Developing Global Partnerships

Recognizing the mutual benefits derived from international cooperation in agriculture, NIFA is establishing meaningful partnerships with other countries and organizations. These include partnerships with USAID's PEER Program, IWYP, BARD, BBSRC, the Food and Agriculture Research Initiative with Ireland and Northern Ireland, several partnerships with the National Science Foundation, CATIE and CGIAR. The Center for International Programs facilitates linkages between NIFA-funded programs and these partners to achieve greater global impact.

Signals in the Soil (SitS) - Through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, USDA is partnering with four directorates of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and four research councils within the United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) in a new Request for Applications for convergent, interdisciplinary research that transforms existing capabilities in understanding dynamic, near-surface soil processes through advances in sensor systems and modeling. 

Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) - PEER is a competitive grants program that invites scientists in developing countries, partnered with USG-supported collaborators, to apply for USAID funding to support research and capacity-building activities on topics with strong potential development impacts. U.S. researchers with eligible NIFA awards can opt to partner with developing country scientists seeking to be funded by USAID.

International Wheat Yield Partnership (IWYP) Program - NIFA aims to support the G20 nations’ Wheat Initiative, which is committed to coordinating wheat research in the areas of genetics, genomics, physiology, breeding, and agronomy internationally. NIFA recently announced the award of $3.4 million for research into the development of new wheat varieties that are adapted to different geographical regions and environmental conditions.

Partnership with the U.S.-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD) - This program promotes collaboration between U.S. and Israeli scientists and engineers. In 2014, NIFA and BARD identified shared priorities, resulting in several collaborative projects that were jointly funded through BARD and NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program.

United Kingdom-Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) - Building on the high quality science base in the U.S. and UK, NIFA and BBSRC are collaborating to support research of high strategic relevance to both countries in areas of Animal Health & Disease, including Veterinary Immune Reagents. In FY2017, NIFA and BBSRC partnered together through the interagency Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID) Program.

U.S.-Ireland Research and Development Partnership - Under this partnership, NIFA is participating in a pilot initiative which provides opportunities for the U.S., Ireland, and Northern Ireland to collaborate in developing solutions to priority challenges in agriculture. U.S. researchers can apply to NIFA for funding to do collaborative research with scientists from Ireland and Northern Ireland. In FY16, one collaborative project was jointly funded by the three partners and in FY17, three collaborative projects were jointly funded.

The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) - CATIE is a regional center dedicated to research and postgraduate education in agriculture, management, conservation, and sustainable use of natural resources. CATIE, with a residential campus in Costa Rica, is interested in hosting faculty-led student study/research abroad, collaborative research with visiting faculty, post-docs and doctoral students, sabbaticals, and other activities as identified in CATIE’s Memorandum of Understanding with USDA. (US scientists could propose to support such activities with CATIE under their NIFA award).

CGIAR Collaboration - CGIAR is a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future. NIFA and CGIAR have exchanged letters to promote international collaboration between their scientists.

The Center for International Programs provides Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) in response to inquiries on including international activities and/or partnerships in NIFA applications.

New Opportunities for Collaboration

The following are opportunities for collaboration between U.S. researchers and international researchers:


NIFA is cooperating with the Belmont Forum’s Collaborative Research Action (CRA) on Climate, Environment and Health by making available a list of NIFA-funded U.S. researchers and projects relevant to this topic.  NIFA makes this list available to potentially enable collaborative opportunities for NIFA-funded researchers with international partners in the CRA to address topics of mutual interest and advance U.S. agriculture.  This list of NIFA-funded U.S. researchers and projects may be of interest to international scientists participating in the CRA and can be found on the NIFA Supported Activities Related Climate and One Health page
(The Belmont Forum is a partnership of funding organizations, international science councils, and regional consortia committed to the advancement of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary science.  Information on the Belmont Forum can be found at the web address


The Joint Programming Initiative for a Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life (JPI-HDHL - a consortium of European research agencies funding European country scientists on diet and health) and USDA/NIFA each have an interest in understanding the interaction of the human intestinal microbiome with food and nutrients and understanding links between diet and health. USDA/NIFA, under its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) is offering support to U.S. researchers on the role of bioactive components of food in preventing inflammation or promoting gut health, and the role of the human gut microbiome on nutrient uptake, utilization and efficiency and their overall impacts on human health and well-being. USDA/NIFA AFRI applicants are free to collaborate with European potential colleagues with relevant interests involved with JPI HDHL if they wish. Please see the link to JPI HDHL Intestinal Microbiomics projects information, including project leader contact info for the second wave of projects (funded but still to begin sometime in 2018) and the first wave (funded in 2016).

Opportunity for collaboration between researchers under JPIAMR and USDA/NIFA

The Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR - a consortium of European research agencies funding European country scientists on AMR) supports research projects and networks that enable European researchers to collaborate across national and scientific borders to tackle the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance. U.S. researchers such as those applying to USDA/NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) that may be interested in identifying international collaborators on addressing antimicrobial resistance may want to refer to the JPIAMR supported projects website.