2018 Mini-Grant Funding Opportunity in Digital Agriculture

Mini-grant Funding Opportunity in Digital Agriculture – Request for Proposals
Proposal Deadline: EXTENDED TO MAY 31, 2018
Downloadable pdf file of mini-grant RFP

In 2015, the Division of Computer and Information Systems and Engineering (CISE) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) established four Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs as part of its investment in the Big Data Research and Development Initiative. The Midwest Big Data Hub (MBDH) – led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Michigan, Iowa State University, Indiana University, and the University of North Dakota – has identified Digital Agriculture as a primary focal area.

In 2016, NSF awarded a Midwest “Big Data Spoke” project award to investigators from the University of North Dakota, Iowa State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Kansas State University to advance Big Data management and analysis essential to sustainable global food security. One of the objectives of this award is harmonizing and automating big data lifecycles in plant sciences, phenomics, and genomics.

To that end, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Iowa State University are funding a mini-grant opportunity to address data challenges associated with digital agriculture. This opportunity will fund teams to pursue projects of up to one year in length with one or more of the following expected outcomes:

  1. Improved democratization of data
  2. Interoperability among projects and resources
  3. Reuse of agricultural data sets, databases, and computational resources

This is the second, and final, request for proposals under this program. We anticipate funding four teams in 2018, with grants of up to a maximum of $5,000 each (including F&A) for projects of up to one year in length. The mechanism for awarding the mini-grants is a subagreement.

Preferred Reporting Outputs:
Refereed publications, white papers, a competitive grant submission, and/or YouTube How-to Videos.

Two-page Proposal Content:

  1. Team Members: Name, title, affiliation, and contact information for each member of the requesting project team.
  2. Target Problem: A description of the specific research question(s) that the resources requested will be used to answer and the scientific and societal impacts of the proposed work.
  3. Solution Approach: A brief outline of the research approach and how the Big Data Spoke objective of harmonizing and automating big data lifecycles in plant sciences, phenomics, and genomics is integral to the efforts. Include the reporting outputs that will be crafted.

Additional Required Documents: (not included in the two-page proposal limit)

  1. Abstract of your proposal for public posting
  2. NSF-style formatted bios of project team PI/Co-PIs
  3. References cited
  4. A one-year budget sheet (maximum of $5,000, including F&A) with brief budget justification.
  5. A signed Letter of Commitment from your institution’s authorized representative.

Note: The mechanism for awarding the mini-grants is a subagreement issued to selected institution(s). F&A is allowed at your institution’s federally negotiated rate.  If your institution has never received a federally negotiated rate, you may elect to charge a de minimus rate of 10% of modified total direct costs.

Combine all required documents into a single pdf file and upload your proposal at https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form?EQBCT=49b5c3a691ae4a58a5aeb1948ea9e838 by May 31.

Questions: Contact Dr. Jennifer Clarke (UNL), jclarke3@unl.edu or Dr. Joe Colletti (ISU), colletti@iastate.edu.