NIFA

Biden Nominates ARS Administrator to lead USDA Research

The Biden Administration has announced the nomination of Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young to serve as the Department of Agriculture’s Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (REE). The REE Under Secretary oversees the Department’s science and research activities, including the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Economic Research Service (ERS), and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Dr. Jacobs-Young is currently the Administrator of another REE agency, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and has also been serving as Acting REE Under Secretary. A Senate confirmation hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Trump Names New NIFA Director

In December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the appointment of Dr. Carrie Castille as the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Department’s extramural research agency. Dr. Castille has worked on Farm Production and Conservation as well as Rural Development within USDA and previously served as an Assistant Professor of Agriculture at Louisiana State University. Dr. Castille’s six-year term began on January 4, 2021. She succeeds Acting Director Parag Chitnis, who led the agency following J. Scott Angle’s departure in July 2020, two years into his six-year term.

October’s Headlines Webchat to Feature Deep Dive on Challenges Facing USDA Research and Statistics

COSSA members are encouraged to sign up for the monthly COSSA Headlines webchat on Thursday October 10, in which COSSA staff will recap the most important social and behavioral science news from the past month and answer participants’ questions. The October chat will feature Katherine Smith Evans, Director of the Committee for Government Relations for the American Economic Association and former Administrator of the Economic Research Service, on challenges facing the Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Individuals employed by or affiliated with a COSSA member organization or university can register…

Senate Makes Progress on FY 2020 Appropriations for NSF, Census, NIH, Education, USDA

With the passage of a continuing resolution through Thanksgiving giving Congress some breathing room to complete fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations, the Senate Appropriations Committee has finally made progress in approving a number of its annual appropriations bills. COSSA has released analyses of three Senate bills that fund agencies important to the social and behavioral sciences: Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which funds the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), and Census Bureau Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which funds the National Institutes of…

FY 2020 Agriculture Bill Advances in House

The House Appropriations Committee approved its fiscal year (FY) 2020 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill on June 4. This bill contains funding for the two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistical agencies, the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), as well as the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which funds competitive research projects. The bill was marked up in subcommittee on May 23. At a Glance… The bill contains language prohibiting the move of ERS and NIFA outside of the National Capital Region. The House Agriculture…

Pingree Reintroduces Bill to Block USDA Research Moves

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) has reintroduced a bill from the last Congress that would prevent the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from moving the authority of any of the agencies within the USDA mission area of Research, Education, and Economics (REE) to elsewhere within the Department of Agriculture and from moving the headquarters of agencies within the REE mission area from outside of  the National Capitol Region. The bill, the Agriculture Research Integrity Act (ARIA) (H.R. 1221) would prevent the Administration’s controversial plans to move the Economic Research Service (ERS) to the Office of the Chief Economist and to physically…

Senate Committee Seeks Answers from USDA on ERS/NIFA Plans

On September 7, the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue with a list of questions about the Department’s plans to move the Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) out of the Washington, DC area and to realign ERS with the Office of the Chief Economist (see COSSA’s previous coverage). In the letter, Committee Chair Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) cite stakeholders’ concerns that the moves will lead to a “sharp loss of knowledgeable…

USDA Announces Plans to Move NIFA and ERS out of DC, Realign ERS with Chief Economist

In August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it plans to move two science agencies, the Economic Research Service (ERS) (one of USDA’s two principal statistical agencies) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) (USDA’s main extramural research agency), out of the Washington, D.C. region. USDA cited high attrition rates at these agencies as justification for moving them out of the region, although no data was provided. The Department also plans to administratively realign ERS from its current place within the Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area to the Office of the Chief Economist, citing…

White House to Appoint J. Scott Angle to Lead NIFA

On August 31, the White House announced that it intends to appoint Dr. J. Scott Angle to be Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Department of Agriculture’s main extramural research agency. Dr. Angle is a soil microbiologist who most recently was the President and CEO of the International Fertilizer Development Center and has held administrative positions at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia and University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Dr. Angle would serve a six-year term, succeeding Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, whose term ended in May….

House and Senate Committees Approve FY 2019 Agriculture Funding

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees have approved their fiscal year (FY) 2019 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bills. This bill contains funding for the two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistical agencies, the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), as well as the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which funds competitive research projects. The House bill (H.R. 5961) was approved by the subcommittee on May 9 and by the full committee on May 16. The Senate version of the bill, which does not yet have a…

Funding Opportunity Announcements

AHRQ: Developing New Clinical Decision Support to Disseminate and Implement Evidence-Based Research Findings (R18) (PA-17-261) AHRQ: Scaling Established Clinical Decision Support to Facilitate the Dissemination and Implementation of Evidence-Based Research Findings (R18) (PA-17-260) NIFA: Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative (USDA-NIFA-AFRI-006354) NIH opportunities: NIA: Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging (K76) (RFA-AG-18-006) NIA: Coordinating Center for Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers (U24) (RFA-AG-18-008) NICHD: Promoting NICHD Areas of Research for HIV/AIDS in Maternal and Child Health (R01) (PA-17-262) NIMH: Initiation of a Mental…

NIFA Releases Evaluation of Capacity Funding Mechanism

The Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently released a report that measures the effectiveness of NIFA research, education, and extension investments at land-grant colleges and universities (“capacity grants”). The report, Quantitative and Qualitative Review of NIFA Capacity Funding, was prepared by TEConomy Partners, LLC. The report finds that the capacity funding model is able to produce a high return on investment and leverage matching state and local funding for projects. It concludes, “Capacity Funding carries substantial and significant ongoing advantages as an R&D and extension funding model.” The report is available in full on the…

Funding Opportunity Announcements

AHRQ: Health Information Technology (IT) to Improve Health Care Quality and Outcomes (R21) (PA-17-246) AHRQ: Implementation and Evaluation of New Health Information Technology (IT) Strategies for Collecting and Using Patient-Reported Outcome (PRO) Measures (U18) (PA-17-247) AHRQ: AHRQ Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (K08) (PA-17-232) AHRQ: Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems V (CAHPS V) (U18) (RFA-HS-17-010) NIFA: Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) – Food Safety Challenge Area (USDA-NIFA-AFRI-006286) NIFA: Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) – Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area (USDA-NIFA-AFRI-006304) NIFA: Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification Program (USDA-NIFA-SLBCD-006287) NIH Opportunities: NIH:…

NIFA Introduces New Behavioral Science Grants Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced a new grant program, Behavioral and Experimental Economic Applications for Agri-Environmental Policy Design, within the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities program. The new program is jointly funded with the USDA’s Economic Research Service. For its first round, the new program plans to offer two grants, totaling $500,000 to help “pinpoint motivators that drive farmers to adopt conservation practices and identify the roadblocks that may get in the way.” Back to this issue’s table of contents.

National Academies to Launch Study on the Future of Food and Agriculture Research; Nominations Sought for Executive Committee

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced a new study, Science Breakthroughs 2030: A Strategy for Food and Agriculture Research. The year-long study hopes to “identify ambitious scientific directions in food and agriculture made possible by incorporating knowledge and tools from across the science and engineering spectrum.” The study is sponsored by the Supporters of Agriculture Research (SoAR) Foundation, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), and the Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Nominations are currently being sought for the study’s executive committee, which will author the project’s final consensus report, after seeking…

Funding Opportunity Announcements

AHRQ: Notice of Intent to Publish Funding Opportunity Announcements to Promote Implementation Science (R01) and Dissemination and Implementation Studies (R18) (NOT-HS-17-002) AHRQ: Large Health Services Research Demonstration and Dissemination Projects for Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections (R18) (PA-17-007) AHRQ: Large Research Projects for Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections (R01) (PA-17-008) NIFA: Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (USDA-NIFA-ICGP-006124) NIJ: Graduate Research Fellowship in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (NIJ-2017-10720) NIJ: Research Assistantship Program

NIFA Seeks Feedback on Childhood Obesity Prevention Scientific Priorities

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is seeking stakeholder input on the scientific priorities for its Integrated Approaches to Prevent Childhood Obesity programs. NIFA’s current childhood obesity prevention RFA is active and accepting applications through August 4. The feedback received will be considered as the agency develops future RFAs. The program’s current priorities are to “Generate new knowledge of the behavioral (not metabolic), social, cultural, and/or environmental factors, including the food and physical activity environment, that influence childhood obesity and use this information to develop and implement effective family, peer, community, early care and education settings, and/or school-based interventions…

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2017 Agriculture Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its fiscal year (FY) 2017 spending bill for the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies (S. 2956) on May 19 (the bill had marked up in the Subcommittee earlier in the week). The House passed its version of the legislation (H.R. 5054) in April. So far, neither chamber has scheduled the Agriculture appropriations bill for floor consideration, although given that they are relatively uncontroversial, it would not be surprising to see votes on the floor before the summer recess. The Senate bill would provide the Economic Research Service (ERS) with $86.8…

Funding Opportunity Announcements

NIFA: Effective Mitigation Strategies for Antimicrobial Resistance/5-Year Assessment of AFRI Food Safety Challenge Area (AFRI Food Safety Challenge Area) (USDA-NIFA-AFRI-005802) NIFA: Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities (AFRI Foundational Program) (USDA-NIFA-AFRI-005843) ED: Investing in Innovation Fund: Validation Grants ED: Investing in Innovation Fund: Scale-up Grants NIH opportunities: NIA: Aging Research to Address Health Disparities (Admin Supplement) (PA-16-225) NIH: Health Services Research on Minority Health and Health Disparities (R01) (PAR-16-221), (R21) (PAR-16-222) [NIMHD, NIAAA, NIDA] NIDA: NIDA Research Education Program for Clinical Researchers and Clinicians (R25) (PAR-16-224) NCI: Innovative Approaches to Studying Cancer Communication in the New Media Environment (R21) (PAR-16-248), (R01)…

House Agriculture Appropriations Bill Passes Appropriations Committee

The House Appropriations Committee has released its draft bill and Committee Report for the fiscal year (FY) 2017 funding for the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies. The bill passed the Subcommittee by on April 13 and the full Commtitee on April 19. A list of amendments adopted during the full committee markup is available here (none affect the research and science agencies funded by the bill). Details on the bill’s proposed funding for the Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies important to the social and behavioral sciences follow. Overall, the bill provides flat funding or very modest increases to…

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