USDA – NRCS National Geospatial Development Center request for proposals

It was announced through several channels in the fall of 2006 that the National Geospatial Development Center (NGDC) would have an FY 2007 Request for Proposals (RFP) for research to be directed specifically to topics and issues relevant to meeting the applications of soil survey. Expected topics were expected include:

  • Watershed scale investigations of infiltration, subsurface water movement and duration and effects of seasonally perched water tables under a variety of land uses.
  • Models and tools that can be used quantitatively in the context of soil survey update and maintenance, such as terrain attribute models and remote sensing for specific land uses and soil survey interpretations.
  • Responses of gypsephorous soils to land use changes; genesis and properties of soils with gypsum.
  • Use-dependent soil properties

Unforeseen budget restrictions make it impossible to fund proposals at this time. We regret that this situation exists, but are maintaining optimism for the opportunity for future funding. In the event that funding does become available later this fiscal year, we will give priority to proposals that have been reviewed and accepted. If you would like to submit a proposal now, in anticipation of future funding, but with no guarantees that will happen, we will review and prioritize them.

When/if funding is available, awards will be for the duration of the project, and are expected to range to $100,000 depending upon the duration (up to four years) and complexity of projects. Projects must be linked to NRCS staff participation and must meet an NRCS need identified by the state soil scientist of the state within which the research will be conducted. Tribal Colleges and Universities and 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant colleges and institutions are encouraged to apply.

Overhead for NRCS-funded projects is limited, by law, to 10%. Proposals will be required to contain a detailed budget, a time line for work, and a list of expected “deliverables” to NRCS. Quarterly project reports will be required. In addition to a final project report, funded cooperators will be expected to be available to present progress/findings at National Soil Survey regional and/or national conferences.

Proposals will be reviewed by a combination of NRCS and cooperator scientists under the auspices of the newly established NRCS National Research Needs Committee and must meet the following requirements:

  • Outcomes of the research are some type of usable map product, information, data, or documented mapping process
  • Work closely with the State Soil Scientists and their staffs to ensure they understand and support the direction and outcomes of
    the research
  • Work closely with the NRCS field staff to transfer techniques, procedures, and methodologies throughout the course of the project
  • Work closely with NGDC, NSSC, and the host State Soil Scientist to mentor project graduate students and encourage them to seek employment with NRCS after graduation

Priority will also be given to proposals that can “leverage” NRCS funds with other funding or internal “in kind” funding to expand the scope of the project. In some cases, other NRCS support (from the Soil Survey Investigations staff and some analyses through the Soil Survey Laboratory at the National Soil Survey Center (NSSC), for example) can be provided with prior arrangements. Requests for assistance from the NSSC must be made separately through the state soil scientist, but should be identified in the proposals.

Proposals and any relevant questions regarding them should be submitted to:

Jon Hempel
Director-National Geospatial Development Center
P.O. Box 6301
Clark Hall Annex
Morgantown, WV 26505
Ph. (304)293-8232, ext 6101
FAX (304) 293-8185

Each proposal should include a letter from the State Soil Scientist stating that he/she is aware of the proposed research and that it meets stated specific needs (tell us what they are) of the National Cooperative Soil Survey.

If assistance from the National Soil Survey Center will be requested (laboratory analyses or field support from the NSSC Investigations Staff), the needed assistance should be requested from the NSSC and agreed upon prior to submitting the proposal. This is necessary for the NSSC to effectively budget staff and laboratory resources. Our intention is to provide whatever reasonable assistance we can, and we would welcome opportunities to engage the Investigations Staff in cooperative field research.