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Funding Focus: Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program (BRAG)

U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) announce the availability of grant funds and request applications for the Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program (BRAG) for fiscal year (FY) 2010 to support environmental assessment research concerning the introduction of genetically engineered organisms into the environment.

The purpose of the USDA Biotechnology Risk Assessment Grants (BRAG) Program is to assist Federal regulatory agencies in making science-based decisions about the effects of introducing genetically engineered organisms into the environment. Investigations of effects on both managed and natural environments are relevant.

Applications to the USDA BRAG Program must seek partial funding for a conference or address one of the following areas:

1) Identify and develop practices to minimize risks associated with genetically engineered organisms;
2) Research methods to monitor the dispersal of genetically engineered organisms;
3) Research to increase knowledge about the characteristics, rates, and methods of gene transfer that may occur between genetically engineered organisms, and related organisms;
4) Perform assessments to provide analysis which compares impacts of organisms modified through genetic engineering to other types of production systems;
5) Other areas of research designed to further the purposes of the USDA BRAG program.

The amount available for support of this program in FY 2010 is approximately $4.0 million. Regular research proposals submitted to the BRAG program should be limited to a total budget of $400,000 (including indirect costs) for 2-5 years of support. Proposals on the priority areas of transformation-associated mutagenesis or environmental impacts of large-scale planting submitted to the BRAG program should not exceed $1 million. Proposals requesting more than $400,000 for a regular proposal and more than $1million for a priority proposal will be at risk of being excluded from NIFA review. Funds awarded will not exceed $400,000 for regular research proposals or $1 million for priority proposals. Project periods cannot exceed five (5) years, the statutory time limit. Conference proposal requests should be limited to a total budget of $20,000.

For More Information

Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program (BRAG) on USDA NIFA website
http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/rfas/biotech_risk.html

Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program (BRAG) on Grants.gov
http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do?&mode=VIEW&flag2006=false&oppId=51498

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