Pollinators are a crucial component of productive natural and agricultural ecosystems. Worldwide, insect pollination contributes over $200 billion to crop production. Populations of managed and wild pollinators, however, are in decline. While research has identified several stressors that are contributing to pollinator decline, how those stressors interact with each other is an active area of research. Furthermore, beekeepers, growers and land managers need information and technology to help them modify their practices to mitigate stressors and boost pollinator health.
The Pollinator Health Fund focuses on research and technology development with direct impacts on pollinators in agricultural landscapes and applications to beekeeping, land management, and farming practices. Partnerships with businesses and non-profit organizations are encouraged to ground projects in the social and economic realities of beekeeping, farming, and ranching.
Pollinator Health Fund grants will be awarded to projects that significantly advance pollinator health in the United States. The portfolio of successful proposals will address pollinator issues across the country’s geographic regions and diverse cropping systems, including pollinator-dependent commodities as well as pollinator-independent commodities with impacts on pollinator health. The Fund will devote considerable resources to high-intensity agricultural areas that present major opportunities for improvement of pollinator health.
Applicants to the Pollinator Health Fund must address at least one of the following four program priorities, and that connection must be explicit in the application along with metrics to measure success of the research program
- Understanding Multiple Interacting Stressors: No single factor is responsible for pollinator Pests, pathogens, land use, agrochemicals, nutrition, interspecific interactions and climate change are just a few of the factors affecting pollinator health. The character of each of these factors and how they interact will be influenced by the biotic and abiotic environment that pollinators experience. Studies that inform management for pollinator health must take into account interacting stressors. The focal stressors for a given project should vary according to their relative importance in a region, cropping system, operation size, etc.
- Best Management Practices and Their Application: Best management practices guide beekeepers, growers and land managers on how to improve the health of pollinators. These practices can range from integrated pest management regimens to seed mixes that provide forage for managed and native pollinators. While there are many sets of best management practices available for pollinators, very few have been scientifically vetted through applied research studies to ascertain which practices are best, under what circumstances, and with what expectation of pollinator/colony survival and productivity. Insights from experience can inform experimental management practices, but developing a mechanistic understanding through science will allow users to tune these management practices to a variety agricultural systems and operations. Studies to develop best management practices should be interdisciplinary, accounting for the biological, social and economic dimensions of efforts to improve pollinator health and engage private partners to test practices in real world situations. For habitat restoration best practices, ties to private, local, state and federal conservation incentive programs are strongly encouraged, as well as assessment of multiple benefits from restoration practices.
- Technology Transfer: The technology that could improve the health of managed and native pollinators ranges from improved agricultural machinery tonovel pest control strategies to selectively bred lines of parasite-resistant bees. Promising preliminary work has been done in the public and private sector. This priority area seeks to fund two lines of inquiry: the promising technological advances that are ready to move from the preliminary research to the at-scale field testing phase, as well as a limited number of high-risk projects that have minimal preliminary data but potential for grand impacts on pollinator health. Projects should involve industry partners with an interest in taking developed technologies to market and social and economic analyses of adoption potential for the new technology.
- Outreach and Education: Everyone from home gardeners to commercial farmers have the opportunity to improve pollinator health through individual actions. Activities like planting pollinator gardens in urban areas,training future pollinator taxonomists, and coordinating land management activities with beekeeping schedules can have an impact on pollinator health. This priority area seeks to promote innovative outreach and education projects that reach new demographics and communities to raise awareness around pollinator health and encourage the adoption of activities that promote pollinator health. Programs should assess efficacy of education and outreach methods to allow for recommendations for improvement.
Who is Eligible to Apply
- Public and private institutions of higher education
- Nonprofit organizations
- For-profit organizations
How to Apply
Log on to Proposal Central. Under “Grant Opportunities,” select “Filter by Grant Maker,” select “Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research” and click “Apply Now” next to “Pollinator Health Fund Pre-Proposal.” For questions regarding the pre-proposal, see the appropriate contact list below.
Prepare to Apply: Download Pollinator Health Fund Pre-Proposal Template
Please note: All pre-proposals MUST be submitted through Proposal Central.
Posted Date: February 15, 2017
Closing Date: April 17, 2017
Full Proposals Invited: June 15, 2017
Full Proposals Due: August 18, 2017
Anticipated Applicant Notification by: November 1, 2017
Progam Questions: Tawny Mata | Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, Scientific Programs Consultant
Matching Fund Questions: Shonda Andrews | Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, Development Associate
Technical Preproposal Application System Questions: Stefanie Chernyakov | Proposal Central
Total Anticipated Funding Available in 2017: $4,000,000.00
Grant Size: Individual funding requests should not be less than $100,000 or exceed $1,500,000.
Grant Terms: 1-5 years
A 1:1 match from non-Federal sources is required at time of award. Matching may be no more than 50% in-kind. Applicants will be strongly encouraged to submit letters of financial support at time of full proposal submission. Proposed budgets in full proposals should encompass the total cost of the project including match.