Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate Fellowship Grants - (NFF) - #10.210
Uses and Use Restrictions
Competitive annual grants providing for a limited number of graduate stipends are awarded to selected U.S. institutions of higher education so as to distribute support for graduate study to promising food and agricultural scientists and professionals. Individuals selected initially by the institution must enroll in a program leading to a graduate, master's or doctoral degree in one of the targeted national needs areas of the food and agricultural sciences. Such persons may not have been enrolled previously in the program at the same degree level. Current fellows are eligible to receive supplemental grants of $3,000 to cover travel and living expenses for special international study or thesis/dissertation research experiences. Funding for the supplemental grants will be awarded on a competitive basis using no-year funds drawn from expired fellowship grants with unspent funds remaining as set forth in the annual program guidelines. No indirect cost allowed. Institutional allowance in lieu of indirect cost. NNF stipend funds for fellowship must be used to: (1) support the same Fellow at the Masters degree level who maintains satisfactory progress and is eligible to receive grant support for a maximum of twenty-four (24) months during a thirty-month period, and/or (2) support the same Fellow at the doctoral degree level who maintains satisfactory progress and is eligible to receive grant support for a maximum of thirty-six (36) months within a forty-two-month period. Institutions must use a minimum stipend of $18,500 per year for Masters Fellows and $24,500 per year for Doctoral Fellows. If funds remain as a result of USDA Fellows completing their studies early (less than twenty-four months for a Masters degree or less than thirty-six months for a doctoral degree) or Fellowships being terminated prematurely, such funds may be used, within the time remaining on the award, to support: (1) pursuit of a doctoral degree in a TESA in the food and agricultural sciences by a Masters degree level Fellow at the grantee institution, or (2) a Replacement Fellow. The tenure of such a Replacement Fellow is limited to whatever time is remaining on the grant before it expires; however, an institution may not appoint a Replacement Fellow unless there is time for the student to complete at least one semester/quarter of study before the expiration date of the grant. Replacement Fellows must meet all of the eligibility criteria and other requirements established for Fellow selection and are subject to the same provisions as other Fellows during their tenure in the program. Replacement Fellows are entitled, during their tenure, to the same benefits that other Fellows receive from the grant award and National Needs Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellowship Grants Program. Institutions may, but are not required to, continue a Replacement Fellow's tuition and other benefits beyond the expiration date of the grant using institutional or other funds. A Fellow may not be simultaneously supported under multiple National Needs Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellowship Grants Program awards. Remaining funds cannot be used to increase annual Fellowship stipends provided to existing Fellows. If less than one semester/quarter remains on the award, the grantee must refund unexpended monies to CSREES. Such funds cannot be used to increase the annual stipend amounts for current USDA Graduate Fellows. Should a USDA Fellow require additional time beyond the grant period to complete his or her degree, it is expected that the grantee will consider alternatives to continue supporting the Fellow through other means. Tuition and fees are the responsibility of the Fellow unless an institution elects to use its cost-of-education institutional allowance for this purpose or elects to pay such costs out of non-USDA monies. No dependency allowances are provided to any USDA Graduate Fellows. Stipend payments and special international study or thesis/dissertation research travel allowances may be made to Fellows by the institution, in accordance with standard institutional procedures for graduate fellowships and assistantships. When grants are for IRTAs that will be used by To-Be-Recruited Fellows: The IRTA funds for To-Be-Recruited fellows will be withheld until the Project Director has submitted, to the NNF Program Office, all of the required documentation for eligibility of the Graduate Fellow for the IRTA as well as the required specifics outlined in the RFA for the IRTA. The information must be submitted for approval, no less than 150 days prior to the use of the IRTA funds (see PART IV, B, 3, b, Section 1). This requirement will become a condition of the award. Fully discretionary.
A Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number must be obtained - A DUNS number is a unique number that identifies an organization. It has been adopted by the Federal government to help track how Federal grant money is distributed. If your organization does not have a DUNS number, call the special Dun & Bradstreet hotline at (1-866) 705-5711 to receive one free of charge. You will receive a DUNS number within several days of your request. Please note, individual proprietorships (i.e. farmers, ranchers) can request and receive a DUNS number, but must register with Grants.gov as an organization, not as an individual. Registration with Central Contractor Registry (CCR) is required - The CCR is the central government repository for organizations working with the Federal government. If your organization is not already registered, identify the primary contact who should register your organization. When your organization registers with CCR, it will be required to designate an e-Business Point of Contact (e-Business POC). The e-Business POC authorizes individuals to submit grant applications on behalf of the organization and creates a special password called a Marketing Partner ID Number (M-PIN) to verify individuals authorized to submit grant applications for the organization. Visit the CCR Web site at http://www.ccr.gov to begin this process. It may take several days to collect the information needed for your organizations registration. The CCR Assistance Center can be reached at (888) 227-2423. This information collection is approved under OMB Control No. 0524-0039, NIFA Application Kit for Research and Extension Programs. Applicants must furnish the information required in the request for applications (RFAs). Successful applicants recommended for funding must furnish the information and assurances requested during the award documentation process. These include, but are not limited to the following: Organizational Management Information - Specific management information relating to an applicant shall be submitted on a one time basis, with updates on an as needed basis, as part of the responsibility determination prior to the award of a grant identified under this RFA, if such information has not been provided previously under this or another NIFA program. NIFA will provide copies of forms recommended for use in fulfilling these requirements as part of the preaward process. Although an applicant may be eligible based on its status as one of these entities, there are factors which may exclude an applicant from receiving Federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits under this program (e.g., debarment or suspension of an individual involved or a determination that an applicant is not responsible based on submitted organizational management information). This information collection is approved under OMB Circular Control No. 0524-0026, Assurance of Compliance with the Department of Agriculture Regulations Assuring Civil Rights, Compliance and Organization Information.. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
(1) The degree to which the proposal clearly establishes that the proposed program of graduate training will result in the development of outstanding scientific/professional expertise related to the national need area and in a reasonable period of time; (2) the degree to which the proposed program of study reflects special features such as a combination-disciplinary, approach (inter-disciplinary, multi-disciplinary or cross-disciplinary), a unique collateral specialization in a related discipline, experimental learning opportunities, a unique mentoring program, seminars, or a multi-university collaborative approach; (3) the degree to which the proposal establishes that the institution's faculty, facilities and equipment, instructional support resources, and other attributes are excellent for providing outstanding graduate study and research at the forefront of science and technology related to the chosen area of national need; (4) the degree to which the institution's plans and procedures for recruitment and selection of academically outstanding fellows and for monitoring and facilitating fellow's progress through a program of study reflect excellence as documented in the proposal; (5) the degree to which supporting summary data substantiate program quality in the targeted national need area; and (6) the quality of the proposal as reflected by its substantive content, organization, clarity, and accuracy; (7) any additional evaluation criteria as cited in the annual program announcement published in the Federal Register.
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