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USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Support for Higher Education in Insular Areas

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced support for postsecondary agricultural science programs in insular areas. Funding is made through NIFA’s Resident Instruction Grants Program for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas (RIIA) and the Agriculture and Food Sciences Facilities and Equipment Program for Insular Areas (AGFEI).

The RIIA program strengthens the ability of eligible institutions in the insular areas to carry out education within the food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences (FANH). This includes enhancing libraries, curriculum, faculty, scientific instrumentation, and student recruitment and retention. Furthermore, it facilitates cooperative initiatives between other insular area institutions, units of state government, or private sector organizations in the development of resources to enhance food and agricultural sciences teaching programs. AGFEI projects support activities to acquire or renovate facilities and relevant equipment necessary for conducting agricultural research and supporting tropical and subtropical agricultural research, including pest and disease research.

RIIA eligible applicants include public or non-profit two-year and four-year accredited institutions of higher education located in insular areas that offer certificate/degree programs in the FANH sciences. AGFEI eligible applicants include land-grant colleges and universities, and other institutions that have secured land-grant status through federal legislation, in the insular areas. The term insular areas is used to refer to any commonwealth, freely associated state, possession, or territory. There are eight Insular Areas: American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, and the Virgin Islands of the United States.

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 $1.2 million in combined available funding to support RIIA and AGFEI. The deadline for applications is March 23, 2018. Please see the funding opportunity for 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.


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