Call for Letters of Intent

The International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture (ICASA) – is issuing a call for Letters of Intent (LOI) to solicit research concepts for potential funding and collaboration. ICASA, a public-private partnership, is focused on antibiotic stewardship in animal agriculture and has committed to investing in research to accelerate innovation and antibiotic stewardship across the livestock supply chain. ICASA members work collaboratively to improve the health and welfare of beef cattle, swine, and poultry through the development of practical solutions, including advanced tools and management practices to address the underlying drivers of antibiotic use in livestock. By leveraging knowledge and resources from diverse organizations, ICASA will advance stewardship and improve health outcomes for livestock.

ICASA is seeking novel and potentially high-impact projects related to antibiotic stewardship and animal health that can be conducted in collaboration with commercial livestock producers and processors.

Concepts should be highly relevant to beef cattle and/or swine. Applicants should describe how the work will enhance responsible antibiotic use, reduce the potential for resistance and/or provide actionable information to antimicrobial-prescribers.

ICASA will consider a range of requests for funding and/or access to commercial production facilities; please visit grants.foundationfar.org for specific minimum or maximum allowable requests, if applicable. Requests should be reasonable and appropriate for the work proposed, and applicants should be cognizant that the project must provide value to and potential for implementation by the commercial livestock sector. Financial contributions from organizations outside ICASA are encouraged.

Current Call

ICASA is seeking novel and potentially high-impact projects related to metaphylaxis in beef cattle and pigs. Metaphylaxis refers to the medical treatment of a group of animals to control outbreaks of infectious disease. The goal of metaphylaxis is to prevent the spread of disease from a small number of affected animals to the rest of the group. However, it is challenging to know the best time at which to treat cattle and pigs and to identify animals that do not need or will not benefit from metaphylactic treatment.

There is a huge need for predictive tools that enable producers and veterinarians to identify, with high confidence, the animals most at risk of disease allowing the treatment of individual animals based on highest risk, a practice called “targeted” metaphylaxis. In addition, it is important to understand how current metaphylaxis practices impact the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance, as well as health and management practices that might improve metaphylaxis practices and health outcomes in beef cattle and pigs.

The ICASA Metaphylaxis Working Group seeks LOIs that will achieve the following outcomes:

  • Evaluate the effects of metaphylaxis on prevalence of antimicrobial resistant pathogens
  • Evaluate the effects of metaphylaxis on antibiotic efficacy and treatment outcomes
  • Support development and/or validation of new diagnostic tools, technologies or protocols to make better informed decisions about metaphylaxis treatment
  • Evaluate how animal health and management protocols at different segments in the supply chain can be altered to improve the practice of metaphylaxis treatment

Key Dates

Pre-Application Open: May 6, 2020
Pre-Applications Due: June 17, 2020
Submitting a pre-application is required to submit a full application.

Full Application Receipt Open: July 29, 2020
Only open to applicants invited to submit a full application.

Full Applications Due: September 9, 2020
Award Notification: Winter 2020
Anticipated Project Start Date: Early 2021

Letter of Intent Form

Letter of Intent (LOI) Title Page

Letter of Intent Due: June 17, 5:00 PM Eastern Time

Letters of Intent must be submitted online via SM Apply

  • Project Title
  • Project Duration (calendar months)
  • Geographic Location(s) of Proposed Project
  • Opportunities for Collaboration with Commercial Livestock Producers/Processors
  • Optional: Potential Funding Contributions from Sources Outside ICASA (including both cash and in-kind contributions)
  • Other than the Principal Investigator, how many key personnel will be involved in the proposed project?
  • Please list the name(s), affiliation(s), expertise, and role of key personnel on the proposed work
  • Principal Investigator or Key Personnel’s involvement in other Letters of Intent

List the names of the key personnel who are involved in other LOIs for ICASA and the titles of the other proposed projects in this cycle.

  • Objectives and Relevance (250 words)
  • Overview of Proposed Project (500 words)
  • Applications, Actionable Information, Impacts (250 words)
  • Proposed Project Budget (Cash Request from FFAR; maximum allowable is $200,000)

Pre- Application Evaluation Criteria

The rubric below will be used by the ICASA Executive Committee to evaluate all projects. Projects should have a duration no longer than 3 years and should have appropriate plans for managing any intellectual property that may be generated during the project.

 Approximate Weight
Potential for supply chain implementation/adoption30%
Potential for high impact on antibiotic stewardship20%
Likelihood for successful project completion / Identification & mitigation of risks 20%
Key personnel qualifications and research environment10%
Novelty, innovation, originality of idea10%
Leveraging partnerships10%
Total100%

 

ICASA Full Application Form

  • Project Title
  • Project Duration
  • Geographic location (city, state, congressional district) where the applicant organization is located.
  • Geographic location (city, state, congressional district) where the proposed research will be conducted.
  • Describe stakeholder groups to be served by the proposed project (500 words)
  • Have you identified barriers that might inhibit the uptake and adoption of your research outcome(s)?
  • Have you identified barriers that might hinder the optimal or intended use of your research outcome(s)?
  • Will your research outcome(s) be scale neutral?
  • Key Personnel
  • Project Executive Summary (500 words)
  • Public Abstract (250 words)
  • Project Description (3,000 words)
  • Project Goals and Objectives
  • Anticipated Outcomes or Outputs (500 words)
  • Data and Information Management Plan (500 words)
  • Intellectual Property Management Plan (500 words)
  • Organization Assurances
    • Research involving human subjects
    • Research involving vertebrate animals
    • Research involving Recombinant DNA
    • Research involving National Security implications
    • Research involving hazardous materials
    • Research involving human fetal tissue
    • Research involving NEPA review
  • Proposed budget (please note FFAR limits indirect costs to 10% of total award)
    • Total FFAR funding request
    • Total matching funds (at least 50% cash match, required)
    • Total proposed budget (FFAR funds + matching funds)
  • Budget justification (up to 1000 words)
  • Current and Pending Support Form: complete for everyone listed as PI or Key personnel on the project

Attachments

  • Required Attachments
    • Budget Form
    • PI and Key Personnel Biosketch: three-page limit per individual listed as PI or key personnel in the project
    • Project timeline (by year)
    • References cited
  • Optional attachments to support project description: This section should not be used to circumvent the page/word limit for the Research Program Plan Section.
    • Matching Funds Verification: Matching funds are OPTIONAL for this program. If you intend to offer matching funds, please attach a completed Match Verification Letter from the funder.
    • Letters of Support: Applicants can provide letters of institutional, collaborator, or stakeholder support for the proposed project, especially from matching funders. Please combine all letters of support into a single PDF document before uploading as an attachment.
    • Graphics, Figures, Equations, and Tables: The textbox for the Research Program Plan does not support equations, tables, graphics, and figures. Applicants may upload a PDF document with graphics, figures, tables, or a list of equations to support the research program plan. Five-page limit.

Application Submission Guidelines

Applications must be submitted through FFAR’s online application receipt system, https://grants.foundationfar.org/. If you are a new user, register for an account by clicking the green “Register” button at the top right corner of the home page. You will receive a confirmation email to activate your account before you can sign-in to your account. Once you log in, click on the corresponding program to start your application.

Only applications submitted through this portal will be considered eligible for evaluation. FFAR will not accept applications submitted by any other medium. There is a two-hour grace period for all deadlines. Applications that are not submitted by the deadline or within the grace period will not be accepted. To be fair to all our applicants, FFAR cannot grant an extension to applicants who missed the deadlines posted in the Key Dates section.

Application Review Process

Pre-Application Review

All submitted pre-applications will go through a Working Group review process to ensure that the proposed project is relevant to the Call and suitable to ICASA and FFAR’s mission. Only the most innovative and cutting-edge projects with significant potential for advancing relevant research will be invited to submit a full application. Applicants should expect e-mail notification of the application status within 6 weeks of submission. Only applicants submitting a pre-application are eligible to receive an invitation to submit a full application. Pre-applications must be submitted online via grants.foundation.org; late submissions will not be considered.

Full Application Review

Full applications will undergo review by both the relevant ICASA Working Group and Executive Committee. Applications will be evaluated and recommended for funding by the ICASA Executive Committee based on comparisons with applications from the same Call and ICASA’s program priorities. All reviewers are required to read and acknowledge acceptance of FFAR’s Conflict of Interest Policy and Non-Disclosure Agreement. We make reasonable efforts to ensure that applications are not assigned to reviewers with a real or apparent conflict with the applicant or project personnel. Reviewers with a conflict of interest are recused from evaluating or approving/declining funding for applications with which they have a conflict. The review is conducted confidentially, and as such, FFAR is responsible for protecting the confidentiality of the contents of the applications. FFAR’s Executive Director will approve each grant award recommendation made by the Science Program Director. Applicants can expect to receive notification of their application status within 6-8 weeks of full application submission.

Review Criteria

Full applications are evaluated based the following review criteria. Reviewers will evaluate and score each criterion. Evaluation of the scientific merit of each application is within the sole discretion of the reviewers, and they may raise additional factors to consider that are not covered in the bullets for each criterion.

  • Potential for supply chain implementation/adoption
  • Potential for high impact on antibiotic stewardship
  • Likelihood for successful project completion / Identification & mitigation of risks
  • Key personnel qualifications and research environment
  • Novelty, innovation, originality of idea
  • Leveraging partnerships

Award Administration

Selection Notice

Following the full application review, the principal investigator and the authorized organization representative listed on the project will be officially notified by email whether (1) the application has been selected for funding pending award negotiations, or (2) the application has not been selected funding. If an application is selected for funding, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research reserves the right to request additional or clarifying information for any reason deemed necessary, including, but not limited to, matching funds, or other budget information. Potential grantees are free to accept or reject the Grant Agreement as offered.

Award Notice

FFAR notifies applicants of whether they are selected for funding through email. The notice does not constitute an award or obligate funding from FFAR until there is a fully executed Grant Agreement.

Grant Period(s)

Upon receipt of the Grant Agreement, the potential grantee should note the Start Date and the End Date. Grantees may only use FFAR funds on project expenditures on or after the Grant Agreement is fully executed, or with prior approval of pre-award expenditure. Charging expenditures to the grant prior to the fully executed date is strictly prohibited. Likewise, grantees may not use FFAR funds after the End Date except to satisfy obligations to pay allowable project costs committed on or before that date. Grantees may have up to the last day of the month of expiration to fulfill obligated expenses.

Once the Grant Agreement is fully executed, the Start Date cannot be changed. The End Date may be changed with a written approval of a no-cost extension request by FFAR. If a no-cost- extension request is approved, FFAR will issue an amendment to the Grant Agreement.

If the grantee requires additional time beyond the Grant Period and the established End Date to assure adequate completion of the original scope of work within the funds already made available, the grantee may request a one-time no-cost extension of up to 6 months. The request must be submitted to FFAR at least thirty (30) days prior to the End Date of the grant.

The request must explain the need for the extension and include an estimate of the unobligated funds remaining and a plan for their use. This one-time extension will not be approved merely for using the unexpended funds.

Post-award Management

Reporting Requirements

After a grant is conferred, the grantee shall provide an annual financial report to FFAR showing grant expenditures to date. The grantee shall also provide an annual progress report to FFAR showing activities being carried out under the grant, including but not limited to project accomplishments to date and grant expenditures. Within 90 days of completion of all grant activities, the grantee shall provide a final progress report. The final progress report should address the original objectives of the project as identified in the application, describe any changes in objectives, describe the final project accomplishments, and include a final project accounting of all grant funds.

Scientific Integrity

FFAR’s ability to pursue its mission to build unique partnerships to support innovative science addressing today’s food and agriculture challenges depends on the integrity of the science on which it relies. A fundamental purpose of FFAR is to facilitate the advancement of knowledge and the application of the science to address challenges relevant to the FFAR’s mission. All FFAR grants must be conducted with the highest standards of scientific integrity.

Grant Terms and Conditions

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research expects applicants to have reviewed the Grant Agreement prior to applying to ensure that the applicants are aware of the applicable terms under which the grant is offered. FFAR will only entertain potential modifications to the Grant Agreement under the most exceptional circumstances. Successful applicants are strongly encouraged to sign the Grant Agreement as presented.

Requirement to Demonstrate Matching Funds

Matching funds are OPTIONAL for this program. If the applicant provides matching funds, the applicant agrees to identify and certify matching funds annually prior to disbursement of award funds. The match share is intended to supplement, not supplant existing funding for the principal investigator (PI). The applicant will abide by FFAR’s Matching Guidelines to meet FFAR’s matching requirements, available here: https://foundationfar.org/grants/applicant-resources/about-matching-funds/. To constitute a valid match, all matching funds on a FFAR grant must be expended during the grant period.

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