Rapid Outcomes from Agricultural Research

Grants Management Team

grants@foundationfar.org

ROARing Efforts to Address Unanticipated Threats

The Rapid Outcomes from Agricultural Research (ROAR) program deploys urgent funding to support research and outreach in response to emerging or unanticipated threats to the nation’s food supply or agricultural systems.

Plant and animal pests and pathogens can strike quickly, devastating crops, livestock and livelihoods. When such unplanned events occur, it often takes months before an effective response can be mounted. Researchers must understand these pests and pathogens before they can develop an effective solution. While the initial period after pest or pathogen detection is critical to stopping the threat, conventional research funding opportunities take significant time and effort to pursue.

To address these outbreaks quickly, FFAR makes rapid grants through ROAR for research related to response, prevention or mitigation of new pests and pathogens. ROAR’s one-year funding fills urgent research gaps until traditional, longer-term funding can be secured.

ROAR grants are swift, diverse and far-reaching. In the past, we have awarded ROAR grants to combat invasive weevils, lettuce wilt, swine viruses and cattle ticks, among other pests and pathogens.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does ROAR fund weather, natural disaster or food safety response efforts?

No, ROAR funds cannot be used for weather, natural disaster, or food safety response efforts. ROAR is intended to support research and coordination to halt pre-farm gate pest or pathogen outbreaks.

Can ROAR funds be used prior to an outbreak?

Yes. Funding up to $150,000 may be made available to support the development of diagnostic tools, outreach, research and other efforts to mitigate, contain, or prevent a pest or pathogen outbreak. The funding amount will be determined by several criteria including the geographic range, the number of animals or plants impacted, economic impact and the likelihood of an outbreak to occur. Funding is contingent upon providing matching funds.

Are international issues eligible for consideration?

Generally, no. FFAR reserves the right to pursue and consider research on international outbreaks with the potential for significant impact. FFAR will pursue these opportunities through direct solicitation, please do not contact the organization regarding these issues.

Does ROAR support the fundamental science and development for general-use diagnostic platforms?

No. Diagnostic tools must be specific to an imminent or ongoing disease or pest outbreak and must have a high potential for dissemination to industry.

Does ROAR support research on new application practices and technologies for conventional or organic pesticides?

No.

Can ROAR funds be applied for at the time of an outbreak?

Yes. Consortia are encouraged to submit a one-page concept note outlining:

  1. The research team members including researchers, industry representatives and government officials;
  2. The source and amount of matching funds for the project; and
  3. A brief description of the pest or pathogen threat and why it should be considered for rapid funding.

The team must designate a lead organization to enter into the potential grant agreement with FFAR. Based on the concept note, we may invite the team to submit an application for the ROAR program. Once the application is submitted, we decide on the application within approximately one week. If awarded, we disburse funds within two days of the decision.

Who can provide matching funds?

FFAR accepts matching funds from non-federal sources, including state, university, industry and private organizations. We cannot count US federal funding as matching funds; however, federal funds can still be used to supplement the budget for a ROAR project.

Can federally funded groups participate in ROAR?

Yes, federally funded groups can participate as part of the ROAR consortia and can contribute financially to our research programs; however, these funds cannot be used as a match for the release of FFAR funds. Non-federal dollars must be included as a source of matching funds.

How to Apply

The application process is designed to provide the swift deployment of funding in response to an outbreak; often, we make the decision to award a grant within days of receiving an application.

Timeline

The ROAR program is open year-round to eligible applicants.

Eligibility

The following types of organizations are invited to apply:

  • Public and private institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • For-profit organizations

Matching Funds

ROAR grant recipients must provide equal or greater matching funds from non-US federal government sources.

Collaboration

We encourage applicants to form broad-based coalitions that include industry participation to increase research collaboration and maximize the adoption of outcomes by the agriculture sector.

Concept Note

In the event of a pest or pathogen outbreak, submit a one-page concept note outlining:

  1. Your research team, including academic scientists, industry representatives and/or government officials;
  2. The source and amount of matching funds for the project; and
  3. A brief description of the pest or pathogen threat and why it should be considered for rapid funding.

Based on the concept note, we decide whether to invite a full application. We review applications immediately and decide within approximately one week of submission.

The ROAR program does not support research on food-borne diseases or weather-related disasters. The pest or pathogen outbreaks must be imminent, detected within 1-2 years or re-emerging at significantly greater prevalence. These issues must present a threat to a multi-state region of the US with the potential to cause significant losses and economic harm.

Submitting the Concept Note

For applications concerning animal pests and pathogens, submit your concept note to Dr. Tim Kurt, scientific program director for the Advanced Animal Systems Challenge Area at tkurt@foundationfar.org.

For applications concerning plant pests and pathogens, submit your concept note to Dr. LaKisha Odom, scientific program director for the Soil Health Challenge Area at lodom@foundationfar.org.

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