Specialty Crop Research Initiative

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

New program in FY 2008.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grant funds must be used for allowable costs necessary to conduct approved research and extension objectives.

Funds shall not be used for the construction of a new building or facility or the acquisition, expansion, remodeling, or alteration of an existing building or facility (including site grading and improvement, and architect fees).

Funds may not be used for any purposes other than those approved in the grant award documents.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applications may be submitted by Federal agencies, national laboratories, colleges and universities, research institutions and organizations, private organizations or corporations, State agricultural experiment stations, individuals, or groups consisting of two or more of these entities.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Applications may be submitted by Federal agencies, national laboratories, colleges and universities, research institutions and organizations, private organizations or corporations, State agricultural experiment stations, individuals, or groups consisting of two or more of these entities.


Applicants must furnish the information announced in the request for applications. Successful applicants recommended for funding must furnish the information and assurances requested during the award documentation process.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

All proposal solicitations are published on the Agency's Web site and Grants.Gov.

Before applying, you must complete the Grants.gov registration process.

Please see the following Grants.Gov link for more information: http://www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Applicants must follow the instructions as provided in the request for applications and the instructions on Grants.Gov.

Award Procedures

Proposals are reviewed by a peer panel of qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal. Proposals are funded in order of merit to the extent permitted by available funds.


Specific deadlines dates are announced in the request for applications or guidelines for each fiscal year.


Section 412 of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998, as amended, 7 U.S.C. 7621 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 30 to 180 days.




Proposals for renewal should be submitted at the announced deadline. Renewals are treated in competition with all other pending proposals.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

The recipient of a grant under the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) must provide funds or in-kind support from non-Federal sources in an amount that is at least equal to the amount provided by the SCRI. There is no provision for waiver of this requirement. See the request for applications for further information.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

From one to ten years.

Post Assistance Requirements


Grantees are required to submit annual and summary progress reports via CSREES' Current Research Information System (CRIS).

CRIS is an electronic, Web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submissions of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects.


Audits will be conducted in accordance with guidelines established in the revised OMB Circular No. A-133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," and implemented in 7 CFR Part 3052, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations." This program is also subject to audit by the cognizant Federal audit agency and the USDA Office of Inspector General.


Grantees are expected to maintain separate records for each grant to insure that funds are used for the purpose for which the grant was made. Records are subject to inspection during the life of the grant and for three years thereafter.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $0; FY 08 $28,440,000 and FY 09 est not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Minimum and maximum amounts of funding per grant are established by the annual program announcement.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

7 CFR Part 3015, USDA Uniform Federal Assistant Regulations; 7 CFR Part 3017, Government wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) and Government wide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Grants); 7 CFR Part 3018, New Restrictions on Lobbying; and 7 CFR Part 3019, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Nonprofit Organizations.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

National Program Leader; Plant and Animal Systems; Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, USDA; 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., STOP 2220, Washington, DC 20250-2220; Telephone: (202) 401-3356.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Within guidelines established for the program as described in the request for applications.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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