January 27, 2011
On Wednesday, January 26, USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) released a Request for Applications (RFA) for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s (AFRI) Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area. AFRI has yet to release FY 2011 RFAs for the remaining four Challenge Areas: climate change, food safety, global food security, and sustainable bioenergy. We have previously reported on the new RFA for the Foundational Areas.
The AFRI Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area provides grants for research, education, and/or extension projects, with the long-term goal of reducing the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents. Priority is given to projects that involve collaboration among institutions. The funding includes set-asides for new investigators with less than 5 years of postgraduate experience; small, mid-sized, and minority-serving academic institutions; and academic institutions located in EPSCoR states (see the RFA for details).
The AFRI Challenge Area RFAs offer awards as continuation grants, in which funds are allocated on a year-by-year basis, based on performance, for projects already underway and funded in previous years. NIFA anticipates that approximately $25 million will be available for continuing awards and $8.5 million for new awards in FY 2011 in the obesity area.
NIFA solicited public comment on the AFRI program in 2010, and received more than 200 comments from a wide range of stakeholders. For an in-depth overview of the comments and NIFA’s response, see the RFA.