Innovative Grant Opportunities Level the Field for New Scientists, Small and Minority-Serving Institutions

Categories: Funding

Date: 9/30/2021

A new opportunity introduced today by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will help plant seeds of success for early-career researchers.

Through the USDA-NIFA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the nation’s leading competitive grants program for agricultural sciences, applicants who meet eligibility requirements as a New Investigator can apply for a seed grant or a New Investigator standard grant.

New Investigator Grants
To qualify for the program, applicants must meet prescribed criteria as a New Investigator. An individual who is beginning their career, does not have an extensive scientific publication record, and has fewer than five years postgraduate career-track experience (i.e., positions in which the individual’s institution allows them to submit competitive grant applications as Project Director beyond a fellowship) can apply for a New Investigator Grant for research, education, and/or extension activities.

The new investigator may not have received competitively awarded federal research funds as Project Director (PD), with the exception of pre- or postdoctoral grants or AFRI Seed Grants. However, if the applicant received Federal funding as Co-PD of previously awarded competitive grants, it will not count against their eligibility as a New Investigator. Eligibility requirements for a New Investigator Grant apply only to the PD and not to Co-PDs or collaborators.

Starting in FY 2021, two types of New Investigator Grants are available:
  • New Investigator Standard Grant, which is an AFRI Standard Grant in all respects except that the Project Director meets the eligibility criteria for New Investigators.
  • New Investigator Seed Grant, which is available under each program area priority within NIFA.
Applications from New Investigators will be reviewed with other Seed Grant applications, with special consideration given to funding New Investigator Seed Grant applications.
AFRI Funding