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Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: NIFA Fellowships Grant Program

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Academic Level:
Graduate Students (PhD)
Postdoc & Early Career

The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), established by Congress in the 2008 Farm Bill, is the nation’s premier peer reviewed competitive grants program for fundamental and applied agricultural sciences. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awards AFRI grants to support research in six Farm Bill categories: Plant health and production and plant products; Animal health and production and animal products; Food safety, nutrition, and health; Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment; Agriculture systems and technology; and Agriculture economics and rural communities.

The President’s 2017 budget request will propose to fully fund AFRI for $700 million; this amount is the full funding level authorized by Congress when it established AFRI in the 2008 Farm Bill. Total proposed AFRI funding in FY 2017 would be double the $350 million made available in FY 2016. As part of the President’s FY17 Budget proposal, AFRI investments will target the diverse challenges facing agricultural producers—from climate change to pollinator health to antimicrobial resistant bacteria. In addition to the $375 million provided in the discretionary request, the budget includes a legislative action to make available $325 million in mandatory funding for the program as part of a government-wide investment in research and development. For more information, see a statement from Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA's director, his Feb. 3, 2016 blog regarding the importance of agricultural research and a fact sheet on AFRI's record of achievements.

AFRI-funded science is vital to meeting food, fiber, and fuel demands as the world’s population races toward a projected 9 billion by 2050, diminishing land and water resources, and increasingly variable climatic conditions. In addition, AFRI programs help develop new technologies and a workforce that will advance our national security, our energy self-sufficiency, and the health of Americans.

NIFA’s AFRI funding portfolio includes research, education, and extension grants and integrated research, extension, and education grants that address key problems of national, regional, and multi-state importance. AFRI-funded projects sustain all components of agriculture, including farm efficiency and profitability, ranching, renewable energy, forestry (both urban and agroforestry), aquaculture, rural communities and entrepreneurship, human nutrition, food safety, biotechnology, and conventional breeding. These projects also create jobs and help develop the next generation of agriculture and food scientists.
portable funding

Participating Institution(s):
(Click an institution to see all programs it hosts)
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) (Lead)

Program Materials:
 • Program Website 

This Program can be Described by:
Academic Disciplines:
Agricultural Engineering
Crop & Soil Sciences
Food Science & Nutrition
Natural Resources
Plant Sciences

Agriculture Economics
Animal Science
Food Safety
Food Systems
Renewable Energy
Rural Development
Rural Sociology

Learn More and Apply!

This program is funded by:
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

Page last updated 2/1/2017
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