The Center for International Programs provides Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) in response to inquiries on including international activities and/or partnerships in NIFA applications. We hope to add FAQs for any other opportunities involving global engagement NIFA develops in the future.
1. Can I propose international activities in my application for NIFA funding?
Yes, international collaboration is not only allowed, it is encouraged in those cases where global engagement can add value to your application and further the domestic objectives of the program. Agriculture is a global endeavor and much can be gained through increased international cooperation. Funding that you receive may be used to support your international activities and, as appropriate, you may also direct funds to foreign institutions and organizations. However, the objective of the proposed international activities must support NIFA’s domestic program goals; projects where the objective is to build capacity of non-U.S. institutions are not appropriate for NIFA awards.
2. How do I identify an international partner?
Building on existing partnerships is often the best way to proceed. If you do not have an international partner, a good place to start is the international programs office on your campus or with colleagues who work internationally. Some of the international agreements into which NIFA has entered include additional means of identifying partners in other countries (see # 7 below).
3. Do international partnerships make my proposal more or less competitive?
International partnerships are just one dimension of a proposal and are assessed as part of the entire proposal. If the applicant can demonstrate that the international cooperation advances the domestic objectives of the program, that will likely be viewed as an asset. However, merely including an international partnership, even those in which the foreign partner brings his/her own funding to the proposed work, does not make the proposal more or less competitive. NIFA uses a peer review process and the selection criteria described in the Request for Applications (RFA) to assess the merits of proposals. Any proposed international partnership should clearly address RFA goals.
4. How do I determine whether my proposal will benefit from global engagement?
As mentioned above, checking with your international programs office is a good first step. We also encourage applicants to check with the relevant NIFA point of contact, as indicated in the RFA, prior to developing a full application with a foreign partner.
5. Can I use NIFA support to travel internationally?
Yes, NIFA funds may be used to support foreign travel (the requested travel should clearly enhance achieving project goals).
6. Can I budget and provide funds to an institution/organization in another country?
Yes, funds may be distributed to most partner organizations/institutions in another country. The roles and activities of the international collaborator should be clearly identified and described in the budget narrative. If a foreign partner brings their own funding to the proposed program, this can be described in an annex to the proposal.
7. Is NIFA party to any current relevant international agreements?
NIFA has entered into Memoranda of Understanding and other arrangements with several foreign governments and other entities. For further information on current agreements, please visit the Developing Global Partnerships page.
8. Who can I contact for more information concerning international partnerships?
For questions related to specific grant opportunities, the best contact is the NIFA employee listed in the RFA. For more general questions concerning NIFA’s global engagement, contact the office directly.