The following is a recent message from Megan S. O’Reilly, from USDA NIFA, with information about the SCRI match requirement:
We cannot know in advance what’s going to happen with the government budget. The waiver last year was due to language in the appropriations bill. Since we are currently under a Continuing Resolution (CR), the waiver is still in place. If a new budget is passed and it contains the language that NIFA put in our Explanatory Notes, there will be a waiver. If we end up operating under a CR for the whole year, there will be a waiver. Since detailed budgets are not required with submission of pre-applications, evidence of matching is not required. We will allow significant budgeting flexibility for invited applicants depending on the outcome of the budget process. For your planning purposes, it would be wise to prepare for either scenario. Note that if the option for a waiver of the matching requirement comes through and matching funds are thus not required, it is perfectly acceptable to include matching funds anyway.