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Posts Tagged: Strategic Initiatives

ANR competitive grants program funds 15 projects

I am pleased to announce that ANR's 2013 competitive grants program will fund 15 projects, for a total of approximately $3.5 million over 5 years. The awards range from $5,500 to nearly $350,000. Last year ANR funded 16 projects with $3.67 million over 5 years.

A full list of the funded projects, collaborators, funding amounts and funding sources are posted at

Taking into consideration several comments from the Partnership to Advance Cooperative Extension (PACE) effort and others, ANR made significant changes to the 2013 competitive grants program RFP. Changes included the following:

  • Principal investigators were able to submit proposals for research and/or extension projects.
  • Early-career academics were strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Cross-initiative proposals were strongly encouraged.
  • Applicants had the option to start their projects in April or August of 2014.
  • ANR encouraged the submission of small to mid-size projects, up to $250,000.
  • Applicants were able to request funding for projects up to $500,000 for a term not to exceed five years.

The purpose of ANR's competitive grants program is to invest in research, education and outreach projects that support high-priority issues that are consistent with the Strategic Vision; encourage collaboration among academics; support short-term, high-impact projects; strengthen the research-extension network; and contribute policy-relevant outcomes that address significant agricultural, economic, environmental and social issues in California. ANR is committed to providing as much support as feasible to address high-priority issues.

Key criteria

Proposals needed to address issues identified by at one least one of the following strategic initiatives: Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases (EIPD), Healthy Families and Communities (HFC), Sustainable Food Systems (SFS), Sustainable Natural Ecosystems (SNE), and Water Quality, Quantity and Security (Water). As stated in the RFP, ANR highly encouraged cross-initiative proposals. Furthermore, proposals were evaluated on technical merit, relevance to California and likelihood of impact, feasibility of achieving objectives in the specified time frame, and clear indications that the proposed work aimed to develop and/or enhance meaningful partnerships and collaborations among ANR and with external stakeholders.

Grant review process

The five strategic initiative panels reviewed 195 letters of intent for strong, substantive connections to initiative priorities, and invited authors of 70 letters of intent to submit full proposals. We received 65 full proposals from which 15 projects were selected for funding. 

After each proposal received at least two technical reviews by academics who had no conflict of interest with the proposal, the strategic initiatives leaders ranked the proposals and recommended a consensus slate of highly ranked proposals to Program Council. Program Council discussed each of the recommended proposals in detail, and sent the full set of recommended proposals with comments to ANR leadership for final review and selection.

With ANR's Strategic Vision as our guide, we are focusing our resources where there is an opportunity to demonstrate impact, inform public policymaking and attract new resources to support all elements of ANR. In doing so, we strive to achieve the greatest benefit for Californians with our investment. Please join me in congratulating this year's recipients of ANR competitive grants.


Bill Frost
Associate Vice President

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This announcement is also posted and archived on the ANR Update pages.

Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Harper to lead Sustainable Natural Ecosystems Strategic Initiative

I am pleased to announce that John Harper has agreed to lead the Sustainable Natural Ecosystems Strategic Initiative for a two–year appointment. As the SNE initiative leader, John will serve on Program Council.

John has been a UC Cooperative Extension advisor specializing in livestock and natural resources for 23 years in Mendocino and Lake counties. His research covers sheep and goat production, range cattle production, rangeland, watershed, water quality and computer applications. As an advisor, he has worked with fellow UCCE advisors, specialists and Agricultural Experiment Station scientists on several research and education projects. He served as UCCE director for Mendocino County for 13 years, and also oversaw UCCE in Lake County for four of those years.

John has been an integral part of local, statewide and regional projects addressing critical natural resources issues. These efforts have provided him with a good understanding of the breadth of ANR. He has demonstrated a good vision for expanding involvement in the initiative as well as revisiting the initiative's strategic plan.

He succeeds James Bartolome, professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley, who retired.

For more information about the SNE strategic initiative, visit

Bill Frost
Associate Vice President

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This announcement is also posted and archived on the ANR Update pages.


Programs teams to meet Nov. 13-14

The Ornamental & Environmental Horticulture, Nurseries & Master Gardener Program Team and the Water Resources Program Team will meet on Nov. 13-14, 2013 at the Putah Creek Lodge in Davis. Workgroups will meet on Nov. 12.

Registration and draft agendas will be available soon. Possible agenda topics include new positions, trainings and any agenda suggestions you may have.

Please send suggestions for the agendas to Janet Hartin at or Doug Parker at

Workgroups interested in holding meetings in conjunction with these program teams, or at any other time this fall, should complete the meeting request form at The Program Support Unit will be happy to coordinate.

For all other questions, please contact ANR Program Support Unit.

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This announcement is also posted and archived on the ANR Update pages.

Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Strategic Initiative leaders encourage you to attend the 2013 ANR Statewide Conference

Dear Colleagues,

As the Strategic Initiative leaders, we encourage you to attend the 2013 ANR Statewide Conference, which serves as the Initiative meetings for this year. We're excited about this opportunity to convene all of the Initiatives and promote cross-initiative discussions and partnerships. 

Join your colleagues for three days of lively discussions about ANR’s role in identifying and addressing challenges in agriculture and in natural and human resources with an eye to how our Strategic Vision, through the Initiatives, shapes this important work. Take a look at the science sessions, which have been updated on the agenda.

Many program teams and workgroups will be meeting during the conference as well. Please contact the Program Support Unit soon if you wish to reserve space during the conference for your group to meet.

If you have not already signed up, registration remains open at 2013 ANR Statewide Conference. The special room rate at the conference hotel expires this Friday, March 8, so don't delay in making your reservations. 

We hope to see you in Ontario!


Doug Parker
Chair, Strategic Initiative Leaders


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This announcement is also posted and archived on the ANR Update pages.

Posted on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Register for the Water Strategic Initiative Conference

Registration is now open for the UC ANR Water Strategic Initiative Conference and program team meetings being held Nov. 14-15 at the Activities and Recreation Center at UC Davis.

The theme of the conference is “Water: Opportunities and Challenges.”  At the conference, participants will share information about water-related research and will be encouraged to look for opportunities for collaboration.

The water panel will also seek input on the Draft Strategic Initiative on Water Plan, which will be posted at at least two weeks prior to the conference.

There will be a panel discussion about water competition in the Bay Delta and for agricultural and urban uses. Speakers will also discuss water issues associated with developed lands, irrigated lands and resource lands.

For more information or to register for the Water Strategic Initiative Conference, visit

Program teams will meet Nov. 14 from 1 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Additional workgroup and program team meetings may be held on Nov. 13. Workgroup chairs and program team leaders may reserve space by completing a brief survey.  For further information, contact, (530) 752-1581 or (530)752-2442.


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This announcement is also posted and archived on the ANR Update pages.


Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 12:12 PM

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