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Research and IPM

Grants Programs: Pierce's Disease Research

Request for Proposals on Invasive Species in Plant Agriculture

Issued December 1, 2009
(Issued as part of the 2010 UC Pierce’s Disease Research Grants Program)

An additional component has been incorporated into the 2010 UC Pierce’s Disease Research Grants Program: Invasive Species in Plant Agriculture. Proposals are being requested for projects that are aimed (i) at improving the prospects for early identification of newly invading species of insects, nematodes and microbes with potential to damage vineyard, orchard and crop agriculture or pastures in California, or (ii) at excluding such species. The separate request for proposals (RFP) for the main component of the UC Pierce’s Disease Research Grants Program is available online at: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/pdcp/Research.html.

Proposals are due via electronic submission on Friday, January 15, 2010. Research contracts will be awarded for one to three years, beginning with fiscal year 2010-11 (July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011).  For projects awarded two or three years of funding, receipt of a subsequent year of funding will be contingent upon satisfactory progress being made during the prior year.

Timeline

  • Request for Proposals Released........... December 1, 2009
  • Proposals due........... January 15, 2010
  • Award Notification from CDFA and UC........... May 14, 2010
  • Start Date for Projects........... July 1, 2010

Funding

This program, as part of the UC Pierce's Disease Research Grants Program, is funded by a special grant to the University of California from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA; formerly CSREES).

Priorities

In a typical year, surveillance systems reveal three or more insects, nematodes or microbes that are new to California and that present a serious threat to crops or pastures. Application of new traps and analytical methods based on nucleic acid or antigen detection, and the use of these in combination, already has proved to be worthwhile in improving detection. Further improvements in methods for discovering, or better yet, excluding, these threatening organisms could prevent many millions of dollars in losses. For example, if detection is accomplished earlier, it is likely that more eradication efforts would be successful.

The statements below are meant to be indicative of the types of projects that may be consistent with the intent of the Invasive Species in Plant Agriculture program; they are given for illustration only and do not represent any priority order:

  • Many current methods for detection of specific organisms are laboratory based, time consuming and expensive. If such methods could be adapted for quick and inexpensive field tests without significant loss of specificity or sensitivity, pest detection would be improved.
  • DNA chip hybridization, multiplex PCR and even rapid sequencing approaches to invading-organism-detection offer the possibility of identifying known pests and other organisms and of signaling the presence of as yet unknown new organisms.
  • More effective methods of inspection at ports and points of entry are needed to more effectively exclude the entry of new pests and pathogens.

General Information

  • Funding preference will be given to projects deemed likely to yield new approaches to the practical detection of invading microbes, insects or nematodes that are potential or actual threats to crop agriculture or pastures
  • Researchers are responsible for obtaining all required governmental permits for working with live plant pests.  For more information, please visit the following websites:
  • Submitted proposals and progress reports will not be returned.  Confidential information and materials should not be submitted.
  • Periodic progress reports and a final report will be required for each funded project.  The research sponsors are committed to providing public access to data in a timely fashion in order to maximize progress and hasten the discovery of solutions.  Therefore, as is the practice for some federal grant programs, funded researchers may be required to post project information, including progress reports and certain types of data (e.g., gene sequences, expression data, etc.) on designated websites (see the section on intellectual property at the end of this request for proposals). 

Although this RFP is concerned with invasive species only, for your reference information on past and current research supported by the broader UC Pierce’s Disease Research Grants Program is available at http://www.piercesdisease.org

Eligibility

Any individual or group affiliated with a university or governmental agency that has appropriate research capabilities is eligible and is encouraged to submit proposals, providing that the organization is able to meet NIFA certification requirements.

Format and Content of Research Proposals

Please see the section on Research Proposal Format and Guidelines, below.

Definitions of Participant Responsibilities

  • Principal Investigator (PI): The Principal Investigator is the person with overall responsibility for the scientific conduct of the project and for expenditures of funds.  Each project has only one PI.  
  • Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI): A Co-Principal Investigator is a person who receives research support or material of significant value from the project.  A project may have more than one Co-PI.
  • Cooperator: A Cooperator is a person who provides advice, materials, or data to the project, makes arrangements for advancement of project activities, uses results developed in the project, and/or carries out research in parallel to the project research and which is mutually beneficial to the project and to the Cooperator’s research. A Cooperator does not receive research support or material of significant value from the project. A project may have more than one Cooperator.

Review Process and Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed by ad hoc external reviewers and a review panel. In addition, the University of California’s Pierce’s Disease Research Grants Program Guiding Committee will review and make recommendations for funding of proposals. Proposal budgets are further reviewed and approved by NIFA before funds can be awarded.

Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated in the following areas (100 points possible):

  • Objectives of Proposed Research/Relevance - Are the objectives clearly stated, justified, worthwhile, and reasonable? Is the proposed research likely to contribute significantly to advancing the priorities in the areas described beginning on page 1 of this RFP?  Is the proposed project non-redundant with other research? (25 points)
  • Experimental Procedures to Accomplish Objectives – Is the work plan reasonable, feasible and capable of meeting the stated goals and objectives? Is the work plan of good scientific merit? (35 points)
  • PI, Co-PI(s) & Cooperators – Do they have appropriate backgrounds, expertise, experience and capabilities for the proposed tasks? Is the team missing any critical capabilities? (10 points)
  • Research Capacity & Likelihood of Accomplishing Objectives – Assuming that requested PD program funds are awarded, will the investigators have the resources, including facilities, to achieve the objectives? (10 points)
  • Research Timetable for Project – Are the milestones appropriate? Are they achievable? (10 points)
  • Budget – Is the budget reasonable and appropriate, including support for Co-PI activities? (10 points)

Due Dates for Submissions

Proposals should be submitted electronically via the internet no later than Friday, January 15, 2010. Submit proposals online at http://www.pdgrants.ucdavis.edu.

Please submit one paper copy of the proposal. The paper copy should include all necessary institutional approvals and should be signed by all PIs, Co-PIs, and Cooperators. The paper copy must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, January 20, 2010.

Mail the paper copy to
UC Statewide IPM Program, Robbins Annex
Attention: Ms. Melanie Caruso
University of California
One Shields Ave.
Davis, CA 95616-8621.

Proposals that are incomplete, late, or exceed the maximum page length (10 pages + title page, budget, current, planned, pending and recent research support, biographies, and citations; 11-point Arial font; one-inch margins) may be eliminated from consideration.

Questions

If you have questions about this research grant program or about the online submission process, please contact

Melanie Caruso
UC Statewide IPM Program
Ph: 530-752-5336
mmcaruso@ucdavis.edu

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