USDA/NIFA Announces Support for Crop Breeding Research

Dan Industry News Release, Research

usdaThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announces support for Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) to speed the development of new crop varieties. Funding is made through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, which seeks to address challenges in food and agricultural sciences through research, extension, and education opportunities.

EAGER is established jointly among NIFA, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Biological Sciences Directorate, and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council of the United Kingdom to foster the development of breakthrough technologies for advancing crop breeding. Additionally, EAGER addresses the barriers to improving crop varieties, such as producing hybrids, understanding recombination, and epigenetic inheritance. This EAGER opportunity invites proposals to overcome these barriers to crop breeding in highly innovative and transformative ways.

Applicants are required to submit a two-page summary to be considered for a full proposal submission. Emphasis should be on developing technologies that will impact crops or model crop systems. Summaries that best meet the goals of this program will be encouraged to submit full proposals to the NSF. Please see the Dear Colleague Letter for additional instruction.

NIFA reviews all proposals accepted in NIFA’s competitive grant programs through an external peer review process in which a panel of experts from within the respective field in question takes part. Specific details on panel meetings, review formats, and evaluation criteria may vary among programs.

There is approximately $3 million in available funding. The deadline for summary submission is March 14, 2018. See the funding opportunity for additional details.

NIFA’s mission is to invest in and advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges. NIFA’s investments in transformative science directly support the long-term prosperity and global preeminence of U.S. agriculture. To learn more about NIFA’s impact on agricultural sciences, visit, sign up for email updates, or follow us on Twitter @USDA_NIFA, #NIFAImpacts.