USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Support for Educational, Workforce Development in Agri-Science

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Media Contact: Selina Meiners, 202-734-9376

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced support to enhance post-secondary educational programs in food and agricultural science. Funding is made through NIFA’s Higher Education Challenge (HEC) Grants Program.

The HEC Grants Program seeks to improve formal baccalaureate and master’s degree programming in food, agricultural, natural resources, and human sciences (FANH) education and first professional degree-level education in veterinary medicine. Projects may improve the economic health and viability of communities through the development of degree programs emphasizing new and emerging employment opportunities. They may also address the national challenge to increase the number and diversity of students entering the FANH sciences.

Eligible applicants include public or private nonprofit colleges and universities offering a professional degree in at least one discipline of FANH sciences, land-grant colleges and universities, and colleges and universities having significant minority enrollments and a demonstrable capacity to carry out the teaching of food and agricultural sciences.

NIFA reviews all proposals accepted in NIFA’s competitive grant programs through an external peer review process in which a panel of experts from within the respective field in question takes part. Specific details on panel meetings, review formats, and evaluation criteria may vary among programs.

There is $4.5 million in available funding to support the HEC Grants Program. The deadline for applications is May 7, 2018. Please see the funding opportunity for details.

NIFA’s mission is to invest in and advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges. NIFA’s investments in transformative science directly support the long-term prosperity and global preeminence of U.S. agriculture. To learn more about NIFA’s impact on agricultural sciences, visit, sign up for email updates, or follow us on Twitter @USDA_NIFA, #NIFAImpacts.


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