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Graduate Student Grants in Sustainable Agriculture

Grants USA Graduate Students in Eligible States for
Collaborative Agricultural Projects that Promote Sustainability

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

Deadline Date:

02/11/20 12:00 PM (Noon) MDT


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Grants of up to $25,000 to USA graduate students in eligible states for agricultural projects that promote sustainability. Eligible states are Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Micronesia, Montana, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Funding is intended for collaborations with producers that include research and education to advance the social, environmental, and economic components of sustainable agriculture. Projects should be relevant to producers and provide readily adaptable technologies and information that advance sustainable agriculture in the Western region. Outcomes should result in quantifiable benefits for producers, increase the preservation of the natural and social resources upon which agriculture relies, and be documented in scholarly journals and disseminated throughout educational outreach activities with producers and other agricultural stakeholders.

Western SARE Graduate Student projects should:

  • Conduct research and education; both elements are required.
  • Demonstrate measurable impacts and outcomes that can increase the body of knowledge of sustainable agriculture.
  • Produce scholarly products and educational materials to assist others in acquiring new knowledge.
  • Communicate the project goals, activities, and findings to producers and other stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with farmers and ranchers throughout the life of the project from inception to finish.

For information about sustainable agriculture, see Page 2 of the Guidelines in Supporting Documents.

Western SARE Goals:

  • Promote good stewardship of the nation’s natural resources by providing site-specific, regional and profitable sustainable farming and ranching methods that strengthen agricultural competitiveness; satisfy human food and fiber needs; maintain and enhance the quality and productivity of soil; conserve soil, water, energy, natural resources and fish and wildlife habitat; and maintain and improve the quality of surface and ground water.
  • Enhance the quality of life of farmers and ranchers and ensure the viability of rural communities, for example, by increasing income and employment, especially profitable self-employment and innovative marketing opportunities in agricultural and rural communities.
  • Protect the health and safety of those involved in food and farm systems by reducing, where feasible and practical, the use of toxic materials in agricultural production, and by optimizing on-farm resources and integrating, where appropriate, biological cycles and controls.
  • Promote crop, livestock, and enterprise diversification.
  • Examine the regional, economic, social and environmental implications of adopting sustainable agriculture practices and systems.

Projects and outcomes should be relevant to the three basic components of sustainable agriculture:

  • Improve the profitability of farmers/ranchers and the economic well-being of rural communities
  • Sustain and improve the environmental quality and natural resource base on which agriculture depends; and
  • Enhance the quality of life for farmers/ranchers, communities, and society as a whole.

For budgetary information, see Page 7 of the Guidelines in Supporting Documents, below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184781

Estimated Size of Grant:

Western SARE Graduate Student Grants provide a maximum of $25,000 (including Indirect Cost) for up to two years.

Term of Contract:

Up to two years. Applicants should choose a start date that corresponds with the first of the month. The earliest start date is August 1, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Only graduate students (Master or Ph.D.) enrolled at accredited colleges or universities in the Western region are eligible to apply. At the time of proposal submission the student must be considered full-time according to her or his institution’s requirements. The research must be conducted in the Western region.

Funds are awarded to the graduate student's university, with the funds to be dedicated to the graduate student's research project.

Applicants may receive only one Western SARE Graduate Student Grant award during their graduate studies. Cross-region applications will be considered when the Principal Investigator or a Co-Principal Investigator are within the region. Cooperators may be from outside the region.

For information about project team eligibility, see Page 4 of the Guidelines in Supporting Documents, below.

Funds may not be used for:
- Tuition and fees
- Preparation of thesis/dissertation copy
- Purchase of classroom books
- Capital Equipment purchases (see Guidelines for more information)
- Starting or expanding a farm or farm operation.
- Major renovations/permanent improvements to a farm or ranch, such as constructing or remodeling a building.
- Providing meals during events that are not necessary to maintain the continuity of a scheduled meeting; breakfasts and dinners typically do not qualify.
- Testing of commercial products

Pre-Application Information:

Proposals are due February 11, 2020, by 12:00 pm (noon) MT.

Program Schedule:
- April 2020: Technical Review Panel reviews and recommends proposals for funding.
- July 2020: Western SARE Administrative Council makes final selections.
- September 2020: Contracts for selected projects will be initiated.

Proposal Preparation Documents:
Graduate Student Webinar:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Montana State University
207 Linfield Hall
P.O. Box 172840
Bozeman MT 59717
(406) 994-4785/9

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alaska;   Arizona;   California;   Colorado;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Montana;   Nevada;   New Mexico;   Oregon;   Utah;   Washington;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)

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