The Southeastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safety announces its Pilot/Feasibility Program call for proposals

The Pilot/Feasibility Program is a key component of the Southeastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (SCCAHS). This program will provide seed funds to stimulate original projects relevant to health and safety in the agricultural, forestry, and fishery (AFF) industries.  Projects may include basic/etiologic research, translational research, intervention studies, and/or surveillance.  Our goal is to provide early pilot/feasibility support to projects that ask innovative and important questions, and which lay the groundwork for subsequent research grant submissions or interventions, including outreach or extension projects.  Some of the projects we select will be “high risk, high reward:” novel ideas and approaches, with limited preliminary data, but with the potential for having a major impact on AFF health and safety.  While in some instances funding will be sufficient to fully answer a question or address an issue, we anticipate that most projects will provide preliminary/feasibility data for subsequent, larger proposals and projects.

While not required, projects are encouraged which fit within the broad themes of the SCCAHS: Coastal fishery worker safety and health; Heat stress; Pesticide/herbicide exposure; and Innovative approaches to foster research to practice, including a focus on worker and supervisor training.  The Center does not currently have projects related to worker safety in forestry, and applications in this latter area are also encouraged.

Investigators from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-serving Institutions are encouraged to apply, as are “early-stage” investigators without a prior history of extramural grant or contract support.

In the setting of the major recent hurricane activity affecting states and territories included as part of the SCCAHS region, we are also accepting “emergency” proposals, outside of the fixed time frame for submissions, which focus on hurricane and other disaster-related issues relevant to the agricultural, forestry, and fisheries workforce/industry.  Applications can be submitted at any time, and reviews will be expedited.

Eligibility: Applications will be accepted from faculty members at Higher Education Institutions within the seven state/territory area covered by SCCAHS (Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), as well as from governmental, non-profit, and other entities within the region.

Project Duration/Funding: Funding may be requested for periods ranging up to 18 months.  We anticipate that project budgets (direct costs) will be in the range of $10,000-$20,000.  These projects should not be used to supplement ongoing research or to support previously funded research that no longer has funding support. The intent of this program is to foster new and creative research and interventions, while also increasing the breadth and depth of the overall SCCASH program through interaction and support of other interested researchers and stakeholders from the Center’s region.

Timeline (2016-17 grant cycle): 

Item Date
Announcement of program October 15, 2017
Letter of intent December 1, 2017
Project proposals due date January 15, 2018
Project awards March 15, 2018
Research project mid-term report (latest date) December 15, 2018
Final report (latest date) September 15, 2019

 

Letter of intent: A non-binding letter of intent is required, to allow appropriate peer reviewers to be identified in advance.  The letter of intent should contain the names, addresses, and institutional affiliations of the Principal Investigator and project co-investigators; the title of the proposed project; a short (2-3 sentence) description of the work being proposed; and a rough estimate of the total project budget (direct costs).

Letters of Intent should be submitted to: ag-seedfunding@ufl.edu no later than December 1, 2017.

Proposal Preparation/Content: Proposals should contain the following items:

  • Specific Aims (no more than 1 page);
  • Proposal Narrative, with the following sections:
    • Background and Significance: Why is this an important question/project? (no more than 1½ pages);
    • Innovation: What is new and innovative about the proposed work? (no more than ½ page);
    • Approach: How are you proposing to accomplish the Specific Aims (no more than 4 pages);
  • Budget – template to be provided on web page;
  • Biosketch – template to be provided on web page.

(Note that while page limits are included, the actual text can be shorter, if appropriate.  Figures, tables, flowcharts, etc. are encouraged, to highlight key elements of the proposal)

Submission: Proposals will be submitted through the SCCAHS.org website.   Details regarding submission will follow, and will be provided to all persons submitting a letter of intent.

Grant Awards: At the time that grants are awarded, the Pilot Project Research Committee will meet briefly with each awardee (teleconference/GoToMeeting) to assure that appropriate mentorship is available, and that chances of success for the project is optimized.  Awardees will meet again with the Committee at the mid-point of the grant period (9 months after the grant award for an 18 month project) to generate a mid-term report that assesses progress and provides assistance as needed to facilitate successful project completion.  A final meeting will take place at the end of the grant period, to evaluate results, and discuss next steps for the investigator and project.

For questions, please contact ag-seedfunding@ufl.edu.

 

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