AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program
The AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program focuses on building a foundation of fundamental and applied knowledge in food and agricultural sciences critical for solving current and future societal challenges.
The AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program supports grants in six priority areas:
- Plant health and production and plant products
- Animal health and production and animal products
- Food safety, nutrition, and health
- Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment
- Agriculture systems and technology
- Agriculture economics and rural communities
The program supports single-function research, and integrated research, education and/or extension projects as standard, conference, and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) grants.
Microbiome research is critical for improving agricultural productivity, sustainability of agricultural ecosystems, and safety of the food supply. Understanding the multipartite interactions among the host, environment, and the microbiome is critical for improving and sustaining agricultural productivity and quality in plant systems, associated natural resources, human nutrition and health. Plant productivity includes biotic factors affecting plant health such as either pests, diseases or vectors as well as abiotic factors. The goal is to help fill major knowledge gaps in characterizing agricultural microbiomes and microbiome functions across agricultural production systems, and natural resources through crosscutting projects.
CRITICAL AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND EXTENSION (CARE)
Despite prior investments in basic and applied research, critical problems continue to impede the efficient production and protection of agriculturally-important plants and animals. These problems may be local, regional, or national; often call for work in one or more scientific disciplines; and need immediate attention to meet producer needs. Finding solutions to these critical problems requires partnership and close coordination among researchers, extension experts, and producers. CARE projects are designed to yield solutions or practices that can be rapidly implemented to meet pressing needs limiting agricultural production.
Data Science for Food and Agricultural Systems (DSFAS)
The DSFAS program area priority seeks to catalyze activities that harness big data for synthesizing new knowledge, making predictive decisions, and fostering data-supported innovation in agriculture.
DSFAS focuses on data science to enable systems and communities to effectively utilize data, improve resource management, and integrate new technologies and approaches to further U.S. food and agriculture enterprises. This program area priority will support projects that examine the value of data for small and large farmers, as well as the agricultural and food industries, and gain an understanding of how data can impact the agricultural and food supply chain, reduce food waste and loss, improve consumer health, environmental and natural resource management, affect the structure of U.S. food and agriculture sectors, and increase U.S. competitiveness.
INTER-DiscIPLINARY ENGAGEMENT IN ANIMAL SYSTEMS (IDEAS)
Given the complexity of social, cultural, environmental, economic, and technologic challenges facing the food and agriculture system in the United States, broader views at the intersection among multiple disciplines are essential. This will spur creativity, inspire innovation, and develop solutions. The goal is to bridge traditional disciplinary divides and address complex issues in animal agriculture. This will require new interdisciplinary work anchored in animal and veterinary medical sciences to support food and agriculture production.
TACTICAL SCIENCES FOR AGRICULTURAL BIOSECURITY
The goal is to increase our national capacity to prevent, rapidly detect, and respond to biological threats to the U.S. agriculture and food supply. The projects aimed at increasing agricultural biosecurity at the regional and national levels, and across the public and private sectors will be supported. Addressing the vulnerabilities of our nation’s food and agricultural system requires a concerted effort, sustained investment, and a coordinated strategy that protects the U.S. food and agriculture system against threats from pests, diseases, contaminants, and disasters.
Request for Applications Links
- AFRI RFA Resources (including LOI Instructions and Part IV, C. Content and Form of Application Submission)