NCR-SARE: Research and Education Grant

North Central Region SARE

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Deadline: Oct 8, 2021 2:00pm PDT (Pre proposal)

Grant amount: US $10,000 - US $250,000

Fields of work: Sustainable Agriculture & Agroecology Soil Science

Applicant type: Postdoctoral Researcher, Faculty, Working Professional

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research

Location of project: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan Show all

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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Amount of Funding Available

The funding level for the R&E grant program is dependent upon fiscal year 2020 appropriations from Congress and budget decisions by the NCR-SARE Administrative Council, but we anticipate that roughly $3.0 million will be available to fund approximately twelve grant projects, with individual grants not to exceed $250,000 total for projects lasting up to three years (36 months). In 2019, NCR-SARE received 154 preproposals, invited 32 to be developed into full proposals, and selected 17 R&E proposals for funding. The average size of funded grants was $180,000 and grant lengths ranged from 18 to 36 months.

Desired Outcomes for 2020 Research and Education Projects

Preproposals must address issues of sustainable agriculture of current and potential  importance to the North Central Region. NCR-SARE is interested in projects that lead to  resilient agricultural systems. Successful projects should contribute to the following NCRSARE broad-based outcomes:

  • Improving the profitability of farmers/ranchers and associated agricultural  businesses,
  • Sustaining and improving the environmental quality and natural resource base on  which agriculture depends, and
  • Enhancing the quality of life for farmers/ranchers, communities, and society as a  whole.  

Preproposals should clearly explain:

  • Relevancy of the project to sustainable agriculture in the North Central Region, including identifying expected outcomes for the project and how they will assist NCR-SARE in working toward the broad-based outcomes listed above.

Open call funds

For the 2020 funding cycle of the Research and Education Grant Program, $3.0  million is available for funding projects on any topic appropriate to the NCR-SARE  program.

New long-term funding option

The North Central Region recognizes that some research/extension systems work is complex and requires a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that takes many years to complete. To be effective, these projects are likely to exceed the time limits of North Central SARE’s normal one-to-three year funding cycle. Projects that are long-term (more than 3 years) should identify themselves as a long-term project by checking the appropriate box in the on-line portion of the preproposal application. The preproposal will be evaluated in a group with other long-term preproposals, separate from the short-term (3-year) project preproposals. You will be asked to briefly describe why this is a longer-term project and the estimated duration of the project. The justification might include the complexity of the set-up of the project or relationship building; the ecosystem processes at play; or need for longer-term data collection/analysis. We anticipate inviting no more than five long-term preproposals to submit full proposals, and plan to fund one or two long-term proposals this year.

If invited to complete a full proposal, projects that check the long-term option will complete a typical proposal application, requesting funding at no more than the $250,000 cap for the first three year funding period, but will complete an additional segment that provides a projected work plan for a second (and third, if needed) three-year cycle.

Long-term projects that are funded will receive their funding in three-year increments, and additional cycles will be contingent on NCR-SARE receiving funding. Each additional increment (up to $250,000 for the 3-year increment) of funding will  be dependent on satisfactory performance in the first round based on: reports submitted in a timely manner with yearly objectives and milestones reported on and met, site visits, and an adequate work plan for the next phase which will include a progress report.

There are no priorities for long-term projects, but some examples of types of project topics that could be considered long-term include: soil/water quality enhancement or degradation, agro-forestry, integrated crop-livestock systems, participatory action research, pest resistance mitigation, and climate adaptation.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The Research and Education (R&E) Grant Program provides funds to collaborative teams of scientists, farmers/ranchers, institutions, organizations, and educators who are exploring sustainable agriculture through research projects or education/demonstration projects.
  • Preproposals from any location are accepted, but the preproposal must convince reviewers that project results will benefit NCR agriculture.
  • Typically, proposals come from university and extension staff, the agricultural nonprofit sector, and from people who work  on research farms and experiment stations.
  • There is no requirement that applicants have a specific affiliation, but awarded entities must complete required federal grant protocols when applicable, for example animal care and use protocol verification. 


  • Capital expenses for things like land purchases, general farm improvements, and construction of buildings, greenhouses, and laboratories are NOT allowed. Equipment is rarely allowed.

This page was last reviewed January 14, 2021 and last updated September 12, 2020