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USDA – National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Education and Workforce Development Program


Limited Submission Program (LSP): This funding opportunity and the Limited Submission Program (LSP) is open to all Texas A&M University faculty and principal investigators who meet the eligibility requirements. Texas A&M and The Texas A&M University System agencies jointly administer this process to select the proposal(s) that will be submitted to the sponsor in response to this solicitation.


Institutional Eligibility:  Eligible applicants for single-function Research, Education or Extension Projects include:

a) State Agricultural Experiment Station; b) colleges and universities (including junior colleges offering associate degrees or higher); c) university research foundations; d) other research institutions and organizations; e) Federal agencies, f) national laboratories; g) private organizations or corporations; h) individuals who are U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents; and i) any group consisting of two or more entities identified in a) through h). Eligible institutions do not include foreign and international organizations.


The proposal will be prepared and submitted by Sponsored Research Services (SRS).


Proposal Limit: Three applications per program, per institution.


Summary:  The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Education and Workforce Development (EWD) focuses on developing the next generation of research, education, and extension professionals in the food and agricultural sciences. In FY 2019, EWD invites applications in five areas: professional development for agricultural literacy; training of undergraduate students in research and extension; fellowships for predoctoral candidates; fellowships for postdoctoral scholars, and a brand new program for agricultural workforce training. 


Three of the program areas are limited to a maximum of three grant applications:


1. Professional Development for Agricultural Literacy (formerly Professional Development for Secondary School Teachers and Educational Professionals (PD-STEP))

Program Area Priority:

  • Research, Education, Extension or Integrated Projects must promote faculty expertise and encourage widespread implementation of educational innovation at K-14 levels in the food and agricultural Sciences. This includes projects that contain elements of the human sciences (e.g., disciplines that address issues challenging individuals, youth, families, and communities).
  • Projects should provide immersive learning experiences for K-14 educational professionals (teachers, counselors, administrators, etc.) to create and replicate best practices to improve student success outcomes within the food and agricultural sciences.
  • Non-exhaustive examples of projects include: o Developing self-sustaining models for professional development that better prepare education professionals to provide outstanding teaching, guidance, institutional structures, etc., that enhance student outcomes in the food and agricultural sciences.

à         Changing instructional approaches to effectively identify skill gaps and address conceptual areas particularly challenging to students.

à         Integrating innovations in science and pedagogy into existing professional development programs (e.g., through hands-on research and extension experiences with partner institutions and laboratories).

à         Exploring self-sustaining web-based approaches for professional development for education professionals.

à         Develop improved curricula to train or retrain agricultural workforce for the future.

à         Other methods to fill the existing gap of professional development in advanced food and agricultural sciences for educational professionals at the K-14 education level.


2. Agricultural Workforce Training Grants

Program Area Priority:

Research, Education, Extension or Integrated Projects must address the following:

  • All applications to this program area must provide workforce training in at least one of the six AFRI priority areas.
  • Projects should develop curriculum for workforce training in the food and agricultural sciences at community, junior, and technical colleges/institutes.

à         Curriculum development includes and is not limited to creation of curriculum and instructional delivery systems, pilot testing/implementation of curriculum and delivery methods, development of assessment tools, and evaluation.

  • Projects of interest include but are not limited to:

à         Curriculum for industry-based training programs/apprenticeships allowing students to ‘earn while they learn’

à         Curriculum for new job-based, experiential learning opportunities that allow students more time working in job simulation or ‘on-the-job’ training environments

à         Refreshing existing workforce development curriculum to meet the needs of 21st century agricultural industry


3. Research and Extension Experiences for Undergraduates (REEU)

Program Area Priority:

Projects must provide undergraduate students with experiential learning opportunities that include significant research and/or extension components in the food and agricultural sciences.

  • Projects must be aligned with one or more of the six AFRI priority areas.
  • Within the Farm Bill priority areas, the REEU program area may also include opportunities for digital and data competency development within the undergraduate research and extension learning experiences.

à         The Food and Agriculture Cyberinformatics and Tools (FACT) initiative recognizes that data in agricultural systems is used to identify solutions and often involves high-dimensional and multi-scale data, machine learning, data visualization, and predictive modeling. Approaches to using data also can require transdisciplinary teams to work across scientific, economic, environmental, and industrial spheres. The FACT Initiative invests in efforts that integrate information technology, computer science, engineering, statistics, business, economics, and social sciences communities with traditional agricultural research, education, extension, as well as agricultural producers and food-system participants. NOTE: If a FACT component is included in the proposal, include the acronym “FACT” in the title.






May 8, 2019

Deadline for an email of intent including the title of the internal proposal and a one to three sentence description of the project.  Please include the program you are applying for.


Send email of intent to

May 15, 2019

Deadline to submit an internal proposal.

All proposals for the LSP must be submitted electronically using the e-proposal on-line application system.

Be prepared to upload your internal proposal. The sections will include a research plan summary (3 pages max not including references), two-page bio-sketch (per PI), and preliminary budget.

The e-proposal site is password protected. Texas A&M principal investigators may use their NetID and password to access the system. If you do not have a NetID, click HERE for help to activate your NetID. You will need your UIN and your date of birth.  Once you log-in to e-proposal, choose “Limited Submission Grant” from the Available Grants section.

If you have any questions, please contact:  or 979.862.2233.

May 31, 2019

Target date for the notifications to PIs of the result of the internal competition.

Due Dates Vary by Program

Sponsor deadline for the full proposal – varies by program

  1. 1.      Professional Development for Agricultural Literacy – 6/13/2019
  2. 2.      Agricultural Workforce Training Grants – LOI – 6/11/2019, Full Application - 8/22/2019
  3. 3.      Research and Extension Experiences for Undergraduates (REEU) – 6/27/2019



Internal Selection Procedures:

Texas A&M has established a procedure to identify limited submission opportunities and internally select proposals for Texas A&M submissions.  Please contact us if you have any questions about the limited submission process.