Title 7 Part 3401 → Subpart A → §3401.6
Title 7 → Subtitle B → Chapter XXXIV → Part 3401 → Subpart A → §3401.6
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR
Title 7 Part 3401 → Subpart A → §3401.6
§3401.6 How to apply for a grant.
(a) General. After consultation with the Rangeland Research Advisory Board, established pursuant to section 1482 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as amended (7 U.S.C. 3335), a request for proposals will be prepared and announced through publications such as the Federal Register, professional trade journals, agency or program handbooks, the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, or any other appropriate means of solicitation, as early as practicable each fiscal year. It will contain information sufficient to enable all eligible applicants to prepare rangeland research grant proposals and will be as complete as possible with respect to:
(1) Descriptions of specific research program areas which the Department proposes to support during the fiscal year involved, including anticipated funds to be awarded;
(2) Deadline dates for having proposal packages postmarked;
(3) Name and address where proposals should be mailed;
(4) Number of copies to be submitted;
(5) Forms required to be used when submitting proposals; and
(6) Special requirements.
(b) Application kit. An Application Kit will be made available to any potential grant applicant who requests a copy. This kit contains required forms, certifications, and instructions applicable to the submission of grant proposals.
(c) Format for research grant proposals. Unless otherwise stated in the specific program solicitation, the following format applies:
(1) Application for funding. All research grant proposals submitted by eligible applicants should contain an Application for Funding form, which must be signed by the proposing principal investigator(s) and endorsed by the cognizant authorized organizational representative who possesses the necessary authority to commit the applicant's time and other relevant resources.
(2) Title of project. The title of the project must be brief (80-character maximum), yet represent the major thrust of the research. This title will be used to provide information to the Congress and other interested parties who may be unfamiliar with scientific terms; therefore, highly technical words or phraseology should be avoided where possible. In addition, phrases such as “investigation of” or “research on” should not be used.
(3) Objectives. Clear, concise, complete, enumerated, and logically arranged statement(s) of the specific aims of the research must be included in all proposals.
(4) Procedures. The procedures of methodology to be applied to the proposed research plan should be stated explicitly. This section should include but not necessarily be limited to:
(i) A description of the proposed investigations and/or experiments in the sequence in which it is planned to carry them out;
(ii) Techniques to be employed, including their feasibility;
(iii) Kinds of results expected;
(iv) Means by which data will be analyzed or interpreted;
(v) Pitfalls which might be encountered; and
(vi) Limitations to proposed procedures.
(5) Justification. This section of the grant proposal should describe:
(i) The importance of the problem to the needs of the Department and to the Nation, including estimates of the magnitude of the problem;
(ii) The importance of starting the work during the current fiscal year; and
(iii) Reasons for having the work performed by the proposing organization.
(6) Literature review. A summary of pertinent publications with emphasis on their relationship to the research should be provided and should include all important and recent publications. The citations should be accurate, complete, written in acceptable journal format, and be appended to the proposal.
(7) Current research. The relevancy of the proposed research to ongoing and, as yet, unpublished research of both the applicant and any other institutions should be described.
(8) Facilities and equipment. All facilities, including laboratories, that are available for use or assignment to the proposed research project during the requested period of support, should be reported and described. Any materials, procedures, situations, or activities, whether or nor directly related to a particular phase of the proposed research, and which may be hazardous to personnel, must be explained fully, along with an outline of precautions to be exercised. All items of major instrumentation available for use or assignment to the proposed research project during the requested period of support should be itemized. In addition, items of nonexpendable equipment needed to conduct and bring the proposed project to a successful conclusion should be listed.
(9) Collaborative arrangements. If the proposed project requires collaboration with other research scientists, corporations, organizations, agencies, or entities, such collaboration must be explained fully and justified. Evidence should be provided to assure peer reviewers that the collaborators involved agree with the arrangements. It should be specifically indicated whether or not such collaborative arrangements have the potential for any conflict(s) of interest. Proposals which indicate collaborative involvements must state which applicant is to receive any resulting grant award, since only one eligible applicant, as provided in §3401.3 may be the recipient of a research project grant under one proposal.
(10) Research timetable. The applicant should outline all important research phases as a function of time, year by year.
(11) Personnel support. All personnel who will be involved in the research effort must be identified clearly. For each scientist involved, the following should be included:
(i) An estimate of the time commitments necessary;
(ii) Vitae of the principal investigator(s), senior associate(s), and other professional personnel to assist reviewers in evaluating the competence and experience of the project staff. This section should include curricula vitae of all key persons who will work on the proposed research project, whether or not Federal funds are sought for their support. The vitae are to be no more than two pages each in length, excluding publication listings; and
(iii) A chronological listing of the most representative publications during the past five years shall be provided for each professional project member of whom a curriculum vitae appears under this section. 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.
(12) Budget. 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 identified under §3401.6(b) and may be reproduced as needed by applicants. Funds may be requested under any of the categories listed, provided that the item or service for which support is requested is allowable under applicable Federal cost principles and can be identified as necessary for successful conduct of the proposed research project. As stated in §3401.4 each grant recipient must match the Federal funds expended on a research project based on a formula of 50 percent Federal and 50 percent non-Federal funding. As stated in §3401.5, indirect costs and tuition remission costs are not allowable costs for purposes of this program and , thus, may not be used to satisfy the matching requirement set forth in §3401.4.
(13) Research involving special considerations. 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 such situations are anticipated, the proposal must so indicate. It is expected that a significant number of rangeland grant proposals will involve the following:
(i) Recombinant DNA molecules. All key personnel identified in a proposal and all endorsing officials of a proposed performing entity are required to comply with the guidelines establishing by the National Institutes of Health entitled, “Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules,” as revised. The Application Kit, identified above in §3401.6(b), contains a form which is suitable for such certification of compliance. In the event a project involving recombinant DNA and RNA molecules results in a grant award, the Institutional Biosafety Committee must approve the research before NIFA funds will be released.
(ii) Human subjects at risk. Responsibility for safeguarding the rights and welfare of human subjects used in any research project supported with grant funds provided by the Department rests with the performing entity. Regulations have been issued by the Department under 7 CFR part 1c, Protection of Human Subjects. In the event that a project involving human subjects at risk is recommended for award, the applicant will be required to submit a statement certifying that the research plan has been reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board at the proposing organization or institution. The Application Kit, identified above in §3401.6(b), contains a form which is suitable for such certification. In the event a project involving human subjects results in a grant award, funds will be released only after the Institutional Committee has approved the project.
(iii) Laboratory animal care. The responsibility for the humane care and treatment of any laboratory 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 research project supported with Rangeland Research Grant Program funds rests with the performing organization. In this regard, all key personnel identified in a proposal and all endorsing officials of the proposed performing entity are required to comply with the 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 the event that a project involving the use of a laboratory animal is recommended for award, the applicant will be required to submit a statement certifying such compliance. The Application Kit, identified above in §3401.6(b), contains a form which is suitable for such certification. In the event a project involving the use of living vertebrate animals results in a grant award, funds will be released only after the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee has approved the project.
(14) Current and pending support. All proposals must list any other current public or private research support, in addition to the proposed project, to which key personnel listed in the proposal under consideration have committed portions of their time, whether or not salary support for the person(s) involved is included in the budgets of the various projects. This section must also contain analogous information for all projects underway and for pending research proposals which are currently being considered by, or which will be submitted in the near future to, other possible sponsors, including other Departmental programs or agencies. Concurrent submission of identical or similar projects to other possible sponsors will not prejudice its review or evaluation by the Director or experts or consultants engaged by the Director for this purpose. The Application Kit, identified above in §3401.6(b), contains a form which is suitable for listing current and pending support.
(15) Additions to project description. Each project description is expected by the Director, members of peer review groups, and the relevant program staff to be complete in itself. However, in those instances in which the inclusion of additional information is necessary, the number of copies submitted should match the number of copies of the application requested in the annual solicitation of proposals as indicated in §3401.6(a)(4). Each set of such materials must be identified with the title of the research project as it appears in the Application for Funding and the name(s) of the principal investigator(s). Examples of additional materials may include photographs which do not reproduce well, reprints, and other pertinent materials which are deemed to be unsuitable for inclusion in the proposal.
(16) National Environmental Policy Act. As outlined in NIFA's implementing regulations of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) at 7 CFR part 3407, environmental data or documentation for the proposed project is to be provided to NIFA in order to assist NIFA in carrying out its responsibilities under NEPA. These responsibilities include 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 categorical exclusions listed in 7 CFR part 3407. In this regard, the applicant should review the categories defined for exclusion to ascertain whether the proposed project may fall within one or more of the exclusions, and should indicate if it does so on the National Environmental Policy Act Exclusions Form (Form NIFA—1234) provided in the Application Kit. Even though the applicant considers that a proposed project may fall within a categorical exclusion, NIFA 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.
(17) Organizational management information. Specific management information relating to an applicant shall be submitted on an one-time basis prior to the award of a research project grant identified under this part 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 specified in this part once a research project grant has been recommended for funding.