AFRI International Partnerships

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) supports global engagement that advances U.S. agriculture. In an increasingly interconnected world, NIFA recognizes that collaboration with international partners through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) can contribute to advances in U.S. agriculture, support the development of a competent agricultural workforce, and improve global food security. 

Applications in response to AFRI Requests for Applications (RFAs) may only be submitted by eligible U.S. institutions. However, applications may include collaborations with international partners. Such applications may include subcontracts to international partners or other institutions and must clearly demonstrate benefits to the United States. In addition, AFRI may solicit joint collaborative project applications with international partners through specific program area priorities.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the definition of international partnership for AFRI applications?
  2. How do I identify an international partner?
  3. Can I use NIFA support to travel internationally?
  4. Do international partnerships make my application more or less competitive?
  5. Can I partner with people from any country?
  6. What should I do if I want to submit an application that includes an international partner?
  7. How do I plan a budget with an international partner?
  8. What is the definition of international partnerships solicited through specific AFRI program area priorities?
  9. Does NIFA have any current AFRI-relevant international agreements that I should be aware of?
  10. What is a collaborative project application?
  11. What should I do if I want to submit a joint collaborative project application for a solicited international partnership under a program area priority?

1. What is the definition of international partnership for AFRI applications?

All applications in response to AFRI Requests for Applications may include collaborations with international partners but may only be submitted by eligible U.S. institutions. Such applications may include subcontracts to international partners and must clearly demonstrate benefits to the sustainability of U.S. agriculture.

2. How do I identify an international partner?

If you have a relevant existing partnership, your application can build on that relationship. If you do not have an international partner, you should check with the office at your institution that oversees international programs. Staff in that office can provide networks and contacts as well as advice on developing effective international programs. Colleagues from your institution who work internationally may also know of relevant networks.

3. Can I use NIFA support to travel internationally?

Yes, NIFA funding may be used to support international travel as long as the requested travel clearly supports project goals. When planning international travel, you should check the State Department’s travel alerts and warnings website.

4. Do international partnerships make my application more or less competitive?

International partnerships are a dimension — nothing more or less — of an application and are assessed as part of the entire application. Including an international partnership, even those in which the international partner brings their own funding to the proposed work, does not make the application more or less competitive. NIFA uses peer review and the selection criteria described in the Request for Applications to assess the merits of the application. Any proposed international partnership must clearly address Request for Applications goals and contribute to U.S. agriculture.

5. Can I partner with people from any country?

You may partner with most countries. You should check the State Department’s U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets for any U.S. Federal regulations that may limit or restrict partnerships with the country of proposed partnership.

6. What should I do if I want to submit an application that includes an international partner?

All applications in response to AFRI Requests for Applications may include collaborations with international partners but may only be submitted by eligible U.S. institutions. Such applications may include subcontracts to international partners and must clearly demonstrate benefits to the United States.

For a joint collaborative application for a solicited specific international partnership, we strongly encourage you to contact the relevant program area priority’s point of contact (listed in the Request for Applications) prior to the development of a collaborative application to confirm that the topic meets the solicited requirements and to clarify joint collaborative application procedures.

7. How do I plan a budget with an international partner?

All international participants in AFRI grants can receive funds from a subcontract issued from the U.S. award recipient’s sponsored programs management office. The roles and activities of the international collaborator should be clearly identified and integrated within the proposed objectives and described in the budget narrative. Some international partners contribute their own funding, which can be described in an annex to the application. Funding modalities must be clear and, where needed, subcontracts in place. Check the relevant AFRI Request for Applications for the required application information on subcontract arrangements.

8. What is the definition of international partnerships solicited through specific AFRI program area priorities?

These are specific partnerships between the United States and foreign countries solicited under specific AFRI program area priorities. In those cases, there will be international partnership agreements (e.g., Memoranda of Understanding) in place with NIFA and the relevant entities in those countries. Please refer to the current AFRI Requests for Applications for solicited partnerships on specific program area priorities.

9. Does NIFA have any current AFRI-relevant international agreements that I should be aware of?

Yes, NIFA has entered into Memoranda of Understanding and other arrangements with several foreign governments and entities including:

These agreements are in place for NIFA to solicit joint collaborative applications in the AFRI Requests for Applications with these entities of foreign countries. Please refer to the current AFRI Requests for Applications for specific details.

10. What is a Collaborative Project application?

A collaborative project application is a type of research, education, extension, or integrated project that allows AFRI programs to partner resources with other funding organizations, including international organizations, to address high priority mission areas of mutual interest, without either organization transferring funds to the other. For that, all applications prepared jointly by the U.S. entity and the partnering international entity will be submitted concurrently to the relevant funding agency in each jurisdiction. If a collaborative project application is funded, AFRI makes an award to support objectives to be accomplished by the AFRI team of Project Director and Co-Project Directors. A separate award is made by the international partner agency that supports objectives to be accomplished by its team of Project Director and Co-Project Directors.

While collaborative project applications are solicited in a limited number of areas, all AFRI applications may continue to include subcontracts to other institutions, including international institutions, for work supported by AFRI. Please refer to the current AFRI Requests for Applications for specific details.

11. What should I do if I want to submit a joint collaborative project application for a solicited international partnership under a program area priority?

Prior to the development of a collaborative project application with an international partner, we strongly encourage U.S. applicants to consult with the AFRI Request for Applications point of contact for the relevant program area priority to clarify the application procedures and to receive further instructions for a joint application.

Resource Details

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Factsheets