- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
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 http://ucanr.edu/2013cg.
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.
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.
Associate Vice President
View or leave comments for ANR Leadership at http://ucanr.edu/sites/ANRUpdate/Comments.
This announcement is also posted and archived on the ANR Update pages.