest interactions are initially established;
(b) mechanisms of plant response to biotic stresses;
(c) mechanisms of pest response to plant defenses;
(d) the nature and mechanisms of pest suppression and
plant defense by natural enemies, beneficial plant-
associated microorganisms, and other biotic agents;
and (e) genetics of these interactions. Fundamental
studies that incorporate integrated pest management
concepts into the research objectives are appropriate.
Applications using molecular genetics as a tool to
clarify plant/pest and pest/natural enemy antagonist
relations also are appropriate to this program area.
Proposals focused on mapping of plant resistance
genes or traits should be directed to the Plant
Genome program area, 52.1.

The program recognizes that fundamental research in
the area of biological control will provide critical
information leading to sustainable agricultural and
forest production systems and for the development of
alternatives to pesticides. Therefore, research which
emphasizes how damage from pests can be reduced








naturally, including basic studies on biological control
organisms and the ecological factors that influence
biocontrol systems, is encouraged.

Host plants, pests, or components of natural control
may be studied separately or as an interactive unit.
However, all proposals should indicate how the
anticipated information will further our understanding
of plant/pest and pest/biocontrol agent interactions and
the cause, consequence, or mechanism of stress
avoidance in crop plants and forest species.

Research at the molecular, cellular, organismal, or
population level will be considered for the program
areas described below.

51.1 Pathology Emphasis will be placed on
crop and forest diseases arising from interactions
with pathogenic agents such as fungi, bacteria,
viruses, viroids, and mycoplasma-like organisms.
Studies may focus on interactions of the host and
pathogen, as well as biotic and abiotic
environmental factors that influence these
interactions. These studies may include aspects of
the biochemical, genetic, or cellular determinants
of either pathogenicity or plant response. Studies
may include investigations on the biochemical or
toxicological consequences of disease-associated
changes in plants. The ecological factors
regulating the efficacy and survival of biological
control agents may be studied at either the
organismal or population level and may include
both foliar (phylloplane) and soil-borne
(rhizosphere) microorganisms.

51.2 Entomology (includes Mites) In addition
to the aforementioned subject areas related directly
to insect-plant relations, studies of the biology of
insects in the following areas are encouraged:
(a) behavioral physiology; (b) chemical ecology;
(c) endocrinology; (d) population dynamics; (e)
genetics; (f) behavioral ecology; (g) pathology; (h)
predator/parasite-insect relationships; and (i)
toxicology, including basic pesticide resistance
studies. Proposed studies in these areas must
include a justification for how anticipated results
will be relevant to a reduction in plant stress.
Proposals on Apis and other non-Apis pollinators
are appropriate to this section.


51.3 Nematologv Emphasis will be placed on
understanding the basic biology of plant parasitic
and entomophagous nematodes and their
interactions with host plants and natural enemies.
Studies may include investigations of the
physiological, biochemical, and genetic
mechanisms involved in plant responses to
nematodes and nematode responses to plants.
Applicants may propose to study the nematode
separately from the host if there is significant
justification.

51.4 Weed Science This program area will
include studies on the biology and ecology of
forest, rangeland, or crop/weed interactions. This
program area will emphasize studies on: how
stressful interactions are established and develop
between plants; on how plants react to stresses
generated by such interactions; weed population
dynamics, including production and
dormancy/germination of seeds and other
propagules; how weed populations adapt to
selection pressures, both natural and those
imposed by mankind; and on the relationship of
weed populations to crop, rangeland or forest
growth, yield and quality.. The goal of these
studies should be to gain improved understanding
of the biology and ecology of weeds leading to
improved integrated and sustainable weed
management systems.

Proposals submitted under these program areas will be
reviewed by the peer review panel whose collective
expertise is most appropriate to the scientific content
of each proposal.


52.0 Genomes, Genetics and Diversity (52.1,
52.2)

Significant impact on agricultural productivity can be
achieved by understanding the molecular and cellular
processes of plants and their inheritance and by
translating such understanding into desirable plant
performance. In the topic area of Genomes, Genetics
and Diversity, research to promote the genetic
improvement of crop and forest species will be
encouraged in two program areas. The Plant Genome
program area (52.1) will support mission-oriented








studies to produce low density maps, localized high
density maps, and development of methods with high
potential applicability to crop and forest improvement.
The Plant Genetic Mechanisms program area (52.2)
will focus on obtaining basic information about plant
genes and genetic processes. Specific information
about the two program areas follows:

52.1 Plant Genome This program area is part.
of the USDA Plant Genome Research Program,
the goals of which are to foster and coordinate
research to identify, characterize, alter, and rapidly
and precisely manipulate genes that control plant
traits important to the productivity and
sustainability of agriculture and forestry.

Potential applicants to the NRICGP Plant Genome
Program area are advised that this is a mission-
oriented, targeted program area. As such, the
program is seeking proposals that are not only of
high scientific quality but also are of high
potential applicability to the understanding and
improvement of crop and forest species. The use
of non-cultivated plants as experimental model
systems must be justified with regard to
applicability to agriculture and forestry. Priority
will be given to proposals that plan timely
dissemination of information, mapping data, and
materials to a clearly identified community of
users as well as to the scientific community as a
whole. Proposals from individual investigators, as
well as well-coordinated multidisciplinary
proposals designed to bring complementary talents
to bear on mapping needs, are encouraged.

Proposals for mapping should clearly describe
communication or involvement with scientists
(such as plant breeders, geneticists, physiologists,
molecular biologists or biochemists) who will use
the mapping tools that are to be created.
Interaction of laboratories engaged in mapping
with the users of the technology is essential to
ensure early and efficient application of the tools
developed and information obtained.

The specific areas of emphasis listed below offer
exceptional opportunities for advancing agriculture
and forestry.


(a) Construction of genomic maps. The
objective of this section is to construct maps
that are directly useful to breeders for crop
and forest improvement, and to other
biologists for fundamental plant science
research. While there are no prescribed
priorities for specific commodities or for types
of maps, the applicant should justify the
nature of the map to be constructed (e.g.,
genetic, physical, or comparative; high
density or low density) and the use of the
particular species chosen. An assessment of
the present state of the species' genome map,
available genetic materials, the rationale for
choice of the mapping population, genotype or
breeding line, and the future applications of
the map for plant breeding or other research
should be described in the proposal. It is not
anticipated that any complete plant nuclear
genome sequencing project will be supported
under this program.

Construction of low-resolution maps (i.e.,
those with a goal of containing gaps no larger
than 25 centimorgans) will suffice for many
plant breeding and research applications.
High resolution maps (i.e., with gaps no larger
than 5 centimorgans) likely will be limited in
the number that will be funded, depending on
the relationship of physical and genetic
distances in the particular species. Strong
justification will be needed in terms of a high
density map's immediate and future scientific
impact. For construction of genome maps
with molecular markers at low or high density,
a time frame of three years will usually be
appropriate, unless unusual aspects of the
particular species' genome produce difficulties
that justify a longer-term effort.

(b) Detailed mapping and sequencing of
specific regions of the genome. The
identification and isolation of genes involved
in specific genetic traits of economic
significance are important components of this
program. The goal is to provide support so
that investigators may use the available tools,
such as existing genomic maps, cytogenetic
stocks, alien addition lines, near-isogenic lines,








mutants, transposons, and molecular markers
to locate, identify, and isolate specific genes
that are important to. the productivity and
sustainability of agriculture and forestry.
Many important traits are quantitative and
likely will require experimental approaches
drawn from many disciplines.

While no priorities for specific commodities
have been established, applicants should
identify genes that have potential value to
agriculture or forestry. In order to justify the
project duration, investigators should describe
the genetic tools presently available and the
biological properties of the particular species
of interest with respect to their impact on the
length of time required to identify, locate,
isolate, and transfer genes of interest.

(c) Development of new mapping, cloning and
sequencing technologies. Proposals that
present innovative approaches to technology
development that can be applied to genome
mapping, genome manipulation, gene
isolation, or gene transfer are encouraged.
The biology of the plant and its genome
exhibits some fundamental differences from
other eukaryotic systems and may require
unique technical strategies. These differences
include, but are not limited to, the polyploid
nature of many plant genomes, the existence
of the chloroplast and mitochondrial
genomes, the presence of the cell wall, the
meristematic control of plant growth, and
additional complex biosynthetic pathways.
Plant systems also offer unique advantages
because of the ability to produce inbreds and
interspecific sexual and somatic hybrids, the
relative simplicity of introducing genes into
many plant species, the possibility of
regenerating plants from single cells, and the
ease of cultivating large segregating
populations. Research leading to the
development of mapping, gene cloning, gene
introduction, and sequencing technologies that
are designed to overcome technical obstacles
due to the complexity of plant systems, or


research that is designed to take advantage of
unique features of the plant systems will be
supported.

All investigators funded by the USDA Plant
Genome Research Program are expected to report
genome sequencing and mapping information that
results from NRICGP-supported research to the
centralized database at the Plant Genome Data and
Information Center, USDA National Agricultural
Library. Plant genome maps, DNA sequences,
and other information for individual crop and
forest species should be made available to the
scientific community.

52.2 Plant Genetic Mechanisms

The goal of this program area is to encourage new
approaches for the development of genetically
superior varieties of crop and forest species. One
of the major limiting factors for the application of
biotechnology to agriculture is the lack of basic
information about genes. Studies addressing the
basic molecular, cellular, genetic and cytogenetic
processes that contribute new information required
for the development of novel genetic approaches
to crop and forest improvement will be given high
priority. This program area will emphasize, but is
not limited to, research in the following
categories: (a) characterization of agriculturally
important genes and gene products; (b)
relationships between gene structure and function;
(c) regulatory mechanisms of expression of
nuclear and organellar genes, including all stages
from transcription to post-translational
modification; (d) interactions between nuclear and
organellar genomes; (e) mechanisms of
recombination, transposition, replication and
repair; (f) molecular, biochemical, and cellular
processes controlling regeneration of whole plants
from single cells; and (g) alteration and use of
germplasm resources.

Proposals focusing on the development of gene
transfer methodologies should be directed to the
Plant Genome program area (52.1).








53.0 Plant Growth and Development

Optimal growth and development are essential for
optimal and sustainable productivity of agriculturally
important crop plants and forest species. A basic
understanding of developmental processes in these
plants is largely lacking, but new experimental
approaches are being developed through advances in
molecular and cellular biology. The goal of this
program area is to further the understanding of the
fundamental mechanisms that underlie the regulation
of the plant life cycle, including seed germination,
differentiation, organogenesis, flowering, fertilization,
embryogenesis, fruit development, seed development,
senescence, and dormancy. This program area will
emphasize, but is not limited to, studies on: (a)
developmental regulation of gene expression; (b)
mechanisms of cell division, expansion, and
differentiation; (c) development and organization of
meristems; (d) photomorphogenesis; (e) cell biology,
including cytoskeleton, membrane biology, organelle
development, and cell wall structure and properties
(for photosynthetic membranes and chloroplast
development, see also the Photosynthesis and
Respiration Program {54.1}); (f) biochemistry of
primary and secondary metabolism related to plant
growth and development (proposals dealing with
metabolism unique to chloroplasts or mitochondria
should be directed to. the Photosynthesis and
Respiration Program {54.1}; investigators studying
nitrogen metabolism should consider whether
submission to the Nitrogen Fixation and Nitrogen
Metabolism Program {54.2} is more appropriate); (g)
hormonal regulation of growth and development,
including biosynthesis, metabolism, perception, and
mode of action of hormones; and (h) analysis and
control of growth patterns. Proposals emphasizing the
use of emerging experimental techniques for the
investigation of these processes are encouraged.

54.0 Energy and Metabolism (54.1, 54.2)

54.1 Photosynthesis and Respiration

Food and fiber production result either directly or
indirectly from the plant processes by which solar
energy is captured and transformed into products
or forms of energy that can be used by animals
and humans. Many of the complexities of these


unique processes are still poorly understood, and
thus, cannot be subjected to molecular, .genetic
and managerial manipulations designed to solve
agricultural problems such as sustainability, yield,
efficiency, and resource utilization.

The objectives of this program area are to
encourage research that will elucidate underlying
mechanisms of energy capture, transduction, and
utilization in crop and forest plants.

Categories of innovative research sought in this
area will include, but not be limited to, studies of
the following processes: (a) photosynthetic energy
conversion, including early events of photon
capture and charge separation; (b) electron
transport and energy transduction, including
studies of biosynthesis, organization, and function
of components of electron transport in
photosynthesis and respiration (see also 52.2 and
53.0); (c) carbon dioxide transport and
concentration; (d) biochemistry of carbon
fixation, carbon assimilation and respiration; (e)
control of photosynthate partitioning,
translocation, and utilization; (f) mechanisms
controlling photosynthetic and respiratory
processes in leaves, plants, and canopies (see also
22.1 and 23.0); (g) interactions (see also 52.2 and
53.0) of various cellular compartments that are
involved in photosynthesis or respiration; and (h)
metabolism unique to chloroplasts and
mitochondria. Investigators proposing studies that
focus primarily on mechanisms regulating
expression of genes involved in photosynthesis nd
respiration should consider whether submission to
the Plant Genetic Mechanisms program is more
appropriate. Those investigators focusing on
development of photosynthetic and respiratory
structures should consider whether submission to
the Plant Growth and Development Program
(53.0) is more appropriate.

It is expected that experimental approaches to the
study of the processes outlined above will be
drawn from many disciplines, including
biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry, microbiology,
genetics, physiology, and cellular, developmental
and molecular biology. Multidisciplinary
approaches are encouraged.








54.2 Nitrogen Fixation/Nitrogen
Metabolism

Crop plants primarily obtain essential levels of
fixed nitrogen from application of fertilizers.
These fertilizers may be synthesized chemically or
may originate from recycled plant, animal, or
municipal wastes. Application of synthetic
nitrogen fertilizers can be expensive in terms of.
energy costs for their chemical synthesis, loss in
soils and in deleterious effects on the quality of
surface and ground water; while application of
composted and other forms of processed and
recycled plant, animal, and municipal wastes can
be limited by supply, as well as being expensive.
Use of soil microorganisms, capable of
biologically "fixing" atmospheric nitrogen, offers
an important alternative to the application of
expensive nitrogen fertilizers. Biological nitrogen
fixation is sensitive to differences in soils, climate,
and crop cover, thus it is compatible both with
enhancing productivity of crops and sustainability
of agriculture systems. As a basis for exploiting
and developing this important alternative method,
a broad understanding is sought of how
atmospheric nitrogen is fixed biologically to form
the essential nitrogen compounds, how
nitrogenous compounds are degraded in soils and
metabolized by plants. Understanding the
fundamental mechanisms of plant uptake, transport
and metabolism of nitrogenous compounds is
sought, not only as a basis for development of
alternative methods for supplying nitrogen to
crops, but also as a basis for obtaining novel
plant products and for developing methods which
enhance yield, quality, nutritive value of crop
plants.

Research solicited in this program includes, but is
not limited, to the following areas: (a)
mechanisms of nitrification and denitrification; (b)
mechanisms regulating infection and nodulation of
the root by symbiotic nitrogen-fixing organisms;
(c) nodule development and biology (d)
mechanisms of nitrogen-fixation in free-living,
associative and symbiotic organisms; (e)
mechanisms of uptake and transport of nitrogen in
the plant; (f) intermediary nitrogen metabolism in
plants, particularly as related to the objectives of


the program (for example, inorganic nitrogen
metabolism, amino acid metabolism, protein
synthesis and storage). It is expected that
experimental approaches to the study of the
processes outlined above will be drawn from
many disciplines, including biochemistry,
biophysics, chemistry, microbiology, genetics,
physiology, and cellular, developmental and
molecular biology. Multidisciplinary approaches
are encouraged.

In contrast to previous years, proposals to study
the ecology and competitive interactions of
microorganisms of the nitrogen cycle in soils
should be submitted to the Soils and Soil Biology
program (25.0), while studies at the level of the
ecosystem should be directed to the
Forest/Range/Crop/Aquatic Ecosystem Program
(23.0). Investigators considering submitting
proposals in these areas should contact the
program director for Programs (25.0) or (23.0) to
discuss their proposals before submitting.

55.0 Alcohol Fuels Research

A decrease of the nation's dependence on foreign fuel
supplies and the use of more environmentally sound
and renewable fuels are desirable objectives that may
be realized by utilization of the products of agriculture
and forestry. Proposals will be considered for
fundamental research relating to the mechanisms of
biological (including microbiological) processes
controlling conversion of biomass material to alcohol
fuels and industrially useful hydrocarbons. The scope
of the program includes studies on physiological,
biochemical and genetic factors as well as
pretreatment that limit the technical and economic
efficiency of biological production of fuels. The
program does not support demonstration projects.

Problem areas for investigation include, but are not
limited to: (a) fundamental biology/metabolism/
genetics of fuel-producing organisms; (b) pretreatment
and degradation of lignocellulose; (c) structure and
activity of enzymes of cell wall degradation as related
to biofuel production; (d) biology of biofuel tolerance
and toxicity; (e) pentose transport and metabolism; (f)
biofuel separation technology; and (g) novel
bioreactor methods.








Processing of agricultural materials for products
other than fuels should be submitted to Enhancing
Value and use of Agriculture and Forest Products
(71.0).


MARKETS, TRADE, AND
RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Economic growth of the U.S. economy and of rural
areas in particular is dependent upon increasing
exports of agricultural, aquacultural, and forest
products. Furthermore, there is the expectation that
these products will be produced by sustainable
methods. Research is needed to provide the
knowledge to: (a) produce and process products that
can compete effectively in the U.S. and world
markets, (b) stimulate economic development in rural
areas, and (c) develop production and processing
practices necessary to sustain or enhance the natural
environment and quality of life of rural America.

Two research program areas are being offered to
fulfill these research needs. They are: (1) Markets
and Trade and (2) Rural Development. The former
includes the development of new research
methodologies, collection of data, and their application
along with descriptive studies to identify and assess
domestic and international market potentials for
agricultural, aquacultural, and forest products;
determine the ability of U.S. industries to compete for
these markets; and assess and evaluate the
implications of new technologies to sustainability.
The Rural Development program has two subareas: (a)
understanding forces affecting rural areas and (b)
designing new approaches to rural development.
Multidisciplinary studies are strongly encouraged for
both areas.

61.0 Markets and Trade

This Program Area will support research in three
broad categories:

(1) Market Assessments The purpose of market-
assessment studies is to identify, describe, and
quantify the size of potential domestic or foreign
markets for U.S.-produced agricultural, aquacultural,
and forest products. Proposals are being requested on


the demographic, cultural, social, religious, economic,
and other factors that determine consumer preference
for these products. In addition, consumer-demand
studies are needed to provide estimates of the
elasticities and to make utilization projections.
Similar information is needed for semiprocessed food
and non-food items exported by the U.S. for further
processing into finished products for local
consumption or reexport.

Proposals to study consumer preferences for food for
purposes of establishing nutritional intakes and health
implications should be submitted to Program 31.0,
Improving Human Nutrition for Optimal Health.
Proposals primarily for the development of a new
product or process that may include a market
assessment component should be submitted to
Program 71.0, Enhancing Value and Use of Food,
Agricultural and Forest Products.

(2) Competitiveness The purpose of competitiveness
studies is to ascertain the ability of U.S. agricultural,
aquacultural, and forest products industries to compete
in the domestic and/or international markets, identify
public or private strategies that may be employed to
enhance competitiveness, and assess and evaluate the
competitive environment of specific markets either in
the U.S. or elsewhere.

Proposals are requested to provide empirical analyses
and assessments of the competitiveness of U.S.-origin
raw and processed agricultural, aquacultural, and
forest commodities and products in the U.S. and/or
foreign markets relative to their principal competitors.
This research should estimate the sensitivity of
product sales of U.S. origin to changes in marketing
costs, trade policies, fiscal and monetary policies, and
other factors that may affect competitiveness.

In addition, proposals are being invited for research
on four other competitiveness issues: (a) empirically
assess the economic losses from the use of various
anticompetitive strategies and practices by
governments, trade groups, or firms in either domestic
or foreign markets and describe means ofremediation;
(b) estimate the demand for export enhancing services
offered by the Federal and/or State governments such
as loans and loan guarantees, the ability of these
programs to meet exporter demands, especially those








of small- and medium-sized firms, and describe
policies needed to resolve deficiencies; (c) identify the
sources and assess growth and productivity changes in
the U.S. food marketing sector or its major
components (e.g., processing, distribution, retailing,
and away-from-home eating) to complement several
current studies underway on changes in growth and
productivity by the agricultural production sector, or
conduct similar studies for timber production and
forest product marketing; and (d) assess and evaluate
the policies and trends in public investment in
agricultural, aquacultural, and/or timber and forest
products by the U.S. and the leading competitor
countries of the U.S., and determine the implications
for future U.S. competitiveness and U.S. policies on
public investment in agricultural, aquacultural, and
forest product research.

(3) Technology and Sustainabilitv New technologies
are being developed and applied to improve the
competitiveness of U.S. agricultural, aquacultural, and
forest product sectors. In the past, practices
frequently had effects on the environment and rural
communities that were not anticipated and required
adoption of expensive corrective measures. Proposals
are being requested to develop new methods and
examples of their application to assess the potential
implications from adoption of new technologies on the
environment and rural communities as well as the
efficiency of resource use and cost of producing and
processing agricultural, aquacultural, and forest
products. Emphasis should be placed on the means to
measure and make comparisons of the several impacts
and the need for and provisions of public policies to
achieve balance between social and private goals.

Proposal that focus on the effects of socioeconomic
policy on ecosystems may be appropriate for
submission to thd Forest/Range/Crop/Aquatic
Ecosystems Program (23.0). Investigators considering
submitting proposals in this area should contact the
program director for (23.0) to discuss their proposals
before submitting.


62.0 Rural Development

Rural people and places have been subjected to a
number of forces that impinge on their vitality and the


quality of life they offer. The traditional rural
economic base in agriculture, forestry, and other
natural resource-based industries is experiencing
difficulties. Some of these difficulties are related to
problems in the mainstream economy. Others are
unique to the institutional framework of a local area.
The action and interaction of the forces at work here
are complex in character, constantly changing, and
often not well understood. This inhibits the creation
and implementation of effective public policies to
revitalize rural areas and provide the quality of life for
rural people that all citizens might expect.

The impacts of the social and economic forces
affecting rural people and places are diverse in nature
and unevenly distributed across the various regions of
the country. The impacts also accrue at several levels.
Some affect the larger regional and national
economies. Others affect small towns and rural
communities. Still others affect people directly as
individuals and families. Solutions to the rural
problems require policies at each of these levels. In
turn, rural development research must be capable of
reaching out to one or more of these levels to provide
empirically based information and judgments to
undergird policy decisions.

Proposals are solicited in two areas:

(1) Understanding Forces Affecting Rural Areas
These are empirical studies to: (a) identify and
measure the impacts of specific and definable global,
national, and regional forces, including government
policies, on rural families, communities, and small
towns, and (b) interpret these forces in terms of
changing or creating new policies and programs, or
implementing new approaches to rural development
programs.

(2) Designing New Approaches to Rural Development
These are empirical studies of process and activity at
the level of families, communities, small towns, local
governments, or State governments including sub-
State and multi-State entities, to create new programs
and policies for improving the social vitality and
economic strength of rural people and places. These
studies should also include attention to methods for
measuring or estimating the impacts, or potential
impacts, of any suggested programs or policies on








empirically definable rural people or places. While
funding for small pilot programs or experimental
processes may be included in these research proposals,
investigators desiring to implement and evaluate large-
scale programs or processes should seek matching or
collaborative funding from other sources and indicate
so in the proposal.

Within the parameters of (1) and (2) above, proposals
are invited from any social or behavioral science
discipline or combination thereof. New and
innovative theoretical perspectives and methodologies
are encouraged, but all applicants are strongly advised
to specify their theory and methods with great clarity
so that they may be understood by a multidisciplinary
review panel. Evaluation of proposals will include
attention to their distinctness and uniqueness. If a
proposal is designed as a true replication of a previous
study, it must show replicative fidelity to that study as
well as justify any proposed extensions of or.
deviations from it.

PROCESSING FOR ADDING VALUE
OR DEVELOPING NEW PRODUCTS

Research in the area of processing for adding value or
developing new products is needed to enhance the
competitive value of U.S. agricultural and forest
products. Specifically, there is an opportunity to
obtain greater economic value from agricultural and
forest materials through conversion to high-value
products for both domestic and export markets, with
the benefits of increased income, job creation, and
rural development. This opportunity can be realized
through development of new products (from
conventional and new crops), making existing
products more valuable (safer, more nutritious, less
costly, more environmentally friendly, more uniform,
easier to use in end products, etc.), increasing process
efficiencies, making greater use of co-products and
waste materials, and through greater integration of
agricultural and forest components.

71.0 Enhancing Value and Use of Agricultural
and Forest Products (71.1, 71.2)

The aim of mission-linked research in this program is
to build the scientific base of knowledge to use
agricultural and forest materials more fully and


effectively in food and non-food products. Research
is encouraged in two general areas: (1) to increase
understanding of the physical, chemical, and
biological properties of raw agricultural materials and
products that are important for quantifying, predicting,
protecting, and controlling their quality, value, and
processing characteristics; and (2) to develop
innovative products and processes for better
utilization and more efficient conversion of
agricultural materials and co-products to value-added
food and non-food products. Research should
emphasize processes and products that are
environmentally acceptable, energy-efficient, and
economically feasible. Proposals should identify
potential applications of the research or address
identified market opportunities. Multidisciplinary
efforts that include identification of attributes and
estimating their value under conditions where market
prices for such attributes are not observable are
encouraged.

Research will be supported in two programmatic
subcategories: food characterization/process/ product
research and non-food characterization/
process/product research. Research focused on wood
and wood-based materials will also be supported.
Proposals concerned with processing of wood products
for enhanced value, however, should be sent to, and
will be evaluated by, the Improved Utilization of
Wood and Wood Fiber Program (24.0) where the
appropriate scientific expertise for proposal evaluation
resides; a description of this Program appears under
the Natural Resources and the Environment Division.

71.1 Food Characterization/Process/Product
Research

Research on value-added food products contributes to
expanded markets for agricultural commodities, lower-
cost food products, and a more competitive domestic
food industry with expanded export opportunities.
This program supports research to increase the quality,
utility, convenience, nutrient value, and safety of food
products through innovative processing methods.
Research providing the basis for development of new
food products is also supported.

Research supported in the food area includes, but is
not limited to: (a) fundamental studies of the








structure-function relationships of food components
(e.g., water, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins) related to
performance in processes and products; (b) food
quality quantification, including sensory properties; (c)
physical, chemical, and biological modification of
food components, including novel fermentation and
enzyme processing; (d) methods for rapid or improved
monitoring of quality during processing and
distribution (e.g., improved sensors and non-
destructive analytical and on-line testing methods); (e)
advanced process and product engineering and
technology; (f) innovative processing as a
substitute/adjunct for food additives or energy-
intensive food preservation methods; (g)
processing/preservation/packaging methods to extend
shelf life and enhance quality of food products; and
(h) improved waste management technologies,
including reduced generation of wastes and emissions
and greater use of co-products.

Proposals dealing with food consumption, production,
or processing techniques that focus on human diet and
nutrition issues or food consumer attitudes and
behavior should be sent to the Improving Human
Nutrition for Optimal Health Program (31.0).
Proposals dealing with issues of microbiological
safety of foods should be directed to the Ensuring
Food Safety Program (32.0).

71.2 Non-Food Characterization/Process/
Product Research

Agricultural commodities can provide the raw
materials for production of numerous industrial and
consumer products such as lubricants, paints,
detergents, biodegradable polymers, paper, fiber
composites, textile fibers, health care products,
pharmaceuticals, and various other commodity and
specialty chemicals. Biomaterials provide a renewable
alternative to petroleum-based feedstocks for
production of many industrial products with the
potential for reduced emissions and by-products and
improved biodegradability of end products.

Research is needed on improved methods for
producing existing products and on developing new
uses for agricultural commodities. Knowledge is
needed in the areas of: (a) fundamental studies of
plant and animal structures/properties to enhance


product quality and processing characteristics; (b)
physical, chemical, and biological modifications of
plant and animal materials to aid in the development
of high-value products; (c) improved production
technology, including separation, extraction, and
concentration processes; (d) biochemical and chemical
catalysis; (e) improved methods for measuring and
controlling process parameters; and (f) new (non-food)
uses for under-utilized co-products and residuals from
agricultural and food processing operations.

Examples of research to be supported in the non-food
area include, but are not limited to development of:
(a) new products and advanced materials such as
superior lubricants and coating products from oilseeds,
specialty fibers (e.g., those used for garment and
bedding insulation, yam, facial tissue, and
absorbents), utilization of textile fibers in new
applications (e.g., geotextiles and biomedical
materials), polymers (e.g., biodegradable polymers,
engineering plastics, polymer blends and networks,
strippable coatings, flexible coatings, foams, and
polymer compositions with no volatile organic
compounds); (b) improved process technology such
as raw material preparation, chemical and
bioconversions, electrotechnologies, methods for
processing agricultural co-products (e.g., leather, food
processing residues, etc.), and conventional unit
operations; and (c) improved processes for using
recycled fiber in engineered composite products.

Proposals concerned with processing of wood
products should be sent to and will be evaluated by
the Improved Utilization of Wood and Wood Fiber
Program (24.0), a description of which appears under
the Natural Resources and the Environment Division.
Proposals dealing with biological conversion of
agricultural materials to alcohol fuels should be
directed to the Alcohol Fuels Research Program
(55.0).

AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH
ENHANCEMENT AWARDS (AREA)
PROGRAM

This program is designed to help institutions develop
competitive research programs and to attract new
scientists into careers in high-priority areas of national
need in agriculture, food, and environmental sciences.









In addition to providing support for Postdoctoral
Fellowships and for research awards for New
Investigators as described earlier, this program will
include Strengthening Awards.

Strengthening Awards consist of Research Career
Enhancement Awards, Equipment Grants, and Seed
Grants. The program particularly encourages
applications to the Research Career Enhancement
Awards Program. All proposals submitted under this
part of the solicitation of applications, in addition to
fulfilling the requirements in this part, also shall be
appropriate to one of the research program areas
described under the Specific Research Divisions part
of this solicitation.

80.0 STRENGTHENING AWARDS
(80.1, 80.2, 803)

Strengthening Awards are available to ensure that
faculty of small and mid-sized academic institutions
who have not previously been successful in obtaining
competitive research grants under Section 2(b) of the
1965 Act, as amended, receive a portion of the grants.
For the purpose of this announcement, small and
mid-sized institutions are defined as those with
total enrollment of 15,000 or less. In addition, in
order to ensure that such grants shall have the
maximum strengthening effect, strengthening awards
will be limited to faculty at small and mid-sized
institutions that previously have had limited
institutional success in obtaining grants under any
Federal competitive research grants program. To
confirm eligibility, contact the Strengthening Awards
Program at the telephone number listed in this
document. Further, institutions in States that have had
an average funding level from the USDA NRICGP no
higher than the 38th percentile, based on a three-year
rolling average of funding by the USDA NRICGP and
the Competitive Research Grants Office, which was
subsumed by the NRICGP, are particularly
encouraged to apply for Strengthening Awards. The
following States (USDA-EPSCoR States) fall into this
category:


Alaska
Arkansas
Connecticut
Delaware
Hawaii
Idaho
Maine


Mississippi
Montana
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Mexico
North Dakota


Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Vermont
West Virginia
Wyoming


However, all applicants for Strengthening Awards
must meet the criteria described herein for the type of
award for which the applicant applies. An individual
applicant may submit only one proposal as
principal or co-principal investigator to the
Strengthening Awards Program (80.1, 80.2, 80.3)
this fiscal year. All principal and co-principal
investigators must meet all Strengthening Program
eligibility requirements as described in these
guidelines.

A separate peer review panel, aside from the peer
review panels assembled for review of Standard
Research Grant applications, will be assembled for the
evaluation of Research Career Enhancement Awards,
Equipment, and Seed Grants. Strengthening Standard
Research Project Award applications will be reviewed
by the peer review panel in the appropriate research
program area along with Standard Research Grant
applications.
In addition to being appropriate to one of the research
program areas described under the Research Divisions
described in this solicitation, proposals for
Strengthening Awards also should fit within one of
the following specified program areas:

80.1 Research Career Enhancement Awards

Grants within this program area are authorized by
Section 2(b)(3)(F) of the 1965 Act, as amended. The
purpose of these awards is to provide an opportunity
for faculty to enhance their research capabilities by
funding sabbatical leaves. Funds will be designated
for faculty at small and mid-sized institutions who
have not received a competitive grant under Section








2(b) of the 1965 Act as amended (Competitive
Research Grants Program) within the past five years.
These awards will be limited to individual applicants
who are faculty at small and mid-sized institutions
that previously have had limited institutional success
in obtaining grants under any Federal competitive
research grants program. This sabbatical leave shall
be conducted in a Federal research laboratory or a
research laboratory at an institution which confers
doctoral degrees in the topic area. Collaborative
arrangements are encouraged; however, research
colleagues who do not meet eligibility requirements
should be designated only as collaborators and should
not be listed on the Application Cover Page.

Documentation that arrangements have been made
with an established investigator with regard to all
facilities and space necessary for conduct of the
research must be provided in the proposal. Awards
will be limited to one year's salary and funds for
supplies. These awards are not renewable.

Proposals must be submitted by the deadline date
indicated in this solicitation.

See the Section "Guidelines for Proposal
Preparation and Submission" in this booklet for
complete details on what to submit for a Research
Career Enhancement Award.

80.2 Equipment Grants

Grants within this program area are authorized by
Section 2(b)(3)(D) of the 1965 Act, as amended.
Funds will be designated for equipment grants to
strengthen the research capacity of institutions.
Institutions that previously have had limited success in
obtaining grants under any Federal competitive
research grants program may apply. Each request
shall be limited to one major piece of equipment
within the cost range of $10,000 $100,000 (no
installation, maintenance, warranty, or insurance
expenses may be paid from these awards). The
amount requested shall not exceed 50 percent of this
cost. Documentation that the remaining 50 percent
will be matched with non-Federal funds should be
provided by the applicant. Arrangements for sharing
equipment among faculty are encouraged; however, it
must be evident that the principal investigator is a


principal user of the requested equipment. This
program is not intended to replace requests for
equipment in individual research projects. Rather, it
is intended to help fund items of equipment that will
upgrade the research infrastructure.

Proposals must be submitted by the deadline date
indicated in this solicitation.
See the Section "Guidelines for Proposal
Preparation and Submission" in this booklet for
complete details on what to submit for an Equipment
Grant.

803 Seed Grants

Grants within this program area are authorized by
Section 2(b)(3)(F) of the 1965 Act, as amended. The
purpose of these awards is to provide funds to enable
investigators at small and mid-sized institutions to
collect preliminary data in preparation for applying for
a standard research project grant. Faculty who have
not been successful in obtaining a competitive grant
under Section 2(b) of the 1965 Act, as amended
(Competitive Research Grants Program) within the
past five years are eligible. These awards will be
limited to faculty at small and mid-sized institutions
that have had limited institutional success in obtaining
grants under any Federal competitive research grants
program. All principal and co-principal investigators
must meet all eligibility requirements for the
Strengthening Program. Please note: if you receive
a Seed Grant award as principal or co-principal
investigator you are not eligible for future Seed Grants
within the next five years. Research colleagues who
do not meet eligibility requirements should be
designated only as collaborators and should not be
listed on the Application Cover Page. These awards
will be limited to a total of $50,000 (including
indirect costs) for two years and are not renewable.

Proposals must be submitted by the deadline date
indicated in this solicitation.

See the Section "Guidelines for Proposal
Preparation and Submission" in this booklet for
complete details on what to submit for a Seed Grant.








Strengthening Standard Research Project
Awards

Grants within this program area are authorized by
section 2(b)(3)(F) of the 1965 Act, as amended.
Investigators at small and mid-sized institutions may
wish to apply for a Standard Research Project Grant.
Faculty who have not been successful in obtaining a
competitive grant under Section 2(b) of the 1965 Act,
as amended (Competitive Research Grants Program)
within the past five years (excluding Seed Grants,
Research Career Enhancement Awards, and
Equipment Grants) are eligible. These awards will
be limited to faculty at small and mid-sized
institutions that have had limited institutional success
in obtaining grants under any Federal competitive
research grants program. All principal and co-
principal investigators must meet all eligibility
requirements for the Standard Strengthening Research
Project Awards Program. Research colleagues who
do not meet eligibility requirements should be
designated only as collaborators and should not be
listed on the Application Cover Page. Proposals
should be submitted to the appropriate research
program area described in this solicitation by the
designated deadline for that particular program area.
A separate peer review panel will not be assembled
for the purpose of reviewing these proposals.

See the Section "Guidelines for Proposal
Preparation and Submission" in this booklet for
complete details on what to submit for a
Strengthening Standard Research Project Award.


HOW TO OBTAIN APPLICATION
MATERIALS

Please note that potential applicants who are on the
Competitive Research Grants mailing list, who sent
applications in fiscal year 1993, or who recently
requested placement on the list for fiscal year 1994,
will automatically receive copies of this solicitation
and the Application Kit. All others may request
copies from: Proposal Services Branch, Awards
Management Division, Cooperative State Research
Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 303,
Aerospace Center, AG BOX 2245 Washington, DC
20250-2245; telephone: (202) 401-5048.










NATIONAL RESEARCH INITIATIVE

COMPETITIVE GRANTS PROGRAM


SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR PROPOSAL PREPARATION
AND SUBMISSION


SECTION I. OVERVIEW


Guidelines for proposal preparation and submission
are described herein. The regulations governing the
NRICGP, 7 CFR Part 3200, set forth these
procedures. Pursuant to 7 CFR 3200.4(c), if the
section and supplemental guidelines herein conflict,
the supplemental guidelines take precedence.
However, should 7 CFR 3200 be restated herein and
conflict with the section, the section takes precedence.

GENERAL ELIGIBILITY

As described under Section 2(b) of the 1965 Act, as
amended, and listed in 7 CFR 3200.3, the eligibility
requirements are as follows: Except where otherwise
prohibited by law, State agricultural experiment
stations, all colleges and universities, other research
institutions and organizations, Federal agencies,
private organizations or corporations, and individuals
shall be eligible to apply for and to receive a
competitive grant. Unsolicited proposals will not be
considered and proposals from scientists at non-
United States organizations will not be accepted.


In addition to the above, eligibility to receive a
research grant award will be determined by the results
of competitive peer evaluation as described in Section
III. Only those proposers whose applications are
judged to be the most meritorious (within the limit of
available funding) can be supported. Further, it must
be determined that the applicant is a potentially
responsible grantee. To qualify as responsible, an
applicant must meet the following standards (set forth
in 7 CFR 3200.3(b)) as they relate to a particular
project:


* Adequate financial resources for performance, the
necessary experience, organizational and technical
qualifications, and facilities, or a firm
commitment, arrangement, or ability to obtain
such (including any to be obtained through
subagreement(s));

* Ability to comply with the proposed or required
completion schedule for the project;

* Satisfactory record of integrity, judgment, and
performance, in particular, any prior performance
under grants and contracts from
the Federal government;

* Adequate financial management system and audit
procedures that provide efficient and effective
accountability and control of all property, funds,
and other assets; and

* Otherwise qualified and eligible to receive a grant
under the applicable laws and regulations.

The same investigator is not likely to receive more
than one grant award under the NRICGP in any one
fiscal year. To minimize the time and effort expended
in preparing and reviewing proposals, the submission
of more than one proposal from the same principal
investigator (or team of investigators) therefore is
discouraged strongly. In addition, in any one fiscal
year applicants may not submit the same research
proposal to more than one research program area
within the NRICGP or to any of the other programs
sponsored by CSRS. Duplicate proposals, essentially








duplicate proposals, or predominantly overlapping
proposals will be returned to the proposing scientist
without review.


TYPES OF GRANTS

There are TWO MAIN CATEGORIES of grant awards
that you may apply for under the NRICGP:

New Grants

A new grant award is one in which the NRICGP
agrees to support a specified level of effort for a
project that generally has not been supported
previously under this program. All applications
for "new" awards must meet the proposal due
dates announced annually and adhere to the
proposal submission requirements contained in
Section II. All proposals will be reviewed
competitively using the peer evaluation system
and selection criteria described in Section III.

Renewals

A renewal is a project that provides additional
funding for a project beyond the period that was
approved in an original or amended award.


Proposals for renewed funding will be treated as new
applications and must contain the same information as
required for new applications and additionally must
contain a Progress Report (see Section II). Renewal
proposals must be postmarked by the relevant due
dates announced in this document; will be evaluated
in competition with other pending applications in the
research program area to which they are assigned; and
must meet the same scientific standards as new
applications. In preparing such a proposal, the
applicant should assume that reviewers will not have
access to the previous proposal or to other project-
related information. The application should be self-
contained and prepared as carefully as if it were being
submitted for first-time consideration.

At the time of award, and at the discretion of the
NRICGP, funding may be provided through one of
two mechanisms: either for the entire project period
(standard grant) or for one year with a statement of
intention to provide additional support at a future date
in one year increments (continuation grant).


SECTION II. SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS


GENERAL

The purpose of a grant application is to persuade the
NRICGP and members of the scientific community
who provide advice to the NRICGP, that the proposed
project is important, methodologically sound, and is
worthy of support under the criteria listed in Section
III. Therefore, the proposal must be in response to
one of the announced high-priority program areas.
The application should be self-contained, should
present clearly the merits of the proposed project, and
should be written with care and thoroughness. It is
important that all essential information for
comprehensive evaluation be included. Omissions
often result in processing delays and can jeopardize
funding opportunities.


In preparing the proposal, applicants are urged to
ensure that the name of the principal investigator (or
project director) and, where applicable, the name of
the submitting institution are typed at the top of each
page. This will permit easy identification in the event
that the application becomes disassembled during the
review process.

Resubmissions

If you are resubmitting a proposal that was previously
submitted but not funded, please check "resubmission"
in Box 13 (Type of Request) of the Application Cover
Page. The revised proposal should indicate clearly the
changes that have been made in the project. Proposals
which appear to be resubmissions (regardless of the
designation) are regarded as such by the Program and








the panel, and they compete on the same basis with all
other proposals submitted to the program at the same
time. However, a clear statement acknowledging
comments of the previous review, indicating revisions,
rebuttals, etc., can positively influence review of a
proposal.

FORMAT AND CONTENTS FOR TYPES
OF PROJECTS

Pursuant to 7 CFR 3200.4(c), the following guidelines
for proposal format and content supplement those
guidelines set out by that section. If the section and
the supplemental guidelines herein conflict, the
supplemental guidelines take precedence, in
accordance with 7 CFR 3200.4(c).

For purposes of in-depth evaluation as well as for
consistency, organization, and clarity, it is important
that proposals contain certain information and that
they be of similar format. Therefore, all applications
submitted must follow the guidelines listed below and
be assembled in the indicated order.

The NRICGP reserves the right to return proposals if
these instructions are not followed.



I. CONVENTIONAL PROJECTS

Standard Research Grants

Application Cover Page (Form CSRS-661)

Each copy of the proposal must contain an
Application Cover Page, which must be assembled as
the first page of the application. At least one copy of
this form must contain pen-and-ink signatures as
outlined below. A copy of this form is located in the
Application Kit and may be duplicated as necessary.
In completing the Cover Page, please note the
following:

*Title of Proposal (Block 6). As described in 7
CFR 3200.4(c)(l), the title of the proposal must
be brief (80-character maximum), yet represent the
major thrust of the project. Because this title will
be used to provide information to those who may


not be familiar with the proposed project, highly
technical words or phraseology should be avoided
where possible. In addition, phrases such as
"investigation of' or "research on" should not be
used.

* Program Area and Number (Block 8). From
among the announced research program areas,
choose the program area that is most appropriate
to the research project being proposed and insert
the name and number in this block. It is
important that only one program area be
selected. In instances where the appropriateness
of the chosen program area may be in question,
the final program area assignment will be made by
the NRICGP scientific staff. The principal
investigator will be informed of any changes in
assigned program areas.

* Principal Investigator(s)/Project Director(s)
(Block 15). List the name(s) of the proposing
principal investigators) in this block. If there is
more than one investigator, all must be listed and
all must sign the Application Cover Page. Co-
principal Investigators should be limited to those
required for genuine scientific collaboration;
minor collaborators or consultants should not be
designated as co-principal investigators. Only the
principal investigator listed in Block 15.a. will
receive direct correspondence from the NRICGP.

* Other Possible Sponsors (Block 22). List the
names or acronyms of all other public or private
sponsors including other agencies within USDA,
to whom the application, or a substantially similar
application, has been or will be sent. In addition,
if the application is submitted to another
organization after it has been submitted to the
NRICGP, the principal investigator must
inform the NRICGP program officer immediately.
Failure to accurately and completely identify other
possible sponsors will delay the processing of the
application and may result in its being returned
without review. The identification of other
sponsors must include the name(s) of the
programs) within the sponsoring organization to
which the principal investigators) has applied or
will apply.








*Signatures. Sign and date the Application Cover
Page in the places indicated at the bottom of the
page. As described in 7 CFR 3200.4(c)(1), all
proposals must be signed by the proposing
principal investigators) and, for those proposals
being submitted through institutions or
organizations, endorsed by the authorized
organizational representative who possesses the
necessary authority to commit the applicant's time
and other relevant resources. Investigators who
do not sign the cover page will not be listed on
the grant document in the event an award is
made. Applications (other than postdoctoral
fellowships) that do not contain the signature of
the authorized organizational representative
cannot be considered for support.

Table of Contents

To facilitate the location of information, each proposal
must contain a table of contents, which should be
assembled as page 2.

Project Summary

The proposal must contain a project summary. The
format that must be used for this purpose is indicated
at the back of this booklet (NOT in the Application
Kit). The summary MUST fit within the space
indicated and must be assembled as page 3 of the
proposal. As described in 7 CFR 3200.4(c)(2), the
summary is not intended for the general reader;
consequently, it may contain technical language
comprehendible by persons in disciplines relating to
the food and agricultural sciences. The project
summary should be a self-contained, specific
description of the activity to be undertaken and should
focus on:

* Overall project goals) and supporting objectives;
~--------- ----
* Plans to accomplish project goalss; and

* Relevance of the project to potential long-range
improvement in and sustainability of U.S.
agriculture or to one or more of the research
purposes contained in section 1402 of the 1977


Act, as amended). These purposes are described
under Applicable Regulations in the NRICGP
Program Description.

Project Description

The written text of the project description should
begin on page 4 and may not exceed 15 single- or
double-spaced pages. Reviewers are not required to
read beyond the 15-page limit. All proposals are to
be submitted on standard 8-1/2" x 11" paper with
typing on one side of the page only. In addition,
margins must be at least 1", type size will be 12
characters per inch (12 pitch or 10 point) or larger, no
more than 6 lines per inch, and there should be no
page reductions. Applicants are encouraged to include
original illustrations (photographs, color prints, etc.)
to all copies of the proposal. As described in 7 CFR
3200.4(c)(3), the project description must contain the
following components:

Introduction A clear statement of the long-term
goals) and supporting objectives of the proposed
proje should be included. The most significant
published work in the field under consideration,
including the work of key project personnel on the
current application, should be reviewed. The
current status of research in this field of science
also should be described. Preliminary data
pertinent to the proposed research should be
included in this section. All work cited, including
that of key personnel, should be referenced.

* Progress Report. If the proposal is a renewal of
an existing project supported under this program
(or its predecessor), include a clearly marked
progress report describing results to date from the
previous award. In addition, the progress report
must be limited to three pages (within the 15-page
limit) and should contain the following
information:

SA comparison of actual accomplishments with
the goals established for the previous award;

o The reasons established goals were not met, if
applicable; and








SA listing of any publications resulting from
the award. Copies of reprints or preprints
may be appended to the proposal if desired.

SRationale and Significance. Present concisely the
rationale behind the proposed research. The
objectives' specific relationship to the potential
long-range improvement in and sustainability of
U.S. agriculture or to one or more of the research
purposes (contained in section 1402 of the 1977
Act, as amended) should be shown clearly. These
purposes are described under Applicable
Regulations in the NRICGP Program Description.
Any novel ideas or contributions that the proposed
project offers also should be discussed in this
section.

* Experimental Plan. The hypotheses or questions
being asked and the methodology being applied to
the proposed project should be stated explicitly.
Specifically, this section must include:

A description of the investigations and/or
experiments proposed in the sequence in
which the investigations or experiments are to
be performed;

Techniques to be used in carrying out the
proposed project, including the feasibility of
the techniques;

> Results expected;

> Means by which experimental data will be
analyzed or interpreted;

e Means of applying results or accomplishing
technology transfer, where appropriate;

Pitfalls that may be encountered;

> Limitations to proposed procedures; and

i A tentative schedule for conducting major
steps involved in these investigations and/or
experiments.

In describing the experimental plan, the applicant
must explain fully any materials, procedures,


situations, or activities which may be hazardous to
personnel (whether or not they are directly related
to a particular phase of the proposed project),
along with an outline or precautions to be
exercised to avoid or mitigate the effects of such
hazards.


References to Project Description

As described in 7 CFR 3200.4(c)(6), all references
cited should be complete, including titles, and should
conform to an accepted journal format.


Facilities and Equipment

As described in 7 CFR 3200.4(c)(4), all facilities and
major items of equipment that are available for use or
assignment to the proposed project during the
requested period of support should be described. In
addition, items of nonexpendable equipment necessary
to conduct and successfully conclude the proposed
project should be listed.

Collaborative Arrangements

As described in 7 CFR 3200.4(c)(5), if the nature of
the proposed project requires collaboration or
subcontractual arrangements with other research
scientists, corporations, organizations, agencies, or
entities, the applicant must identify the collaborators)
and provide a full explanation of the nature of the
collaboration. Evidence (i.e., letters of intent) should
be provided to assure peer reviewers that the
collaborators involved have agreed to render this
service.


Vitae and Publication List(s)

As described in 7 CFR 3200.4(c)(7), to assist peer
reviewers in assessing the competence and experience
of the proposed project staff, all personnel who will
be involved in the proposed project must be identified
clearly. For each principal investigator listed in block
15 of the Application Cover Page, and for all senior
associates and other professional personnel who
expect to work on the project, whether or not funds


30

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are sought for their support, the following should be
included.

* Curriculum Vitae. The curriculum vitae should
be limited to a presentation of academic and
research credentials, e.g., educational, employment
and professional history, and honors and awards.
Unless pertinent to the project, do not include
meetings attended, seminars given, or personal
data such as birth date, marital status, or
community activities. The vitae shall be no more
than 2 pages each in length, excluding
publications listings;

* Publication List(s). A chronological list of all
publications in refereed journals during the past
five years, including those in press, must be
provided for each professional project member for
whom a curriculum vitae is provided. Also list
other non-refereed technical publications that have
relevance to the proposed project. Authors should
be listed in the same order as they appear on each
paper cited, along with the title and complete
reference as these usually appear in journals.

Conflict of Interest List

An example of the format for the Conflict of Interest
(COI) List is included in the back of this booklet (not
in the Application Kit) and should be used.
Instructions below are reiterated there. A COI List
must be submitted for each investigator for whom a
curriculum vitae is required. This list is necessary to
assist program staff in excluding from proposal review
those individuals who have conflicts of interest with
the project personnel.

On the list, include only the individuals in the
following categories*:

* Collaborators on research projects within the past
five years, including current and planned
collaborations;

* All co-authors on publications within the past five
years, including pending publications and
submissions;


* Thesis or postdoctoral advisors within the past
five years; and

Graduate students or postdoctoral associates within
the past five years.

It is not necessary to list individuals in each category
separately; rather, a single alphabetized list is
preferred.

Conflict of Interest List(s) must be submitted before
your proposal is considered complete.

*NRICGP does not regard other investigators working
in the applicantss' specific research area as being in
conflict of interest with the applicants) unless those
investigators fall within one of the above categories.

Budget (Form CSRS-55)

As described in 7 CFR 3200.4(c)(8), a detailed budget
is required for each year of requested support. In
addition, a summary budget is required detailing
requested support for the overall project period. A
copy of the form which must be used for this purpose,
along with instructions for completion, is included in
the Application Kit. This form may be reproduced as
needed.

Funds may be requested under any of the categories
listed, provided that the item or service requested may
be identified as necessary for successful conduct of
the proposed project, is allowable under applicable
Federal cost principles, and is not prohibited under
any applicable Federal statute or regulation.

Salaries of faculty members and other personnel who
will be working on the project may be requested in
proportion to the effort they will devote to the project.


Section 2(b)(7) of the Act of August 4, 1965, as
amended, prohibits the use of funds under this
program for the renovation or refurbishment of
research spaces, purchases or installation of fixed
equipment in such spaces, or for the planning, repair,
rehabilitation, acquisition, or construction of a
building or a facility. In addition, Section 2(b)(8) of
the Act of August 4, 1965, as amended, requires that








all grants authorized by Section 2(b)(3)(D) of the
same Act awarded under this part shall be used
without regard to matching funds or cost sharing.

It is expected that Congress will prohibit CSRS
from using the funds available for the NRICGP for
fiscal year 1994 to pay indirect costs exceeding 14
per centum of the total Federal funds provided
under each award on competitively-awarded
research grants.

Budget Justification

All salaries and wages, nonexpendable equipment,
foreign travel, and "All Other Direct Costs" for which
support is requested must be individually listed (with
costs) and justified on a separate sheet of paper and
placed immediately behind Form CSRS-55.

Current and Pending Support (Form CSRS-663)

As described in 7 CFR 3200.4(c)(10), the proposal
must list any other current public or private research
support (including in-house support) to which key
personnel identified in the proposal have committed
portions of their time, whether or not salary support
for the persons) involved is included in the budget.
Non-flexible funds--including PI and support staff
salaries, overhead expenses, and square foot charges
for greenhouse, laboratory, and office space--may be
excluded when these funds are received through a
non-competitive process. Analogous information must
be provided for any pending proposals, including this
proposal, that are now being considered by, or that
will be submitted in the near future to, other possible
sponsors, including other USDA programs or
agencies. In addition to completing the form,
investigators also should include a brief statement of
research objectives for all projects listed in Current
and Pending Support (excluding formula funding and
intramural support). A Current and Pending statement
for the mentor of postdoctoral applicants should be
submitted as documentation of on-going work in the
mentor's laboratory. Concurrent submission of
identical or similar proposals to other possible
sponsors will not prejudice proposal review or
evaluation by the Administrator or experts or
consultants engaged by the Administrator for this
purpose. However, a proposal that duplicates or


overlaps substantially with a proposal already
reviewed and funded (or that will be funded) by
another organization or agency will not be funded
under this program. The Application Kit contains a
form which is suitable for listing current and pending
support.

Additions to Project Description

As described in 7 CFR 3200.4(c)(11), each project
description is expected by the Administrator, the
members of peer review groups, and the relevant
program staff to be complete. However, if the
inclusion of additional information is necessary to
ensure the equitable evaluation of the proposal (e.g.,
photographs which do not reproduce well, reprints,
and other pertinent materials which are deemed to be
unsuitable for inclusion in the text of the proposal),
the number of copies submitted should match the
number of copies of the application requested in the
program solicitation. Manuscripts and preprints
sent in support of the proposal should be single-
spaced and printed on both sides of the page.
Each set of such materials must be identified with the
name of the submitting organization, and the name(s)
of the principal investigatorss. Addenda should be
securely attached to each copy of the proposal. Staff
of the NRICGP will not collate applicant proposals or
proposal addenda. The additional material should be
submitted in accordance with instructions provided
below (see "What to Submit").

Information may not be appended to a proposal to
circumvent page limitations prescribedfor the project
description. Extraneous materials will not be used
during the peer review process.

Assurance Statements (Form CSRS-662)

As described in 7 CFR 3200.4(c)(9), a number of
situations encountered in the conduct of research
require special information and supporting
documentation before funding can be approved for the
project. If any such situation is anticipated, the
proposal must so indicate. If the project is expected
to involve recombinant DNA molecules, human
subjects at risk, or experimental vertebrate animals,
Form CSRS-662 must be completed and signed
according to directions below or directions found on








the form and should be included in the proposal at the
time of submission. A copy of this form is included
in the Application Kit and may be reproduced as
needed.

Recombinant DNA and RNA Molecules. All key
personnel identified in a proposal and all
endorsing officials of a proposed performing
entity are required to comply with the guidelines
established by the National Institutes of Health
entitled, "Guidelines for Research Involving
Recombinant DNA Molecules," as revised. The
Application Kit contains forms which are suitable
for such certification of compliance.

Human Subjects at Risk. Responsibility for
safeguarding the rights and welfare of human
subjects used in any proposed project supported
with grant funds provided by the NRICGP rests
with the performing entity. Guidance is contained
in Public Law 93-348, as implemented by the
USDA under 7 CFR Part 1C. The applicant must
submit a statement certifying that the project plan
has been reviewed and approved by the
Institutional Review Board at the proposing
organization or institution. The Application Kit
contains a form which is suitable for such
certification.

Experimental Vertebrate Animal Care. The
responsibility for the humane care and treatment
of any experimental vertebrate animal, which has
the same meaning as "animal" in section 2(g) of
the Animal Welfare Act of 1966, as amended (7
U.S.C. 2132(g)), used in any project supported
with NRICGP funds rests with the performing
organization. In this regard, all key personnel
associated with any supported project and all
endorsing officials of the proposed performing
entity are required to comply with applicable
provisions of the Animal Welfare Act of 1966, as
amended (7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.), and the
regulations promulgated thereunder by the
Secretary of Agriculture in 9 CFR parts 1, 2, 3,
and 4. In this regard, the applicant must submit a
statement certifying that the proposed project is in
compliance with the aforementioned regulations,
and that the proposed project is either under
review by or has been reviewed and approved by


an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
The Application Kit contains a form which is
suitable for such certification.

With regard to compliance with the regulations set out
in 7 CFR 3200.4(c)(9) for research involving special
considerations, proposing scientists who lack
organizational affiliation or whose organization finds
it impractical to maintain the required Institutional
Review Board or Institutional Animal Care and Use
Committee may wish to negotiate with a local
university or other research organization to have this
service performed for them.

Certifications Regarding Debarment and
Suspension, Drug-Free Work Place, and Lobbying

By signing the Application Cover Page, applicants are
providing the certifications required by one of the
Departmental regulations described in 7 CFR 3200.8.
Submission of the individual forms found in the
Application Kit is not required. For additional
information, refer to the certification at the bottom of
Form CSRS-661, Application Cover Page.

Compliance with the National Environmental
Policy Act

As outlined in 7 CFR Part 3407 (CSRS's
implementing regulations of the National
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)),
environmental data or documentation for the proposed
project is to be provided to CSRS in order to assist
CSRS in carrying out its responsibilities under NEPA
which includes determining whether the project
requires an environmental assessment or an
environmental impact statement or whether it can be
excluded from this requirement on the basis of several
categories. To assist CSRS in this determination, the
applicant should review the categories defined for
exclusion to determine whether the proposed project
may fall within one of the exclusions.

A separate statement, indicating the applicant's
determination of whether or not the project falls
within a categorical exclusion, and the reasons and
supporting documentation therefore, must be included
in the proposal. If the applicant determines that the
proposed project may fall within a categorical








exclusion, the specific exclusion must be identified.
The information submitted in association with NEPA
compliance should be identified in the Table of
Contents as "NEPA Considerations" and the narrative
statement and supporting documentation should be
placed at the back of the proposal.

The following Categorical Exclusions apply:

(1) Department of Agriculture Categorical
Exclusions (7 CFR lb3)

(i) Policy development, planning and
implementation which are related to routine
activities such as personnel, organizational
changes, or similar administrative functions;

(ii) Activities that deal solely with the
functions of programs, such as program
budget proposals, disbursements, and transfer
or reprogramming of funds;

(iii) Inventories, research activities, and
studies, such as resource inventories and
routine data collection when such actions are
clearly limited in context and intensity;

(iv) Educational and informational programs
and activities;

(v) Civil and criminal law enforcement and
investigative activities;

(vi) Activities related to trade representation
and market development activities abroad; and


(vii) Activities that are
consultative to other agencies
private entities, such as legal
representation.


advisory and
and public and
counseling and


(2) CSRS Categorical Exclusions.

Based on previous experience, the following
categories of CSRS actions are excluded because
they have been found to have limited scope and
intensity and to have no significant individual or
cumulative impacts on the quality of the human
environment:


(i) The following categories of research
programs or projects of limited size and
magnitude or with only short-term effects on
the environment:

(a) Research conducted within any
laboratory, greenhouse, or other contained
facility where research practices and
safeguards prevent environmental impacts;

(b) Surveys, inventories, and similar
studies that have limited context and
minimal intensity in terms of changes in
the environment; and

(c) Testing outside of the laboratory, such
as in small isolated field plots, which
involves the routine use of familiar
chemicals or biological materials.

(ii) Routine renovation, rehabilitation, or
revitalization of physical facilities, including
the acquisition and installation of equipment,
where such activity is limited in scope and
intensity.


Even though the applicant considers that a proposed
project may or may not fall within a categorical
exclusion, CSRS may determine that an
Environmental Assessment or an Environmental
Impact Statement is necessary for a proposed.project
should substantial controversy on environmental
grounds exist or if other extraordinary conditions or
circumstances are present that may cause such activity
to have a significant environmental effect.

Research Conference Applications

Proposals requesting support for research conferences
should be submitted under the appropriate research
program area described herein by the designated
deadline for that particular program area. Applicants
considering submission under this category are
strongly advised to consult the appropriate
NRICGP staff before preparation and submission
of the proposal. The application should include:








* An Application Cover Page (Form CSRS-661),
appropriately completed and signed;

* The Project Summary Page stating the objectives
of the research conference, symposium, or
workshop, as well as the proposed location and
probable inclusive date(s) of the conference. The
format that must be used for this purpose is
indicated at the back of this booklet;

* A justification for the meeting;

* Names and organizational affiliations of the
chairperson and other members of the organizing
committee;

* A proposed program (or agenda) for the
conference, including a listing of scheduled
participants and their institutional affiliations;

* The method of announcement or invitation that
will be used;

* A curriculum vitae for the submitting project
directors) and a brief listing of relevant
publications (each vitae and publications listing,
combined, should not exceed three (3) pages);

* An estimated total budget (Form CSRS-55) for the
conference, together with an itemized breakdown
of all support requested from the NRICGP. The
budget for the conference may include an
appropriate amount for transportation and
subsistence costs for participants and for other
conference-related costs;

* A Current and Pending Support statement (Form
CSRS-663) as described in 7 CFR 3200.4(c)(10).


II. AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH
ENHANCEMENT AWARDS (AREA)
APPLICATIONS

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Proposals requesting support for postdoctoral
fellowships should be submitted under the
appropriate research program area described


herein by the designated deadline for that
particular program area. Such proposals must be
submitted directly by the individual and not through
an institution. Applications should contain all of the
components of and be assembled in the order
described for a Standard Research Project Grant under
"Format and Content." Indicate on the Project
Summary Page that this is a Postdoctoral
Fellowship Application.

Applications also should include:

* The Application Cover Page (Form CSRS-661)
signed only by the proposing postdoctoral
applicant.

* A letter of support from the scientific mentor
stating his or her willingness to serve in this
capacity and to supply the facilities, space and
materials necessary for conduct of the research.
The letter also must provide assurance that the
project is not simply an extension of the mentor's
ongoing research.

* Documentation that the mentor's institution has
been informed of these arrangements and concurs
with them. Postdoctoral applicants from Federal
laboratories must notify the appropriate regional
office.

* A budget limited to a total award amount of
$80,000 and two year's duration. Funds should be
requested primarily for salary support although
limited expenditures for supplies, travel and
publication are allowable costs. An institutional
allowance (not to exceed $2400/year) and a
special allowance to cover taxes, benefits, etc. (not
to exceed $3600/year) are also allowable costs and
would be included in the $80,000 maximum
award.


New Investigator Awards

Research proposal applications from new investigators
should be submitted under the appropriate
program area identified in the program
announcement by the designated deadline for that
particular program area. See New Investigator








Program Description for eligibility requirements.
Applications should contain all of the components of
and be assembled in the order described for a
Standard Research Project Grant under "Format and
Content." Indicate on the Project Summary Page
that this is a New Investigator Application.

Strengthening Awards

See Program Description contained under Section
80.0, Strengthening Awards, for eligibility
requirements.

(1) Research Career Enhancement Awards:

Applications from faculty wishing to enhance their
research capabilities through sabbatical leaves are
encouraged and should be submitted under the
Research Career Enhancement Program. Proposals
should originate through the applicant's home
institution and be submitted by the Research Career
Enhancement Awards deadline date found in the
program announcement. The following guidelines
apply:

* An Application Cover Page (CSRS-661)
completed as described in the supplemental
guidelines under "Format and Contents" for
Standard Research Grants herein. Indicate
Program Area 80.1 in Block 8.

* Project Summary Page indicating overall project
goals and supporting objectives. Indicate on the
Project Summary Page that this is a Research
Career Enhancement Award application.

* Sabbatical description (limited to five (5) single-
or double-spaced pages):

> A general description of the research interests
and goals of the applicant in order to provide
perspective for the proposal.

A description of the research project to be
pursued while on the sabbatical leave.

A statement of how the proposed activities
will serve to enhance the scientific research
capabilities of the applicant.


A statement of future research goals and
objectives once the sabbatical is complete and
how the sabbatical will enable the applicant to
pursue these goals.

* Curriculum Vitae and Publication List(s)
(including titles) for the applicant, the scientific
host and any other personnel whose qualifications
merit consideration in the evaluation of the
proposal. Follow detailed instructions for these
items provided under Standard Research Project
Grants.

* A letter from the scientific host indicating
willingness to serve in this capacity, and a
description of the host's contribution to the
proposed activities both scientifically and with
regard to use of facilities and equipment.

* A statement signed by the Department Head or
equivalent official at the host institution indicating
a commitment to provide research space and
facilities for the period of the applicant's presence.


* Budget (Form CSRS-55), Budget Justification, and
Current and Pending Support (CSRS-663) as
outlined in the supplemental guidelines under
"Format and Contents" for Standard Research
Grants herein. (Note that the budget should be
limited to one year's salary and funds for
supplies.)

(2) Equipment Grants:

Applications requesting assistance in purchasing
equipment must be submitted to the Equipment Grants
Program. Proposals should be submitted by the
Equipment Grants Program deadline date found in
this program announcement. Proposals for
Equipment Grants should include the following:

* An Application Cover Page (CSRS-661)
completed as described in the supplemental
guidelines under "Format and Contents" for
Standard Research Applications herein. Indicate
Program Area 80.2 in Block 8.








* Project Summary Page indicating equipment
sought and the overall project goals for its use.
Indicate on the Project Summary Page that this
is an Equipment Grant application.

A general description of the research projects)
for which the equipment will be used, how the
equipment will fit into or enhance the research
program, and how the equipment will allow the
applicant to become competitive for future
funding or move into new research areas. (Limit
five (5) pages).

* A brief description of other similar or
complementary equipment available to the
investigator at the institution and why the
requested equipment is necessary.

* Curriculum vitae and a list of publications
(including titles) for the applicant and other major
users of the equipment. Follow detailed
instructions for these items provided under
"Format and Contents" for Standard Research
Projects herein.

* Budget (Form CSRS-55 and Budget Justification).
Justification should: describe the instrument
requested, including the manufacturer and model
number if known; provide a detailed budget
breakdown of the equipment and accessories
required; indicate the amount of funding requested
from USDA; and provide a statement that the
necessary non-Federal matching funds will be
made available from an institutional or other
source. (Note that no more than 50 percent of the
equipment cost will be provided by the USDA).

* Current and Pending Support (Form CSRS-663),
as outlined in the supplemental guidelines under
"Format and Contents" for Standard Research
Grants herein. If the applicant has significant
funding from other sources, a justification must be
given for how this equipment will strengthen the
applicant's research program or institution.

No installation, maintenance, warranty, or insurance
expenses may be paid from these awards.


Computer equipment is eligible only if it is to be used
specifically for scientific purposes and is carefully
justified. Purchase of a computer primarily for use as
a word processor or for other administrative purposes
is not permitted.

(3) Seed Grants:

Applications from faculty wishing to collect
preliminary data should be submitted to the Seed
Grant Program. Proposals should be submitted by
the Seed Grants Program deadline date found in
this program announcement. Applications should
contain all of the components of and be assembled in
the order described for a Standard Research Project
Grant under "Format and Content". In addition, the
following is required:

* Program Area 80.3 should be indicated in Block
8 of the Application Cover Page (CSRS-661), and
the Project Summary Page should indicate that
this is a Seed Grant application.

* Project Description must be limited to five (5)
single- or double-spaced pages. The description
should include all the components of a standard
research project grant and should present enough
experimental detail to allow adequate evaluation.
It also should indicate long-term research goals
and should include a statement on how this seed
grant will allow the applicant to become
competitive for future funding.

* Note that the budget should be limited to a total
of $50,000 (including indirect costs) for two years.


(4) Strengthening Standard Research Project
Awards:

Faculty who are eligible for the Strengthening Award
Program may wish to apply for a Standard Research
Project Award. Proposals should be directed to the
appropriate research program area described
herein by the designated deadline for that
particular area. Applications should contain all of
the components of and be assembled in the order








described for a Standard Research Project Grant under
"Format and Content" with the following
modification:


* Indicate on the Project Summary Page that this
proposal qualifies as a Strengthening Standard
Research Project application.


WHAT TO SUBMIT


An original and 14 copies of the application and
pertinent addenda to the project description are
requested. Due to the heavy volume of proposals that
are received each year and the difficulty in identifying
proposals submitted in several packages, all copies of
each proposal must be mailed in a single package. In
addition, please see that each copy of the proposal is
stapled securely in the upper left-hand corer. DO
NOT BIND any of the copies of the proposal, as it
will only delay processing.

Every effort should be made to ensure that the
proposal contains all pertinent information when


originally submitted Prior to mailing, it is urged that
the proposal be compared with the checklist in Section
VI.

Applicants wishing to submit names of potential
reviewers or provide information pertinent to the
review of their proposal, should do so in a separate
letter mailed directly to the program director (see
address in "Where To Submit"). DO NOT ATTACH
THIS LETTER TO THE PROPOSAL.












The research grant application
(an original and 14 copies) must
be mailed to the Proposal
Services Branch of the
Cooperative State Research
Service Grants Office and
postmarked by the relevant date
indicated in the program
announcement. NOTE: Do not
submit the proposal to
individual program directors
and do not submit through
your Senator or Congressional
Representative, as these actions
could delay the receipt of the
application.

Address for Regular Mail:

NRICGP
c/o Proposal Services Branch
AMD/CSRS/USDA
Room 303 Aerospace Center
AG BOX 2245
Washington, D.C. 20250-2245
Telephone: (202) 401-5048


WHERE TO SUBMIT

If you plan to hand-deliver your
proposal or use special mail
services such as overnight
express, the following street
address must be included and a
different zip code used:

Address for Hand-Delivery or
Special Mail Services:

NRICGP
c/o Proposal Services Branch
Awards Management Division
Cooperative State Research
Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Room 303 Aerospace Center
901 D Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20024


Applicants wishing to submit
names of potential reviewers or
provide information pertinent to
the review of their proposal,
should do so in a separate letter
mailed directly to the program
director (see address below). DO
NOT ATTACH THIS LETTER
TO THE PROPOSAL.

Address for Program Directors
(Do not submit proposals to
this address):

Program Director's Name
USDA/CSRS/NRICGP
Room 323 Aerospace Center
AG BOX 2241
Washington, D.C. 20250-2241








WHEN TO SUBMIT


To be considered for funding during FY 1994, proposals must be postmarked by the following dates:


Postmarked Program Program Contacts
Dates Codes Areas (202)

November 15, 1993 31.0 Improving Human Nutrition for Optimal 205-0250
Health
November 22, 1993 52.1 Plant Genome 401-5114
52.2 Plant Genetic Mechanisms 401-5042
December 6, 1993 23.0 Forest/Range/Crop/Aquatic Ecosystems 401-4082
51.1 Pathology 401-4310
51.4 Weed Science 401-4310
December 13, 1993 22.1 Plant Responses to the Environment 401-4871
41.0 Enhancing Reproductive Efficiency 401-6234
December 20, 1993 54.1 Photosynthesis and Respiration 401-6030
January 10, 1994 51.2 Entomology 401-5114
51.3 Nematology 401-5114
55.0 Alcohol Fuels 401-4310
January 18, 1994 44.0 Sustaining Animal Health and Well- 401-6303
Being
January 24, 1994 25.0 Soils and Soil Biology 401-4082
71.1 Food Characterization/Process/Product 401-1952
Research
71.2 Non-Food Characterization/Process/ 401-1952
Product Research
January 31, 1994 53.0 Plant Growth and Development 401-5042
February 7, 1994 61.0 Markets and Trade 401-4772
62.0 Rural Development 401-4425
February 14. 1994 24.0 Improved Utilization of Wood and 401-1952
Wood Fiber
32.0 Ensuring Food Safety 401-4399
54.2 Nitrogen Fixation/Nitrogen Metabolism 401-6030
February 22, 1994 80.1 Research Career Enhancement Awards 401-6234
80.2 Equipment Grants 401-6234
80.3 Seed Grants 401-6234









Postmarked Program Program Contacts
Dates Codes Areas (202)

March 6, 1994 42.0 Improving Animal Growth and 205-0250
Development
43.0 Identifying Genetic Mechanisms and 401-4399
Gene Mapping (Animal)

IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS, IN ADDITION TO THOSE DESCRIBED IN THIS
DOCUMENT, WILL BE DETAILED IN A SUPPLEMENTAL RELEASE.








SECTION III. SCIENTIFIC PEER REVIEW OF APPLICATIONS


REVIEW PROCESS

The review process will be conducted in accordance
with 7 CFR 3200.11 and 3200.14. All grant
applications will be acknowledged. If the applicant
does not receive an acknowledgement within 60 days
after the submission deadline, please contact the
program official. Prior to technical examination, a
preliminary review will be made for responsiveness to
the program solicitation (e.g., relationship to
application to announced program area). Proposals
which do not fall within the guidelines as stated in the
program solicitation will be eliminated from program
competition and will be returned to the applicant. All
accepted applications will be carefully reviewed by
the Administrator, qualified officers or employees of
the Department, the respective peer review group, and
ad hoc reviewers, as required. Written comments will
be solicited from ad hoc reviewers when required, and
individual written comments and in-depth discussions
will be provided by the peer review group members
prior to recommending applications for funding.

Peer review group members and ad hoc reviewers will
be selected based upon their training and experience
in relevant scientific or technical fields taking, into
account the following factors:

* The level of formal scientific or technical
education and other relevant experience of the
individual and the extent to which an individual is
engaged in relevant research and other relevant
activities;

* The need to include as peer reviewers experts
from various areas of specialization within
relevant scientific or technical fields;

* The need to include as peer reviewers experts
from a variety of organizational types (e.g.,
universities, industry, private consultantss) and
geographic locations; and


*The need to maintain a balanced composition of
peer review groups related to minority and
female representation and an equitable age
distribution.

During the peer evaluation process, extreme care will
be taken to prevent any actual or potential conflicts of
interest that may have an impact on review or
evaluation. Names of submitting institutions and
individuals, as well as proposal content and peer
evaluations, will be kept confidential among NRICGP
staff members and peer reviewers. At the conclusion
of the fiscal year, names of peer panelists will be
listed alphabetically in the back of CSRS' annual
publication of competitively awarded grants, popularly
known as the "Red Book." Names will not appear in
such a way that panelists can be identified with the
review of any particular proposal.

EVALUATION FACTORS

Subject to the varying conditions and needs of States,
Federally funded agricultural research supported under
this program shall be designed to, among other things,
accomplish one or more of the purposes described
under Applicable Regulations in the NRICGP
Program Description.

Therefore, in carrying out its review, the peer review
group shall take into account, pursuant to 7 CFR
3200.5(a), the following factors:

Standard Research Grants. Postdoctoral
Fellowships and New Investigator Awards

The following evaluation factors will be used in
reviewing applications for Standard Research
Grants, Postdoctoral Fellowships, and New
Investigator Awards:
SScientific merit of the proposal, consisting of.

P Conceptual adequacy of hypothesis;

> Clarity and delineation of objectives;








Adequacy of the description of the
undertaking and suitability and feasibility of
methodology;

o Demonstration of feasibility through
preliminary data;

Probability of success of project; and

Novelty, uniqueness, and originality.

* Qualifications of proposed project personnel and
adequacy offacilities.

> Training and demonstrated awareness of
previous and alternative approaches to the
problem identified in the proposal, and
performance record and/or potential for future
accomplishments;

> Time allocated for systematic attainment of
objectives;

Institutional experience and competence in
subject area; and

Adequacy of available or obtainable support
personnel, facilities, and instrumentation.

* Relevance of project to long-range improvements
in and sustainability of U.S. agriculture or to one
or more of the research purposes outlined in
Applicable Regulations of the NRICGP Program
Description.

However, because Section 2(b)(10) of the 1965 Act,
as amended, requires not less than 30% of the funds
appropriated to carry out section 2(b) to be available
for research conducted by multidisciplinary teams and
requires not less than 20% of the funds appropriated
to carry out section 2(b) to be available for mission-
linked research, CSRS reserves the right to reevaluate
standard research grant proposals to attain these
amounts.

Conference Applications

In evaluating proposals for the support of research
conferences, the following factors will be considered:


* Relevance of the proposed conference to
agriculture in the U.S. and the appropriateness of
the conference in fostering scientific exchange.


* Qualifications of organizing committee
appropriateness of invited speakers to the
areas being covered.


and
topic


* Uniqueness and timeliness of conference.

* Appropriateness of budget request.

Strengthening Awards

The following evaluation factors will be used in
reviewing applications for Research Career
Enhancement Awards, Equipment Grants, and
Seed Grants:

* The merit of the proposed activities or research
equipment as a means of enhancing the research
capabilities and competitiveness of the applicant
and/or institution.

* The applicant's previous research experience and
background.

* The appropriateness of the proposed activities or
research equipment for the goals proposed.

* Relevance of project to long-range improvements
in and sustainability of U.S. agriculture or to one
or more of the research
purposes outlined in Applicable Regulations of the
NRICGP Program Description.

* Whether or not the applicant institution is located
within a USDA-EPSCoR State.

The evaluation factors used for Standard Research
Projects also will apply for Strengthening Standard
Research Project Grants with the addition of the
following factor:

* Whether or not the applicant institution is located
within a USDA-EPSCoR State.








PROPOSAL DISPOSITION

As described in 7 CFR 3200.5(b) and taking into
account additional information, the following applies.
When each peer review panel has completed its
deliberations, the responsible program staff of the
NRICGP will recommend that the project be (a)
approved for support from currently available funds or
(b) declined due to insufficient funds or unfavorable
review. Disapproval of an application in one fiscal
year will not preclude its reconsideration upon
resubmission during subsequent fiscal years (but note
the second paragraph of Section II).

The NRICGP reserves the right to negotiate with the
principal investigator or project director and/or with


SECTION IV.

GENERAL

As described in 7 CFR 3200.6, within the limit of
funds available for such purpose, the awarding official
shall make grants to those responsible, eligible
applicants whose proposals are judged most
meritorious in the announced program areas under the
evaluation criteria and procedures set forth. The date
specified as the beginning of the project period shall
be no later than September 30 of the Federal fiscal
year in which the project is approved for support and
funds are appropriated for such purpose. The total
period for which a grant is awarded (including all
funded and unfunded time extensions) may not exceed
5 years.

MANAGEMENT INFORMATION

Specific management information relating to an
applicant shall be submitted on a one-time basis prior
to the award of a grant if such information has not
been provided previously under this or another
program for which the sponsoring agency is
responsible. Copies of forms recommended for use in
fulfilling the requirements contained in this section
will be provided by the agency once a grant has been
recommended for funding.


the submitting organization or institution regarding
project revisions (e.g., reductions in the scope of
work), funding level, or period or method of support
prior to recommending any project for funding.

A proposal may be withdrawn at any time before a
final funding decision is made regarding the proposal;
however, withdrawn proposals normally will not be
returned. One copy of each proposal that is not
selected for funding (including those that are
withdrawn) will be retained by the NRICGP for a
period of one year. The remaining copies will be
destroyed.


GRANT AWARDS

NOTICE OF GRANT AWARD

A grant award document, containing project-related
data, the budget, terms and conditions of grant award,
and other necessary information,, will be prepared and
forwarded to each grantee along with a Notice of
Grant Award. This package of materials should be
signed and returned to the Awards Management
Division of CSRS as soon as possible so that the
award can be activated.

OBLIGATIONS

As described in 7 CFR 3200.6(e) and taking into
account additional information, the following applies.
For any grant awarded, the maximum financial
obligation of CSRS shall be the amount of funds
authorized for the award. This amount will be stated
on the award instrument and on the approved budget.
However, in the event an erroneous amount is stated
on the grant award instrument, the approved budget,
or any supporting document, CSRS reserves the
unilateral right to make the correction and to make an
Appropriate adjustment in the amount of the award to
align with the authorized amount.

Nothing in these guidelines or any program
announcement shall obligate CSRS, the Department,








or the United States to take favorable action on any
application received in response to any announcement,
or to support any project at a particular level. Further,
neither the approval of any application nor the award
of any project grant shall commit or obligate the
United States in any way to make any renewal,


supplemental, continuation, or other award with
respect to any approved application or portion of an
approved application. Under no circumstances will an
award be made in the event Congress fails to
appropriate funds from which obligations may be met.


SECTION V. POST-AWARD ADMINISTRATION


CONDITIONS AND CHANGES

The guidelines set forth in 7 CFR 3200.7, 8, and 9
apply to this subject area. If a grant is awarded,
grantees will be required to ensure that all funds are
expended in accordance with the authorizing
legislation; the terms and conditions of grant award;
regulations governing this program (7 CFR Part
3200); Departmental regulations; and the applicable
Federal cost principles, all as in effect on the date of
grant award. Responsibility for the use and
expenditure of grant funds may not be transferred or
delegated in whole or in part to another party (even if
a grantee enters into a contractual relationship with
that party), unless the grant itself is transferred in
whole or in part to another party by CSRS. Copies of
applicable statutory and regulatory conditions will be
incorporated or referenced in all awards.

Authorization to make changes in approved project
plans, budget, period of support, etc., will be governed
largely by the terms and conditions of grant award.
Among other things, these terms and conditions will
set forth the kinds of post-award changes that may be
made by the grantee and the kinds of changes that are
reserved to the NRICGP or to the Authorized
Departmental Officer. It is urged that all key project
personnel and authorized organizational
representatives read them carefully.

RELEASE OF INFORMATION

As described in 7 CFR 3200.13 and taking into
account additional information, the following applies.
CSRS receives grant proposals in confidence and will
protect the confidentiality of their contents to the
maximum extent permitted by law. When a proposal
results in a grant, however,


it becomes part of the public record and is available
to the public upon written request. Copies of
proposals (including excerpts from proposals) that are
not funded will not be released. Information
regarding funded projects will be made available to
the extent permitted under the Freedom of Information
Act, the Privacy Act, and implementing USDA and
CSRS regulations. Requests to obtain authorized
information (and fee schedule relating to the handling
of this information) should be directed to the National
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Coordinator,
ARS Information Staff, Room 331B, .Building 005,
USDA, BARC-West, Beltsville, MD 20705; telephone
(301) 344-3928.

After final funding decisions, NRICGP staff will send
verbatim copies of written reviews to the principal
investigator but such reviews will not include the
identity of the reviewers.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

The Competitive Research Grants Program is listed in
the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under No.
10.206. For reasons set forth in the Final rule-related
Notice to 7 CFR Part 3015, Subpart V (48 FR 29115,
June 24, 1983), this program is excluded from the
scope of Executive Order 12372 which requires
intergovernmental consultation with State and local
officials. In accordance with the provisions of the
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (44 U.S.C.
3504(h)), the collection of information requirements
contained in this notice have been approved under
OMB Document No. 0524-0022.








SECTION VI. CHECKLIST


All proposals submitted under the NRICGP must contain the applicable elements outlined in these guidelines. The
following checklist has been prepared to assist in ensuring that the proposal is complete prior to mailing:

O Application Cover Page (Form CSRS-661)
Are all blocks accurate and complete?
Have all proposing principal investigators/project directors signed the form?
Has the authorized organizational representative signed it (where required)?
Does one copy contain pen-and-ink signatures?
If your telephone is unanswered when you are not available, have you included a telephone number where a
message may be left for you?

O Table of Contents

O Project Summary
Has the Project Summary been included using the format located in the back of this booklet?
Does it include research objectives?
Does it fit within the designated box on the Project Summary Page?
Has the appropriate box been checked in the "Proposal Type" box?

0 Project Description
Is the project fully described?
If a renewal application, is a clearly marked progress report included?
If a resubmission, has the proposal been clearly and meaningfully revised and are the revisions briefly
described?
Does this section adhere to the format and page limitations?

E References to Project Description
Are all references cited?
Do all citations contain a title and are they in accepted journal format?

O Documentation from Collaborator(s), Scientific Mentor, or Host Institution (where appropriate)

O Curriculum Vitae
Are vitae included for key project personnel?
Is the vitae current and pertinent?
Is the publication list limited to the last five years?

O Conflict of Interest List
Has a list been completed for each investigator?

O Budget (Form CSRS-55)
Is the budget request reasonable for the work proposed?
Are budget items individually listed and justified?
Are annual and summary budgets included?








[ Applicant Assurances (Form CSRS-662, where applicable)
Has the project been approved by necessary Institutional Review Board(s)?
Has the form been signed by the authorized organizational representative (where required)?

O NEPA
Has the NEPA statement been filled out following the format found in the back of this booklet?

O Current and Pending Support (Form CSRS-663)
Have all current and pending projects been listed,, including this one?
Has this information for each key project member been included?

O Addenda to Project Description
Are they limited to materials that are absolutely necessary?
Have all addenda been properly labeled for easy identification?
Are they attached firmly to the proposal?

O General
Does the proposal conform to all format and page limitations?
Is the proposal well organized, neat, free of typographical errors and assembled properly?
Are there an original and 14 copies?
Are all copies complete?
Will the proposal be postmarked by the relevant deadline date?



DO NOT ATTACH THIS CHECKLIST TO COMPLETED PROPOSALS!








NEPA DETERMINATION

Included as the last page of your proposal should be a statement regarding your determination regarding the NEPA
exclusions outlined in the Submission Requirements section of this solicitation. The format outlined below will
suffice.

It has been determined that this project is excluded from the requirements outlined in 7 CFR Part 3407, CSRS'
implementation of NEPA, regarding the preparation of an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact
Statement.

This project falls under the following Department of Agriculture or CSRS exclusion category(ies):








CONFLICT OF INTEREST LIST

NAME OF INVESTIGATOR OR CO-INVESTIGATOR:


Please list below this box, in alphabetical order, only the individuals in the following categories. NRICGP
does not regard other investigators working in the applicant's specific research area as being in conflict of
interest with the applicant unless those investigators fall within one of the categories listed below.
Additional pages may be used as necessary. Use of this checklist will help the program staff in assuring
that your Conflict of Interest list is complete. A conflict of interest list(s) must be submitted before a
proposal is considered complete.
O Collaborators on research projects within the past five years, including current and planned
collaborations
O All co-authors on publications within the past five years, including pending publications and
submissions
0 Thesis or postdoctoral advisors within the past five years




Principal Investigator(s) or Project Director(s):


PI/PD #1


PI/PD #2


PI/PD #3


Institution


Institution

Institution


Project Title:



KEY WORDS:


PROPOSAL TYPE


(Summary must fit in box)


PROJECT SUMMARY




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