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Stakeholder input is a key driver in determining NIFA’s research, education, and extension priorities. This process ensures that user-inspired science beginning in the lab reaches the people who need it: Professionals in ag-related fields, educators, and consumers.

Photo of liquid being poured from an Erlenmeyer flask into a funnel. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

NIFA developed, delivered, and evaluated the agency’s science objectives through nine Science Emphasis Areas (SEAs):

  • Agroclimate Science
  • Bioeconomy-Bioenergy-Bioproducts
  • Education and Multicultural Alliances
  • Environmental Systems
  • Family & Consumer Sciences
  • Food Safety
  • Human Nutrition
  • Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems
  • Youth Development

The nine SEAs are administered by NIFA's four programmatic institutes:

Advancing U.S. agriculture through global engagement is a theme that cuts across all of NIFA’s SEAs. NIFA’s Center for International Programs works with the four institutes to develop partnerships and collaborations that apply the best science to problems we face, increase our global competitiveness, and maintain U.S. leadership internationally.

The following tables and pie chart detail NIFA's science emphasis areas and competitive funding by science emphasis area. All information labeled with an asterisk (*) is estimated.

NIFA's Science Emphasis Areas and Institutes
Science Emphasis Areas Institute
Agroclimate Science IFPS, IBCE
Bioeconomy, Bioenergy, Bioproducts IFPS, IBCE
Education and Multicultural Alliances IYFC
Environmental Systems IBCE
Family & Consumer Sciences IYFC
Food Safety IFSN, IYFC
Human Nutrition IFSN, IYFC
Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems IFPS, IBCE, IFSN, IYFC
Youth Development IYFC

NIFA's Science Emphasis Areas with total funding and number of active projects in 2018
Science Emphasis Areas Total Competitive Project Funding by Portfolio* Competitive Projects Active in 2018*
Agroclimate Science $5,927,439 31
Bioeconomy, Bioenergy, Bioproducts 11,213,855 30
Education and Multicultural Alliances 37,059,729 157
Environmental Systems 132,745,425 335
Family & Consumer Sciences 79,149,537 272
Food Safety 43,532,361 161
Human Nutrition 49,342,177 131
Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems 346,700,406 787
Youth Development 19,278,103 93
Total $724,949,032  

Pie chart: Competitive Funding by Science Emphasis Area**(estimated) Agroclimate Science: 1% Bioeconomy-Bioenergy-Bioproducts: 1% Education & Multicultural Alliances: 5% Environmental Systems: 18% Family & Consumer Sciences: 11% Food Safety: 6% Human Nutrition: 7% Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems: 48% Youth Development: 3%

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