Science Emphasis Areas

Ensuring User-Inspired Research, Education, and Extension for America

Stakeholder input is a key driver in determining NIFA’s research, education, and extension priorities. This process ensures that user-inspired science that begins in the lab reaches the people who need it: professionals in ag-related fields, educators, and consumers.

NIFA developed, delivered, and evaluated the agency’s science objectives through nine Science Emphasis Areas, which are administered by the agency’s four programmatic institutes:

A greenhouse in the University of District of Columbia (UDC) Urban Farm in Beltsville, MD. USDA Photo by Preston Keres.

Advancing U.S. agriculture through global engagement is a theme that cuts across all of NIFA’s Science Emphasis Areas. NIFA’s Center for International Programs works with the four institutes to develop partnerships and collaborations that apply the best science to problems we face, increase our global competitiveness, and maintain U.S. leadership internationally.

The following tables and pie chart detail NIFA's science emphasis areas and competitive funding by science emphasis area. All information labeled with an asterisk (*) is estimated.

Science Emphasis Areas Institute
Sustainable Ag Production Systems IFPS, IBCE, IFSN, IYFC
Education & Multicultural Systems IYFC
Environmental Systems IBCE
Family & Consumer Sciences IYFC
Bioeconomy, Bioenergy, Bioproducts IFPS, IBCE
Human Nutrition IFSN, IYFC
Food Safety IFSN
Agroclimate Science IFPS, IBCE
Youth Development IYFC

Science Emphasis Areas Total Competitive Project Funding by Portfolio * Competitive Projects Active in 2017*
Sustainable Ag Production Systems $324,050,047 776
Education & Multicultural Systems 32,755,125 155
Environmental Systems 108,250,521 343
Family & Consumer Sciences 64,548,290 257
Bioeconomy, Bioenergy, Bioproducts 11,171,731 27
Human Nutrition 44,626,009 139
Food Safety 37,361,706 139
Agroclimate Science 5,542,532 24
Youth Development 15,096,028 88
Total $643,401,989  

Pie chart: Competitive Funding by Science Emphasis Area*
* estimated
Sustainable Ag Production Systems: 50%
Education & Multicultural Systems: 5%
Environmental Systems: 17%
Family & Consumer Sciences: 10%
Bioeconomy, Bioenergy, Bioproducts: 2%
Human Nutrition: 7%
Food Safety: 6%
Agroclimate Science (Climate Change): 1%
Youth Development: 2%