- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
The University of California's Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA) Program is soliciting project and student intern proposals.
Project Proposals that will develop and/or support new or existing Cooperative Extension projects and/or activities that address the educational and extension needs in the management of California's valuable renewable resources on forest and rangeland. The primary purpose of this program is to promote the proper management of these resources, especially on private lands, and to provide the information/education/training needed by Extension personnel, landowners, land managers, and natural resource professionals.
Maximum award is $15,000 per project.
Student Intern Proposals that will use the services and talents of student interns. Internships are open to undergraduate or graduate students from any institution of higher education in California, particularly the University of California and the California State Universities. Principal investigators will not be granted additional RREA funds to pay for supplemental costs associated with the project. Student interns are expected to work on projects or activities that address educational and extension needs in the management of California's renewable resources. Intern proposals must demonstrate the connection to Cooperative Extension (county or campus office).
Interns will be funded up to $6,000.
The submission deadline has been extended to July 7, 2023.
The Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA), Public Law No. 95-306, was passed June 30, 1978, to address educational needs in managing the nation's renewable resources. Funds are appropriated annually by the Congress and allocated to the various states by U.S. Department of Agriculture under an established formula. The national RREA program is administered by USDA-NIFA Extension and the California component by the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR). The available annual funding is unknown for 2023-24, but has been approximately $90,000-$95,000 over the past few years.
California RREA Program
California's program for RREA funding over the past years has been administered through competitive mini-grant awards. The awards facilitate interdisciplinary cooperation and expand the capacity of natural resource Extension educators to deliver current and relevant research-based programs to address the multiple management issues facing California's diverse natural resources. California RREA awards help forest and rangeland owners and managers, policymakers, communities, and the general public make informed decisions regarding the sustainability of natural lands and resources that are of critical importance to the ecological, social, and economic well-being of California. Logic Model: California RREA programs logic model focuses on the aspects of the national RREA strategic plan most relevant to the state and also makes the connection between RREA projects intended outcome and UC ANR's Condition Changes and Public Value Statements. Download the UC ANR RREA Program Logic Model for guidance in the development of proposals and completing final project reports.
Objectives of the California RREA program
- Maintain strong renewable resources programs within UC Agriculture and Natural Resources by focusing on integration of disciplines and management of the total landscape.
- Enable landowners, managers and communities to clarify goals and objectives for owning and managing renewable resources, evaluating natural resources in a holistic manner and utilizing integrated management approaches.
- Conduct educational programs for landowners and managers to identify, plan and apply integrated renewable resource management practices for conservation and profit.
- Provide objective, reliable information to public interest groups and to policymakers about renewable resource issues.
- Inform landowners, managers and communities of land-use policy decisions and provide objective analysis of the available management methods and their impacts on ranch or forest operations.
- Promote the use of “best management practices” on public and private wildlands through educational programs utilizing workshops, field demonstrations, training sessions and published information manuals.
- Demonstrate relevance to UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Strategic Vision, Public Values and Condition Changes and connection to the 2018-2022 RREA Strategic Plan.
Proposal Evaluation Criteria
A Technical Advisory Committee will review proposals. Education and Extension must be the main goal of the proposals. Research proposals cannot be considered. Reviewers will use the following criteria when evaluating and ranking the proposals:
- Does the project address the objectives of California's RREA program?
- Is the budget appropriate?
- Rate the capabilities and experience of the person(s) responsible for the proposal.
- Does the project address an RREA critical issue area(s) and associated California RREA goal(s) (see UC ANR RREA logic model), and clearly document the relevant inputs, outputs and outcomes?
- How does this project relate to other similar projects? (applicant's own, subject matter and/or geographic)
- Does the project duplicate or work in conjunction with similar projects?
- Does the project demonstrate a level of initial or continued support; Advisors, communities, agencies, etc., including financial support?
- Are the project goals/objectives reachable given the described methods?
- Are the methods clearly stated and justifiable?
- Is the work plan capable of reaching the stated goals/objectives?
- Is the proposal clear and complete?
- How will the information generated by this project be extended (to whom and how)?
- Are activities and stakeholder participation clearly described?
- Does the proposal clearly describe methods to measure and evaluate outcomes and impacts (short- and long-term) relevant to California's renewable resources?
Does the proposal clearly describe methods to measure and evaluate outcomes and impacts, short and long-term, relevant to California renewable resources?
Who can apply?
One of the primary purposes of the California RREA program is to build internal capacity of Cooperative Extension Advisors and Specialists to respond to renewable resource issues. Both Cooperative Extension Advisors and Specialists are eligible to apply. Agricultural Experiment Station and other researchers and faculty are also eligible for funding when collaborating with Cooperative Extension Advisors or Specialists. A second purpose of RREA funding is to build natural resource programming capacity within Cooperative Extension. To this end, the resulting projects funded by RREA should result in CE advisors and specialists engaged in natural resource programs. Projects that result in this kind of involvement will receive priority for funding. Using RREA funds for outside consultants or projects where the major effort is not from CE is not permitted.
Download the application and apply through the Universal Review System in the ANR Portal; click on the 2023-2024 RREA Project & Student Intern Grants link. Please carefully read the instructions at the top of each section of the application. If the application is for a continuing project that received 2022-23 RREA funding, the applicant must submit a progress report, formatted similar to UC Delivers, with their 2023-24 RREA proposal. Student Intern applicants: Indicate type by checking the Student Intern checkbox located at the top of page one in the RREA Proposal Application document.
Proposal submitters will be notified of funding decisions by the first week of September 2023 and the project performance period will be Oct. 1, 2023, to Aug. 31, 2024. Funds must be expended by Aug. 31, 2024. Funds are available for both short and multi-year projects. For multi-year projects, funds will be awarded on a yearly basis subject to availability, satisfactory progress report and continuing need of the project.
- The budget must be complete, including a detailed narrative that describes the proposed costs, such as type and duration of positions, type and location of travel, and type of supplies. A complete explanation of all current and pending support (cash or in-kind) listing the source, amount and effective dates should also be provided.
- Indicate what, if any, other organization(s) this proposal has been submitted to.
- Many RREA projects result in products such as publications, videos and other communication media related to natural resources. Development costs and production costs can be included in RREA proposal requests however, UC ANR Publications must be consulted regarding costs and timeline. The UC ANR publications process, including peer review by the program identified Associate Editors, is encouraged and this will be considered when funding decisions are made. UC ANR Publications will provide estimates regarding printing and other cost estimates. These should be included in the proposal with a clear indication of their purpose and how they were derived. Note that printing and other associated production costs will not be included in funded proposals but will be set aside for direct billing with UC ANR Publications. If production outside of UC ANR Publications is necessary, a strong justification should be included in your proposal. For additional information please contact Rachel Lee, Director, UC ANR Publishing.
- Some RREA projects include costs for meetings, including room rentals, AV equipment, speaker travel, etc. and it is expected that a reasonable meeting fee should be charged to recover these costs; however, if RREA funding will be used for meeting expenses a clear justification of need should be included in your proposal.
- The maximum available for a funded project is $15,000; $6,000 for student interns.
- Projects that include matching funds or funds from non-UC ANR other sources are encouraged.
- Equipment purchases are not generally allowable. If equipment is essential for this project, a complete justification, including disposition of equipment at the end of the grant, must be included.
- Funds used for salaries must cover employee benefits associated with general assistance hire.
- All allocated grant funds must be expended by August 31, 2024, and no-cost extensions for RREA awards cannot, and will not, be considered. Multiple year projects will be considered. Projects requiring multi-year funding must submit a proposal application and project progress report each year.
- USDA-NIFA RREA Prohibited Expenses:
- Food & beverages
- Prizes & promotional materials
- Student tuition reimbursement
- Fund transfers from RREA-funded project accounts are not allowed and will not be approved.
- Funding cannot be used for research-related activities.
- RREA funds cannot be used for outside consultants if the project's major effort is not from CE.
A final report will be required upon completion of the project. The national RREA Program requires state RREA programs to submit an annual report that includes detailed project data. All projects funded by the UC ANR RREA Project & Student Intern Grants Program will be required to submit an accurate and detailed final project report.
Submit your completed proposal in the URS by 5 p.m. on July 7, 2023.
For questions about the submission process, please contact Andrea Rayray, research administrator in UC ANR Program Planning and Evaluation.