USDA NIFA AFRI Foundational Applications

Please read below for USDA NIFA’s news release regarding the release of the AFRI Foundational RFA. The announcement is also available online at The is the first of 7 total AFRI RFA’s. Please note that, as in past years, a WISPER record is not required for the AFRI letter of intent; however, we do ask that you cc: your CALS preaward contact on submission of any LOI’s to allow CALS Research Division to plan for these key deadlines.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2011 – USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today released the first request for applications (RFA) to the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) funding opportunity to support research, education and extension in fundamental and applied food and agricultural sciences.

The newly released RFA is for the AFRI Foundational Program. Projects funded through this program address the six AFRI priority areas to continue building a foundation of knowledge in fundamental and applied food and agricultural sciences critical for solving current and future societal challenges.

The six priority areas include:

  • Plant health and production and plant products
  • Animal health and production and animal products
  • Food safety, nutrition and health
  • Renewable energy, natural resources and environment
  • Agriculture systems and technology
  • Agriculture economics and rural communities

AFRI is NIFA’s flagship competitive grant program and was established under the 2008 Farm Bill. In FY 2011, approximately $262 million is available to support the AFRI program. Approximately $78 million will be made available to support the Foundational Program.

During the next several months, NIFA will release six more RFAs through the AFRI program. Five RFAs will continue to support societal challenge areas where research, education, and extension can achieve significant and measurable outcomes. These challenge areas include: childhood obesity prevention, agricultural adaptation to climate variables, sustainable bioenergy, food safety and global food security. In addition, a seventh RFA will fund opportunities for pre- and postdoctoral fellowship grants.

All AFRI program information, including the anticipated release date of the challenge area RFAs and the NIFA Fellowships Grant Program RFA, is available online at

Please contact the CALS Research Division if you have any questions.